DIY wired remote control for Canon EOS cameras
The EOS series of cameras from Canon offer a nice feature which is of
particular interest for DIYers and technically oriented photographers.
It is possible to trigger these cameras externally using an electrical
signal. To the hobbyist's delight Canon used no special protocol to trigger
the camera - you just have to short-circuit two wires.
Knowing this, building a homebrew Canon RS-60E3 wired remote control clone is a snap! Or maybe an interval trigger, or a microcontroller based...
Pinout 350D, 400D, 450D, 500D, 550D, 600D, 650D, 700D, 60D, 70D
The external trigger can be accessed with a stereo (3 pole) 2.5 mm jack plug. It is not the standard plug used in mp3-players etc. which has a diameter of 3.5 mm! But don't worry, you can buy the smaller plug in any bigger electronics store. The pinout is shown in the picture below.
Connecting the focus-wire (ring) with ground (sleeve) corresponds to pressing the shutter button halfway down and results in focusing the camera. Accordingly, connecting the shutter-wire (tip) to ground (sleeve) corresponds to pressing the shutter button all the way down. In this case the camera is first focused and then triggered if the focusing was successful. In manual-focus mode the camera is triggered instantly.
Pinout 20D, 30D, 40D, 50D, 1D, 5D, 6D, 7D,...
The double and single digit Canon cameras have a different connector (for whatever reason). Canon calls it the N3-connector. The only way to get the connector is to cannibalise a cheap wired remote control. The electrical circuit behind the connector equivalent to the xxxD types.
I measured the electrical characteristics of the wired remote control connector on a Canon EOS 400D and 40D. The values are equal for both models. They are listed in the following table
|Voltage (no load)||3.3 V|
|Threshold voltage||1.8 V|
|Short circuit current||68 µA
|Current at threshold voltage||30 µA|
The shutter and focus inputs have the same electrical characteristics and work independently. The remote control port and the shutter button seem to share the same wires. Pushing the shutter button results in a voltage drop to 0 V at the external shutter or focus wire. A possible equivalent circuit for the trigger circuitry might look like this
If the camera is in stand-by mode, there is a voltage present at the focus wire.
The camera can be waken up from stand-by by connecting the focus wire to ground.
The trigger inputs can serve as power supply for circuits with a supply current of less than 30 µA like the HDR-Jack.
The other method would be to control the camera using the bulb mode. In this case you know how long the exposure time is. The problem is, that you have a stiff exposure time not adjusting to the scene.
I have a EOS 1000D, whose remote is identical to 500D's one. So I decided to build one from an old small radio. I recycled its buttons and its case, and added another switch. This is what came out: http://uppix.net/fT1fgl.jpg
The first button (starting from the left) is the focus button; the second one is the shutter. The switch is for the shutter too, and it is useful with BULB mode.
My 10d has the same voltages. I got a $11 timer for a 40d from oeverstock thinking I could just make an adapter but no luck. The focus pin reads -3.3 till it is pressed than it goes to 0 v and than it stays that way until the stutter is released (as long as you keep pressing it). I think I need to add some sort of latch circuit because the cheap switch I cut the plug from is a reed switch which makes the focus first and holds it where this one puts out one quick pulse.
BTW - All you hackers who are sourcing power to these pin be careful. The logic is pulled up by resistors internally in the camera. By sourcing a high on the ground wire your shorting voltage to the ground and this is a good way to damage items. You can source a high to the gate of a NMOS transistor. The source would be hooked to ground and the drain side would be hooked to the focus or shutter output pins. When you drive a high voltage on the gate of the transistor it will turn on and essentially pull the focus or shutter pins low. Relays can be used as well but don't drive voltage directly as it could interfere with the internal pull resistors and the sense nodes internally.
You should use two transistor in emitter circuit or better two optical coupler.
The last solution is better cause it's hard to damage the camera. May you create an adapter which already includes the optical couplers - so you can't damage the IC in your camera.
The same remote (as functions) but based on TouchShield Slide is presented here http://www.grozeaion.com/electronics/high-speed-photography/125-gvi-dslr-rc-with-touch-shield-slide.html but this one is more expensive (see http://www.liquidware.com/shop/show/TSL/TouchShield+Slide and you will understand why)
Long time has passed since i came here. In the mean wile i started to learn about micro controllers and i made myself a remote control for my Canon EOS 450D. You can have a look at it here
The Bulb function works good as well.
The only problem is that i need to put it in a little box or something, and find a way to lock the button for Bulb.
Thanks so much for sharing.
BTW, have used it on a Canon 500D
You can also focus first using the focus button and than additionally press the shutter button to release. This way you can control on what the cam has focused and refocus if necessary.
If you are in manual focus mode, the cam will trigger immediately when the shutter button is pressed.