DIY Remote Video Trigger for Canon DSLRs

Vimeo member Weelian Soh creates a simple trigger from a universal Infrared remote for Canon DSLRs. If you're familiar with Canon's video mode, so far it can only be started / stopped remotely via infrared. The trick here is to use a fiber optic cable that bends the light to the DSLR receiver. In the video (above) he uses a fiber optic cable, but a better method would be to use a shielded Optical Audio cable which you can find for 0.99 cents shipped. The actual remote being used is one you can find for under $4.00 dollars shipped. So for under $5 dollars, you can setup a pretty simple remote trigger to start and stop video mode on that Canon DSLR. [Thanks Weelian]

Screen shot 2011-04-14 at 4.55.06 PM
find-price-button Cheap Infrared Remote Start Stop Video Mode Canon

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find-price-button Short 3ft Optical Audio Cable

This is a very old technique that started by using a very slim OEM Canon RC remote which only has one button, as seen in the video below by Vimeo member Lucasberg. The video shows use of the RC1 for Canon 5D Mark II which has now been replaced by the RC6 (still one button). The RC6 is said to support a bunch of different cameras from the 5D Mark II down to simple point and shoot cameras.

Canon RC6
find-price-button OEM Canon RC6 Infrared Remote

9 thoughts on “DIY Remote Video Trigger for Canon DSLRs

  1. Brent

    I just recently found a way to trigger my Canon 60D with any wireless remote that plugs into the Canon's remote jack.

    First, you have to download and install a modification to the Canon's firmware called Magic Lantern 2.3. When you have Magic Lantern running on your 60D, there's an option to swap the Movie trigger button with the Shutter button.

    Works like a charm.

  2. Is there a place or a site where someone can purchase a remote for Canon 550/T2i to do a video? Something that is possible to attach to the tripod or better yet on the glidecam. So far I couldn't find anything on the net.

  3. Here also you can find with the picture and both French and English version of this kind of remote hack for the 5DII or 7D. I used a shutter release button to remote the remote in order to start stop the video recording.

    We are a video production company doing also rental and this has been very usefull on some DSLR rig client asked to design for us.
    We are based in shanghai if you need to test it for real!

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  5. Diesel

    @Alex...To me the advantage is not having to disassemble and reassemble anything. The toslink cable slips tightly right over the led (of the remote I got which is the same one pictured above) and looks as if it were built that way. Also it only takes a second to do. It's a mod that looks factory and the toslink is easy to work around the rig as long as you don't kink it. Much cleaner and easier to do overall. As I said at the end of my 1st post...I’d highly recommend this “mod” to anyone, whichever way you choose to do it.

    @Nikos...that way will work also. But I'd be done the way I did it before you even have the led cleanly removed.

  6. Nikos

    I think that is more easy to remove the IR Led from the Infrared remote and add a normal electrical wire to the Led.
    Finaly put the Led close to the DSLR receiver.

  7. Why not remove the LED, add 2 wires, and put the LED at the end of them? I don't really see the advantage of fiddling with the optic fiber.

  8. Yep, I was inspired by Tony Reale's demonstration on NextWaveG youtube video. For anyone with fine soldering skills, they can attempt to unsolder the IR LED emitter from the board, taking note of the polarity and re-solder it to extension wires on a bendable wire or metal strip. This project doesn't cost a lot and greatly enhances the usability of your DSLR rig.

  9. Diesel

    Yeah, same way I did mine last year. Except I just stuck the fiber optic cable onto the LED which emits the beam and glued around it for strength, cut a short length and wrapped it around the rig once so it aimed in the direction of the IR port...done. When the button on the remote is pressed it travels down the beam as in the video and boom, we have start/stop. Very simple to do. I then made a small bracket out of a piece of metal, sprayed it black to match everything, mounted it to my CPM Film Tools rig bent and aimed at the IR port at the front of the 7D and it's worked flawlessly, and it's a great relief. All I had to purchase was the remote because I had the optic cable (toslink) from my recording studio. I'd highly recommend this "mod" to anyone, whichever way you choose to do it.

    I got the basic idea and simplified it form here:

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