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Shutter speeds on this camera are limited to 30 seconds, except when I use the bulb mode, but in that case I need to keep track of the time manually.

The bulb mode works in only the following ways:

  1. Hold the shutter button down.
  2. On the wireless remote, press the shutter button once to start the exposure, and again to stop the exposure.

I wanted to check if there's a better option than using a stopwatch to manually stop the exposure, such as whether the camera lets me specify the time in bulb mode.

Please note that I don't want a wired remote control, since the wire is another thing for me to carry and lose, and I might trip over it. A wireless remote is fine, if it lets me trigger such extra long exposures and timelapses.

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Bulb mode holds the shutter open until you close it (or allow it to close). As you said, hold the shutter release down, or use a wireless remote. If you want more precise timing, something like TriggerTrap is what you want.

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    I would add that for bulb exposure there is really no need for precise timing. If you go 1 stop over 30s exposure it would be 60s and +-10s will only account for 1/3 of a stop here, so you don't have to be very precise. For even longer exposures you can often guesstimate time, as if you do 30min exposure +-5min doesn't make much of a difference. – Andrew Sep 22 '14 at 11:20
  • I already use a wireless remote, but that has only two buttons: shutter release, and shutter release after 2s. I was thinking I could set the exposure duration in-camera, and then use the remote to actually trigger the photo, but that doesn't work. – Vaddadi Kartick Sep 22 '14 at 11:22
  • I might end up taking a 5 minute shot instead of a 30 second shot, if I start using my phone and get distracted. IMO, keeping track of time is a silly thing to expect people to do, when electronic devices can do it better, without distraction. – Vaddadi Kartick Sep 22 '14 at 13:44
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    Hence my suggestion of TriggerTrap. – Dan Wolfgang Sep 22 '14 at 14:23
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    An ultimate answer to go with your ultimate goal: these kind of features (and the ability to add on tools that allow these kind of features) are exactly the reason people climb the camera ladder, buying better or more capable models. The best solution may be "time for a new camera." – Dan Wolfgang Sep 26 '14 at 11:10
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No camera support timed bulb mode due to the very definition of Bulb mode. It's simply a mode that keeps the shutter open as long as the shutter release button is pressed. Shutter speed precision is usually not important in bulb mode since an error of a second only accounts to mere percent of the exposure over a minute long exposure (usually a lot less than possible to predict other than in controlled studio environments anyway).

Of course you can use a stopwatch to time it if you want to, but there are applications of bulb mode where a stopwatch is not requiered or even wanted. If you're taking a photograpn of sudden flashes in dark environments like lightning in darkness you may use the bulb since you cant anticipate the action.

Another example of an application of bulb use without timer is if you don't know how the light will change during the exposure (such as long exposures with moving clouds), where you may have to adapt the shutter speed after the shutter release has been pressed.

  • Sure, what I really care about is taking photos with a 1 minute or longer shutter speed (in whatever mode, bulb or otherwise), and having the camera handle that for me. I'm not saying that the bulb mode should REQUIRE users to set a timer, just that it should ALLOW users to do so if they want. I rewrote the question to focus on the goal rather than the mechanics of getting there. – Vaddadi Kartick Sep 26 '14 at 5:29
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    @KartickVaddadi I understand that you want an options to set the shutter speed in bulb mode, but my answer still applies. By the very definition of Bulb mode, the shutter simply stays open as long as the shutter release button remains depressed. If you constructed a camera with the option of setting the shutter speed in "bulb mode" it wouldnt be a real bulb mode. – Hugo Sep 26 '14 at 8:04
  • Right, that's why I rephrased my question to de-emphasize bulb mode and emphasize the ultimate goal (multi-minute exposures). – Vaddadi Kartick Sep 26 '14 at 8:37

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