needed: idiot proof explanation of CHDK OR suggestions for cheap digital camera with a remote shutter
March 16, 2012 8:58 AM   Subscribe

I need either an idiot proof explanation of CHDK I can understand, or suggestions for a cheap digital camera that has a remote shutter

I need to take photographs with a remote shutter (doesn't have to be wireless). I have a Canon IXUS 970 IS (Powershot SD890 IS) that doesn't have the feature. I understand that it's possible to add it with CHDK.

I'd love a really low level (even-an-idiot-couldn't-miss) explanation of CHDK, that lets me use it with a remote trigger.


suggestions for a cheap digital camera that has a remote shutter

My progress on CHDK up to now: I've managed to install CHDK on a spare memory card, but I'm LOST as how to use it (pictures I took with it installed look terrible). I need a very simple explanation how to take pictures with it (regular pictures. not RAW files. have no idea what to do with RAW files). And then another very simple explanation how to take pictures with a remote shutter using it.

posted by mirileh to Technology (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Unless you want to buy the Ricoh CA-1 usb cable release ($25), you're going to have to build something. You have to connect a trigger, enable remote operation AND run a script to get this to work. The USB Remote Cable page makes it about as clear as I could.

I have all the bits to do this and a similar camera; I'll build something simple up and let you know how it goes.

Picture quality should be the same as stock unless you've either enabled a manual mode and note got all the settings right, or entered RAW mode and not mapped bad pixels. CHDK is fun, but it's a bit of work.

The Ricoh GR range handle native remote features, but they are about $500 a pop. Very lovely, though.
posted by scruss at 10:19 AM on March 16, 2012

Response by poster: scuss, I don't understand how to run a script with CHDK (If I see that I'm starting to get the hang of it, I intend to buy the Ricoh CA-1). So far I'm rather overwhelmed by CHDK.
posted by mirileh at 10:27 AM on March 16, 2012

Instructions are on this page:

Simple Remote Script
Now that you've enabled the remote function via CHDK's menu, you can run a script to recognize when the remote trigger has been operated and which will then operate the shutter.
You can use this small script to trigger the shutter:

Script Code
@title Remote button
while 1
wait_click 1
if is_key "remote" then shoot

You should find this in your /CHDK/SCRIPTS/EXAM folder. If not, save it as "remote.bas" to your /CHDK/SCRIPTS/ folder, and then access it using CHDK's menu.

posted by wongcorgi at 10:29 AM on March 16, 2012

To run a script, you have to upload it to the camera (as wongcorgi said), then select it as the default script, then it will run if you hit the print button then the shutter.
posted by scruss at 10:34 AM on March 16, 2012

Response by poster: how do I upload a script to the camera? (sorry I'm so lost about it!)
posted by mirileh at 10:43 AM on March 16, 2012

Response by poster: do I just copy the file into the memory card? (I should have been able to guess this one. yeah, I'm embarrassed)
posted by mirileh at 10:45 AM on March 16, 2012

scruss is wrong about the price. Off-brand wired solutions start around $10. Check ebay. (It's little more than a switch and two wires, maybe with a 5V source... It doesn't require name-brand engineering development.)
posted by IAmBroom at 11:57 AM on March 16, 2012

Also, I found the learning curve for CHDK somewhat steep (and I'm an active programmer). FWIW.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:57 AM on March 16, 2012

Response by poster: IAmBroom, which keywords would you use to find off-brand wired solutions (I've tried searching ebay and dealextreme for similar products and couldn't come up with anything)?
posted by mirileh at 12:05 PM on March 16, 2012

There are cheaper USB camera remotes on DealExtreme (the JueYing JY RS-N3 looks promising), but there are no positive reports of them working on the CHDK site.
posted by scruss at 6:27 AM on March 17, 2012

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