Review: Muku Shuttr Wireless Remote Shutter for iPhone
I got a new wireless remote shutter along with my new and shiny Joby GripTight ONE GP Magnetic Impulse Gorillpad (what a name! Marketing must have worked overtime). The remote shutter is called "Joby Impulse" and works the same way as Muku Shuttr did. It also seems that Muku Shuttr is not sold any more, you may want to check the Joby Impulse wireless remote shutter on Amazon.
I looked for a way to simulate the use of ND filters with an iPhone to be able to photograph long exposure photos when I discovered Slow Shutter Camera App [iTunes App Store Link]. With Slow Shutter Cam, I can shoot long time exposures at the full 8MP resolution of the iPhone 5S camera.
Just as with a DSLR, taking long exposure photos with an iPhone will result in blurry photos if you've got a shaky hand. I use a Joby Grip Tight Gorilla Pod [Amazon Link] to avoid that.
Though you can use the "volume +" button of your headphones as a remote shutter for such photos, I bought a wireless remote shutter remote named Muku Shuttr. It's much more convenient than untangling the wires of the headphones each time.
Just as with a DSLR, you need a steady hand or, even better, a remote shutter for sharp photos when shooting long exposures. I used the headphones for my first long exposures with the iPhone like this photo of a waterfall.
The built in camera app and many third-party camera apps allow the use of the "volume +" button on the iPhone as a shutter release, even the "volume +" button on your headphone.
But I found using the headphones cumbersome. I didn't want to untangle the headphone's wires every time I photograph a long exposure. So I searched for an iphone shutter remote that I could use with my favourite iPhone camera apps
The remote shutter release "Muku Shuttr" was exactly what I was looking for. It's a small wireless remote shutter release that works using Bluetooth. Basically, it sends a "volume +" button press to the iPhone as soon as you press the shutter release button on the Muku Shuttr. It works with every camera app that works with "volume +" button as a shutter release. I tested it with all of my favourite iphone camera apps: Muku Shuttr works perfect as a remote shutter with the built in iOS7 and iOS8 camera app, with 365 Pro, Pureshot and Slow Shutter Cam. In 365 Pro, Pureshot and ProCamera 7 you have to enable the option "Hardware Shutter Release" first.
ProHDR and Sony PlayMemories for the Sony QX100 do not yet (?) support the "volume +" button as a shutter release, thus Muku Shuttr will not work with those apps.
I ordered the Muku Shuttr remote shutter release directly from Muku via Amazon [Amazon Link] from Amazon. It arrived in a frustration-free packaging. It comes with a small pouch and a simple iPhone stand that plugs into the headjack port.
Before you can use Muku Shuttr as a remote shutter release with your iPhone, you have to pair it with the iPhone first:
- Turn it on using a small switch on the left side.
- A green LED light above the shutter release button will flash and indicate that Shuttr is ready but not yet paired with your smartphone.
- Open Bluetooth settings on your iPhone and enable Bluetooth. Wait for a second and it should display a device named "Muku Shuttr". Tap it and Shuttr and your iPhone are paired and ready to use.
You only have to do this once. After you paired the devices for the first time, just turn on Muku Shuttr and press the shutter release button briefly and it will connect with the iPhone (if Bluetooth is enabled on the iPhone).
One observation about Bluetooth: There's still the opinion that leaving Bluetooth switched on will drain the battery. This was true for devices that do not have Bluetooth low energy. But the iPhone 5S has Bluetooth low energy. During the last year I didn't notice any difference wether Bluetooth was turned on or off all the time.
Muku Shuttr is powered by a small and exchangeable battery. Muku Labs has posted a video on Youtube about how to change the battery.
I used Muku Shuttr many times since I bought it and I'm still enthusiastic about it:
- It's small but still big enough to use it conveniently.
- It connects quickly to the iPhone. It just takes a second or two.
- The battery is exchangeable.
- You don't need an extra "Muku Shuttr" app to use it. Any camera app that supports the "volume +" button as a shutter release works.
- It works from a distance of up to 30 feet.