Introduction: Remote Shutter Trigger for Digital Cameras

Picture of Remote Shutter Trigger for Digital Cameras

Make a remote shutter release for your canon digital camera (and some other brands such as Pentax, sony, and some nikons) for about 3 bucks in under 5 minutes, even a 1st grader can do this. This is great for getting the perfect exposure, and enables you to go past the 30 second exposure offered with canon cameras. I use this on my Canon Digital Rebel SLR and it works every time...

Step 1: Hands Free Phone Headset $3

Picture of Hands Free Phone Headset $3

First you'll need a "hands free" headset for phones, Make sure it is one of the kinds with a button about 8 inch below the ear piece. And make sure its a 3/32-inch (2.5-mm) plug (like the plug on a pair of Regular headphones, but one size smaller). I took a pic next to a quarter so you can make sure its the right size. Usually anything for Motorola phones should have this

I found one for $3 at a store called Big Lots (its like a step up from the dollar store) and better yet my g/f works there so i got 20% off!

Step 2: Cut Off the Ear Peice

Picture of Cut Off the Ear Peice

Use a knife or something to gently pry open the electronic housing. Inside is a switch leading to a microphone. a wire leading out to the plug, and a wire leading out to the ear piece. Cut the wire leading to the ear piece. TEST this in your camera, if it doesnt work, the microphone might have to be carefully removed. it all depends on the model of your headset.

Step 3: Replace Housing

Picture of Replace Housing

Now just make sure everything is back in place and then close back up, if needed tie a SMALL knot in the wire to make sure it doesn't get yanked out. The soldering doesn't look very strong on these....

Step 4: ENJOI

Picture of ENJOI

plug in your camera and have fun, if you set your exposure to bulb, the shutter will stay open till you let go of the button. And it looks WAY cooler than any of the other homemade ones made out of stuff like film canisters, or pill bottles, I made 3 and sold them on craigslist for $20 each, and this instructable won the instructables "tool tips" contest which got me a free shnazzy shirt


onemoroni1 (author)2013-01-24

I used this to take a telephoto shot of the moon to prevent shake. I set up my wife's Rebel T3 fitted with my FD 500mm using a FD to EOS adapter on my heavy duty tripod. I'm trying to attach one of the shots to this post.

Whoa! Nice shot!! :)

Thanks, all settings including focus were manual. I just used the "sunny 16" rule as the moon is reflecting bright sun. I use this shot as my desktop background.

Money_Illusion (author)2013-04-19

Wondering if there's a instructable somewhere to make a dual shutter release to fire 2 cameras at the same time. Want to use it to create 3D photos, ex.: ( ) Plan to mount 2 identical canon/lens on a tripod dual camera mounts and fire them at the same time to capture moving objects. Currently use 1 camera for static objects.

atanum (author)Money_Illusion2015-07-26

normal headphone splitters won't work!

You need a 4-pole TRRS male to 2x 4-pole TRRS female splitter cable. These are not easily found. CablesOnline sells such splitters.

Roshy10 (author)Money_Illusion2013-07-20

Use a headphone splitter?

VincentL1 (author)2014-10-10

Sorry correct me if I'm wrong, this is just a 2.5mm plug that makes contact with the momentary push button that you decided to use out of an old school hands free rig. That's clever in a pinch, Falls more in the category of The Young MacGyver Application category.
Never the less congratulations on receiving recognition from instructables. I wish they would send some people money to never show the world anything again, because what they have made is really that bad.

lel101460 (author)2014-02-03

I have a Canon PowerShot S2 IS I cannot find a place to place this installation into my camera? Can you help. We are getting married just the 2 of us and the minister and want person shots of the wedding and can't find a remote trigger for my camera.

fischej (author)2013-12-31

Excellent tip! A few notes from my experience implementing this:

I have a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi. I found the hands free headset in my electronics odds-and-ends box, so I don't know what phone it came from, but it was essentially as pictured above. I did have to remove both the earphone and the mic.

At first I thought my new cable would only trip the shutter if auto-focus was disengaged, but it seems that the a/f was just "hunting" and couldn't lock. After further experimentation, it appears that the DIY switch does engage a/f, and if it locks, it will trip the shutter. However, there is no "beep" feedback as when manually holding the shutter release on the camera body half-way down. (Apparently the "official" Canon wired remote has a two-position button, so it acts like the built-in shutter release; i.e., half-way down activates a/f, full down trips the shutter.)

