Who really needs a cable release?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Chuck Pike, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. Chuck Pike

    Chuck Pike Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 3, 2010
    Charlotte, NC.
    Who needs a cable release if you already have a touch screen? I was taking a short course on landscape photography. We were told that we needed to have a cable release, and I had two types that I took with me. The first was a standard cable release for my Panasonic G3, which I have often used. The second was a release that was not connected to a cable, but was a remote release. So while I used both of these, when we walked to a waterfall, I realized that I had left both of my releases back at the lodge. Our instructor told me to use the timer on my camera. Well, the touch screen was even better when I used it along with a two second delay. With a touch screen you can set it up to take a photo anywhere you touch on the screen and it will not take the photo until it has achieved focus. Now set the two second delay, and it will focus and then wait until two seconds has past and then it takes the photo. I had never even thought about using it this way before taking this class. The instructor didn’t know about touch screens, and when you combined the touch screen with the timer, you no longer needed to spend the money on a cable release.

    I spent all last week in the N.C. mountains and will post some of the photos that I took once I have Post Processed them. Landscape photography is really hard work. I also found new respect for my kit lens. I wanted to pack what I needed to carry with me. I set my kit up to use the 14-45 mm and the 45-200 mm zooms. Then I had second thought about that and took those lens out and repacked with what I felt were my sharper lens, the 14 mm and 20 mm. But after I listened to our instructor I unpacked and then repacked my day bag with what I had packed it with the first time, the 14-45 mm and the 45-200 mm lens. That proved to be the perfect combination. I keep discovering the kit lens, and realize how very good it is.
    Images for books, magazines and calendars | photosbypike
  2. gardengirl13

    gardengirl13 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 26, 2012
    You need one if you use BULB. I use it all the time. I also rather use the release over the timer since I forget to turn the timer off and miss shots.
  3. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Yes, the delay and screen are an alternative, but I would still prefer to have a release when I am doing macro work. Even the slightest movement can cause an image to go OOF. And $9.95 third party releases are among the best investments I have made over the years. but, in a pinch or an alternate situation, I would have to agree with you.

  4. jar

    jar Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 25, 2012
    I picked up a 3rd party wireless release for short money on Amazon. I used it a lot to take group shots with me in them around the holidays. It's also great for playing around with lighting. You can flip out the screen on a G series and fire test shots remotely while walking around moving strobes.
  5. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    The timer works fine without a touch screen, but cables have great benefits.
    I didn't have one with me tonight, so was limited to 30s exposures. I ended up having to turn up the ISO to 800.
    With a timer you can't catch the perfect moment especially relevant for macro (with liveview) of moving subjects.

    I must admit I can't say that a touch screen appeals to me. I can probably list 40 features I'd rather have...
  6. Danny_SWE

    Danny_SWE Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 30, 2013
    Sweden (Gothenburg)
    I almost only use the remote for self portraits :)  it's difficult focusing on the right spot before in that case :)  it's also good for better timing if that's necessary in the shot, next shot is a subway from the rail with fisheye!
  7. mh2000

    mh2000 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2010
    just touching the screen can setup vibrations. I use timer 'cuz my cheapo cable release died after a few weeks and I rarely want to go longer than 60 sec.
  8. deejayvee

    deejayvee Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 3, 2013
    Sydney, Australia
    I use my remote for bulb, self-portraits and almost anytime I set up a tripod, really. I like using it and it works for me.

    But I can see how the timer may work better for some people.
  9. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Good tip - a nice fall-back when you don't have a release near at hand. :cool: 
  10. ghetto

    ghetto Mu-43 Regular

    the timer is good for a lot of thing even with out a touchscreen, i just set the timer, focus my point, and put the camera down and let it count down itself to take the shot -instant solution to shakey hands.

    having said that, the cable release is good for other things, as mentioned by others, self portraits, bulb, and also multishots like bracketing or image stacking. you don't want to have to touch the camera in those cases as it'll move the camera.
  11. SteveG

    SteveG Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 9, 2013
    I've seen a cable release and a monpod used very effectively to take shots several feet overhead. Like anything else (especially super cheap stuff) its usefulness directly correlates to ones creativity.
  12. Chuck Pike

    Chuck Pike Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 3, 2010
    Charlotte, NC.
    I didn't mean the touch screen replaces a remote.

