Foot Pedal Shutter Remote




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This pedal remote is perfect for photo booths at weddings, or for bloggers that use their camera to photograph their hands all the time. This foot pedal shutter for my Canon EOS 5D but can be adapted to work with any camera.

Crafting Instructables all day, I find myself having to photograph my hands engaged in tasks constantly. For most of my projects, I am able to hold my camera and create photos as I build without much hassle, but sometimes I need to capture BOTH hands holding or making something.

For these moments, I was formerly using an intervalometer - a tool that connects to the camera and fires the shutter at a set time interval, but this would leave me with having to sort through 100s of images making sure I got the action I was trying to demonstrate.

Now, with this foot pedal, I find myself being able to capture my images at the precise moment to properly explain my process, without having to sort through 100s of unnecessary images once I've wrapped. The pedal even autofocuses before taking a shot! (Most of the time I'll still shoot with my lens in manual focus and a smaller aperture to make sure I'm getting the right focus.)

If you want to learn more about how to take great pictures, be sure and check out my photography class!

Thanks to randofo for telling me what I needed for this build, his electronics class is amazingly in-depth, and a great way to understand some of the electronic principles of this build.

Enough people were interested in this project, that I decided to list it on Etsy. You can see the listing here. THANK YOU :D

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Step 1: The Stuff

Step 2: Snipping Cables

I began by snipping all the ends of the cables.

The foot pedal has two wires and acts like a single pole single throw (SPST) switch.

The audio cable I purchased had three wires. The ground wire is wrapped around the right and left channel wires.

The cable shutter has 3 wires within it. The white wire is common ground, the yellow wire controls autofocus, and the red wire fires the shutter. Ditch the plastic part with the switch inside. I opened mine up to see how the switch was assembled, and it was just two pieces of metal touching - super high tech ;)

Step 3: Soldering the Circuit

For the shutter to fire, the autofocus wire and shutter wire need to connect to ground. Be sure to slip shrink tube on to your cables before you begin soldering.

To complete the circuit the ground cable of the foot pedal is soldered to the exposed copper ground wire of the audio cable. The signal wire from the pedal is soldered to both signal wires in the audio cable.

The other end of the audio cable is soldered to the camera connector. The exposed copper ground wire from the audio cable is soldered to the white cable in the camera connector. The red and yellow signal wires from the camera connector are soldered to the blue and white audio signal wires.

Step 4: Heat Shrink

Test your cable before you heat the shrink tube around the connections. Digging out a circuit with an excacto blade is not a fun exercise.

Step 5: Try It Out!

With the help of this handy (or rather foot-y :P) shutter release, I can finally use two hands in my photos! For lots of photos of both my hands and some tasty recipes, check out the Bread Class.

I'd love to see others remake this pedal, and I will gift 3-month premium accounts to the first five people to use the 'I Made It'

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    7 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I altered the design by using some spare Lemo connectors I had left over from another project. This allows me to change the length of my trigger cable and allows for me to pack it away nicer in my camera gear. Also makes it look more professional when I use it for some shoots.

    1 reply

    2 years ago

    Good one, but how does it work firing both focus and "snap" concurrently?

    This very afternoon, I made a sketch for both a two-stage pedal switch and a two-stage handheld unit (w. different working principles) for the very same purpose (not for myself, as I only have IR trigger), as I've seen a lot of requests for such around the web over the years.While I have no personal experience with cams having a focus function in the remote connector, I'd think that the focus needs time before actually taking the picture(?) and likewise, I'd think that it would be nice to be able to test-focus and then not take the photo (photoitus interruptus ;P), to rearrange either the "target" or the light.

    If that's not really a need(?), then I have plenty of other projects to finish first.

    Would very much appreciate an opinion on that.

    Have a nice day :)

    2 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    I don't know about the EOS series, but my Canon T5 has a three conductor 2.5 mm jack. The cheapest source of this is usually video+audio out cables from older smaller digital cameras. One of them is ground, and the other two are focus and shutter, so you ground one of the inputs and you focus the camera, then you ground the other and you actually take the shot.

    I suspect that most other systems have a similar scheme - you can typically find the information on the Internet if you search for something like "<brand> <model> external shutter release pinout"


    Reply 2 years ago

    this does not, but if you wanted to hack the foot pedal, it could!