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Author Topic: Shutter release device for unlimited exposure bracketing Canon 5d Mark ii  (Read 2493 times)
tsinsf
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« on: February 28, 2013, 08:37:54 PM »
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Does any body know of a shutter release device for a Canon 5d Mark ii that allows unlimited exposure bracketing, other than the Promote Control which is $299!! I'm looking for a dedicated device, i.e., not a smart phone based device.  Thanks!!
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bill t.
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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2013, 08:55:26 PM »
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Have also suffered because of the 5D2's miserly three exposure brackets.

The best and simplest dedicated device I can think of is a tripod and head sufficiently sturdy that you can dare to touch the camera to change the shutter speed between exposure triplets.  No batteries required.  Second best is a new camera with a wider built in bracketing range, which considering the price of the Promote is a reasonable choice.
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raydee
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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2013, 04:20:46 AM »
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The MagicLantern custom firmware for the 5d2 does all that and so much more...

http://www.magiclantern.fm/releasenotes


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Tony Jay
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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2013, 04:33:47 AM »
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The magiclantern firmware will work with normal shutter release hardware for exposure bracketing.
Obviously the PromoteControl hardware has functionality beyond wide exposure bracketing such as focus stacking (and more).
The firmware is free.
The PromoteControl is expensive.

I loaded and used the firmware on my 5D II and I also own the PromoteControl so I can vouch for the functionality of both options.

Tony Jay
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bill t.
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2013, 11:44:42 AM »
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Another programming project called CHDK can, I believe, actually modify the internal 5D2 camera software to do any amount of bracketing with nothing but the camera itself.  Think Frankenstein 5D2.  But just getting it installed in the camera requires a degree from Geek University, which scares even an ex geek like me.  And as they also say in the Magic Lantern FAQ, "if you break your camera you get to keep both pieces."  I haven't used it from an abundance of caution, because I need my camera no matter what.

http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/FAQ

Well, as with CHDK, Magic Lantern seems to work well at some level and they're probably being over cautious with the scary FAQ.But both Magic Lantern and CHDK uses custom software downloaded into the camera.

To Tony and raydee...

So the good news about factory 5D2 bracketing is that in liveview mode it will knock off a three exposure bracket set very fast, essentially zero time between back to back exposures.  That can matter with fast moving clouds etc, assuming 3 exposures is enough.

OTOH, the Promote takes quite a bit time between each exposure, way too much for even typical cloud movement.

So how is Magic Lantern in that respect?  Does it shoot brackets with minimal time between exposures?
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2013, 02:04:19 PM »
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There are smartphone apps that connect through USB that will give you enhanced bracketing capability and more. 
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David Sutton
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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2013, 03:43:39 PM »
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So how is Magic Lantern in that respect?  Does it shoot brackets with minimal time between exposures?


On my 5D2 it goes away and has a cup of tea between each exposure while it contemplates whether it should keep going. I'll check the settings now to see if that can be changed, but I don't think so.
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NancyP
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« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2013, 07:47:33 PM »
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I don't want to spend Big Bux, and I want relative simplicity (I don't need all the capabilities of the ML suite, free though it is). Canon 60D is my camera.
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snoleoprd
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« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2013, 08:17:11 PM »
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Get a smartphone or android tablet, and use dslrcontroller. You can do all kinds of bracketing, also focus stacking, etc. It works with my Motorola xoom, really well and then you also get a 10" screen with live view! Also works with a Galaxy SIII phone. The promote does work really well, there is another device similar to the Promote but is still getting feature added that might do what you want eventually and the source is available if you want to add your own(it was a kickstarter project)...
http://www.timelapseplus.com/

You could also get an Arduino controller and usb host card and make your own with the a little bit of programming. There are libraries to talk to the Canon cameras as well as others, so it could be coded with out a lot of reinventing the wheel. Depends on how cheap you want to go and in general cheap means some level of effort on your part.

Alan
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Alan Smallbone
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« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2013, 03:28:15 AM »
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Depends on how cheap you want to go and in general cheap means some level of effort on your part.

Hi Alan,

That's correct. The Promote Control is almost perfect, except for its price. The user doesn't want to use a smartphone/tablet for some reason, maybe unattended use over a longer period (just guessing), otherwise there would be several good solutions, e.g. Helicon Remote for Android or (coming in 2013) for iOS.

There is another project, based on a modified Nintendo DS console, called Open Camera Controller. It does require some soldering to get things working.

