Control your camera from your smartphone

Written by Andy Stout

Alpine LaboratoriesThat, sitting up there in the hotshoe? That's Pulse

As we’ve said before, we tend to give Kickstarter projects a wide berth. But when a project is a) already funded and b) awesome we tend to pay attention. And that’s just the case with Pulse.

Essentially it’s a remote trigger for your camera that plugs into your Canon or Nikon DSLR or mirrorless camera’s USB port (its only using the hotshot in the image as a physical mount) and links up with your smartphone via bluetooth. It’s small, it’s light, it’s got a hundred foot reach, it features wireless image preview, and it looks agreeably like you’ve just taken your camera off of the set of Tron.

Remote triggers are, of course, mighty handy in all sorts of situations — protecting both the camera from vibration when setting up long exposures and you from the cold when the weather is inclement (the point in the marketing video where the guy takes a mountainscape picture from inside his tent makes that point fairly adroitly).

But this is the age of the fully-featured app, and so Pulse takes things a step further and allows you to control pretty much all of your camera settings through your phone, including shutter speed, aperture, ISO and even checking picture histograms. And, because it connects through the USB port rather than the trigger port, it also lets you start and stop video.

Up to three cameras can be controlled simultaneously, exposure ramping allows you to alter ISO and shutter speed to cross day/night transitions during timelapse, and the app will even let you know about problems such as a low battery or gnarly buffering time during timelapse shooting.

All in all it’s no wonder that the projected $100 unit has been dramatically over-funded already with weeks still to go of the crowd-funding cycle. The only real wrinkle we can see is that it doesn’t work with Sony cameras, as when tethered via USB Sony units will not allow images to be saved to the memory card of the camera. “You can change your ISO and aperture, but you can't actually take and save a photo,” says the company.

Hopefully, by the time Pulse ships in April, that might have changed.

Tags: Production

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