Nikon WR-T10 and WR-R10 review

    By | Accessories | Reviews | 21/05/2013 09:00am

    The WR-T10 and WR-R10 are part of Nikon’s WR-10 wireless remote controller kit. This is not simply an alternative to Nikon’s existing remotes. It’s actually the vanguard of the company’s new Wireless Remote Control system, which promises to do for multi-camera setups what Nikon’s Creative Lighting System has done for off-camera flash.

    Nikon WR-10 wireless control kit

    The Nikon WR-10 wireless control kit consists of, left to right, the WR-A10 adaptor (for D-SLRs with 10-pin remote connectors), the WR-T10 transmitter and WR-R10 transceiver.

    Most of Nikon’s ‘consumer’ D-SLRs, from the D40 to the D600 and D7100, have built-in infrared receivers, so you can use an ML-L3 wireless remote controller. It only costs about £12 ($18) to buy but it has its drawbacks. The maximum range is only 5m and you need a direct line of sight between the controller and one of the receivers in the front or back of the camera. It’s like using a television remote – any obstacle that interrupts the infrared beam will stop it working.

    WR-T10, WR-R10 and WR-A10

    Nikon’s WR-10 kit, however, uses an advanced form of wireless RF (Radio Frequency) connection. The full kit comprises a WR-T10 transmitter, WR-R10 transceiver and a WR-A10 adaptor. You only need the adaptor if your camera has a 10-pin remote terminal. These are used by ‘Professional’-class Nikons, from the D200 to D800 and D4. If you own a camera with an MC-DC2 connector, including the D90, D600 and D3100 to D7100, you can save money by buying the transmitter and transceiver separately. The combined price is about £165 ($180).

    The WR-10 system can’t be used with cameras that have the older MC-DC1 connector (D70s and D80). There’s also no compatibility with older cameras that lack a remote connector.

    Send and receive

    The transmitter has a two-stage button: a light press enables autofocus and metering, and a full press takes the shot. The transmitter and the transceiver have a ‘pairing’ button, and you use these to initially link the transmitter and transceiver to each other.

    Nikon claims the transmitter has a range of at least 20 metres. The transmitter and transceiver can communicate on one of three RF channels, selected using switches on both devices. The transmitter also has a Fn button that replicates the action of the Fn button in the host camera. However, it’s only compatible with cameras that were launched after the WR-T10 went into development (currently the D7100, D600, D800, D800e and D4).

    You can buy extra WR-R10 transceivers, so you can fire multiple cameras simultaneously. Each one is powered by the host camera, rather than having its own battery. The claimed range of the WR-R10 is 50 metres, and so while you need to be within 20 metres of one camera when operating the transmitter, other cameras linked on the same frequency channel can be placed up to 50 metres apart. You can also set up to three different cameras or banks of cameras on the three different frequency options. This enables you to operate each camera or bank of cameras independently.

    How well does it work?

    In our tests, we found the maximum operating range for triggering a camera from the transmitter was about 25 metres with uninterrupted line of sight. We could operate the camera from a range of up to 50 metres in some cases, but with much less reliability. Results were disappointing when the path between the transmitter and transceiver was blocked. The better news is that, indoors, the system had no problems working reliably through walls.

    Overall, the WR-10 works moderately well and it’s compact and lightweight. Build quality feels adequate. However, it’s extremely expensive for what it is a fairly basic piece of kit. Wireless RF connectivity aside, it merely replicates the shutter button when used with most cameras, as the Fn button is only compatible with the very newest Nikons. There are independently manufactured wireless RF remotes with features like programmable self-timers and time lapse options available at half the price.

    What’s significant, though, is that it forms part of a new wireless control system that goes far beyond a simple remote release for one camera, opening up the potential for more advanced, multi-camera setups.

    The WR-1 and where it fits in

    Nikon’s WR-10 kit brings wireless control to the consumer market, while the WR-1 is aimed more at professionals. As reported in New Gear, N-Photo 18, the WR-1 acts as both a transmitter and a receiver over distances of up to 120m when two units are used together, and it’s part of Nikon’s new Wireless Remote Control system.

    Nikon WR-1

    The Nikon WR-1 is a higher-powered transceiver for profesional use. It can work both as a remote and as a receiver, and it can also work alongside the WR-T10 and WR-R10.

    Launched alongside the D7100, the WR-1 boasts a much greater range than the WR-10 kit and allows remote control of various camera settings (on the D7100 – options for other models have yet to be confirmed by Nikon). It’s also compatible with the WR-10 units, so that you can use a WR-T10 to fire a camera fitted with the WR-1 transceiver, or use a WR-1 to fire a camera, or cameras, fitted with WR-R10 transceivers.

    The WR-1 even offers a release delay mode, so that you can fire a series of cameras at staggered intervals rather than all at the same time. And if your remote camera is more than 120m away, you can use a third WR-1 controller at half distance to ‘relay’ the signal. We’ll bring you a full review of the WR-1 very soon.

    Posted on Tuesday, May 21st, 2013 at 9:00 am under Accessories, Reviews. You can subscribe to comments.

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