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Accessory review: Shuttr remote image capture

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Shuttr is teeny tiny and has a hole so it can fit on a keyring. To keep Shuttr's battery from draining, it will only turn on when both side switches are in the "on" position. 

Smartphone photography accessories are not limited to lenses and tripods. This time around, we took a look at a tool to help you with one of the most basic photographic functions: pressing the “capture” button.

Shuttr is a brand new product from Muku Labs that recently got a lot of attention when it raised nearly $95,000 through its Kickstarter campaign — far over its original $10,000 goal. You can currently order Shuttr through the company's website.

The remote comes in four different color combinations. The black or white versions will set you back $39, while the red/black combos cost an extra $10.

Shuttr is incredibly easy to use. Just pair it to your smartphone as a Bluetooth device. After it is connected, Shuttr can take photos in the native photo application on all iPhones and many popular Android phones by activating the “volume up” capture tool. 

Click on the following Vine video to watch Shuttr in action:

Because it connects via Bluetooth, Shuttr can be used with your smartphone from up to 30 meters away. I played with this long-distance feature  by setting up my phone in front of a chipmunk hole in a lawn. The following photo shoot captured the chipmunk as it emerged from its home and inspected the strange new device in its front yard. Because I was far away, I could photograph the chipmunk without scaring it.

If your phone has a designated capture button instead of utilizing volume control, Shuttr will not work. So while it may work well with iOS and Android devices, Nokia's Lumia line has a distinct Camera Key, so Shutter isn't compatible. Shuttr has its own Android application that is designed for phones like the Sony Xperia models that do not use volume-up button shutter control in the native app.

Other camera applications will also work with Shuttr as long as they also utilize a volume-capture feature. Plenty of iOS and Android apps work with Shuttr, but Instagram, for example, does not use the volume button for image capture. 

Shuttr has single-handedly started my career in wildlife smartphone photography. (Next stop: the Serengeti.)

Besides sneaky wildlife photography, Shuttr is great for self-portraits. Because of this, Shuttr is best paired with a smartphone tripod. Without a tripod, using Shuttr because a bit trickier as you have to try to balance the phone securely as you activate it from far away.

If you are using your phone for slow-exposures, Shuttr can be used to start your capture without the risk of shaking your phone and messing up the composition.

One downside to Shuttr is its potentially short lifespan. Because Shuttr's battery cannot be removed and is unable to charge on its own, there is a possibility that Shuttr's battery can drain if it left on for too long. According to Muku Labs, if you turn off Shuttr every time after use, it should last for up to two years. In order to prolong battery life, Shuttr can only be activated if both side toggles are set to "on," so it's hard to accidentally turn on the tiny device. 

What we like: Tiny, portable and extremely simple to set up and use. Shuttr is a fun tool for selfie enthusiasts, budding wildlife photographers and slow-exposure-loving iOS and Android photographers.

What we don’t  like: No replaceable battery and only works on iOS and Android devices.

Comments

Total comments: 6
yauleung
By yauleung (10 months ago)

Battery is replaceable indeed!

http://www.mukulabs.com/#!battery-replacement/c1jj6

1 upvote
WesternSage
By WesternSage (11 months ago)

Cute squirrel pic, (and caption)! Nice way to illustrate the functionality of the product.
I agree with Impulses that you might already have this function in your pocket if you have a bluetooth headset.

0 upvotes
Impulses
By Impulses (11 months ago)

I'm sure this fills a niche for some devices, but it's kind of a kludgey rip-off for a lot of people with recent Android smartphones...

This functionality is already baked in on many HTC/Samsung devices (I'm sure other OEM too), simply open the stock camera app, grab a Bluetooth headset, press the call button and it'll snap a pic... You can find a cheap headset for half the price of this thing if you don't already have one.

I'm sure you could accomplishe the same thing on any Android phone that doesn't have that feature by using something like Tasker, though that degree of flexibly may obviously not carry over to other OS.

Anyway, the asking price for this thing is rather high considering the dead simple hardware involved. I've got nothing against Kickstarter projects btw... I've backed Pressy, Clearshot, Minova's OTG reader, Tim Schaffer's game and some others I've probably forgotten...

0 upvotes
Ben O Connor
By Ben O Connor (11 months ago)

welll.... errr....ummm.....

0 upvotes
Hulamike
By Hulamike (11 months ago)

I believe your report of two side power switches is incorrect. One side switch enables your choice of iOS or Android device. The other (which protrudes from the case) is a power switch. You may be confusing the need to wake it up after its gone dormant before using again, but that's done with the shutter button not a side switch. There is only one power switch.

I received mine yesterday. That's the way it works anyway.

Bummer to learn you can't replace battery. Bet we could hack that.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
jcmarfilph
By jcmarfilph (11 months ago)

Nice detail on the grass. Focus is spot on! =D

1 upvote
Total comments: 6
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