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Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,065
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Is there a way to turn the camera on and off remotely?

I guess wi-fi is the most elegant way to do it, but a USB cable could suffice. (Either solution assumes that the installation is more or less permanent; otherwise the issue doesn't arise.)

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Is there a way to turn the camera on and off remotely?

@Mike Thanks for the info. Was planning to use Wi-Fi since the distance to the computer will be more than 20-30'.

Appreciate your time!
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: Is there a way to turn the camera on and off remotely?

[ Edited ]

The WiFi isn't reliable; you're going to be sorely dissapointed in it's performance.  It's neat, and I'm glad they introduced it, but it's far from "plug and play" operation so far.     If either the camera or the phone/tablet goes to sleep the WiFi turns off.  It can reconnect automatically, some times, but obviously it wouldn't work to wake the camera with that.  You'd need to use a remote too.  Probably more important for your situation though: the WiFi drains the battery quickly.

 

The IR remote will wake the camera.  I use the RC-1, but they don't make that anymore.  The RC-5 should do the same.  But the camera will still be in a sleep state.  Not as much energy as being fully on, but it'll still drain the battery.  I'd guess that most will make it through the day?  But I've never actually measured such a thing.  I would concider getting an AC adapter kit, like the ACK-E8 for the Rebel, and you can just leave the camera on.  Though I would find a generic, charging $80 for a DC converter is robbery.

 

Personally I would also just tether it.  If you're going to leave it on a rig on the ceiling who cares?  There's going to be some sort of support structure, run the power line and USB cord down that.  Get a cheap Rebel like the T3i, a standard zoom, and you're good to go.  I don't think you'd even need a remote, I think that tethering would wake the camera (but I'm not sure).   I could see being able to leave the camera up there without service for some time - though if it's dusty you're going to have to go clean the lens.

 

Also, if it's pointing straight down:  some lenses have slip, where they zoom out when pointed down.  The cheap little kit lens that comes with the Rebels shouldn't do it, but you never know.  A prime lens would be fine, and give you better detail, if you were always shooting rugs of about the same size.

 

 

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Is there a way to turn the camera on and off remotely?

Great comments! Thanks. I shoot tethered and haven't found a way to turn the camera on when it goes to sleep. I'll have to find a long USB and use the remote to wake the camera up. An A/C adapter kit is a great idea!

A prime lens will probably work best and they'll have to crop when shooting smaller rugs. Either that or using a motorized zoom.
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 780
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Is there a way to turn the camera on and off remotely?

[ Edited ]

Actually, it depends on the camera model how much distance, speed and reliability WiFi will give.

 

The "consumer" models with built in WiFi (such as the 70D and 6D) are good for about 30 feet, if memory serves.

 

The more pro-oriented Canon models use a separate, more powerful, but rather pricey WFT module instead of built in WiFi. Some of those modules are good for 300 to 400 feet and the more recent have almost 500 feet potential reach (it depends upon some factors such as the receiving antenna, radio interference, obstructions, etc.) They give the same kind of remote control and more, with greater reliability and faster data transfer (WLAN IEEE 803.11a/b/g... and some of the latest with "n").

 

Another possible consideration... Often in a studio situation such as you describe, with various people using the camera, it can be desirable to "lock in" camera settings. There is a 7D"S" or "studio" version that's designed especially for this purpose. Essentially, it uses different software which requires "admin level" access to modify the camera settings. There also is a WFT-E5 (E5A in N. Amer.) module available for the 7D.

 

The AC adapter is an interesting idea for a semi-permanent remote setup like you describe. However, I'm not sure one of those can be used with a WFT module. With the 7Ds, for example, the WFT-E5/E5A attaches to the bottom of the camera like a battery grip, plus has it's own, separate battery. The camera continues to use a single rechargeable LP-E6 in the camera's battery compartment. So the cord for the AC module might be blocked, plus you'd need a second AC adapter to power the WFT module itself.

 

If you would consider a used camera, the 40D and 50D can be fitted with WFT-E3 (E3A in N. Amer.), or the full frame 5D Mark II can be fitted with WFT-E4 II (E4 II A in N. Amer.)  Both of these attach like a battery grip, but have the same possible issue that might make for problems using an AC adapter with them.

