Take your pic... Bluetooth remote shutter

One of the other websites I maintain is a blog on style. It's not so much a fashion blog because I don't bother to follow the trends, more a compilation of random thoughts interspersed through tips, tricks and photos of cool shoes. But despite the lack of fashionista, I do take photos of my outfits — over 400 of them across various social media channels — and very few are mirror-selfies or have been taken by other people.

The Style File

So how do I manage to get these increasingly arty shots without a photographer? It's this handy little Bluetooth gadget that helps me out these days.

In the past, I used a couple of apps and used my iPod Touch as a remote for my iPhone. This worked fairly well but since an iPod Touch is fairly large it's quite obvious when my hand isn't tucked behind me. So when I spotted this when looking for studio lights in the photography section of TradeMe, I thought it was worth a try for a mere $18NZD.

Being designed for use with either iOS or Android Bluetooth capable devices, I was quite excited at the thought that I would be able to use the remote shutter with my HTC One because the camera on the HTC is so crisp and the colours always look great. However, although it worked (using the iOS button, not the Android one) it was rather sporadic and had a tendency to drop. I'd end up taking maybe a couple of shots before I had to reconnect the devices. This was the case regardless of using the native camera app or the Camera360 one that's suggested by the manufacturer of the remote. Frustrating.

I decided that I would try it with my iPhone 5s before setting it aside. Now that was a game changer. Using the native iOS camera, this works very well. The Bluetooth auto-connects easily and the camera's auto-focus works so the majority of photos are quite clear. The lack of auto-focus function had been a real challenge with both Remote Shutter Pro and Camera Plus with Airsnap: a number of each set of shots would always come out blurry.

That's not to say it works perfectly. Occasionally it triggers a rapid shoot and I'll get 20 versions of the same pose but the majority of the time it works really well and is now my primary method of #ootd capture.

You can find these types of remotes from a variety of resellers including through eBay, TradeMe and DealExtreme.

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