Nikon WR-R10/T10 Review
Keywords: wireless, radio, remote, camera, controller, wr_r10, wr_t10, _wr_a10, wr_r11a, wr_r11b, tethered, speedlights, cls
My Nikon Infrared Wireless Remote Control is a simple remote controller with the receiver built into the camera using the ML-L3 trigger that costs only $17.95 (US street price). Unfortunately, it’s line of sight and narrow infrared beam are overly restrictive, i.e. trying to discreetly point the trigger at the camera IR sensor in group and holiday family pictures or pointing at the tiny front/rear IR sensor when at odd angles to the camera, etc. and a very short line of sight range (approximately 16 feet or some 5 meters), is likely to make you miss that precious shot.
The effective distance | Firmware upgrade | WR_R11a/R11b | Common issues | Questions
The Nikon wireless (radio frequency) WR-R10/T10 combination remote control is a WHOPPING $162.90 (US street price - Suggested retail price for the kit with WR-A10 adapter was $277.96 USD) but I was willing to give it a chance. The WR-R10 is a Transceiver and the WR-T10 is a Transmitter trigger similar to the ML-L3. Build quality is also similar to the ML-L3 - it is solidly built and looks like it will last a long time and it is made in Japan. Hopefully, the button spring is of high quality and will last a long time too. The supplied owner’s manual is a horrible large piece of thin paper folded into numerous little squares in 7 different languages, and is a pain to use without a large and powerful loupe.
A CR2032 3V Lithium Battery (included) is required for the WR-T10 remote trigger and is expected to last for approximately 10,000 releases, the WR-R10 gets power from the camera’s battery. The WR-R10 Transceiver plugs directly into the accessory terminal on my D7200 but does not fit with a regular one piece L-Bracket mounted.
However, with my 2-piece Kirk L-Bracket installed, if the side “L” bracket piece is removed it works fine with the camera bottom plate section installed, without any interference.
It also works just fine using a ball head in portrait orientation if you use the ball head portrait slot/grove. When you insert the WR-R10 into your camera and switch the camera's power ON a green LED light will blink quickly several times while it initiates (this only takes a few seconds), when completed the same LED will begin to blink once every 2-seconds for as long as the camera is turned on. The blinking green LED tells you it is working, but it can be distracting.
The WR-R10 does extend from the camera about 1-inch so be careful not to hit it on anything because it looks like it could be easily damaged. Included for free is the WR-R10 Strap that is supposed to attach the WR-R10 to your camera strap when not being used, but would allow it to freely dangle and possibly be exposed to damage –I find it better to store it in a camera bag or shirt pocket.
There are three different radio frequencies to prevent any interference from other photographers using one, atomic (auto-setting) clocks, wireless on/off light triggers, etc. CH15 = 2.475GHz, CH10 = 2.450GHz, CH5 = 2.425GHz. It comes paired (synchronized) to channel 15. If changing frequencies the WR-R10 and WR-T10 must be frequency paired (synchronized), this is quickly done requiring only a few seconds and is easy to do.
The WR-T10 remote trigger has an Fn button that can remotely control whatever function is assigned to the Fn button on your camera, IF you are using D4 and/or D800 Series cameras (Pro bodies).
If using a Nikon camera that has the 10-pin remote terminal (e.g. D810) you need to buy the WR-A10 Adapter ($59.00 US street price) or, for a better deal purchase the WR-R10/WR-T10/WR-A10 Wireless Remote Adapter Set that includes all three pieces (street price $179.99). For the advanced amateurs and professionals out there, when using a camera with the WR-A10 adapter you can control up to 64 devices!!!
The WR-T10 trigger works just like your shutter button – press half-way down to focus, and continue to press all the way down to activate the shutter. A red LED light blinks while it is focusing and then stops blinking and is continuously on when you activate the shutter, release the button and the LED light goes off.
ALL of the camera’s “Shutter Release Modes”, e.g. S (Single), Cl (Continuous Low speed), Ch (Continuous High speed), Q (Quiet), Self-timer, Mup (Mirror Lock-Up) are supported by the WR-R10/T10. If you require a flash, either the camera’s built-in flash or any Nikon Speedlight will work in the normal manner.
Tested Distances for 100% effective triggering:
Line of sight (daylight, no obstructions, sunny, windy)
- Straight at camera: 90 feet+ (30m+)
- 90-degrees from camera: 90 feet (30m)
Triggered from behind body (same conditions as above)
- Straight at camera: 30 feet (10m)
- 90-degrees from camera: 25 feet (8m)
- Through 2 walls: approximately 45 feet (15m)
- Through double pane picture window to camera outside: 90 feet+ (30m+) (to make pictures of birds at the feeder with a tripod, etc.)
If you want to stay with Nikon and want a Radio frequency remote controller the WR-R10/T10 is the only option available, even when the $162.90 price may be hard to swallow.
