The CASE remote is a wireless device that creates a mobile hotspot attached to your camera, providing you with live-view connectivity on your mobile device. One can easily control shutter triggering, HDR, focus stacking, time-lapse, and photo transfers from your iPhone, Android, or tablet. Fstoppers had the opportunity to give this device a spin and here's what we thought.
The CASE remote is an affordable option for adding wireless capability to your camera. The CamRanger, Weye Feye, and iUSBport are its main competitors, but they are more expensive and much larger. Boasting its intent “for photographers, by photographers,” the CASE Remote was designed with many different types of photography in mind; From landscape, portraits, to wildlife. The CASE Remote's manufacturer, Cheering Tech, envisions eventually using the remote to build 3D models by connecting them to over 50 DSLR cameras. The motivation and ingenuity is definitely present with this product.
The CASE remote measures around 2x2 inches with optional hot shoe mount to secure the device to your camera. The device creates its own hotspot and has a Wi-Fi signal strength of a little over 150 feet. Along with the device, there is a free mobile app that allows for easy control via iOS and Android devices. I tested this device on both the iPhone and iPad to my Canon 6D. I did not access it via Android, however research shows that the Android app has been presenting a few glitches. Cheering Tech promises to have updates for all their current platforms very soon, as well as adding support for other platforms in the near future.
The setup is very straightforward and simple. Connect the CASE to your DSLR using mini-USB, download the free app, then connect to the CASE remote's Wi-Fi on your device and you're pretty much set. The unit has a battery life of roughly 4-5 hours and is chargeable via its USB port.
Right away I noticed the mobile app has some delay. There is roughly a 1 second delay in the live-view of what the camera is seeing and what is displayed on your mobile view as well as some focusing delay. Additionally, there is the lag time between shutter triggers on both iPhone and iPad. This was around 3 seconds. These are pretty understandable deficiencies, however minimizing these delays would make this device much more desirable. Once the CASE remote is connected to the camera you will have wireless control of your camera's ISO, shutter, aperture, and white balance. You will not have the ability to change these settings from your camera while the CASE remote is connected.
In addition to control via remote live-view function, the CASE remote can be used as a customizable intervalometer, offering HDR and focus stacking. Though most cameras come with these capabilities built-in, it is useful to have them on the CASE as you will not be able to access these functions while the unit is attached.
Things I liked:
- Wireless connectivity and live-view function on my mobile device (iOS and Android with additional platforms coming soon).
- The app is well designed, self-explanatory, and easy to navigate.
- The review function is quick and easy, offering a thumbnail grid of images.
- The image playback resolution quality is pretty sharp, allowing for a critical assessment of the image.
Things I didn't like:
- The delay is a little frustrating at first. It would definitely limit use for certain types of photography.
- Weak construction. The unit is constructed of light plastic and seems like it could break very easy.
- The remote doesn't come with its own mini-USB. I had a few laying around, but the average consumer may not.
Overall, I think the CASE Remote is a very affordable option for wireless connectivity. Combining the reasonable price tag of $129 with the ease of accessing through mobile devices I would value the CASE as a worthy entry level competitor to its more expensive counterparts, typically priced upwards of $300. Of course, like they say, “Good photography gear ain't cheap and cheap photography ain't good.” The CASE Remote does leave some things left to be desired. Though it basically offers everything it says on the box, the CASE remote team, Cheering Tech, continues to work on improving the quality. The remote is probably best suited for the beginner or amateur photographer looking to add a few functions to their DSLR.