Thursday, October 27, 2016

Twin Samsung NX1000 For Stereo – III - Firing

This is part III of a series of blogs regarding using twin Samsung NX1000 cameras for stereo and deals with ways to fire the pair of cameras.

Most Samsung NX cameras can be fired via the camera's micro USB port. This is on the longer side of the camera, which is fortunate because it makes the z-configuration possible.

The schematic above (from: shows how the remote uses the micro USB port for shutter remote control. There is a resistor between pins 4 and 5. Focus is achieved by shorting pins 2 and 5, and the shutter is fired by shorting pins 3 and 5, but only if the resistor is present. The resistor is built into the specialty cable used for remote control of the NX cameras.

This is a picture of a typical Samsung NX remote cable:

There is a male micro USB plug on one side and a 2.5mm plug on the other. What is not seen is the built-in resistor that makes it work as a shutter release cable for the Samsung NX cameras.

To fire two cameras at the same time, you need to connect two remote cables into one switch.

Here are some useful products for firing a pair of Samsung NX cameras:

  1. Wired twin remote.
  2. Standard Samsung NX remote by JJC (the switch is seen in the front, the cable is in the back, not seen in the picture).
  3. Samsung NX remote cable by JJC.
  4. Right Angle micro USB cable
  5. 2.5mm twin cable connector (combines two 2.5mm plugs into one 2.5mm plug).
  6. 2.5mm male to male coupler (connects two 2.5mm plugs).
  7. Wireless remote for Samsung NX by JJC.
  8. Single remote (by Werner) - see below:

Here are some connecting options:

A. Twin remote (1): This is a complete solution. Connect each plug to each camera and fire the cameras by pressing the switch. This remote is a bit bulky (long and heavy) but the cables are of good quality. The switch has a plug on the side (see picture below) where you can attach a wireless remote to fire the cameras from a distance. This is the remote that I use most often when I use my adjustable z-bar.

B. Pair of standard remotes (pair of 2, or 2 and 3) connected with a connector (5): Get a pair of the JJC remotes (2) or one remote (2) and one cable (3). Plug each cable to each camera. Connect the ends to the connector (5). Connect the end of the connector to the switch that comes with the JJC remote and use this switch to fire the cameras.

C. Wireless Remote (7) cable (3) and connector (5):  This is a variation of B. Instead of the standard JJC remote, get the wireless remote. Then you can fire the cameras either by pressing a button on the receiver or the button of the emitter. Note: You do not need the turn the receiver on. Even if it is off, pressing it's button, fires the cameras. You only need to turn it on if you fire the cameras with the emitter. The cameras can be fired from a distance by using the emitter. An interesting feature of the emitter is that it has a timer so it can be used as a timer too.

If you have pair of wireless remotes, you can fire the cameras without connecting the cables. Attach each receiver to each camera and fire both cameras with one emitter.  I am not sure how this affects synchronization (my feeling is that it does not). The advantage is that you can separate the cameras at any distance, since they are not connected with wires.

A comment regarding wireless remotes: While these need power (batteries) to work, you can still fire the cameras by pressing their switch even without power.

D. Pair of Remote Cables (3) and a coupler (6): An interesting fact is that if the cameras have their remote cables connected (as in any of the above methods) they can be fired by pressing the shutter button of only one camera. So, one could use the simplest of configurations, two remote cables (3) connected with one simple connector (6) and use one of the camera shutter buttons to fire the cameras.

E. Single Remote. A simpler version of the above is a remote wire made by Werner (8, above). This is a simple piece of cable that has a resistor built in. The ends are 90 degrees. This is the simplest way to connect the cameras. Since this cable does not have a switch, the cameras must be fired by pressing the shutter button of either camera. This is how a pair of cameras looks, mounted on a Werner body mount and fired with the simple Werner cable:

One peculiarity of the twin remotes is that when one camera is turned off, the other camera will fire. Or when one camera is turned on while the other is off, the camera will fire. This is happening because the camera that is turned off acts as a closed switch. To avoid this, at first I tried to turn on (and off) both cameras as the same time. This created a problem: If the cameras are turned on at almost the same time, then only one detects the remote (the one that actually turns on first). Werner told me that this is happening because the cameras send a pulse at startup to detect the remote. If the pulses are too close to each other, the second one is missed. To avoid this problem, I have turned on the menu option to "Sensor Cleaning at Start-Up" (I discuss camera settings on another blog) . I first turn one camera on, then the other. Because of the delay to clean the sensor, the cameras do not fire and they both detect the remote. When I turn them off, I just turn both off at the same time. Once I started doing this, I am not getting any extra firing.

The 90 degree extension cables for me are a necessity. They protect the camera plug and reduce the spacing of the cameras when placed side-by-side and touching. I leave the extensions permanently in the cameras and attach/detach cables to the extensions, not the camera plug itself. This picture compares a standard cable (left, see how it is ticking out) vs. a 90 degree extension cable (right): Note: The 90 degree cables are not needed when using the short Werner remote because it has 90 degree plugs.

A Word of Caution: Most 90 degree extension cables or attachments for sale will not work with the remotes because they do not have all the pins connected. (I believe no. 5 is not connected). They still work for other things, like charging the battery, but not for remote. I had to special-order 90 degree extension cables with all the pins connected.

You can get a pair of 90 degree extension cables with Right and Left orientation. If you connect the R cable to the R camera and the L cable to the L camera, in the z-configuration both cables point down as shown in this picture:

Potential Connection Problems:

If you have a problem with one camera not responding to the remote, try these solutions:
  • Unplug and plug again the remote cable.
  • Turn on/off this camera (or both cameras).
  • If the problem persists, switch cables. If the same camera does not respond, then the problem is with the camera. If now the other camera does not respond, then the problem is with the cable. In this case, try a different cable.

One last but important note: If you are using auto focusing, you must half press the button (of the camera or the switch) for the cameras to lock focus before pressing the shutter button fully for the cameras to fire. If you hurry, the cameras can focus at different times and synchronization will be off.

[This blog was updated July 6, 2017]

1 comment:

oktayakdeniz said...

Hello George,

I want to upgrade my old Canon A570 rig into a Samsung pair.
What is the advantage of using a NX1000 set over a NX2000 or NX3000?