A Remote for All Budgets

On a recent visit to Fotocare in NYC, I was fortunate to watch a representative from Hähnel demonstrate a cool, new product to the sales staff. The Inspire is a remote camera viewing system. This is how it works: its transmitter sits in the camera’s hot shoe and relays your scene (up to 240 feet away) to a receiver a bit larger than an I Phone. If your camera has live view, the Inspire shows you what the lens is seeing; if you don’t have live view the transmitter has its own CMOS sensor that will show you the scene. From the receiver you have the option to switch back and forth between the camera’s live view or the transmitter’s wider view. This is useful in sports and wildlife shooting where you may have composed a tight shot but you also need to know when the subject is moving into your frame. You can also focus your lens and fire the camera with the Inspire.
The receiver records and saves up to 99 images, which can be played back and deleted. If you’re really worried about missing a great remote shot and want to use multiple cameras, no problem. The Inspire can control up to four, remote cameras, each one on a different channel. Additionally it can control the video on your DSLR.
Okay, there are plenty of rigs like this on the market already but how many of them sell for three hundred dollars? At this price and the Inspire’s small size it’s something you can always carry with you. Obviously great for remote wildlife and sports photography, the Inspire is also a useful tool for wedding photographers or anyone else that needs to get a camera into a place that’s a little awkward. Of course after watching the demo, I wanted one immediately for my current trip to Antarctica. I imagined leaving my camera on the ice while I waited a couple of hundred feet away for penguins to approach my set up. But life is filled with disappointments. I’m writing this from a plane heading to Ushuia, Argentina where I pick up my ship to Antarctica but the Inspire isn’t available for another week. The penguins will have to wait for their close-up.


5 thoughts on “A Remote for All Budgets

  1. There are a couple of brands out there one is Pixel and Gigatube. Price wise, as you mentioned are all about the same.

    According to the store the Pixel works better on Canons and the Gigatube better on Nikons.

    Not too sure if you got the Hahnel one yet but it would be good to hear your thoughts.

    • I just tried out the Hahnel, never used it in the field. What i liked about it was that it connected to the Canon’s live view system and sent that back to the monitor. And you could switch it off the live view and use the transmitter’s built in video. Don’t know the other brands you mentioned.

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