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Shutter Releases for Nikon Cameras

A remote shutter release is a very useful addition to any photographer’s bag. Many different types are available for Nikon cameras depending on the feature set required.

What Is A Shutter Release?

When a photographer takes a picture, they cause the camera’s shutter to open, briefly exposing the film or digital sensor to light. The amount of space between the front and rear shutter curtains as they move determines the length of of that exposure. With an SLR camera, the internal mirror also flips up and out of the way. Typically, this is triggered by a shutter button located on the camera. A shutter release allows the photographer to trigger the shutter remotely without touching the camera’s own shutter button.

Why Use A Shutter Release?

Pressing the built-in shutter release button on the camera inevitably causes the camera to move slightly. This is especially noticeable with long exposures, where even the slightest camera movement can result in smeared details. It is also more of a factor with telephoto lenses, as the high magnification also magnifies the effects of camera shake. A remote trigger is therefore extremely useful for any application that often involves long shutter speeds including landscape photography, night photography and astrophotography. The delayed shutter function can also give camera shake time to die down but it involves more use of camera menus and the extra time involved can make it difficult to capture a short-lived scene. Remote shutter activation is also much more convenient than a selfie stick when using a bulky DSLR and you get more time to perfect your pose than with the shutter timer.

Wired and Wireless Shutter Release

There are two broad categories of remote shutter release. Tethered shutter releases use a cable that plugs into the camera to trigger the shutter. There are also wireless shutter releases so photographers can use a Nikon camera shutter remote control to trigger the shutter on a Nikon camera from a distance. Wireless shutter releases free the photographer from the limited length of a cable but not all Nikon digital cameras support them and wireless connectivity is not always perfect. They also need batteries unlike a wired release. Wired releases require you to stay closer to the camera and the cable can get in the way but they can be more reliable and are typically cheaper.

Shutter Release Features

The simplest remote shutter releases consist of one button that is used to trigger the shutter. Slightly more advanced are shutter releases that work like the one on the camera, using a half-press to activate the autofocus followed by clicking the shutter with a full press. Simple remote triggers also often allow bulb mode shooting, keeping the shutter open for as long as the button is held. More advanced models come with features like intervalometers for time lapse photography, timer delay functions and even smartphone connectivity for remote triggering from an app.

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