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Gear Review: Vello FreeWave Plus Wireless Remote Shutter Release

For whatever reason, I’ve never chosen to invest into a remote trigger system. Whenever I did long exposures, I would just do a shutter delay on my camera, and it’d usually work out great!

But once you want to take extra-long exposures (over a minute), that’s when a trigger comes in handy. I recently tried out the Vello FreeWave Plus Wireless Remote Shutter Release for Nikon cameras, while in Raleigh, NC on vacation.

My friend Jannine and I tested the Vello FreeWave Plus using bulb shooting mode at Yates Mill in Raleigh, NC.

Getting Setup

The setup process is pretty simple. Connect the receiver to your camera’s hot shoe, and the supplied cord from the receiver to your camera’s shutter release jack. The nice thing by having a cord setup is that if you already have something on your camera’s hot shoe, the receiver doesn’t have to be on there. You can hold it, attach it to your tripod or any number of things.

Both the receiver and transmitter use AAA batteries, but the transmitter is always on, using power only when triggered by the receiver (battery life is slated for 3 years for the transmitter, and 300 hours for the receiver). To turn on the receiver, you hold the power button until the LED lights up.

The Vello FreeWave Plus also allows for 16 wireless channel configurations, which is super handy if you’re using multiple trigger setups.

Beyond Just the “Click”

As we experimented at Yates Mill, the thing that really blew me away was the amount of options the Vello FreeWave Plus offered. In addition to acting as a normal, single-shot shutter release, it also let you plan for continuous shooting, bulb shooting and a four second delay trigger.

You can use the shutter release button on the transmitter to focus (with a half press). The LED on the transmitter will turn green once in focus. The LED will turn red when the shutter is triggered.

Continuous mode allows you to press the shutter release button, which will trigger the camera to continuously take photos until you press the shutter button again. This is super useful for capturing action. If you shoot in single shot mode on your camera, it will trigger at 1 second intervals.

On the other end of things, bulb mode is ideal for long exposures, letting you determine when you start and finish the exposure by pressing the shutter button each time. As we hooked up our cameras with ND filters, using the bulb mode setting was ideal for capturing the trickling waterfalls. Most cameras are limited to a 30 second exposure, but using bulb mode let us extend this to shoot 1- and 2-minute exposures.

Photo by Jannine Guyeskey

Conclusion

The Vello FreeWave Plus Wireless Remote Shutter Release has a really cool feature set, beyond what basic remote shutter releases often provide. Its built well, and worked flawlessly in my tests. With a 320 feet wireless range, it’s also the perfect solution for when you’re socializing with other people, as I often do during long exposures. Don’t have a Nikon? There are Canon and Sony versions, too!

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