You may have noticed some incredible time-lapse sequences that have sprung up across the internet such as this Yosemite video shot with a Canon 5D MK II from Sheldon Neill and Colin Delehanty. After seeing some of these gorgeous DSLR sequences online, in cinema and on television, I wanted to find out how to achieve the effect for myself. Very few DSLR cameras allow you to shoot interval images continuously, and the few that do have several limitations. All the major manufacturers offer advanced remote-control timers that can enhance their abilities, but they come with a relatively hefty price tag and are proprietary. However, I found a wonderful alternative called the Pixel TC-252 for under $100, including the adapter cable.
One of the nice features of the Pixel TC-252 is that it works with a variety of DSLR cameras from Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax, Panasonic and so on. All you need is a $12 adapter cable for whatever DSLR camera you are using. Once you have the cable, you simply plug it into your camera’s cable release port and select your desired exposure settings.
On the remote you can choose between the standard Single, Continuous, Bulb and Delay shooting modes. You can also select my favourite function: the Timer Planning shooting mode. If you are not an early riser, but want to capture that glorious morning light, you can pre-program the timing delay and continuous shooting. You can essentially set it and forget it.
The Bulb function also opens up several creative possibilities. Usually, your camera will limit exposures to a 30-second maximum, which can be quite restrictive. However, the Pixel TC-252 will allow you specify the duration of your exposure for extremely long shots, like star trails. Be aware, though, that long exposures can add quite a bit of shadow noise to your images, so shoot RAW and just apply some noise reduction afterward.
The Pixel TC-252 is a great way to get into this style of photography in an affordable way. It is just one of those simple yet effective tools that inspires creativity and opens up a variety of new possibilities. For more information on the Pixel TC-252 or other great remote timer products, visit thecamerastore.com.