How-To Geek

Build a Bluetooth Camera Control for Your DSLR

If you’re looking for a digital remote shutter with a maximum amount of control this design turns your smart phone into a capable remote control for your camera.

Scott Wallace created a port-based connection for an Arduino module to link his smart phone to his Nikon camera. He writes:

This is the second version of my Nikon Bluetooth controller that I’ve been working on. The project is based around an Arduino and a BlueSmirf Bluetooth tranciever. In the first version, control of the camera was achieved using an IR LED, and emulating the Nikon IR remote. In this second version, the control is through the wired shutter-release/GPS port.

The camera I’m using is a Nikon D90, but this same controller would work on all Nikons that have the same shutter release/GPS port as the D90. Additionally, I’ve read about Canon and Sony DSLRs also having a wired shutter-release port that operates in the same way, you’d just have to find the pin-out of those ports and make your own connector .

On the Android side, right now I’m using SENA BTerm as the Bluetooth terminal. This isn’t a long term solution, but for now is a proof-of-concept that camera control from the phone is possible.

We’re really interested to see where he takes it; if a polished smart phone app emerges from the project we’ll be the first to start hacking out cameras for remote Bluetooth control.

Nikon DSLR Bluetooth Controller (Android to Arduino) [via Nikon Rumors]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 06/9/11

Comments (6)

  1. trinity343

    so is there no basic instructions for constructing this bluetooth device? i’d love to have this ability on my camera

  2. Aaron

    Wow, I just bought a $4 wireless remote for my Canon DSLR and it’s saved me time, money, and trouble (compared to this).

  3. KayDat

    B-b-but it’s not an app! You’re not using a smartphone!

  4. Mike

    Several models of the less expensive Nikon camera (D-3000,D3100 etc use an optional wireless IR remote control. They are readily available on the web such as eBay and are very inexpensive.
    That of course in more likely intended for situation where the person controlling the camera wants to be in the photo too.
    There are several commercial remotes available for use with Nikon cameras that have a 10-pin remote function control. Some of them are wireless and others wired.

  5. Jaimz

    What makes this way cooler than doing an infrared remote signal is the ability to program when/how the camera captures images. Could be very useful for science/engineering that requires precisely timed images.

  6. Pilar Lara

    I am impressed and surprised. I didn’t know it was possible! :)

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