    I didn't mean that the touch screen replaces a remote, but rather can be used if you forgot to bring the remote release with you. And I would add I only used it for landscape or still subjects. During this class on landscape photography I used my tripod for every shot, and was using a one of two cable releases (one cable and one electronic). But when we took off to shoot a water fall, I realized that I had forgotten both of these remote releases. The class had 11 people and we were using different Brands of cameras. Some had the latest Canon and Nikon DSLR type cameras while a few had mirrorless and we also had a few p&s. Those that only had a p&s didn't have the means of using a cable release, so the instructor showed them how they could use a self timer.

    When I realized that I had left my remote releases back at the lodge, I started using the self timer. I was using my touch screen to focus and I had the timer set, when the camera took over and took the photo after the set time. I happened upon this by accident. I would only use this method on a still subject like a landscape, and only if I didn't bring a release with me. But it is nice to know that this method works and can be used as a back up plan.
    Images for books, magazines and calendars | photosbypike
  13. There are many reasons why touch screen and timer do not make up for a cable/remote release.

    * Bulb exposure
    * I want to control exactly when the shutter is tripped not 2 seconds later.
    * I want the camera to be absolutely still.. meaning me not touch the camera.
    * When I am working with portraits, children, group photos, macro... I am often not near enough to the camera to hit the shutter button.

    That's just a start.

    oh just thought of another. I'm holding the reflector and taking photos without an assistant.
  14. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    I do lots of waterfalls and I use the timer. The only occasion I have had where I wanted or needed a release is when doing fireworks. Using the timer does work, but it is hit or miss. BULB mode and using a release while watching the fireworks works better I think.
  15. Oh another....

    when I want to be in the picture... usually easier than running back and forth.
  16. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    I'm fast. I can make it into the shot in less than 12s :wink:
  17. Cable release for slow shutter speeds.

    Timer vs. cable release works fine for some situations. Tried to live without a cable release. Most times a cable release would have been the better means of capturing the desired image. Too many miss images using the timer.
  18. mh2000

    mh2000 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2010
    Not arguing with anyone, but since I shoot strickly static objects on tripod, one thing I found against the cable release was dealing with the wire etc. while setting up my shot -- it either gets tangled or wound around the tripod while framing or I have to deal with it in my pocket and plugging in and out. So as long as my exposure didn't require a bulb setting, in my workflow, the timer works better.

    I haven't seen any difference at 100% between the 2 sec and 12 sec. timing, so with my technique and my equipment, "touching" the camera is not an issue.

    Plan on buying a replacement for my broken cable release sometime, but really, for long exposure, I'm finding that I do better with dark twilight instead of full on night darkness that requires bulb setting, so not a priority.

    Best all!
  19. newbert

    newbert Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 22, 2012
    Glens Falls, NY
    I shoot landscapes or other static subjects almost exclusively. Before moving over to M43 (OMD E-M5) I shot with a Nikon D300 and used my tripod and cable release (in mirror-up mode) most of the time. In fact the cable release was (and still is) attached to the camera all the time.

    When I got my E-M5, I looked into getting a cable release as well - but decided against it. I feel that the cover over the connector for a cable release on the E-M5 is very poorly designed. It seems that it has to be "forced" to move out of the way for a cable release to be connected, and I don't want the cover to break off and not be able to be connected again. -- And now that I've attached a 3rd party grip/L-bracket to the camera, the access to this port is fully blocked anyway.

    So, I use the same procedure as described by the OP - Touch Focus on the LCD screen with a 2-second delay. Works great, IMO. The poor design for use with a cable release is one of the negatives of the E-M5. But I feel that the touch-screen capabilities almost makes up for it.

    (Does anyone feel the same as I do about the E-M5's cable release connector cover? Or am I completely off-base?)
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