Since you can get an aftermarket Canon-compatible wired shutter release for $6-8 online, it probably doesn't make sense to buy a hands free headset (if you can even find them anymore) for this purpose, but for a limited-functionality quick hack on an otherwise useless piece of equipment you already have, this works a treat. Thanks again!

Spydamonky (author)2010-09-03

dont you hate it when manafutuers have custom plugs fr remotes to stop you from doing this... DAMN YOU SONY

Roshy10 (author)Spydamonky2013-07-20

and NIkon (Grrrrr)

Spydamonky (author)Roshy102013-07-21

Well at least for Nikon you can get hold of the IR codes and build a wireless shutter instead!

skittlelover0311 (author)2013-05-06

would this shutter release work with my camera? i have a Fujiflim Finepix S4200. Fujifilm makes shutter releases for just about every camera except the S4200, so i have to resort to making my own. Will this DIY shutter release work for a S4200?

timk333 (author)2013-04-18

cool gadget

onemoroni1 (author)2013-01-24

Allright, excellent! The photo showed up. I is quite dramatic as my new desktop background.

shamanths3 (author)2013-01-04

hi will this work on sony slr a37 , it has a mic jack. thank you a lot for replying

onemoroni1 (author)2012-12-26

I just made this. I picked up a hands free at the 99cent store and had to review your instructable and remove the microphone to get it to work. It works great, This is perfect for tripod set up. I compliment you for your ingenuity and thank you for publishing your instructable. Canon T3 Rebel EOS.

onemoroni1 (author)2012-12-23

This is way cool! My wife just got a T3 and I was considering buying a remote release, but your adaption is the best I've seen here. I gotta make this.

Ares252 (author)2012-10-30

would this work for a nikon d 40???

liteoner (author)2012-07-14

My mom bought a single-speaker headphones for like 0,40$ a couple of years ago. Now it functions as my remote trigger :) Thanks for the inst. ;)

mdavis31 (author)2011-08-30

can anyone tell me if this works for a canon 1000D, it would be greatly appreciated

C3PBRO (author)mdavis312012-04-17

It does, you have to remove the mic. I have an xs, that's the same camera.

C3PBRO (author)2012-04-17

I was searching for a remote, and stumble upon this, with in a minute, it was working. Best of all, it was free, I just happened to have a Metro PCS headset in a drawer.


sfa46 (author)2011-11-22

I have a Canon PowerShot SX10IS. It has ports that say DC in and AV out. Can this be adapted to my camera without a degree in electronics?


santy22 (author)sfa462012-03-11

Nope, it can't.

thissecretjedi (author)2008-02-28

what's the point of making this if there's nothing to keep the button held down? i thought that was the whole point of a shutter release?

lotusduck (author)thissecretjedi2012-03-03

If you don't cut up your headset, then the shutter will be open as long as your jack is plugged in, and will finish when you pull it.

deth2all (author)thissecretjedi2009-09-18

you can set the time to "bulb" and the shutter will stay open as long as you hold the button, if thats what your talking bout..

deth2all (author)thissecretjedi2008-02-28

umm...... actually the WHOLE point of a remote shutter release is to eliminate camera shake. i use mine in astrophotography and it works fine just holding the button

Twistx77 (author)deth2all2009-09-07

For that propose you could just set the timer for the shutter for two seconds :P

rtadlock (author)Twistx772009-09-18

Yeah, but waiting 2 seconds between every shot can become frustrating. Also, when taking a series of shots (for HDR for example), you want no movement between shots, which you may get by pressing the camera button on the first shot. Anyway, I'm sure you could do it with without a shutter release just fine, but having one makes it easy, and you can't go wrong with a < $5 investment IMHO.

joyelectricity (author)2012-01-23

Don't pay more than $1 (well plus sales tax). They sell these at 99 cents only stores. Just make sure you buy the blue-box one for samsung phones, the pink-box nokia one has 3 stripes on the headphone jack and it wont work. The samsung only has two stripes on the headphone jack and works like a charm after you chop off the mic and ear peace.

alocart (author)2011-12-12


sriramthirumalai (author)2011-11-08

Brilliant stuff.. GOt mine working for Canon 1100d within five minutes.And yes,you do have to knock off the microphone in order for it to work.
Am super glad.Thanks!

