WEDDING SEASON SALE! 30% Off Training Systems!

Your content will be up shortly. Please allow up to 5 seconds
Gear & Apps

DIY Wireless Control of Your Canon DSLR for under $50

By Anthony Thurston on December 9th 2013


We recently reviewed the CamRanger, an awesome device that allows you to control your DSLR wirelessly. The biggest complaint that most of you, and I to be honest, have with the CamRanger system is its relatively high price tag. For those of you who like me do not have the $$$ to grab a CamRanger I recently found this system that is cheaper and surprisingly offers most of the same features, all for under $50.

The base of this DIY (kinda sorta) system is an android app called DSLR Controller, available on Google Play for just $7.99. When used in conjunction with a TP-Link TL-MR3040 usb wireless router (available for around $36.99) you can have full wireless control of your Canon DSLR. Check out the video below as a demonstration:

I can not speak to how this compares to the actual CamRanger system in use, but the features available are certainly impressive. The problem here comes to compatibility, according to the website DSLR Controller has some issues with certain android devices. That said, if you do have a device that is supported then this seems to be a great alternative system to a CamRanger.

What are your thoughts on this system? Have you used it? How do you think it compares to the CamRanger system? Share your thoughts in a comment below.  

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

Please or register to post a comment.

  1. Umesh Vish

    Does this app works with any other wifi router other than TP link?

    I have an iPad and I am looking to use the similar featured app on iPad. Need not to be wireless but I haven’t found any. Do you guys know any app for ipad?

    | |
  2. Martin

    I’m confused here. I saw a camranger work outside and I though it is direst connection between camranger and the camera, where on the other hand, demonstration video of TP-Link TL-MR3040 uses existing wifi network ?

    so when I’m outside, where there is no wifi. the TP-Link TL-MR3040 won’t work but camranger will ?

    | |
    • Chris Nemes

      I have the TP-Link solution and the device creates its own wifi network anywhere, you don’t need any existing wifi network.

      | |
  3. Marc

    If this is the same as camranger surely the camranger app on ipad would work…….

    | |
  4. wjp

    This method is actually using the exact same router that the CamRanger uses. CamRanger simply rebrands the router, installs a custom firmware and use the 8 digit number under the battery cover on the TP-Link router as the serial number. You can’t just buy the right router for CamRanger. They apparently keep a list of the routers they sold and your serial number is actually making sure you bought the hardware from them at a massive markup. You’ll have to overpay by $250 bucks to use CamRanger. Choosing DSLR Controller is simply a no-brainer. Use the $250 bucks you saved for something for the wife or significant other. A little goodwill goes a long way for your Gear Acquisition Syndrome budget.

    | |
  5. Jason

    Rebel this trick work on a Canon Rebel XS

    | |
    • wjp

      Quote from the Devices page on

      Canon EOS device compatibility

      DSLR Controller supports most Canon EOS models released in Q3 2006 or later. It is specifically designed for models released in Q3 2008 or later. The older models use VxWorks, while the newer ones use DryOS. VxWorks models may not support some functionality such as auto-focus and continuous shooting. The cameras themselves may be able to do it – it just cannot be done remotely. If you have a Canon EOS newer than listed here, it is likely to just work.


      That being said, there is a list of cameras on the devices page and the Rebel XS is listed as one of the models that “mostly” work with DSLR Controller.

      I am going to give this a try, but I’ll be doing it with the OTG USB cord instead of the wireless route. Maybe I’ll upgrade to wireless later, but for my needs the wired option should be sufficient and significantly easier on the wallet.

      | |
  6. Jason

    Does this trick work with a cannon rebel XS? Please let me know if anyone has tried it out.

    | |
  7. Wayne Thompson

    Just ordered a MOCREO 5-in-1 Portable WiFi Router which has a built in battery as well but 4000mAh. A few bucks cheaper on Amazon. I’ll let you know how it works out. My use is different though using an Android Nexus 10 to control my iOptron Telescope mount with Southern Stars software and SkyFi controller. Have used DSLR Controller tethered with OTG cable to Canon and it works great. Will try wireless now as well.

    | |
  8. Morgan Grosskreutz

    I am using DSLR Controller with an OTG cable on my Nexus 7 2013. Couldn’t be happier. Saved me a ton. Now I am trying to figure out how to setup a portable battery bank.

    | |
  9. Matthew

    Has anyone found an app for iPhone/iPad that will work?

    | |
    • Nikonguy

      Within 1 or 2 years, I expect all cameras have wifi built in , so camranger becomes obsolete. Probably it only supports with older cameras without network connection. Again, $300 is too much, i can see reasonable price $100 for margin> 50%. I just picked tp link the same hardware as camranger for $30 and use dslrdashboard, and it the same as camranger. I am happy with the solution something I do not want to invest $300 ( in canada $400) and know will be obsoleted one or two years from now.

      | |
    • Hugo de Sousa

      I just picked tp link the same hardware as CamRanger for $30 and use dslrdashboard, and it the same as CamRanger. – I have a tp-link, is it possible to connect it to my dslr and work through my laptop or ipad? Tks

      | |
  10. Petr

    I suggest DSLRDashboard with USB OTG cable. On my Nikon works nicely. App is free and cable is for 8 euros

    | |
    • Anthony Thurston

      Yes but the key feature here is the wireless capability. Does DSLRDashboard do that?

      | |
    • Petr

      Yes, with WU-1a, you can use it wireless. Hope it will work with D5300. I dont have experience with Canon cameras.

      | |