Here’s a list of things that are missing or otherwise dysfunctional with the CASE Remote. Why am I only covering what’s missing? I guess because, after using it for a while, it really does seem to be defined by what’s missing or broken, more-so than what it can do, which is relatively little.
Though I don’t have first-hand experience with other wireless camera controllers, it seems pretty obvious that most of the competition offer far more functionality (particularly the CamRanger, but also things like Timelapse+, Promote Control, etc).
- No tap-to-focus.
- Finest focus adjustment step is still very coarse.
- I’m not sure if this is a limitation of the CASE Remote, its app, or the camera itself. In any case, the focus adjustments are just too large for macro photography. Combined with the lack of tap-to-focus, completely remotely controlled macro photography is basically just not an option, even for single stills let-alone focus stacking.
- Nine frame limit to focus stacking.
- Not nearly enough for many uses, and of course far fewer steps than the lens is capable of.
- Contrast-detection autofocus only.
- Not surprising, but disappointing as contrast-detection autofocus is much slower than phase-detection, less precise, and sometimes less accurate. [Yes, really. I’ve tested it. Repeatedly. I know this goes against conventional wisdom.]
- Cannot disable autofocus [with the app] in timelapse mode.
- You can of course disable it with physical switches on the camera or lens, if you can still physically reach your camera during shooting.
- Cannot rapidly adjust focus.
- There’s only one pair of forward/back buttons (as opposed to several with differing step sizes), and you have to tap for every step – you can’t just hold down on either of them.
- No way to zoom live view (e.g. to see 100% previews).
- On an iPhone this makes it especially pointless, over the camera’s built-in LCD.
- The “shots taken” counter is frequently completely wrong (e.g. I’ve taken several dozen just now, and for some reason it still says seven).
- Maybe this is supposed to be showing something else. I can’t imagine what else, though.
- No live view during timelapses.
- Not even to show you recently recorded shots.
- The Auto-download setting doesn’t work.
- You still have to go to the ‘Explorer’ tab, click the ‘Camera’ sub-tab, tap every single image individually, and then hit the download button.
- In the ‘Camera’ tab, sort of the “live view” tab, it shows thumbnails of the last images recorded. But only sometimes. And when you tap on them it shows you only a slightly larger, but still small, thumbnail – no way to zoom in or otherwise view the full size image.
- Doesn’t support viewing RAWs (only JPEGs).
- It claims to download RAWs to the controlling device, but will only show an extremely low-resolution thumbnail of them.
- Doesn’t show full-size images.
- They appear to be limited to something like 2048×2048, if I had to guess. I’ve seen this problem in other image viewing iOS apps – it might be somewhat intrinsic to iDevices.
- Downloaded images are shown in random order.
- This makes it especially difficult to review the results of focus stacking, where you need to verify that key parts of the image are in sharp focus in at least one of the stacked shots.
- Image download is sluggish.
- Admittedly I haven’t used other wireless solutions, but combined with the app’s general lack of responsiveness, it’s overall quite tedious to use.
General bugs and rough edges
- Settings adjustments often don’t take.
- e.g. changing the ISO frequently doesn’t work – it just immediately reverts back to the prior setting (with a particular affinity for Auto, for some reason).
- Can’t adjust key settings on the camera, like exposure delay mode (and duration) or long-exposure noise reduction settings.
- Alternates between PC mode and camera mode seemingly randomly.
- In PC mode you can’t adjust anything on the camera itself – including vital settings that you can’t otherwise control through the CASE Remote app, like exposure delay mode. I actually get why it might need to use PC mode, but that it does it seemingly randomly makes it frustrating, because sometimes I can adjust settings, and sometimes I can’t, with no apparent rhyme or reason.
- App is generally slow and awkward to use (on an iPhone 5 or iPad 3).
- It’s very modal – it locks up during many operations, including key ones like taking & downloading photos.
- It likes to display redundant modal dialogs, such as telling you that it’s downloaded the image you just bloody told it to download.
- No progress bars or similar indicators for any operations.
- Focus adjustment arrows have no indication of direction. i.e. towards or away from the camera.
- This is especially true in the focus stacking settings, where your options are +3, +2, +1, -1, -2, -3. Huh?
- And for what it’s worth, in live view mode ‘right’ apparently means closer to the camera. Personally I find that the opposite of intuition.
- There’s an item in the ‘Camera Settings’ menu (not to be confused with the ‘Settings’ tab) called ‘AEB’. Tapping it does nothing.
- Changing the Drive Mode setting has no apparent effect.
- It certainly doesn’t work to enable mirror-up mode.
- No GPS tagging.
- Though I normally use a dedicated GPS dongle on my camera, with the CASE Remote connected that’s a little awkward, as they both prefer to be hot-shoe mounted.
- The CamRanger can do this, for example. Though it will only tag JPEGs.
- No wireless network bridging.
- No bulb ramping – or adjustments of any kind – to exposure parameters during timelapses.
- No “bulb mode” – i.e. no exposure times beyond thirty seconds.
- No video functionality at all.
- There’s an “Add New” button under the ‘Features’ tab, which just throws up a modal dialog saying ‘New features will arrive soon’. What’s the point of that button to begin with?
- Cannot change shooting mode (P, A, S, M) using the app.
- You can change it on the camera using the physical mode dial, and the app will (eventually) realise and update appropriately.