 

The current 5D Mark III uses a new and different type of module, the WFT-E7 (E7A in N. Amer.) that doesn't replace any grip on the bottom of the camera (though it still can be attached by the tripod screw, if you wish). It uses a cable and can be positioned away from the camera, allowing access for an AC adapter to be connected to the camera.

 

Note: The ACK-E6 AC Adapter module works with any camera that utilizes LP-E6 batteries.... incl. 60D, 70D, 7D, 5D II, 5D III. I suspect it would work with the WFT-E5/E5A an WFT-E7/E7A as well, since they use that battery too. The 40D or 50D and the WFT-E3/E3A all use BP511/511A batteries, and an ACK-2A is needed with those.

 

I am not sure if a long USB cable would be terribly reliable, either. The longest I've ever used is about 15 feet. I've seen warnings with printers, for example, about not using too long a USB cable.

 

The IR remote you want for most of the EOS camera models is the RC-6. It's small and simple and not terribly expensive (about $20 at B&H). On all the cameras I've seen, it can only be used when facing the front of the camera... such as when taking a self portrait. That might work fine for your purposes, but just in case there are also "wired" remote controllers: RS-80N3 is used by most of the more advanced models (40D, 50D, 7D, 6D, 5D series and 1D series). And the RS-60E3 is used by the more consumer oriented models (Rebel series,  60D, 70D). The cords on these aren't all that long, but at least for the RS-80N3 there is a 33 foot long extension cord available (ET-1000N3). This also will work with the more sophisticated TC-80N3 Timer Controller, which can be used as a simple remote control switch or as an intervalometer for time lapse, and in some other ways.

 

***********
Alan Myers

San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7D(x2), 50D(x3), some other cameras, various lenses & accessories
FLICKR & PRINTROOM 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,065
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Is there a way to turn the camera on and off remotely?

Alan's detailed analysis is correct as far as it goes. But if you decide to take his suggestion to buy a used camera, be warned that the 50D doesn't have an IR receiver.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Is there a way to turn the camera on and off remotely?

Thanks...
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Is there a way to turn the camera on and off remotely?

Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions! I will most likely recommend the 70D to her... they may have to climb up and get the card and replace the battery before and after shooting... they can use the remote to turn the camera on and off when it goes to sleep. The WiFi will allow them to download some images while shooting if they choose.
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: Is there a way to turn the camera on and off remotely?


@amfoto1 wrote:

Actually, it depends on the camera model how much distance, speed and reliability WiFi will give.

 

The "consumer" models with built in WiFi (such as the 70D and 6D) are good for about 30 feet, if memory serves.

 

The more pro-oriented Canon models use a separate, more powerful, but rather pricey WFT module instead of built in WiFi. Some of those modules are good for 300 to 400 feet and the more recent have almost 500 feet potential reach (it depends upon some factors such as the receiving antenna, radio interference, obstructions, etc.) They give the same kind of remote control and more, with greater reliability and faster data transfer (WLAN IEEE 803.11a/b/g... and some of the latest with "n").

 


It has little to do with the WiFi broadcast power.  It's the software that runs it.  It shuts off when it sleeps.  Regardless it burns the batteries quickly.  So if you already have to run a power cord why not just run a tether too.

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: Is there a way to turn the camera on and off remotely?


@AricAttas wrote:
Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions! I will most likely recommend the 70D to her... they may have to climb up and get the card and replace the battery before and after shooting... they can use the remote to turn the camera on and off when it goes to sleep. The WiFi will allow them to download some images while shooting if they choose.

That's fine, if that's what you want, but it's way overkill for shooting pictures of rugs.  The majority of people on here giving recommendations are long time pros & enthusiasts that have thousands of dollars invested in photography gear.  Thus they like to recommend expensive gear.  A T3i and a decent lens is perfectly capable; there will be very little image quality difference with the 70D.  Hell, I could use my 450D and a kit lens, plus a couple of flashes, and produce better rug pictures than most amateurs with a 70D. Just something to consider, if you want to spend the money on a 70D that’s going to spend its life strapped to a ceiling, by all means.

 

As far as the long USB cord. Don’t waste money on a long cord that will plug into a camera. Simply use a USB extension cord and plug that into the cord that comes with the camera. You can get a plain cord for a few bucks on Amazon. I’d try that first, if it acts oddly, then get a cord with a repeater (there will be some signal attenuation in longer cords that can cause issue).

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