Cheers,
Bart
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2013, 03:43:53 AM »
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Get a smartphone or android tablet, and use dslrcontroller.
It sounds a great project, but it's quite limited to the range of Android devices it will work on Sad
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2013, 06:20:16 AM »
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It's not really that limited.  It should work with any device that has USB host functionality.  Many phones do (including my HTC which  the developer says shouldn't work).  Pretty much all good quality tablets have USB host capability as well.  An OTG adapter will be required because these devices don't have a full size USB port but those adapters can be found for just a few dollars. 
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snoleoprd
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« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2013, 10:29:15 AM »
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Yes it does require usb host control but a lot of phones now have that, and like Bob mentioned the cable is quite cheap, I think around $3 or so on Amazon. What I like about using the tablet is the large screen and you can also have it autofocus by touching on an area on the screen. The focus stacking is quite good. I have tried the Helicon app and the Dslr Controller app has more features and is a lot less money. Being kind of a gear junkie, I have the tablet, promote control, and timelapse+. The promote is the best for portability and price and for the flexibility I do not think is overpriced, at least in my engineering experience. Their customer service is also excellent. On mine they battery leaked and destroyed the cable and board inside, they replaced it free of charge and overnighted me a replacement because I was leaving on a trip. In terms of time saving and what it can to, it is not as expensive as some of the bags, and certainly less than ballheads and tripods and other gear we use every day. Doing things in remote locations like doing focus stacked panoramas, or hdr panoramas make the promote worth the cost.

The amount of money most of use spend on photo gear is huge and the cost of a promote is really not a big expense in reality......

Just some thoughts from a curmudgeon in the morning... :-)

Alan
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Alan Smallbone
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« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2013, 10:48:36 AM »
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There's also Trigger Trap, https://triggertrap.com.  Free app + $30 for the dongle and cable.  More functions for Apple than Android.  Doesn't do focus stacking, but does do bulb ramping.  There's also DSLR Dashboard for Android users which also supports Nikon.
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snoleoprd
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« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2013, 10:55:03 AM »
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Bob the problem with triggertrap, and I have one... sigh... is that it only works with bulb mode, if you want faster exposures then it will not work. Fastest bulb exposure is pretty slow, so then you are dealing with motion blur and ND filters. It is pretty hard to beat the Promote, it is the only one that will prompt you to change modes on the camera, like to the 5D MII to change from manual to bulb for longer exposures. The promote also does bulb ramping with feedback like the Bramper would do. It is pretty hard to beat the Promote for features, some come close to matching. I know I am soundling like a commercial for the Promote but it really does a lot.

Alan
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Alan Smallbone
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« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2013, 12:57:09 PM »
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Bulb exposures can be any speed.  Bulb isn't limited to slow shutter speeds.  I'm not saying the Promote isn't a good option. I've had numerous exchanges with Arty and I know he has a good product. The OP asked for options, I'm just trying to provide information. 
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snoleoprd
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« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2013, 03:45:11 PM »
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Bulb exposures can be any speed.  Bulb isn't limited to slow shutter speeds.  I'm not saying the Promote isn't a good option. I've had numerous exchanges with Arty and I know he has a good product. The OP asked for options, I'm just trying to provide information. 

Bob not trying to argue, but bulb mode exposures cannot be any speed, the limit is around 1/20 of a second, and that is also stated with the triggertrap, at least on Android. The OP stated about unlimited brackets so it needs to communicate with the camera directly to set exposure, that is what the Promote does and that is what the Android apps do that use the USB host. The triggertrap, only uses the camera remote input triggered by their dongle, it does not communicate via USB to set shutter. So in order for the triggertrap to do the bracketing, it has to use bulb mode, which limits the shortest exposure to around 1/20s. That is one of the reasons none of those apps are on iOS no way to connect directly to the camera via the usb port. The triggertrap dongle connects to the earphone jack on the phone so that connection also limits the duration of the pulse.

Alan
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Alan Smallbone
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bill t.
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« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2013, 11:19:59 PM »
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What drives me crazy with the Promote and the smartphone solutions is the excessive time between exposures.  A 5 shot bracket will spread out over several seconds beyond the simple sum of the exposure times, whereas native 5D2 liveview bracket sets complete in less than second with short exposures.  That whole genre of external devices is hopelessly too slow for HDR shots where clouds or water are important. And trying to complete bracket sets between gusts of wind is all but impossible.  Apparently the programming API's are rather bureaucratic.
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2013, 06:02:40 AM »
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Allan, that's a problem with the Bulb port, not Bulb mode generally.  And yes, I'm aware of how the Trigger Trap connects to the camera.  I didn't realise it only worked in Bulb mode; however.  I didn't see that on their site.
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