There are Radio transmitters and triggers sold by third party manufacturers for a LOT less. However, my research of popular less expensive third party controllers shows there have been failures and be inconsistencies with most other brands when it comes to quality, compatibility, and longevity.
I don't have personal experience using third party wireless remotes but before purchasing the Nikon WR-R10/T10 Radio Wireless Controller I scoured websites like B&H and Amazon, etc. reading verified purchasers comments about their experience. Third party wireless remotes had enough problems - -such as LED lights not working and failure to send a radio signal when the button is pushed after a short period of use- for me to take any chance with them. My conclusion is that the WR-R10/T10 is worth the price.
Even though I recently bought my WR-R10/T10 it still had firmware version 1.00 installed. Version 2.00 was released on 13-MAR-2013 and can be downloaded from Nikon's support website. Information about the update is below. Updating the firmware is done the same as you would with a camera or lens firmware update except the WR-R10 must be inserted into the camera. It is listed as a "W" in the camera's menu for installed firmware versions.
WR-R10 Firmware 2.00 fixes: (from Nikon support website)
- Camera settings can now be viewed and changed using the WR-1 when the WR-1 is used as a transmitter and the WR-R10 is connected to a D7100 for use as a receiver.
- Support for the Release Hold Time function built into the WR-1 is now supported when the WR-1 is used as a transmitter and the WR-R10 is used as a receiver.
- To make remote operation using the WR-1 function that allows for division of multiple units into groups (A, B, C, D) more convenient, the group specified with the WR-R10 is now fixed at group A rather than all groups (A, B, C, D) with transmission. With reception, the group is fixed at group A with firmware versions 1.00 and 2.00.
The following cameras can be used to upgrade WR-R10 firmware: D4S, D4 (*), Df, D810A, D810, D800 (*), D800E (*), D750, D7200, D7100, D5500.
- Only the camera(s) indicated above can be used to upgrade WR-R10 firmware.
* With firmware version 1.10 or later.
Firmware Version 3.00 note from Nikon - see More info on V3.00 at Nikon for complete details including the WARNING on not doing the upgrade for certain cameras:
Customers wishing to upgrade to firmware version 3.00, which offers support for Advanced Wireless Lighting (AWL), can request this service free of charge from a Nikon service facility.
The WR-R10 has as of October 2020 been replaced by the WR-R11a and WR-R11b using firmware V3.00 (whereas you can only upgrade your WR-R10 by yourself to V2.00). These new devices are compatible with a large range of cameras. The WR-T10 remote controller is used for both the WR-R10 and WR-R11.
Common issues with the WR-R10 and WR-R11
The LED on my WR-R10 started to blink red, why is that?
Often the red LED can blink and it does not necessarily mean anything is wrong. It can simply be that you are controlling a flash unit and the flash is not powered on, for example.
The WR10 is not just a remote control but is the controller for the SB-5000 flash unit. The flashing red is simply telling you your SB-5000 is not connected (if you have one). As soon as you turn on the SB-5000, the red LED should stop blinking. However, if you leave the WR10 on the camera for remote shutter operation, without using a flash, it's going to be blinking red, always.
Depending on your camera, you may have the option to turn the LED off - that control (if it exists) is in the setup menu (tool symbol) under Wireless Remote Options.
Blinking codes for the red and green status LEDs on the WR-R10 and WR-R11a/b with firmware V3.00 and later, see the WR11a/b manual, page 35 onwards.
All of our Tethered articles
We have many resources specific to tethered photography and suggest you have a look at the tethered index.
Got a question on WR-R11 or WR-R10?
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Originally written on November 2, 2015
Last updated on January 28, 2021
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Bo Stahlbrandt (bgs) on April 23, 2021
Please post questions about WR-R10 in the Speedlights forum: https://www.nikonians.org/forum/154/nikon-speedlights-lighting
Peter Burkill (Peter B) on April 22, 2021
Can the WR-R10 trigger video start and stop as well as photos? Does anything other that the switch on the camera body need to be set? Thanks
Bob Bryer (RockvilleBob) on June 27, 2018
I have the WR-A10/WR-R10/WR-T10 with a D500. The device works great. A big drawback is the flimsy design of the WR-A10/WR-R10 connection to the shutter release connector. You really need to remove the WR-A10/WR-R10 from the camera when you pack it, even for a short haul in a safe environment. I just bought a replacement for one that got jarred and stopped working. For a professed "professional" level design this is a failure. Operationally it is very good.
J Van Den Heuvel (Shuttercup) on June 15, 2016
Thank you for the review and the firmware upgrade information. I have been wondering about these products all day and now I will be able to move forward and complete this purchase for my D4S.
Jerry Harris (J_Harris) on November 25, 2015
It sure looks like the WR-A10 adapter is the weak link in cameras using a 10-pin remote terminal. For the price paid and Nikon's reputation it should be built stronger and/or redesigned. Hopefully, someday RF will replace IR as the built-in camera transceiver. Hi Jim, Sorry for the delayed response, but no I've never tried a smartphone as the remote. Believe it or not I have never owned a smartphone. I may be one of the last persons on earth to feel this way, but when I leave the house I don't want the phone following me. :-)
Paul F Austin (paustin) on November 25, 2015
I also have a WR-x10 kit. I've tried two different RF remotes with my D800 and only the genuine Nikon operates fault-free. The others had a common fault. When shooting bursts (as in bracketing), eventually the camera and remote would lose their collective minds and either not fire or start firing continuously. The only fix was to turn the remote off, turn off the camera and re-initialize. Since I have a D300S and D800, I use the WR-A10 ten-pin connector adapter. This works fine but is very fragile. The adapter section that the WR-R10 plugs into ripped off the ten-pin plug. I could buy just the adapter but like everything Nikon, it's not cheap. Because of the fragility, I can't keep the remote receiver plugged into the body as I did with the after-market ones. That adds wear and tear on the ten-pin connector.
Jim Singler (singlerosa) on November 14, 2015
Nice review. Have you tried the Wi-Fi with a smartphone as the remote? I normally use Yongnuo 603s (mainly for flash), but my latest bodies (750 and 7200) have Wi-Fi, so there's that. Most of my tripod shooting involves the MC-DC2 corded remote, so I don't do a lot of IR shutter stuff (or Bluetooth).
Richard Luse (DaddySS) on November 7, 2015
Thanks Jerry, good write up, and we appreciate your taking the time.
Jerry Harris (J_Harris) on November 5, 2015
While reading the verified purchaser comments at various retailers without question there was a lot of satisfied users of third party radio frequency transmitter/triggers. Jerry
Malcolm Taylor (malcinweston) on November 5, 2015
I use a radio trigger when ever possible especially with long lens setups on a tripod or macro on a monopod but also hand held. This is mostly for wildlife and for me it does make a difference when trying to get the best out of high resolution cameras and quality glass. I have used the Hahnel Combi TF for a number of years(around £60 in the UK)and its not let me down. Range is good (not sure what the range is in absolute terms)and it seems to be very durable. I'm not sure how versatile it is compared to Nikon or other makers products but it certainly does all I need it to do.
MR HUW THOMAS (HUW) on November 5, 2015
Hi Jerry, The unit as tested operates very well as you found out. Your tests and write up were great. The wR is significantly more compact than the pocket wizard plus 111 that I also use. The wizard takes up the hot shoe slot so limits the use of on camera flash items, hence the swap to the WR remote. The WR-R10 and WR-T10 have been excellent. The WR-R10 mount on the side of the body when available(not the d800 series)fouls the RRS L plate. The 800's require the WR-A10 front mount. This arrangement works well on all bodies except for the WR-A10 case failing on continual removal or minor impact or contact with camera straps. Continual removal between set ups is tedious and in itself leads to damage. The Vello unit is more rounded and doesn't foul items as much and is sealed and permanently left on the camera. So I agree WR system is a great unit and a great test review, Nikon just needs to improve the physical design of the WR-A10 for users wishing to front mount the unit.
Richard Creutz (creutz1r) on November 4, 2015
Thanks, very useful article.
Jerry Harris (J_Harris) on November 4, 2015
Hi Thomas, I'm sorry to hear of your problem with the WR-R10 if using the WR-A10 on a D800 series. I only have the D7200 so I did not get the opportunity to test the WR-A10. Looking at how it is mounted to the camera and its location it doesn't seem to be a very rugged design. Unfortunately, if using a D800 series DSLR one must be extra careful in handling due to the WR-A10. Thank you for sharing your experience and warning us about the issue. Hopefully, Nikon is listening and will improve the ruggedness of the WR-A10. Jerry
MR HUW THOMAS (HUW) on November 4, 2015
I have just come back from Nikon Australia. I have had 3 wr10 -A failures (one on ANPAT15). The unit is designed to rotate out of the way of the bracket and flash button on the camera prism. However the design of the rotating column appears to be inadequate. All three have physically fallen apart ie the case pops open and cannot easily be re-assembled. It effectively becomes unserviceable. I have been requested to resubmit the parts under cover of a letter to be sent to Japan!! My next unit will be glued together in a fixed position. The Vello Freewave micro wireless remote shutter release unit appears to be a sealed unit and not subject to this failure and is half the price. Why buy 3. Well no its not a slow learner exercise.The other two components have not failed and yes the operation of the unit is as you state - good. So how about a more robust construction!
Reno DiTullio (Papachief) on November 4, 2015
Thanks, Jerry, good info.