Building a foot pedal remote for your DSLR or mirrorless camera can be easy with the right tools and a few commonly available parts.
This pedal remote is perfect for camera scanning, overhead photography, photo booths at weddings, or for bloggers that use their camera to photograph their hands all the time.
This foot pedal shutter was designed for a Canon EOS 5D but can be adapted to work with any camera depending on where you source your parts.
Working in the studio, I find myself having to photograph my hands engaged in tasks constantly. For most of my projects, I am able to hold my camera and create photos as I build without much hassle, but sometimes I need to capture BOTH hands holding or making something.
For these moments, I was formerly using an intervalometer - a tool that connects to the camera and fires the shutter at a set time interval, but this would leave me with having to sort through 100s of images making sure I got the action I was trying to demonstrate.
Now, with this foot pedal, I find myself being able to capture my images at the precise moment to properly explain my process, without having to sort through 100s of unnecessary images once I've wrapped. The pedal even autofocuses before taking a shot! (Most of the time I'll still shoot with my lens in manual focus and a smaller aperture to make sure I'm getting the right focus.)
If you want to learn more about how to take great pictures, be sure and check out my photography class on Instructables!
Tools and Materials
For this build, the following parts and consumables were used:
- Shutter release cable for Canon EOS series
- Universal foot pedal
- Audio cable, 25'
- Electrical tape
- Shrink tube
These tools were used:
Cutting the Cables
I began by snipping all the ends of the cables.
The foot pedal has two wires and acts like a single pole single throw (SPST) switch.
The audio cable I purchased had three wires. The ground wire is wrapped around the right and left channel wires.
My cable shutter has 3 wires within it. The white wire is common ground, the yellow wire controls autofocus, and the red wire fires the shutter. Ditch the plastic part with the switch inside. I opened mine up to see how the switch was assembled, and it was just two pieces of metal touching - super high tech ;)
Soldering the Circuit
For the shutter to fire, the autofocus wire and shutter wire need to connect to ground. Be sure to slip shrink tube on to your cables before you begin soldering.
To complete the circuit the ground cable of the foot pedal is soldered to the exposed copper ground wire of the audio cable. The signal wire from the pedal is soldered to both signal wires in the audio cable.
The other end of the audio cable is soldered to the camera connector. The exposed copper ground wire from the audio cable is soldered to the white cable in the camera connector. The red and yellow signal wires from the camera connector are soldered to the blue and white audio signal wires.
Test your cable before you heat the shrink tube around the connections. Digging out a circuit with an exacto blade is not a fun exercise.
With the help of this handy (or rather foot-y :P) shutter release, I can finally use two hands in my photos! For lots of photos of both my hands and some tasty recipes, check out the Bread Class that I couldn't have shot without this pedal.