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.
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.