Sony users have quite a few remote options to choose from. Maybe the most common and cost-effective ones is the RMT-DSLR2 unit. It is small, it can take stills and start and stop videos and control almost any function of the camera.
The main drawback of this remote, besides using a non-rechargeable coin battery, is that it uses infrared to communicate with the camera. This requires line of sight and only works for short distances (at times it can also be a bit flaky).
Enters Lanparte’s RF remote. This unit is bigger, more expensive, has less functionality but it uses Radio Frequency to communicate with a dongle that you connect to the camera. This allows for a much longer range as well as the option to control the camera behind walls and in other non-line of sight scenarios.
Lanparte’s RF remote – go through walls
The remote has a still photo button, a zoom rocker a start and stop video button and interestingly enough a camera power button which can only turn the camera off but no on again.
The Remote itself is powered by two AAA batteries (which came in the box). You do need a small screwdriver which also came with the unit but the whole thing is actually a bit redundant (a regular battery lock would be better). It does have an option to connect it to a belt which seems a bit odd, but also a 1/4″ 20 thread if you want to connect it to anything which is much appreciated.
Unlike the Sony remote which works with the camera’s built-in IR receiver, the Lanparte remote uses a 3cm long (just over 1″) dongle that occupies the USB port (which prevent you from charging the camera at the same time by the way). It requires a first time paring process which is very quick and the nice thing – the remote can work with several dongles at the same time so you can start and stop video recording of two or more cameras at the same time – really useful for use when shooting from different angles.
While you can do the same with the Sony remote, this is far less useful because the cameras need to be in the same line of sight of the remote and relatively close together which isn’t always ideal for a multi-camera setup (do note that this will not give you perfect sync for video – but it is pretty close).
The official range of the Lanparte remote is 30 meters or about 100 feet outdoors. We did a quick test on the street at roughly that distance (probably +20 meters) – you can see us zooming in and waving in the video and it seems to work well and it even worked through reinforced concrete walls indoors which is pretty impressive (we also tested between rooms and it worked).
The remote should work with A7 and A9 series cameras as well as A6000 series cameras (we tested it with an A6500). We also tried it with our old RX100 Mark II and it seemed to work fine although if you keep the dongle in the camera it seems to wake it up even when the camera is off after some time which is bizarre.
Can work with several cameras simultaneously (if you have enough receivers)
So at the end of the day what do we think about the Lanparte’s RF remote? well, it is a simple unit which does exactly what it is supposed to do – allow you to make the camera shoot, zoom, and record from a pretty significant distance.
There is very little negative that we can say about this unit, it would be nice if the remote was smaller and if the receivers could be a bit shorter and if the battery door didn’t require a screw. It could also be a great idea to have an option to allow independent control of each receiver/camera (although this can be a bit complicated).
At $50 it is almost twice the price of the Sony remote but if you need the range and the ability to record video on different cameras with a single click (providing you buy several receivers that is), then go for it.
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