After taking a look at the Trigger Trap device, which allows your smartphone to interface with a camera, it’s obviously a really cool product. It can replace a number of different triggering methods on your DSLR using your cell phone’s audio jack.
The most obvious trigger method is that of an intervalometer camera timing gadget (I also have this intervalometer -Amazon). It can also do a number of other more advanced options, like accelerating the speed of picture taking during a time-lapse sequence.
Now that I actually have an Android “smart” phone,* I thought this might be a bit more practical than my iPad to use as an intervalometer substitute. It works well with the features available on Android. There are, however, a few drawbacks to using Android version instead of iOS.
One consideration, not really connected with OS, is that you can’t really use your phone without possibly disturbing your work. Not a big deal most of the time, but if you’re taking an hour long ‘lapse, it might be an issue. Maybe that would be a good use for a phone you’re not longer using. The video below should introduce what the ‘Trap is all about; I’ve listed a few quibbles with the Android version afterwards.
Some issues that I can see relate to the Android version of Trigger Trap’s app:
- Back button on my phone doesn’t work correctly, just exits out of program. Annoying, but tolerable.
- No motion or vibration sensor. I probably wouldn’t use the vibration sensor, but the motion sensor seems like it’d be really cool to use for high speed photography, especially if it could trigger on lightning strikes (not sure if it would).
- Ramp mode was a little confusing. Being an engineer, I would have liked the possibility to use a numerical input, as you manipulate the photo curve graphically. Likely the same on iOS, and what they have is probably what most people would prefer.
When I asked Triggertrap about doing a review, they were extremely responsive, and actually offered to send me a new version of their dongle (pictured above). It looks, and seems to work, nearly the same, but the new 90 degree connector to the camera could be advantageous. When asked about “missing features” on Android, the response was that while there’s a limited number of iOS devices, there are hundreds of Android devices, making iOS a bit easier to program for. They also said they’d be adding features to both OS versions in the future.
Certainly a reasonable response. I guess the openness and multiple vendors for Android can be a bit of a disadvantage for developers.
Nonetheless, this device is still clever whether on Android or iOS, and it’s been fun to try out. Let’s hope they add some of the triggering features to their Android app to get it on par with iOS version!
One other question that might come up is “what do I do with my phone while taking photos.” Certainly you could rig something up, but they’ve got an accessory on the way that will let you put your phone in the camera’s hotshoe adapter.
You can see my original review using an iPad here.
*I finally bought a Motorola G phone from Republic wireless with a $10 per month plan. Data only works when I’m in a WiFi spot, but the phone’s still really cool. Check it out with the link below; I get a small commission if you use that before buying it.
As shown in this review, the TriggerTrap does work with this cheapie plan, although the GPS function, naturally, don’t seem to work!