Triggertrap Mobile running on an iPod Touch, with the Triggertrap Mobile Dongle version 3 and a Fujifilm camera

Triggertrap Mobile Product FAQs

These are the Product FAQs for Triggertrap’s products that used to live in our customer service database. As this database is in the process of shutting down, I’ve reproduced the FAQs here for posterity.

Please note that these FAQs haven’t been updated for a while, and some of them may be out of date. They do represent the most recent information we have available, however.

Questions answered in this document

  • How can I find out if Triggertrap supports my camera?
  • My camera doesn’t have a wired remote. Does it still work with Triggertrap Mobile?
  • What if my camera does not support wired remotes?
  • How do I set my camera to Bulb mode?
  • I am getting unexpected results using HDR and Bulb Ramping. What’s going on?
  • My camera doesn’t have a Bulb mode. Does it still work with Triggertrap?
  • Can I use auto-focus with Triggertrap products?
  • Can I Use Triggertrap Mobile to start video recording (as opposed to taking stills images) on my SLR camera?
  • Triggertrap and Magic Lantern
  • Does the Triggertrap Flash Adapter work with Sony flashes?
  • Why do I have to use a cable to connect my Triggertrap kit to my camera?
  • Can I use Bluetooth with Triggertrap Mobile?
  • Can I use Mirror Lock-Up?
  • How does Wi-Fi triggering with Triggertrap Mobile work?
  • How do I set up my Triggertrap Flash Adapter?
  • Only Simple Cable Release works / I can’t use any of the long exposure modes.
  • What’s the difference between the Triggertrap Mobile Dongle 1, 2 and 3?
  • What Android Volume Setting do I need with Triggertrap?
  • Where are all the Android features?

How can I find out if Triggertrap supports my camera?

The first step would be to go to our Cable Selector tool. Select your camera’s make and model, and see if it tells you which cable to buy.

If it is not listed, then it could still be supported. To find out (and to help us add your camera to the list), please do the following:

Check your camera manual to find out whether it supports a wired remote control. (IR / Wireless remote controls are not what we are looking for in this case). If it doesn’t support a wired remote, please see below.

Still stuck? Please ask in the Reddit forum.

My camera doesn’t have a wired remote. Does it still work with Triggertrap Mobile?

With two notable exceptions (Ricoh and Fujifilm, we’re looking at you), in theory, Triggertrap Mobile supports all cameras that have a wired remote control facility.

To find out which remote your camera needs, check out our Camera Selector.

The easiest way to find out whether your camera has a wired remote, is to Google your camera name and “wired remote”. If you find a load of remote controls for sale for your camera, it’s usually pretty safe to assume we can trigger it.

What if my camera does not support wired remotes?

Well, the problem is this: The Triggertrap Mobile has to ‘talk’ to your camera somehow, and the wired remote socket is how your camera ‘listens’. If your camera doesn’t have ears, we can’t talk to it, and unfortunately, that means your camera isn’t supported by Triggertrap Mobile for now.

How do I set my camera to Bulb mode?

Most SLR and mirrorless cameras have a Bulb mode.

To enable this, set your camera to manual exposure mode, and choose the setting that’s slower than your slowest shutter speed.

On most cameras, it goes from 30 seconds to show “B” or “Bulb” in the display.

I am getting unexpected results using HDR and Bulb Ramping. What’s going on?

There are two quirks with the way cameras deal with Bulb modes; Minimum exposures, and exposure stepping.

The former means that many entry-level cameras have a 1-second minimum exposure, and the latter means that some camera models will ‘snap’ to the nearest exposure step, creating inaccuracies in the exposure duration.

Both of these issues are discussed in great depth in this article: Quirks with using Bulb mode

My camera doesn’t have a Bulb mode. Does it still work with Triggertrap?

That’s a great question! Basically if your camera has a wired remote socket but no Bulb mode, then some features will work fine, whilst others will not.

Specifically, any long-exposure functions (Press and Hold, Press and Lock, Timed Release, Star Trail, Bramping, LE HDR, and LE HDR Timelapse) will not operate properly, because we use the Bulb mode of your camera to control the shutter.

All the other modes (sensor modes, timelapse modes, simple remote controlling, and Wi-Fi triggering) should work fine without Bulb mode on your camera.

The best way to describe Bulb mode, is as follows: For long exposure shots (such as photos in a HDR set), we are essentially just holding down the shutter button for a predetermined amount of time. So, if you are trying to do a 10-second exposure, we send a 10-second shutter signal to the camera. When your camera is in bulb mode, it means that the shutter opens when we start sending the signal, and it closes again when we stop.

Without Bulb mode, the camera receives a shutter signal, and then triggers for however long you have told it to. If you set your camera to a 2-second exposure in Manual mode, for example, you can press the shutter button for 0.1 second, but it takes a 2-second exposure. If you hold down the button for 10 seconds, it still takes a 2-second exposure (or possibly a series of 2-second exposures, depending on what your camera settings are).