fparra (author)2011-09-17

Got the first one to work in less than 5 minutes... Just to add a comment, most of times (I made 3 remotes with 3 different head sets) you have to remove the mike because it acts as a trigger too.... Thanks for sharing this knowledge...

lfassetta (author)2011-09-14

i have a panasonic fz100, that i searched a lot and i almost gave up, because the fz100 is not in the argentinian market.
once i get the fz100 from an importer, i noticed that the only accesory available here, is the battery replacement. big deception.
i heard that my lumix can be used in bulb mode whith one of this, but i dont find any comercial remote shooter. does this one works with an fz100? it has the 2.5mm jack, for the remote, and also for the microphone, but i don't know how this stuff works. if you answer me "yes", i start right now to build one! sometimes i have to set the ISO to 1600 (over 800 the noise is brutal!).
thanks, and if the shooter works on my lumix, you'll be my new god! :P

petulantfem (author)2011-08-06

Can anyone tell me if this would work with a Kodak Easyshare Z1012 IS? There is a DC IN 3V port, and an AV OUT port, but the AV OUT port is a USB style port. I have a feeling I am out of luck, and I will be so disappointed if it won't work for my crap camera ... but I thought I would check with people who know what they are talking about.

Shtev21 (author)2010-05-23

Thanks a lot for this instructable. I bought a hands free kit from a shop near me for just £1,  When I took it apart, i noticed that the plug was connected to just the speaker and microphone, and the switch wasn't even wired up at all!

Would have been useless for what it was built for i guess, in the end, simply snipped the wires, the speaker made no difference, but the microphone was obviouslyalowing the circuit to be complete constantly, so after removing that, plugging it in and touching the two wires, it worked.

I then just needed to solder the two ends of the wire to two of the points on the switch and it worked a treat! Money well spent, and got me back in to soldering!

For the record, I use a Canon EOS 450D and the plug needed was a 2.5 mm jack with 2 black bands.

Thanks again for the great instructable. Im going to buy another cable and make one for my GF,and possibly see about moding the casing so that it can make the button stay down without holding it.

smcgee (author)Shtev212011-06-18

A remote for your GF, that would be good;;)

atomicbum (author)2011-05-14

confirmed to work with Canon T2i/550D/Kiss X4. i used a sony ericsson earphone/handsfree for the button part but had to replace the plugs with 2.5mm from another earphone. I had to remove the mic for it to work flawlessly. Thanks for this tip!

rghosh-1 (author)2011-03-09

Is this works for canon 1000D

amateurvisionary (author)2011-01-31

I always thought that this would work, but i was afraid i would somehow fry my camera, that's my sort of luck. but NO! it works perfectly! Thank you, my friend. And mine was free :) found a body glove brand headset in my headphone stuff drawer. works like a charm. now i can take pics with my Canon Digi Rebel XTi on my gorillapod without shaking the camera when i press the shutter release :)


shellyangle (author)2011-01-29

Good. I tried it and it works nicely with my Nikon Digital. Thanks.

xbox650 (author)2011-01-12

I have a Kodak and a HDcam, and they dont have head phone jacks. so is thair a why to change the input ? (please show me)

xbox650 (author)2011-01-12

can you use it to just take normal pics??

gregal (author)2010-09-06

Works great on my Digital Rebel. Mine cost a little more than the $3 but still under $10 well below what they want for the "official" version

Breakingdecency (author)2010-07-15

Any ideas on how this can work with a canon eos 30d? The only stereo jack on here is for video out. It looks like the plug for the remote shutter speed is a recessed 3 prong input.

paplaukias (author)2010-06-14

Hi, I have a Sony dsc v1 which has this small jack port. I cut the earpiece, and took out the mic, but the remote doesn't work. Has anyone tried this remote with a Sony camera? thanks

kuyax101 (author)2009-09-04

where do i plug the jack in my camera? i have a d60...

paul1407 (author)kuyax1012010-06-06

i have d60 too , the plug is on the top of the usb connector on the side of the camera, but for our d60's you'll need a bigger jack suck as the one on ipod earplugs

About This Instructable




Bio: cooler than you.....
More by deth2all:Hack a canon digital rebel 300dLost Wax, time-lapse silver castingEasy BEGINNERS guide to making a  "BIODIESEL" powered car
Add instructable to: