Vello FreeWave Plus Wireless Remote Review

This is the second in a series of quick reviews of remotes, the Vello FreeWave Plus, which has been kindly provided to us by B&H Photo – the world’s largest photo and video equipment reseller where we buy most of our equipment.

Vello FreeWave Plus Wireless Remote

1) Features

The Vello FreeWave Plus is a wireless remote that offers basic shutter release functions in a significant operating range with the ability to fire the shutter in Single, Delay, Continuous, 1 Second Continuous or Bulb modes. Confirmation LEDs on the receiver and transmitter illuminate to confirm pre-focus as well as shutter activation.

It is powered by 2 AAA batteries in the receiver and 2 AAA batteries (included) in the transmitter and operates on a 2.4 GHz frequency. You can buy different cords to use the same remote with numerous camera models rather than buying multiple remotes. You can choose from 16 channels to minimize interference from other devices or other photographers with the same or similar remotes.

2) Handling

The receiver connects like usual to the hot shoe and the transmitter is slightly smaller than the Nikon ML-3 transmitter but it does not have a wrist strap to prevent accidentally dropping it or to free up the hand. The FreeWave Plus operates like many remotes in that you press the shutter release button halfway and the camera will focus (if in autofocus mode) and the all the way down to trigger the shutter. I found that the remote works just like you would expect it to. The highlight here, compared to the similar Nikon ML-3, is that the FreeWave Plus has a much wider range of operation. I was able to fire the shutter from anywhere in my home, including from the basement with the camera upstairs on the second floor. While I did not measure the exact working range of the transmitter with an unobstructed line of sight, I suspect it is close to the reported range. Whatever the exact range is, it is definitely much further than that of the limited Nikon ML-3.

FreeWave Wireless Remote

3) Build Quality

It is constructed of plastic with rounded edges and is smooth and comfortable to hold. The cable connection with the receiver is solid. The buttons feel solid and responsive to the touch.

4) Packaging and Manual

No case or protective cover is included and the manual provided is simple, but adequate with its instruction on use.

5) Value

The FreeWave Plus is an excellent value compared to the Nikon ML-3 if you don’t need the Auto Trigger mode that the ML-3 offers. You can buy cheaper remotes online (plenty of cheap models on eBay) but I have had the experience that it only worked with one camera model and broke fairly quickly.

6) Conclusion

The Vello FreeWave Plus, like the Nikon ML-3, is a basic remote shutter release with the main differences being the fact that the Vello FreeWave Plus operates wirelessly on a 2.4GHz frequency while the Nikon ML-3 is an infrared remote and has an Auto Trigger feature. If you don’t need the Auto Trigger feature, then look at the FreeWave Plus with a much better price and more operational range. If you need more control, including the desire to take timed photos, consider a more advanced remote such as the Nikon MC-36 (corded) or the Vello Wireless ShutterBoss remote.

7) Where to Buy

B&H Photo currently sells the Vello FreeWave Plus for $59.99.

Vello FreeWave Plus Wireless Remote
  • Features
  • Build Quality
  • Handling
  • Value
  • Size and Weight
  • Packaging and Manual

Photography Life Overall Rating

3.5

Comments

  1. May 11, 2012 at 2:22 am

    I’ve had one of these for over a year (branded Pixel in the UK) and it is excellent.
    The main unit doubles well as a cable release and the connector is just as good quality as the v highly priced Niko one.

    • May 11, 2012 at 7:30 am

      Chris, thank you for sharing your experience with this unit and for visiting our site.

  2. 2
    ) Sam
    May 11, 2012 at 5:33 am

    hi,
    nice review, i´d like to buy it, but i do have to pay twice because i am living in germany…
    not good…

    • May 11, 2012 at 7:35 am

      Sam, at the current price of $49, is the shipping that much to Germany? If so, maybe it is rebranded (as Chris mentioned in the previous post) and available locally at a similar price.

  3. 5
    ) Sam
    May 11, 2012 at 7:51 am

    i found non in germany :D
    if i buy it from B&W i have to pay vat and shipping, which will be nearly 49$

    i don’t know, there is a possibility, i could paypal you, you buy it and send it with no bill and no papers as gift.

    but i can’t afford anything like this from anyone, so I’m going to wait or buy something else :S

    thanks

  4. 6
    ) B!
    May 11, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    The same exact item appears on Amazon under RainbowImaging Wireless Remote shutter for a mere 17 bucks.

    BTW, Great reviews; very clean format and easy to read. Great Job!!!

  5. June 8, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Thanks for the review, Tom.

    Can you please let me know, is this remote compatible with the Nikon D800?

    • June 8, 2012 at 9:45 pm

      Calvin – it should be since it uses the 10 pin connector.

      • 10
        ) Calvin
        June 9, 2012 at 5:06 am

        Thanks Tom, I just wasn’t sure since none of the product descriptions mention the D800 as a compatible model, but maybe it’s because it’s new.

        As an aside, I can’t believe Nikon didn’t build in wireless compatibility with the ML-L3 and D800!

  6. 11
    ) Mickey McGuire
    December 1, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Is the Free Wave plus compatible with the 5100? How does it connect to the camera?

    • December 1, 2012 at 10:01 pm

      Mickey, yes, it will work with it, you just have to buy it with the correct connection cable. Check the link to B&H and there is currently $20 off.

  7. 13
    ) Tareq Alhamrani
    January 14, 2013 at 2:43 am

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for the review!

    My question is: can i set long exposure values as i want, and also interval? I can’t see any LCD on this device, so how can that be done then?

    • January 14, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      Thank you Tareq, the answer to your question is no, this is a basic remote. You might want to consider the Vello Wireless Shutterboss which is reviewed here:
      http://photographylife.com/reviews/vello-wireless-shutterboss-remote

      • 15
        ) Tareq Alhamrani
        January 15, 2013 at 5:22 am

        OK, i see, good to tell me.

        Well, i have Pocket Wizard MultiMax, does it have an option for long exposure setting?

        Thanks

        • January 15, 2013 at 7:22 am

          Tareq – it has a Bulb mode.

          • 17
            ) Tareq Alhamrani
            January 15, 2013 at 7:38 am

            I see, i hope to know how to use that bulb mode, the manual or instruction about this device is very complicated for me, English is not my first language.

            Thanks!

  8. 18
    ) Russ
    February 5, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Thank you for the review. I see the receiver unit is mounted on your camera using the flash hot shoe. Does it have to be mounted there? Just curious because you wouldn’t be able to use an external flash with this mounting configuration.

    Thanks

    • February 5, 2013 at 11:40 am

      Russ, thanks. No, it doesn’t necessarily have to be in the hot shoe, it is just a mount, the connection is thru the 10-pin or other connector.

      • 20
        ) Russ
        February 5, 2013 at 10:39 pm

        Thanks. Appreciate the info. Should have figured that out myself. I ordered one for my Canon.

  9. 22
    ) Pablo
    June 25, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Nice review, I was wondering if this works with video mode as well or is it just for photos?

Comment Policy: Although our team at Photography Life encourages all readers to actively participate in discussions, we reserve the right to delete / modify any content that does not comply with our Code of Conduct, or do not meet the high editorial standards of the published material.

Leave a Comment