If you put this question to new digital SLR camera owners, many would presume that a wireless shutter release would be better than a wired one. However, as demonstrated below, there are advantages and disadvantages to both wired and wireless releases. Which ever one you choose to use, will depend on what you intend to use it for. Similar to most SLR camera equipment, there are useful purposes for each one.
Advantages of using a wireless shutter release
- No wires and a smaller size, means they are more portable and easier to carry, requiring less room in your bag or pockets.
- They are useful for group photo’s and family shots when you yourself need to be in the picture. You can set the camera on a time lapse, which will give you time to lower your hand after pressing the wireless shutter release.
Disadvantages of using a wireless shutter release
- With most digital SLR camera models, wireless shutter releases need to be used from the front of the camera, which is where the wireless receiver is normally positioned. There will often be times when you want to take the shot from behind the camera. For example, if you were taking an image from the top of a bridge or a lookout.
- Depending on your camera model, you may need to turn on your camera’s IR-ready mode (see manual), so you can use the wireless shutter release. For example, Nikon D40 needs the IR-ready mode to be turned on, otherwise the release won’t work. The problem with this, is that you need to take the photograph within 5 minutes or the IR-ready mode will turn itself off. Photographers who use Nikon D40’s, also find that they have to reset the IR-ready mode every time they change a setting like aperture or shutter speed. This in itself, can be quite frustrating.
Advantages of using a wired shutter release
- A photographer can press the wired shutter release, from the front, side, or behind the camera. Unlike wireless shutter releases, they are not limited only to the front of the camera.
- A wired release doesn’t need IR-ready mode to be set, in order to work. You simply connect it to the camera and press the release when you’re ready.
Disadvantages of using a wired shutter release
- If the photographer themselves need to be in the photo, they may also get the wire or shutter release in the picture as well.
- In windy conditions, the wire could possibly cause slight camera shake if left to dangle around freely.
Which one should you buy? As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages for both wireless and wired shutter releases. Personally, I like using a wired release, as I don’t find myself needing to be in the picture too often. My partner likes using the wireless release, however finds the IR-ready mode turning itself off whenever a camera setting is changed, as being frustrating.