Can I use auto-focus with Triggertrap products?

Before we launched Triggertrap Mobile 2.0, we strongly recommended against it.

After Triggertrap Mobile 2.0, it’s no longer possible to use automatic focus; we wrote a little bit more about why in our blog.

There are many reasons for this, including:

  • When you are doing automatic triggering, you’ll probably not be there to check whether your camera’s auto-focus is correct. That means you may come back to a memory card full of blurry photos, if it turns out that your auto-focus was struggling
  • To allow for the auto-focus to do its thing, we have to delay the shutter triggering. Obviously, this isn’t great if you are working with, say, a time trigger.
  • The focus delay can be very annoying, especially if you’re trying to work with a sound-trigger or similar.
  • We can only send a fixed focus duration. If we set a 1-second time for focusing, Sometimes, your camera will be ‘hunting’ for focus for longer than 1 second, and the camera wont’ take a picture. Other times, it will focus in 0.2 seconds, and then there’s a 0.8 second delay that is unnecessary.

All of these issues are fixed by using manual focus…

Can I Use Triggertrap Mobile to start video recording (as opposed to taking stills images) on my SLR camera?

Short answer
Probably not.

Long answer
Triggertrap’s products can currently only operate the shutter button on your camera. This means that we can tell the camera to focus, or to trigger the shutter. On most cameras, the ‘start video’ button is a different button than the shutter button. This means that we cannot start video.

However… On some cameras, you can change the settings in the menu system, so the shutter button starts/stops video. If this is the case for your camera (check your camera’s documentation), then it should be possible to use Triggertrap Mobile to start/stop video recordings.

Finally, some Canon users have reported that using the Magic Lantern custom firmware enables them to start video recording from the shutter button, which means Triggertrap can be used to stop/start video.

Triggertrap and Magic Lantern

Magic Lantern is a free, open source, firmware add on for Canon EOS Cameras, it’s primary purpose is to add a tonne of features which Canon did not originally include. Within Magic Lantern there is one feature in particular that works extraordinarily well with Triggertrap — starting video recording.

Magic Lantern allows you to set the shutter release button to start video recording on many of the video enabled Canon EOS cameras. This means you can use many of the modes on Triggertrap Mobile to start your camera filming. This can be used in many ways, from telling your camera to start recording with a clap (using the sound trigger mode) to keeping an eye on who’s stealing all of the cookies (using the motion mode to trigger the video).

To find out how to enable this within Magic Lantern, check out their extremely comprehensive user guide, see the section titled Movie REC Key.

Does the Triggertrap Flash Adapter work with Sony flashes?

First of all, can we just say that we’re deeply unimpressed with Sony’s choice of using some obscure hotshoe for their camera flashes? There’s a perfectly fine standard that works for everybody else…. Okay, rant over.

Basically, we don’t yet support Sony flashes with the Triggertrap Flash Adapter — however, you may be able to purchase an adapter that converts from a standard hotshoe to a Sony hotshoe.

Why do I have to use a cable to connect my Triggertrap kit to my camera?

That, my good sir or lady, is a magnificent question, and truly worthy of a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ reply, because it is, indeed, one of our most frequently asked questions.

The answer is based in how people use Triggertrap products. In general, it is one of two different uses: Very, very high speed photography, or very long duration photography.

High speed photography

By ‘high speed photography’, we mean things like capturing popping balloons, lightning strikes, and water droplets. These are events that are very quick indeed, and we are spending a lot of our time working to reduce the delay every step of the way. On Triggertrap Mobile, for example, we measure it in tens of milliseconds. On our older, Arduino-based products, we measure the speed in single-digit milliseconds.

The shutter lag on a SLR camera tends to be between 70–200 milliseconds. That means that when we trigger the shutter, there’s a significant delay between us sending the signal, and the shutter triggering. To put that into context, a typical 9mm bullet travels at around 380 meters per second, which means that with a 100 millisecond delay, the bullet travels 38 meters (that’s around 125 feet). Obviously, you aren’t going to capture that bullet.

Even very fast Wi-Fi or Bluetooth triggering introduces a significant additional delay, which we don’t really think is acceptable.

Long duration photography

The other side of the Triggertrap coin, is timelapses and sensor-based photography. In this case, we don’t really care that much about speed, just about consistency. If we trigger every 3 seconds, for example, it’s OK if it triggers 100 milliseconds late, as long as it does that for every single shots, so the interval between the shots is consistent, and the timelapse comes out nicely.

