The MIOPS ‘Mobile Remote' (MMR) is the second smart trigger and the second sucessful crowdsourced campaign from MIOPS, with the first being their sucessful ‘Smart' trigger (ST). The MMR is designed to connect to your supported DSLR or mirrorless camera, and your compatiable mobile device to function as a wireless trigger, or offer more advanced functionality which can include;
- Cable release
- Timelapse triggering (inc. bulb ramping)
- Sound triggering
- Motion triggering
- Vibration triggering
- Combination of the above (scenario)
The MMR differs from the ST in that it is smaller, does not have a screen and offloads all of the configuration and some of the functionality to your compatiable Android(tm) or iOS(tm) mobile device. It is also cheaper than the ST and in my view is more of an entry level device. Pairing the device is fairly simple and consists of two screens, the first determines which type of device you are connecting, whilst the second screen lists the available devices. Once you have selected the device you are presented with the main screen of the MMR application (Android(tm) in my case).
There are a number of simple trigger features that the MMR supports, which range from simple trigger modes (cable release) which work with any mode on your camera (e.g. aperture, shutter, manual or auto modes) on most shutter speeds. Other cable release modes (press & hold, press & lock and timed release) require the camera to be set to bulb mode for optimal results.
There are a few different timelapse modes, the simplest being basic timelapse which essentially acts as a cable release capturing x number of photos every y interval (with no control of exposure length). Long exposure timelapse is similar but adds in the exposure time which is fixed throughout the timelapse (so more suited to scenes where the light intensity does not change).
Where the light intensity changes, there is bulb ramping mode which allows a start and finish exposure to be set, so for example if capturing sunrise into twilight the exposure length can be adjusted linearly. The biggest issue with this Mode and this is something that affects all controllers is that because there is no feedback between the camera and MMR, there is no way of the controller knowing if the exposure is correct and as such an entire timelapse could be caught that is under or overexposed. This applies to all smart triggers which user the shutter release port.
Sound mode uses the sensors on your mobile device to determine the ambient noise level which is shown as orange on the image below. The grey ring around this is the sensitivity and trigger level, so this is adjusted to determine when the camera should be triggered. Similar to other modes, the sensitivity is set, but the mode of shot can also be set (e.g. single shot or continuous).
The motion mode uses your mobile devices digital camera to determine if the MMR should trigger the remote. The screen contains a sensitivity dial, as well as the ability to set the type of capture (single shot or continuous). The sharpness of the screen on the mobile device is not great, but in some respects, it does not need to be since it is looking for motion only to determine if the trigger should be fired.
Overall I found the MMR to be a good entry level device into the field of more advanced photography. I did have some technical issues with the device at the start which were ironed out with MIOPS fairly quickly. Once these were resolved pairing the device was very simple, as was understanding the layout of the app and using the trigger.
The device does offload a lot of functions to your phone, and for me that was a bit restrictive, however, this is likely because I have been using these triggers for some time so something like MIOPS SMART fits into my workflow better.
Had this device been around when I was startingin photography though I would have likely used this as a stepping stone to ‘get my feet wet' and determine if I want to go into this area further. The device itself is full featured, small enough to fit into most camera bags, and unlocks a range of features which are unlikely to be found on most cameras.
If you are interested in this device, more information is available on the MIOPS website at https://www.miops.com/miops-remote/ At the time of this review, the MMR retailed at $125 USD.
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*Disclosure: the MMR was provided to me by MIOPS at no cost for the purpose of this review.