When I left Canon and switched to all Sony cameras, I had to deal with the reality that my shutter release cables weren't going to work and that I'd have to buy new ones. Little did I know that Sony was going to ditch the old Minolta style release and go with an all new multi-terminal on all of their newest cameras. All of the current Alpha cameras now use this port instead. The good news is that many more cameras (like the lower end mirrorless) now support cable shutter release
where previously they didn't but it meant I had to buy all new cables again!
Not wanting to go with the flow, and due to a lack of availability locally, I went a different way and ordered an adapter which converts the Canon 2.5mm cable release as found on older
Rebel cameras to the new sony Multi terminal interface. It cost me dearly but not as much as a new shutter release cable as I still had the cable I bought to use with my Powershot G12. It worked well in most situations but not all. For me, the adapter didn't work with my Gigapan Epic Pro.
This was a huge blow as I'd been looking forward to putting a smaller camera with bigger megapixels on my Gigapan...the combination seemed more than ideal! Unfortunately the shutter release just didn't want to work. Contacting Gigapan, they had already encountered the issue themselves but didn't have a solution yet. Their engineers don't miss much but I couldn't wait for them to find a fix...I had to get mine going as I had clients depending on me to product G
igapixel panoramas for them.
I tried different combinations of cables, adapters but even today there are only a couple of third party cables out for this new port. Nothing worked...until I started to think outside the box...
One of the first things I did with the adapter when I received it was use it with my Pocket Wizards to create a wireless shutter release for the camera combined with Pocket Wizard's E3 Canon shutter cable and the adapter. I thought that if I could get the Gigapan Epic Pro to trigger a Pocket Wizard, then it should take care of the rest and my problem will be solved.
To make this happen, all I needed was a simple adapter from my local electronics store as the input on the Pocket Wizard is a 3.5mm stereo phone jack and the Canon shutter release is a 2.5mm. With the adapter in place, everything worked perfectly.
The receiving unit was placed in the cameras hot show where it would be secure and out of the way. I wanted to make sure the transmitter was also secure so I looped the lanyard around one of the uprights on the Epic Pro and added a piece of velcro to the side of the unit (my pocket wizards are always equipped with velcro for attaching them to my small flashes). My first test was at a football game where I shot over 1000 exposures without a single complaint from either Pocket Wizard and no misfires. I've tested with both the Pocket Wizard Plus III and X. The former works fine though I've had trouble with channels under 20 and the X units don't seem to work at all. It could be that their auto switching ability is confused by this set up and they don't know if they're supposed to send or receive.
I believe this solution could also work in reverse as a way to enable the shutter confirmation on the Epic Pro without the requisite hardware by using the Pocket Wizards in the opposite direction from the camera to the Epic Pro.
I have no doubt that Gigapan will resolve the issue eventually either with a firmware update, their own shutter release cable, or both. For now this solution has proven to be reliable and with the Pocket Wizard X units available at a much lower price than we've ever seen before, it's not an impossibly expensive solution if you need a work around right now.
I've just received shipment of a new Sony cable from TriggerTrap, one of the first 3rd party cables to be produced and I'm trying to put it in place of the adapter I originally bought as it was obviously hand made by cutting apart a Sony factory shutter cable...no double why the cost was so high.
This set up hasn't let me down yet through several very large Gigapan projects; most recently a 360 degree shot at a football game: