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NiSi BRC (Bluetooth Remote Control) Review

December 15, 2021

Overall Rating:

4.5

NiSi BRC (Bluetooth Remote Control)


Pros:

  • + Small and light
  • + Simple to use
  • + Waterproof

Cons:

  • - Can take a minute to connect to your phone
  • - No Panasonic cable available

Manufacturer:

Manufacturer:

Price as Reviewed:

£29.90 (+ £4.50 per camera cable)

Andy Westlake tries out a simple wireless remote release that's controlled by your smartphone

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NiSi Bluetooth Remote Control at a glance:

  • £29.90 + £4.50 per cable
  • Bluetooth shutter release
  • Up to 10m range
  • Interchangeable camera cables
  • Uses CR2032 battery
  • www.nisioptics.co.uk

If you’ve ever used strong neutral density filters, you’ll probably have run into a specific problem – how to calculate and shoot the long exposures required, which can easily run to several minutes? Most cameras only provide timed shutter speeds up to 30 seconds.

The obvious answer is to set the camera to bulb and use a cable release with a locking shutter button, while timing your exposures using a stopwatch. But NiSi has come up with an easier way, with its Bluetooth Remote Control (or BRC).

This is a simple device that plugs into your camera’s remote release socket using an appropriate interchangeable cable. It pairs with your phone via Bluetooth, and connects to NiSi’s ND Calculator app. Here you set a base shutter speed (from 30sec to 1/8000sec), a filter factor (1 to 20 stops), and any exposure compensation you might need.

NiSi ND Calculator app screenshots

NiSi’s ND Calculator app is clear and easy to use. The main screen (left) calculates shutter speeds, and you can configure a few preferences (centre). Tapping on the Bluetooth icon top left connects to the device, named ‘nisoptics’ (right).

The app will then calculate the shutter speed required; all you have to do is set the camera to bulb and press ‘Start’. The BRC will release the shutter and hold it open until the requisite time has elapsed. It doesn’t even need to stay connected to your phone.

NiSi BRC key features

  • Cables  Interchangeable cables are available for most current cameras from Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax and Sony (but unfortunately not Panasonic)
  • Power  The device employs a single CR2032 battery, which can be replaced by removing the bright yellow cover around the edge
  • LEDs  Two small LEDs, one blue and one red, indicate the device’s operational status
  • NiSi App  To fire your camera’s shutter, you need to download and connect to the free NiSi ND Calculator app for Android or iOS

The NiSi BRC comes with a wrist strap, and you’ll also need to buy a connector cable for your camera

At just 42mm square and 15mm thick, the device takes up little space in your bag, and it’s so light that it just hangs off the release cable. There are no external controls, as it’s switched on or off by inserting or removing the cable. It can take a minute to pair with your phone when you first use it on a shoot, but after that it usually reconnects immediately.

The simple design means that you shouldn’t have to worry about shooting outdoors in wet weather. NiSi says it’s waterproof, although your camera’s weather-sealing might be reduced with the shutter release port exposed.

NiSi Bluetooth Remote Control

The BRC is so light that it can simply hang off the camera connector cable

Of course, you’re not restricted to using the BRC with ND filters. It can be used in any situation where a remote release is valuable, and with any exposure mode. With its 10m range, you could use it to include yourself in a photo, for example. You might just need to experiment with the shutter speed setting, which will need to be long enough to activate and confirm autofocus if you’re using it.

NiSi Bluetooth Remote Control: Camera compatibility

Camera cables are available in five types: Sony micro USB; Nikon 10-pin and DC2; Canon N3; and the 2.5mm TRS jack that’s used by a wide range of cameras. You can check NiSi’s website for compatibility; note though that it doesn’t include Olympus models that use the 2.5mm connector (E-M1 Mark II and III, and E-M5 III).

NiSi’s camera cables plug into the BRC using a 3.5mm TRS jack

NiSi has fitted the BRC with a 3.5mm cable connector socket, which means most other interchangeable remote release cables available won’t fit directly, as they normally use 2.5mm jacks. But I found many would work with a simple 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter – including those for Panasonic cameras.

NiSi Bluetooth Remote Control: Our Verdict

NiSi’s Bluetooth Remote Control may not do much, but it does what it’s designed to do with the minimum of fuss. It’s a neat and inexpensive little device that makes shooting with strong ND filters just that bit easier. It’s also worth considering for anyone who just wants a simple wireless release.

4.5 stars
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