Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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I'm looking to buy an intervalometer for my kit. I have a canon 7D and a T3i, which use incompatible connectors (why, Canon, why?) which means if I buy the Canon units, I need to buy one for each body (oh. that's why, Canon. sigh).

I'm investigating third party intervalometers that have cables where I can buy a single unit to drive both bodies when I want to; Right now, the one that seems to meet my needs best is the Promote Control ( http://www.promotesystems.com/products/Promote-Control.html ).

I'm looking for recommendations or alternatives to consider in my research. Is this unit as good as it seems? Are there others that will work for both HDR bracketing and timelapse work and be compatible with both bodies? Any other things to keep in mind or units you might recommend?

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more research shows the Phottix to be another (and much less expensive) option: outdoorphotogear.com/store/… –  chuqui Feb 5 '12 at 20:46
    
Can't really make this an answer, but the Promote seems to be the king of intervalometers. I've seen it recommended by hobbyists and pros alike on a variety of forums (and quite a few time-lapse videos on Vimeo) lately. I'm considering getting one myself, as its bulb ramping is phenomenal. –  jrista Feb 7 '12 at 2:46
    
So based on research and talking to various photographers, right now, it looks like the Promote is the "best practices" (and rather expensive) unit. I'm currently planning on buying the Phottix (listed above) which seems to have the functionality I want but at a lower price, knowing I might decide to upgrade at some point. It seems to be "good enough" for my needs for now, and should drive either body despite the incompatible plugs (oh, canon, standardize. seriously). –  chuqui Feb 7 '12 at 21:07

4 Answers 4

For the T3i at least, if HDR and timelapse is the goal, MagicLantern could do what you want. It's unclear if they'll ever get MagicLantern working on a 7D though (current status)

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that's definitely an option for some, but I don't want to modify the firmware on my cameras at this time. –  chuqui Feb 5 '12 at 7:22
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You don't modify the firmware. ML just adds code and it adds it to the CF card, pull the card and the camera is back to stock. I run ML on my 5dMk2 all the time. –  Paul Cezanne Apr 1 '13 at 10:25

I have a feeling that something like this is more than you're really looking for, but maybe there's an intervalometer that's got cables for different cameras like the CameraAxe does.

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Yes, such beasts exist - Timelapse+, for example. (disclosure: I backed the Kickstarter project and ordered mine with cables for my 5D and 500N, but as they've not shipped yet I haven't seen one up close and personal.) –  mlp Jun 7 '12 at 2:47
    
Cool looking unit. I like the expand-ability that (appears to be) in this unit. –  D. Lambert Jun 7 '12 at 12:59

Just posting this in case anyone reads this in future. If you have a Canon camera you can install what is called CHDK (Canon Hack Development Kit) onto your SD Card and then be able to load all kinds of great scripts to your camera. I do this for intervalometer scripts and motion detection on my canon point and shoot sx230hs. There is absolutely no need to buy an intervalometer at all!! This website walks you through the best steps to load CHDK onto your Canon. Enjoy!

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CHDK would be a great solution for a Canon point and shoot, doesn't work with DSLRs. Also, why is that blog any better than just going direct to the official CHDK wiki at chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK? –  mattdm Mar 30 '13 at 14:12
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That said, this isn't a typical web forum, so it's completely fine (and expected) to add new, helpful answers to old questions, so there's no need to add a "just posting this in case..." disclaimer. Good answers are always welcome! –  mattdm Mar 30 '13 at 14:14
up vote 1 down vote accepted

To answer my own question...

I ended up getting a Photix Aion (http://www.outdoorphotogear.com/store/phottix-aion-wireless-timer-and-shutter-release.html). It's a unit that can be used wireless or wired, and comes with connector cables for both the "pro" style canons (like the 7d) and the consumer style Canon's (like the Txi). I've found it works fine as a remote shutter, for timelapsing and for pretty much any kind of shutter management I've tried so far. I like it (but I don't love it). the UI -- well, make sure you practice with it before heading out.

I also carry a standard Canon wired cable release for the 7D that I use for routine shooting on a tripod.

I've started experimenting with triggertrap, which is a unit that interfaces an IOS device to a camera to control it. It seems nice, but you need to leave your phone connected to the camera. There's a more expensive version called Camranger that can go wireless, and once you set up the timelapse, you can disconnect the IOS device and use it for other things. Looks interesting for serious timelapsing operations, but more than I want to spend right now.

So the AION does what I want. It's under $100. it's a good price and a decent product which works reliably. but I don't love the interface.

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