Triggertrap mobile dongle pictures and hands-on

We were slightly sceptical when we first pulled Triggertrap out of its box. Designed to let us control our camera with a smartphone, we wondered what else it could add to our already feature-packed Nikon D700.

A few days playing, however, and it turns out there is quite a lot, opening us up to a whole new world of photography. Traditionally a time lapse unit is going to cost you quite a bit, but Triggertrap makes a great alternative.

Pulling it from its packaging, you will immediately notice that the unit has an irritatingly short cable. We understand you might want to keep your phone close to your DSLR for time lapse, but what if you fancy using it as a remote shutter release? The coiled cable stretches and then will eventually pull from the bottom of your phone.

Still though, niggles aside and a £2.99 app purchase later and you should be pretty well setup. Before you get started, make sure to set whatever camera it is you are using to bulb mode, otherwise the accessory will cause all sorts of glitches.

From there, fire up the app and there's a choice of things to do. Triggertrap actually has fairly limited control over your camera, being able only to set off the shutter and make the camera focus. But the app has put it to great use and worked out all different possibilities, using the power in your smartphone.

For example, you can set off the camera shutter using a clap or other sound, which breaks a custom set level of volume. Then you can also use the phone's accelerometer to snap a photo. Finally, without the DSLR attached, there is facial recognition, movement and even magnets which affect the phone's compass. All will set off the shutter.

The real trick of Triggertrap and why you would likely pick one up, is its ability to put together a time lapse sequence using your iPhone and a DSLR. The function is very simple, consisting of two sliders: one governs how many photos are taken, the other over what period of time. Hit the shutter icon and you're off. The app even includes a clever location-based sunrise and sundown calculator so you can get the best from your time lapse photos. 

The only shortcoming we have found so far is that, when it comes to the iPhone, the app won't stitch a time lapse together. Obviously, when shot with a DSLR you are also left to your own devices. Those who use Lightroom, however, do have an easy option in the form of this free plugin, which should quickly and easily output a time lapse from all the shots you have taken.