A cable release enables you to release your camera's shutter without touching your camera (and consequently risking a little camera shake). You can buy wireless releases, and wired versions.You need to get a specific cable release which will work with your camera model - the electronics need to be compatible with the electronics in your specific camera model - as does the socket fitting. Always check before buying.
Buying Options and Advice
You can buy a wired cable release, or a remote control one - it's personal preference.
Some cable releases just release the shutter for you, while others incorporate a timer in addition. This can be important because often your camera will allow a maximum timed shutter speed of 30 seconds, and you may want to exceed this with a really long exposure.
It's worth checking out your cameras capabilities before you buy a cable release - it may have delay timer function which you can use instead of a cable release (or if you'ce forgotton to put your cable release in your bag. Your camera's own timer may have all you need. Only you can be the judge.
As with all camera electronics, you need to make sure you are buying a cable release dedicated to your brand of camera.
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