Last week I mentioned I got the Spark remote from Alpine Labs as a Kickstarter reward. And now, since I had time to play with it, I will share with you my thought about it. So here goes.
What can the Spark remote do?
Alpine labs is a company specializing on camera accessories. There are the makers of Radian time lapse device and few others. Spark remote, their latest product, is a camera remote. It’s can work in three different settings.
1. As a wireless infrared remote
It can work as a standard infrared remote, but with one special function. In the app, you can select what camera brand you want to control, so it works on all of them.
2. As a wired remote
Secondly, you can attach it to a camera directly by a cable, and use the button on it as a standard wired remote.
3. As a app controlled remote
Lastly, if you connect it to the camera by cable, you can pair it with the provided app, so getting advanced function. This can be used to take photos, do long exposures, HDR, Photo booth mode (similar to timelapse) or control multiple devices at once.
How is it to use the Spark remote?
The remote on it’s own is very simple to use. For the wired control, you just connect it to the camera and it works. For the wireless one, you fist have to go into the app, and set the correct camera model. You have to do that only once, as the remote remembers what you set.
For all else you have to pair the remote with the app, and use the build in function. They are all very simple to use, and offer all the functions you may need. The only one I could not find was bulb ramping, which should be possible here. Maybe after an app update.
I took me seconds to get all up and running, as it is just so straightforward. You connect the Spark remote to the camera, open the app, wait until it’s connected (if its not, you can go into settings and choose the remote to connect) and choose what you want to do. It’s all connected with a Bluetooth, so the range is quite good also.
The remote is small, works well, the app offers many functions. Alpine Labs states up to 2000 hours of work on one battery and replacing it is quite easy. The ability to work in multiple modes is quite handy. Sometimes one needs just a wireless remote, sometimes app control is needed. I like that you can have it complex or just completely simple. Overall I quite like it and it will have a permanent spot in my camera bag from now on.