I am a Nikon D90 user and fairly new to photography. I am considering purchasing a wired remote shutter release as intervalometer for taking time-lapses. However since I'm also a fan of HDR, it will be a matter of time before I want to experiment with HDR time-lapse.

My question is, will any intervalometer work the same? Or do I need an HDR-specialized intervalometer?

An example intervalometer I had my eyes on that is relatively cheap and has the full features: http://cgi.ebay.com/130338921382

I have also seen expensive ones mentioning they take HDR time lapse: http://www.promotesystems.com/products/Promote-Control.html

Thanks in advance. :)


I was inspired by Philip Bloom's HDR Time-lapse tutorial and it seems like his intervalometer(s) do more than standard interval with auto-bracketing on camera. Instead of "[ev0] [wait] [ev-1] [wait] [ev+1]...", it seems like his intervalometer(s) are doing "[ev0] [ev-1] [ev+1] [wait]...". Is that right??


After reading John Rappold's article, I think the reason most shutter releases ask you to set to bulb mode is so it can accurately time the shutter open time. Does this mean if I set "hold time" to 2 seconds, use continuous mode and takes 3 brackets of 0.25sec, 0.50sec, 1sec, it will produce the desired result I seek for??

  • \$\begingroup\$ OMG! I could get a pretty decent fast prime lens for $330! Given the headroom of RAW these days...I'd say skip it and save for some long-lasting optics. ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    May 19, 2011 at 2:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jrista Promote's shutter release is too much.. an ordinary one shouldn't cost over US$30 from ebay. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trav L
    May 19, 2011 at 3:54

2 Answers 2


Based on the Promote Control page, it sounds like its HDR capabilities are limited by the camera. Some cameras may support a continuous stream of bracketed shots, while others may require a pause between each. I figure that is because some cameras support burst-mode bracketing, while others require separate shutter releases for each shot of a bracket.

Based on Philip Bloom's 'HDR' timelapse video, I'm not really sure I see anything there that probably couldn't be achieved with single RAW frames from a camera with decent enough dynamic range. Most HDR images are not actually physically high-dynamic-range...they are low dynamic range images tone mapped from high dynamic range images. According to DxO Mark, the Nikon D90 has about 12.5 stops of dynamic range, which gives you quite a bit of headroom to eek out a quality "HDR" video comparable to Philip Bloom's with single shots.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @jrista, in D90 3 brackets will require 3 clicks on single shot mode or 1 click/hold on both low/high continuous mode. When using an intervalometer, should I be expect the remote release to trigger 1 single shot? or will the remote relese triggers multiple shots (within specified time frame) when in continous mode? Also, I understand the capability to stretch tone map from a single 12-bit RAW instead of brackets of 3, but that is bit off topic. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trav L
    May 19, 2011 at 3:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @rockacola: I have a rather cheap ($40) intervalometer myself, and when my Canon 450D is in continuous mode with bracketing enabled, it triggers all three shots. It would really depend on the design of the intervalometer and the capabilities of the camera, and how the two interact. \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    May 19, 2011 at 4:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jrista mind sharing the branch/model of your intervalometer? :D I have seen many that requires to be on bulb mode when using, looks like that's not what I want. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trav L
    May 19, 2011 at 4:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Unless the intervalometer also has a light meter too, bulb would preclude timelapse over long periods such as those that include day-to-night transitions, sunrise, sunsets, etc. \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    May 19, 2011 at 14:01
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Sure...I think its this one: amazon.com/Studiohut-Control-Shutter-Digital-compatible/dp/… I can't be sure. The brand name is different, so maybe the company that made them before got bought out. The nice thing about it is it supports up to 9999 shots, which very few intervalometers seem to do. The price is very good, too...and it seem to work quite well with my 450D's continuous mode, and it also takes care of "half-press" for metering and IS activation...so Itai's concern shouldn't be a problem with it. \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    May 19, 2011 at 20:04

I've just produced an intervalometer (Timelapse+) with HDR capabilities, as in [ex0][ex1][ex2][wait][ex0][ex1][ex2][wait]...

You can find out more here: http://www.timelapseplus.com

Otherwise, yes, you can set the duration on the intervalometer to trigger the camera three times in rapid fire mode with auto-bracketing set on the camera. This is limited to shorter exposures, though. The Timelapse+ can use bulb mode and still set separate HDR exposures without limitation.


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