CamRanger Review: Remote Control for Your DSLR Photos and Videos

If you have a Canon or Nikon DSLR, how do you take photos or videos of yourself or of subjects that won’t let you get close to them? How do you take family portraits without running back and forth between your camera and the rest of your family while insuring you are in focus?

I found the solution in the CamRanger – a simple device that allows you to control your DSLR from your iPad, iPhone, Android or computer.

The CamRanger is always in my gear bag because it allows me to quickly setup and shoot videos of myself or to take group photos or videos where I’m one of the subjects.

Before the CamRanger, I either needed a cameraman to focus the video and then hit record or I had to erect some makeshift placeholder to focus on, focus, release the shutter, remove the placeholder, then make sure my face was exactly in the same plane as the placeholder I put in place (while hoping the exposure was close enough between the placeholder and myself so it would still look good).

Doing this manually was slow, frustrating, inefficient and I had hit or miss results.

That’s when I started searching for a better solution and came across the CamRanger.

Here’s my new process using the Camranger:

  1. Connect the Camranger to my DSLR
  2. Power on the Camranger
  3. Connect using my iPhone, iPad or computer to the WiFi network created by the CamRanger
  4. Open the CamRanger app
  5. Select photo or video mode
  6. Choose my aperture, ISO, etc.
  7. Focus using my phone or computer (you see what the camera sees) and release the shutter
  8. Enjoy the ease of not running back and forth to the camera hoping I got it right

At around $300, I was initially a bit shocked at the sticker price, but then I said, “Stop, say to yourself – this is going to pay for itself quickly because of the shots you are going to get and the frustration you are going to avoid.” And then I bit the bullet and placed my order and I must say, I’m glad I did.

With the CamRanger, I’ve been able to stop and make videos and to capture shots that either would have been impossible to do alone or at a minimum would have taken a lot of time to get right and as you probably already know, time isn’t always a luxury we have – the golden hour is gone before we know it, babies start crying, animals walk or run away, etc.

Here’s what you can do with the CamRanger:

  • Create time-lapse shots using the intervalometer built into the software
  • Pull off single-person video shoots or photographs
  • Film interviews without getting up and down to control the camera
  • Capture shots of animals or insects remotely that would run or fly away if you were manning the camera
  • Setup your camera at an event and control it from you seat (within 300 feet / 100 meters)
  • Change and view camera settings: aperture, shutter speed, ISO, white balance, drive/shooting mode, AF, metering mode, image format, auto exposure mode, exposure compensation, and bracketing.
  • Set up focus stacking for macro shots and then combine the images in your photo editing software so everything is in focus
  • Review your photos on your iPhone, Android, iPad or computer without pulling the memory card (your images can be downloaded over the WiFi network created by the CamRanger)

Despite my initial skepticism and sticker shock, I’m very happy with my CamRanger and I’ve found it to be an indispensable piece of gear.

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