In the case of timelapses and other, slower sensor triggering (say, facial recognition triggering), the big challenge is battery life: We don’t want to run out of battery. On most cameras, we achieve that by letting the camera go to sleep. When we want to trigger it, we wake the camera up, trigger the photo, and let the camera go back to sleep. This means that a normal SLR camera can last for ages on a single battery, especially if you set the camera up so it doesn’t turn the LCD display on to preview the photo after every shot.

However, if we shoot with a wireless tether (whether that’s via Wi-Fi or via infrared), the camera has to be turned on the whole time, ‘listening’ for the trigger signal. Without being able to go to sleep, it means that the batteries are drained very, very quickly. That works for a very select few types of photography, but not for one of the most common uses for Triggertrap products: Timelapse photography.

So, why the cable?

The cable solves both of these problems — Cables may seem a little bit low-tech, but they are extremely reliable (i.e. they either work or they do not), they are much, much faster than using a wireless connection, and it means that the camera can turn itself off for most of the time in long-duration modes.

Unfortunately, this state of affairs is pretty frustrating to people who have cameras that only have Wi-Fi or IR remote triggering, but we believe that this is a silly choice from the camera manufacturer, and a shortcoming on the camera: Without a good wired remote port, the camera isn’t suitable for high-speed or long-duration photography.

Can I use Bluetooth with Triggertrap Mobile?

The long and short of it is that Triggertrap Mobile does not have a Bluetooth function.

We did try to include an experimental implementation of a Bluetooth feature, but we never were able to get it to work reliably. In the end, we concluded that our particular implementation of Bluetooth was not a reliable enough signal to consistently trigger your camera. On top of that, it tends to be a lot slower than a direct connection or even Wi-Fi.

We may try and bring back Bluetooth to Triggertrap Mobile in the future, but currently Bluetooth is not supported as a part of our app.

Can I use Mirror Lock-Up?

We don’t currently support MLU in any of our products, for a few reasons:

  • MLU can be very confusing to users who don’t usually use it.
  • MLU only makes sense in long-exposure modes, where battery life is less of an issue, which means that you may as well use Live View on your camera. Live View means that the mirror is already flipped up when you are starting your exposure (so you don’t get the mirror slap vibration when the photo is taken).

If your camera doesn’t have live view, this gets a little bit trickier. Never say never (and we do have a policy on not commenting on future products and features), but for now, I think it’s pretty safe to say that we aren’t planning MLU modes on any of our entry-level products.

How does Wi-Fi triggering with Triggertrap Mobile work?

The Wi-Fi triggering mode in Triggertrap Mobile enables photographers to remotely trigger their cameras by using one mobile device as a ‘Slave’, and the other as a ‘Master’.

  1. Both devices need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  2. On your Master device, go to the ‘Wi-Fi Master’ in the settings section of the menu (right at the bottom) you’ll find a switch — switch it to ‘on’.
  3. Plug your Triggertrap Mobile Dongle into the Slave device, and connect your dongle to your camera as usual. In the menu, you’ll find a Wi-Fi Slave mode. Press ‘start’, then connect to a Master device. Once you’re connected, you can choose what you want to trigger (such as the internal camera or a Mobile Dongle) as usual.
  4. Go to the triggering mode you want to use on the Master device. Remember to ensure that Wi-Fi triggering is turned on in the top menu. Now, whenever the Master sends a trigger signal, the slaves will trigger!

You can connect as many slave devices to a master as you want. Simply follow the instructions above to connect each slave device to the Master trigger. All the slaves will trigger at the same time.

What if there is no Wi-Fi network available?
If you have an iOS device that has support for ‘Personal Hotspot’, you can use this instead of a traditional Wi-Fi connection to wirelessly trigger. You will need two devices, and one must be an iOS device. You’ll be using the iOS device as the Wi-Fi Slave.

I can’t get my Master / Slave system to work!

It is occasionally tricky to get the two systems to talk to each other. If that happens to you, try going through these steps:

  1. Turn on Airplane Mode on all devices. This resets all the network connections
  2. Turn off Airplane Mode on all devices after 10 seconds
  3. Connect to the Wi-Fi network on all devices
  4. Launch Triggertrap Mobile, and turn off Master Mode on both devices
  5. Enter Slave Mode on all the devices you want to operate as Slaves
  6. Turn on Master Mode again on your Master device
  7. The Master device will show up on all the Slave devices, so you will now be able to connect properly.

How do I set up my Triggertrap Flash Adapter?

Setting up the flash adapter is really rather easy! To make it even easier we’ve created a How To video which you can see here.

Only Simple Cable Release works/ I can’t use any of the long exposure modes.

If you are finding that none of the long exposure modes on Triggertrap Mobile work, your camera could be in the wrong mode.

If you are using Press and Hold, Press and Lock, Timed Release, Star Trail, Bramping, LE HDR or LE HDR Timelapse, then your camera will need to be set to bulb mode to take the exposures. If you are using any of the other modes in the Triggertrap app, your camera will need to have a shutter speed set on a manual mode, rather than bulb mode.

