Camcorders forum

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Camcorders with wireless remote option

by TOYSinSF / January 2, 2011 9:29 AM PST

I have not had a camcorder in many years having been satisfied with short video clips from a "point and shoot".

I am not in the market to upgrade and most of the sales people in "big box" retailers I have visited have little knowledge of specific brands, models and features.

I want to remotely shoot wild life photos and videos

One of my major criteria is that I would like to have a wireless remote control that would allow me shoot both videos under fairly low light conditions and ideally remotely switch back and forth to flash still pictures.
I am not concerned with telephoto but want a good wide angle lens. I would also like a LCD view finder that can be turned in same direction lens is pointing for filming myself as narrator

I know that some of the older Canon Models were offered with wireless remotes but have not run across any current models that still offer that option.

Any suggestions as to models I should investigate and threads I should read to educate myself on what is available would be appreciated

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 2, 2011 9:39 AM PST

This sounds like an expensive expedition. While I do electronics designs, firmware and software for CCTV systems what you asked for is not in the consumer products or such prices.

If you want to explore WIRELESS LANC CONTROLS that's a partial solution. I think this is why most will use simpler on/off controls.

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typo correction
by TOYSinSF / January 2, 2011 11:28 AM PST

"Not in the market" - should have been now in the market (opps)

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I agree with Bob...
by boya84 / January 2, 2011 12:25 PM PST

LANC is the preferred option - but *most* consumer camcorders that can capture video and stills do not have a LANC port.

And... I am (apparently) not understanding...

"I want to remotely shoot wild life photos and videos".
How do you know what is in the camcorder's field of vision?

"flash still pictures"
Really? Won't this spook wildlife being captured to video/stills?

As with any other "subject", "fairly low light conditions" means the camcorder has LARGE lenses and LARGE imaging chip array. What is your budget?

There are currently 15 available consumer camcorders from Canon:
Of these, the HF S21, S20, S200, M32, M31, M30, M300, HF21 and HV40 come with the "Wireless Controller" WL-D89 or D88 or D87 wireless, infrared remote control in the box.

How far away are you planning to be from the camcorder? This is important as the line-of-site infrared remote connectivity may not reach. As well, since they are IR remote controlled and the front of the camcorder is where the sensor is - if the remoter IR sensor cannot see the remote (because it is behind or positioned to the side of the camcorder, it won't work.

To the best of my knowledge, none of the above has a LANC (or similar wired remote functionality). But the Sony HDR-HC9 does...

An optional wide angle lens can be added to pretty much any camcorder that has a lens "Filter Diameter" spec - this means there are threads to screw-mount filters and lenses. All of the above camcorders have lens "Filter Diameter" - but you *should* verify this. I *think* the least distortion will come with a wide-angle lens in the .7x area. Below this and the fisheye distortion effect and vignetting kicks in.

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by TOYSinSF / January 3, 2011 1:23 AM PST
In reply to: I agree with Bob...

Thanks for the information. You are obviously more familiar with the Canon product line than the folks I spoke to at the Canon 800 number <G>.

Let me elaborate on what I am trying to do.

I want to conceal the camera in a "blind" and have the ability of remotely switch from shooting videos and flash still pictures without having to go out and touch the controls on the camera and disturbing the birds.

I am approximately 15 - 20 ft from the camera so should be OK with the distance
limitations of IR. I can also position the blind so that I am facing the front of the camera for line of site to IR receiver.

What I was told by the person at Canon was that none of their remotes allow for taking still pictures (but my impression is they really were not very familiar with the product line)

If this is true are there any combinations of camcorders and LANC remotes that would let me switch back and forth from taking videos and stills remotely. Looking at the LANC remotes I found online it looks would be pretty easy to build an extension to lengthen the chord if one is not already available commercially

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That's why I read the manuals.
by boya84 / January 3, 2011 2:18 PM PST
In reply to: Elaboration

Canon HV40:
Page 16.
Not recommended. The tape mechanism can make enough noise to spook your subjects. Too bad. Good camcorder and archiving is merely locking the tape.

