Skip to content

Remote Control for the iPhone 4 Camera and Video Recorder

by on February 28, 2012

Belkin's LiveAction Camera Remote

Mircea Oprea |

How to remotely take a picture or record video with the iPhone 4 or iPod Touch camera.

Like most people, I end up taking pictures of family, friends and places with my mobile phone as I don’t always have my camera handy. So when the iPhone 4S came out, I decided to trade in the ol’ BlackBerry, and upgrade to a smartphone that Apple was proudly touting (among other things) as having a new and improved camera. A smartphone with a great camera? For me, it was a no-brainer. After a few days of use, however, I was surprised to discover that in all its glory and technological magnificence, the iPhone 4 does not ship with a self-timer for its camera. You have to get an app for that.

Okay, I’ll admit that downloading a timer app for the iPhone camera is not a big deal. The ability to remotely take a picture or record video, however, is an entirely different story. Yes, it is true that you could hold the phone out and click on the volume “up” button, or even use the headphone’s volume “+” control to take a picture or start the video recorder. These options, however, don’t work very well when trying to get the whole family (including yourself) into the shot and there isn’t some “happy to help” passerby within miles. So, what’s the solution? Belkin’s LiveAction Camera Remote, a Bluetooth enabled remote control designed specifically for the iPhone 4 and iPod Touch camera and video recorder.

Setting up and using the Bekin LiveAction Camera Remote.

Belkin’s camera remote control is made up of two parts: a nifty little fold out stand that slides out and clamps onto the iPhone holding it upright, and of course, the actual remote control.

Belkin’s LiveAction Camera Remote

Though a great idea, some people might find the detachable stand a little cumbersome to use. Because of its vice like grip, you must first remove your iPhone from any protective casing before attaching the stand. If in a bind to find something to prop up your iPhone, however, it is conveniently accessible.

NOTE: I should point out that the stand will not attach to a tripod. If you do need to connect your iPhone or iPod Touch to a tripod, check out a product called the Smartphone Tripod Mount made by iStabilizer. It uses a spring like clamp to hold the iPhone snug while the base attaches to any tripod. I’ll address iStabilizer’s Tripod Mount in another post. Until then you can check it out here: iStabilizer Mount Smartphone Tripod Mount

Now that you have mastered the stand, it is time to set up the remote control. This involves three steps: installing the batteries (included), connecting or “pairing” the Bluetooth device to your iPhone, and finally, downloading the free LiveAction camera application.

Blekin’s LiveAction Camera Remote pairing process is simple and straight forward. After ensuring that your iPhone is in Bluetooth pairing mode (Settings > General > Bluetooth “on”), press the “Pair” labeled button located on the side of the remote control to activate the “discovery” setting. When asked to add the remote control to your iPhone’s list of accepted Bluetooth devices, select “yes”. Done. The only thing left to do is download and install Belkin’s LiveAction camera application which can be found on Apple’s online app store.

Belkin LiveAction Camera Remote for the iPhone 4 and iPod Touch Camera

With the batteries installed, the remote control paired and the LiveAction application launched, you are ready to begin remotely snapping away. The remote control has a large black button to control the camera, and a smaller red button for the video (click once to start, click again to stop).

Is it right for you?

If you need to be able to take pictures or record video without having to hold the iPhone 4, then Belkin’s LiveAction Camera Remote might be the right accessory for you. I paid $39.99 plus tax, which will probably come down as more remotes enter the market. What was included in my purchase was the remote control, detachable stand, two AAA batteries (Duracell) and directions on how to download the free LiveAction app from the iTunes app store. Belkin claims that the LiveAction Camera Remote works at a maximum distance of 30 feet, or 9.1 meters, as well as with the iPod Touch. I am using my remote with my iPhone 4S.

Also of note, there is a very slight lag from when clicking the button to when the camera actually takes the picture. Because it is a Bluetooth remote, I expected this so don’t feel that it is an issue of any concern. What I didn’t expect, however, was how the remote will also start or stop your iPhone’s music player (red video button will advance it to the next song) if your LiveAction app is closed. Bug? Probably. Annoying? Not really, as your remote will most likely be switched “off” to save battery life when not needed.

Some final thoughts.

I have found that despite a slight lag time, starting up the music player if the app is closed, or even the less than perfect clamp stand, Belkin’s LiveAction Camera and Remote does exactly what I need it to do, and very well at that. True, the LiveAction app might be yet another layer between the user and the iPhone 4 camera, at least it comes with a self-timer.

Get it here: Belkin LiveAction Camera Remote & Stand for iPhone on Amazon

TenForTek - Web, Data and Business Support Services

TenForTek | Web, Data and Business Support Services

From → iphone, smartphone

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: