By September 6, 2011

Opteka RC-4 Remote Shutter Release for Canon XSi Camera Review

When I bought my first digital SLR several years ago I thought I was going to enter into a new hobby of photography. I wanted to be the next Ansel Adams, and had dreams of taking great photographs of people and places. And if you mean “candids of my dogs” instead of “people” and “weird-ass products” instead of “places” then I guess I’ve made my dreams come true.

I use a tripod, bounce flash, and remote shutter release to take most of my product pictures for Gibberish. This affords me the light control and stability I need to take indoor photos, and the remote shutter allows me to be in the pictures from time to time. Sure beats holding the camera with one hand, or running back and forth trying to beat the camera’s timer.

I used to use the Zeikos ZE-WRC5 when I owned my Canon EOS Digital Rebel (300D). It did an okay job for the price, but I had problems releasing the shutter at more than ten feet away. I thought that the IR sensor on the Digital Rebel was to blame, and just made do with it.

Fast forward several years, and my friend Bond passed his Rebel XSi to me. I discovered that the Zeikos wouldn’t work with the camera, and thus began my quest for an inexpensive wireless shutter release. I also hoped that the remote would perform better this time around.

Well it does … sort of.


The dimensions and operation of the Opteka RC-4 is very similar to the Zeikos. It’s a little bit larger, but not by much. The basic design is the same: raised, rounded buttons over a squishy plastic membrane. There is a button for an immediate shutter release, and one for a two second delay.

The bottom three buttons are for very specific camcorders. Don’t be misled into thinking that the W and T buttons will zoom your camera. I made that mistake with my Zeikos.

Unfortunately, performance is just marginally better than the Zeikos I used on my old 300D. I can use the Opteka from about fifteen feet away, but I often have to push the shutter release buttons several times. I used to think I had a bad angle on the sensor on the camera … but I think it’s just a crappy product. Changing the battery had no effect, and I’ve tried holding the RC-4 at different positions relative to the front, sides, and rear of the camera.

For my purposes and at about $12 delivered, the Opteka RC-4 does the job. After all, I’m just using the shutter release for really mundane applications. If you really are one of those Ansel Adams types who needs a shutter release to work reliably and consistently every time you are going to have to keep looking.

Not recommended

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