Canon HF M3xx series:
Page 22.
Canon HF S2xx series:
Page 21.
Flash memory - moving parts limited to zoom motor. But it is AVCHD. Too bad - lots of compression. Archiving video can mean RAID1 hard drive array systems.
At least the lenses are bigger - the HF S 200 has a 58 mm filter diameter. This a large among consumer cams. Only single imaging chips, though.

The other IR limitation is line of site. If the camcorder is hidden in a blind, covering the camcorder with only exposing the lens can cover the IR sensor on the camcorder. Auto focus could have issues, too.

You still do not know what the camcorder sees. Running a cable for the video will be required - At 15-20 feet, HDMI or AV are fine. I use a Sony 8.5" portable DVD player with AV-in as a monitor. The battery lasts 5+ hours since the DVD mechanism is not used. In all of the above cases, as long as the camcorder is ON - that is, it has not timed out and fallen asleep, you can capture stills in the "still camera mode by pressing the button on the remote. If the camcorder is recording, pressing photo will also capture a still to the memory card.

If you want to stay with Canon - and your budget can deal with it, the standard definition GL2 and high definition XHA1 miniDV camcorders have a LANC - wired remote - port. Yes, making an extension is easy - I use a 20 foot extension I made with 2.5mm stereo male and female jacks and shielded cable from Radio Shack. They can be purchased pre-made, too. bhphotovideo carries various lengths.

Since you have gone though all this, how about a remote controlled pan/tilt device? For small cameras, the Bescor MP-101? The motors might be a bit noisy...

From Sony, in the higher-end consumer cams, there's the HDR-HC9 miniDV tape unit (no LANC; noisy tape mechanism for your needs) IR remote on page 106.
and the HDR-CX550V flash memory cam (no LANC) has the IR remote on page 123.
These Sonys have two interesting items the Canons do not... NightShot and SmoothSlowRecord, but neither is controllable from the IR remote (or any LANC).

LANC is available in the HDR-FX7 (noisy tape mechanism for your needs)
Page 123 for the IR remote; page 119 for the LANC location.
as well as the HVR-HD1000 and HVR-A1... and pretty much any other camcorders in the Sony Pro line up.

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Remote Control for some Sony CamCorder
by azpatriot1944 / February 20, 2013 12:14 AM PST

Have not used yet, but is written up and looks pretty nice. ADP-WL1M SONY remote control sensor uses foot mount on some Sony camcorders. Provides wireless link to wifi for computer or your smartphone with lots of basic camcorder controls.

Check it out.

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remote control for ANY camcorder
by leumas2855 / June 24, 2013 11:02 AM PDT

Hi, there are several quite cheap methods of remote controlling camcorders:
1) consider connecting your camcorder via a computer (no tape in camera and connected to power supply. (if you're in the field, use a 12volt to mains transformer)). It'll give you
a)automated recording. Check for capture programmes for your PC/MAC
b)ability to monitor what the camera is seeing without spooking anything
c)some cameras (especially slightly older canon/sony) camcorders connected with firewire can be PC controlled with eagletrons DvDriver programme
d)in order to get stills you can always take snapshots from the recorded film footage within an editing program.

2)long distance remote control for any camcorder that is possible to be controlled with a remote.
Have a look at something like
the distance being achieved via cat5 computer cabling. You would mount the signal sender on the camera near the IR eye. The signal receiver would be flashed to, with the handheld remote where you are.

3)if you are close to your camcorder and you want to remote control it from behind, (usually the IR sensor is mounted only at the front), use an adjustable inspection mirror abt 1inch diameter, attach it to the camcorder (secure it possibly on the hand strap of the camcorder). Adjust it so that, standing behind the camcorder you can see mirror and in it the IR receiver. when you point at the mirror, the signal will be bounced to the IR receiver and operate the camcorder.

BTW you can't see IR flashing with the naked eye, but, without pointing directly at it, if you have a camera on your mobile phone, you will be able to see the IR via the phone. Quite handy for checking, if you're not sure remote is working.

hope this is of some use to someone

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