Smartphone camera remotes put several controls in the palm of your hand, but most are often bulky and connections can run slow. The Alpine Labs Pulse is a Bluetooth camera remote with a number of different functions yet an incredibly lightweight body. Using the Pulse app, you can control all of the exposure settings as well as reviewing the histogram. But besides remotely triggering a single shot, the app also makes time lapses easy, automates HDR bracketing, offers both manual and timed long exposures and of course includes a delay timer.
While camera remotes are becoming increasingly common, the Pulse is one of the few that doesn't use Wi-Fi. Bluetooth offers similar connectivity, but it's less power hungry which means that while the 1.5 ounce Pulse can't have a very large battery inside, it still gets around 12 hours of use on each charge. The Pulse can also control up to three cameras at once and firmware updates keeps the device up with the latest advances.
The Pulse offers a lot of features for a small, $99 accessory. The Bluetooth connection, however, means there's not enough connection to see the full resolution photos, but only a thumbnail. The system doesn't have an auto off feature either, so don't forget to turn it off before tucking it into your camera bag or you'll end up with no battery left. Since the Pulse sits in your hotshoe slot, you won't be able to add an on-camera flash. But, if you're looking for an easy way to remotely trigger a long exposure or to get creative with time lapses, the Pulse is a well-designed gadget that won't just end up collecting dust in the bottom of your camera bag.