Late this summer, hummingbirds finally began visiting the feeder we'd put up on our back porch. I wanted to try and get some digital shots of them, but couldn't stand there with a camera "in range"--they'd never come.
I needed a remote cable release so I could set the camera up on a tripod, aim it at the hummingbird feeder, and release the shutter from a distance away. Problem is, my camera, like most digital snapshooters, isn't equipped for remote shutter release.
Although an earlier instructible had a great hack for opening up the camera and tapping into its electronics, I didn't want to permanently modify my camera, and wasn't sure I would be able to do the surgery without damaging something.
So after some thought, I designed this simple fixture using low-tech parts readily available for $10 or less that allows you to leave your camera intact, but still allows you to "sneak" up on wildlife, have camera on elevated position, and other remote-shutter release situations.
Step 1: Design the Frame
The Hummingbird Shooter is basically a wooden frame that closely fits the camera body, that allows the piston of an "old fashioned" bulb release to be positioned over the shutter button of the camera.
I originally planned to have some sharp-pointed screws driven in toward the camera, which I planned to lightly tighten to hold the frame in place, but while building the device, thought of a better way. (more about that later)
My camera, a Canon Powershot A75, has no provision for remote releases, only the finger button in the center foreground of the photo below.
The first step was to measure how high and wide the camera was at the end where the shutter button was. Because of the "sculpted" shape of the camera body, there were a lot of humps curves, and other non-linear dimensions to contend with, so I just cut the wood pieces --1 inch wide pieces of 1/2 inch plywood to rough dimensions to start.
I also had to make note of where the various controls, sensors, etc. were located to be sure my frame would not interfere with them.