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Universal TV remote with Canon cameras

Photography & Video Technology
Universal TV remote with Canon cameras

Most Canon digital cameras have an IR remote feature that allows you to control the shutter with a Canon RC-1 or RC-5 wireless remote. These work exactly like a TV remote, and it turns out that the signaling for some VCRs and Satellite TV receivers are similar enough to the RC-1 that they will trigger the exposure on your camera.

This means that with a universal remote and the right device setting, you might be able to add wireless shutter control to your camera for a few bucks.

According to the discussion on the Camera Hacker forums over the last few years, folks have had some success with using a number of remotes and several camera models. Most have reported success using a code for MGA VCRs, though I couldn’t get this to work with a Digital Rebel XT. The Digital Rebels are reported to work with codes for Telefunken VCRs or Echostar satellite receivers (bummer that my RCA remote supports neither).

Have you been able to get this to work with your camera and universal remote? Please share your experience in the comments.

Universal remote with Canon cameras
Camera Hacker discussion forum

8 thoughts on “Universal TV remote with Canon cameras

  1. Heiner says:

    This also works with Nikon Digital-Cameras. Use Sanyo TV-Mode (often Code 030 or 0030) and release with key “7”.
    See: (German)

  2. says:

    So, then you’ll have huge remote control in your camera bag?

    Better spend the $3,97 (incl shipping) for a universal camera remote on DealExtreme:

    I have this and it works like a charm.

    But the diy hack is nice for those of us that have 20 universal remotes wandering around :P

  3. Anonymous says:

    I wonder why there’s still no universal remote program for any phone with IR port (sorry, iphone users)? There are plenty of nokia/sonyercsson/WM software for TV and VCR remote, bot not for digital cameras.

  4. José F. says:

    Hi all!
    After reading this, I decided to try it for myself, on my Canon 500D. I have a PDA with remote control software installed. It’s a HP rx3715 and the software is from Nevo. I tried it with the definitions set for “satellite”, brand “Echostar” (not “Echosat” as described in other posts!!!) and the code “13”. It works fine with these settings, but I haven’t tried that much (just made the discovery right now!). Anyway, just to let you know; maybe it will be usefull for someone.
    Greatings from Portugal!

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