One of the most handy (and always-there) tools in the modern photographer’s arsenal is a smartphone—for sunset times, weather info and, most importantly, ordering lunch. The Bluetooth Smart Trigger from Satechi gives certain iOS- and Android-based devices another duty: triggering your camera’s shutter remotely. Mount its small black body to the hot shoe of most Canon DSLRs, and it uses your phone’s touchscreen as a wireless remote trigger via a free app. The camera-mounted unit has an idle battery life of two to ten years, and allows wireless Bluetooth operation from a range of up to 50 feet. The app has three modes: In “regular shot” mode, your iPhone 4S/5 becomes a simple remote trigger, allowing you to get into group shots. Switch to “manual shot” mode and longer exposures—blurs and trails—are possible. The most interesting is “timed shot” mode, which acts as an intervalometer and can force the camera to capture time-lapse shots of the insane traffic jam forming outside your hotel room, the flowers blooming in the kitchen window or the jerk stealing your morning paper.
Price: $45 (Bluetooth Smart Trigger); free (Bluetooth Smart Trigger app)