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Review: Vello FreeWave Plus

(Full name: ‘Vello FreeWave Plus Wireless Remote Shutter Release’)

Copyright 2015 by Wil C. Fry. All Rights Reserved.

Published 2015.03.10

All images in this entry are Copyright 2015 by Wil C. Fry. Some rights reserved.

Vello FreeWave Plus Wireless Remote Shutter Release, with cable

Vello FreeWave Plus
Over Christmas 2014, I lost my Canon RC-1 remote control. I’ve had it nearly nine years, and it worked with all three of my Canon DSLRs — from my old and tattered 350D, through my 400D, to my 60D. So I needed a replacement remote control, and chose the Vello FreeWave Plus Wireless Remote Shutter Release, after being impressed with Vello’s battery grip.

The Vello FreeWave Plus has three components: (1) the transmitter, (2) the receiver, and (3) the cable. Because brands and models of DSLRs vary, you need to specify when ordering which cables you will need. Mine came with two cables, which will supposedly fit just about every Canon DSLR ever made. One cable I will likely never use, because it’s made for higher-level cameras that I can’t afford. The other works with my 60D and still-surviving 350D. It’s about half the size of the 1/8” (3.5mm) cables I use with my flash triggers.

Mode switch on transmitter
The transmitter is 9.5 cm (3.75”) long, 3.2 cm (1.25”) wide, and 1.4 cm (0.55” deep). It has one button and one switch. The button is sensitive to a half-press for pre-focusing, or full press for releasing the shutter. The switch allows me to change between single-shot mode, burst mode, bulb mode, or time-delay. The mode switch feels flimsy, and I predict it will be the first thing to go.

The transmitter, with switch and button

Locking knob and thread on receiver
The receiver is 7 cm (2.75”) long, 4 cm (1.57”) wide, and 3 cm (1.18”) deep. It serves a dual purpose. First, it can be used as a wired shutter release — without the transmitter and even without batteries, which I didn’t believe until I tried it. This could come in handy for macro photos or long exposures, when I don’t want to use up the batteries too quickly (or don’t have any handy).

Second, it functions as the receiver for the transmitter. For that, it has to be powered up. Either way, the receiver has to be wired to the camera with the supplied cable.

It comes with a cold foot (please don’t call it a “hot foot” or “hot shoe”) and a locking knob, with a standard 1/4”-20 female thread inside the cold shoe. The makers suggest mounting it in the camera’s hot shoe, but I generally have that spot filled with a flash trigger, so the receiver will likely dangle next to the camera, or ride in a separate cold shoe that I mount somewhere. It has one button to turn on/off power, and another for shutter release activity.

Receiver / shutter release (top)

Both the transmitter and receiver use AAA batteries, which are common, inexpensive, and available in rechargeable versions. And the package included four off-brand AAA batteries to get me started.

The plastic casing of both units feels solid; there are no rattling parts inside. The only thing that feels like it won’t work forever is the mode switch on the transmitter. In my initial tests, this remote shutter release has worked exactly as advertised.

(Note: I do not receive any compensation for mentioning any company or its products in this review.)

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