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The CASE Remote from Cheering Tech is a small box that connects to a DSLR camera via a USB cable and lets you wirelessly control almost every function, and some more.
I was offered the device for review from Cheering Tech and decided to try it on without many expectations. When I received the unit I was surprised by the quality of the packaging and presentation. The design of the CASE Remote is really nice, fairly small at two inches square and 70 grams (2.5oz). The size makes the remote convenient, and easy to throw anywhere in the camera bag.
The CASE Remote ships with a convenient hot-shoe adapter so you can easily attach it to the camera, and a USB cable to charge it. Something worth mentioning is that it does not include the USB cable necessary to connect it to the camera though – you need to use your own (one that came with the camera).
Mounting it to the camera was a snap. You turn it on by pressing one square button at the top of the unit, which also contains lights which indicate battery life and system status. Once powered on, the CASE Remote creates its own WiFi network to which you connect your mobile device to access the app. The SSID and password for the connection comes in the back of the little instruction manual. I couldn’t find a way to change it or reset it to my own.
The device is ideal for different types of shooting, but especially for landscape or architectural work. The app is well designed and easy to use; however, something that I’d love to see improved in future iterations is the shutter lag. There is a delay on the live view function from the camera to the app, and there is also a brief delay when you press the shutter before the camera fires. But this is not usually an issue for the type of photography mentioned above.
From the main screen of the app, you can control and access almost any function of the camera. Live view can be turned on or off, and you can also activate a grid on top of the image if you want.
There is a quick way to control shutter speed, aperture and ISO straight from the main screen by just pressing the lower left icon; that really comes handy and is a fast way to change settings.
The camera settings menu lets you control almost every aspect of the camera. From there you can turn on and off the autofocus function, the shooting mode, shutter speed, aperture, ISO, exposure compensation, white balance, drive mode, metering mode and image quality. I find this really complete as once you are in the app you don’t really need to go back to the camera to change anything – every function can be handled from there.
The Explorer function lets you see the photos taken from the camera. You’ll only be able to see JPGs, the RAW files will show as icons. However, you can download both types straight to your phone or tablet from there.
The Settings function lets you control several general settings, like auto-download the photos to your device or add thumbnails to the main screen of the app. You can also control the GPS function from there.
The focus stacking, HDR and time-lapse functions are accessed via the Features menu. As you can see on the screen shot, there is plenty of room for more to be added in the future.
At this time, the CASE Remote is only compatible with Nikon and Canon cameras, you can see the full list of supported models on their website. The company promises lifetime free updates via firmware upgrades and they claim to be working on support for Sony, Pentax and Fuji for later this year. The current asking price is $129 – a good value compared to other more expensive alternatives available in the market.
I’d really like to see improvements in the application delay and lag, but I think that overall this is a great product with lots of potential for future developments and features.