What’s the difference between the Triggertrap Mobile Dongle 1, 2 and 3?

There are three different versions of the Triggertrap Mobile Dongle.

Triggertrap Mobile Dongle 1

Version 1 can be identified by its black cable and bigger plug:

Triggertrap Mobile Dongle 2

Version 2 can be identified by its red cable, and slimline plug:

What are the differences?

The differences are that version 1 is a little bit slower, and a lot less sensitive. The result of this is that the old, version 1 Dongle doesn’t work on newer Apple devices, nor on most Android phones. We know ‘newer Apple devices’ is a bit fuzzy, but as a rule of thumb; if it has a Lightning connector, it probably won’t work. In addition, the Triggertrap Dongle version 1 doesn’t work on devices that have volume limiter set. This includes most devices sold in the EU and India.

The slimline plug on Triggertrap Mobile Dongle 2 means that you can use our Triggertrap app even when your phone is inserted into a protective sleeve.

We stopped selling the Triggertrap Mobile Dongle 1 in August 2012, before we launched the Android version of our Triggertrap Mobile App.

It may still be possible to buy the Triggertrap Mobile Dongle 1 from some vendors and second-hand, but we strongly recommend purchasing the Triggertrap Mobile Dongle 2 instead.

We stopped selling the Triggertrap Mobile Dongle 2 in July 2014.

Triggertrap Mobile Dongle 3

Version 3 can be identified by the red Tt logo on the dongle box, and slimline plug:

What are the differences?

The differences are that version 3 is a lot more sensitive. This makes it compatible with a lot of devices that previously weren’t compatible due to volume issues. The sensitivity will also make it a little faster on iOS devices.

The slimline plug on Triggertrap Mobile Dongle 3 means that you can use our Triggertrap app even when your phone is inserted into a protective sleeve.

It may still be possible to buy the Triggertrap Mobile Dongle 2 from some vendors and second-hand, but we strongly recommend purchasing the Triggertrap Mobile Dongle 3 instead.

What Android Volume Setting do I need with Triggertrap?

Setting the volume in Android can be a little trickier than it first seems.

A quick fix

Android has a number of volumes that control different outputs of a device. As someone using Triggertrap, you’ll need the correct volume to be set to max. The easiest way to achieve this is to set the volume to max when the Triggertrap App is open and attempting to trigger the camera. So:

  1. Plug in your Triggertrap Mobile Dongle
  2. Launch the Triggertrap App, and use the Press and Lock mode
  3. Start the timer going by tapping the red button
  4. As it attempting to trigger your camera, use the buttons on the side of your phone to turn the volume all the way up.

Your phone should now trigger your camera!

In detail…

If you’re still having problems (or if you’d just like to know a little more about Android volume settings), read on!

Android has volume settings for Music,Video and Media, the Ringer and Volumes for Alarms and notifications. So just to be clear we have four volume settings:

  • Music, Video and Media
  • Ringer
  • Notifications
  • System

In Android 4.3 these last two setting have been combined into one: Alarms. All these volumes can be set independently in the Sound → volume settings.

The volume that is important to Triggertrap is the “Music, video, game & other media” volume.

For the Triggertrap app to work this volume must always be set to its maximum value. If you are in the Triggertrap app this is the default volume that will be set when you adjust the volume keys on the side of the phone.

You can check this by looking to see if the icon next to the volume control matches the correct icon in the volumes settings. In most cases the icon looks like a speaker icon.

If you adjust the volume using the rocker keys when you are on the Android home screen then you are most likely (but not always!) setting the ringer volume.

In most cases the icon for this volume looks like a vintage phone handset, again you can check the icon against the Volumes settings. Another tip is that when you’re adjusting the ringer volume you’ll most likely hear an audible beep sound, even if you have the Triggertrap dongle plugged in.

For volume settings that’s all you need to know. It’s straight forward and once you know how to check which volume you need, everything should work just fine.

Where are all the Android features?

If you’ve been comparing the Triggertrap Mobile features on our Triggertrap Mobile page, you’ll have spotted that the iOS app and the Android app have different sensor modes available.

We want the Android version to have the same functionality as iOS, but unfortunately we can’t estimate when that will be. The problem is that the Android market is so expansive and fast paced that it is taking longer to code the app than we thought. We want the functions to work perfectly across all devices, and for that reason it is going to take some time, which we are really sorry for. On the plus side, the Android app has something the iOS guys don’t have yet: Running in the background.

If you’re wondering why we have two apps available on iOS and not on Android, we decided to release them both on one platform first just as we did with Triggertrap Mobile. This platform happens to be iOS as this is what the majority of our users are on, and therefore it makes the most sense for us. We launched these apps early in their development cycle precisely to be able to get a ton of feedback from our users, and to help prioritise our future development work.