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Stephen Smith
time-lapse for T2i
on Apr 13, 2010 at 10:04:08 pm

I've never done time-lapse before. What would be a good intervalometer for the T2i? Are they hard to use?




Stephen Smith
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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: time-lapse for T2i
on Apr 14, 2010 at 4:14:55 pm

I've never used an external time lapse with the T2i per se, but I've used the remote control software via USB on my mac. Might not be the most cost-effective solution if you don't have a machine to spare (I was thinking a mac mini might work). On the other hand, the T2i takes the same remotes as previous Rebel models so there ought to be an existing solution out there (Canon lists RS-60E3, RC-1, RC-5, and RC-6 as compatible) and I've seen plenty of DIY solutions if you want to start soldering. ;)

Jonathan Ziegler
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Stephen Smith
Re: time-lapse for T2i
on Apr 14, 2010 at 4:48:05 pm

Jonathan,
Thanks for your help. I'm planing on doing some hiking this summer and don't want to pack a laptop with me. I did find this cool article: http://www.eos550d.com/2010/03/how-to-timelapse/

But I'm under the impression that an intervalometer will make it so I can do time-lapses with just my camera/tripod and the intervalometer and nothing else. Is that correct? Also, where did you find that list?There is a Supplies & Accessories section on Canons site that list the RS-60E3. They call it a Remote Switch, is that the same as an intervalometer?




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Neil Abeynayake
Re: time-lapse for T2i
on Apr 14, 2010 at 10:19:27 pm

Steve,

Try this link. This thing seems like a viable device. Ask them before you buy.

Here is the link:

Timer LCD Remote Shutter for Canon 50D 40D 30D 5D II 7D

http://cgi.ebay.com/Timer-LCD-Remote-Shutter-for-Canon-50D-40D-30D-5D-II-7D...

"Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else".

Confucius


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: time-lapse for T2i
on Apr 15, 2010 at 3:34:42 pm

I like the external device option. My only comment is from the tutorial you sent - I notice the exposure seems to fluctuate from frame to frame - there are flashes of light and dark places. I'm wondering if he had it set to automatic or something or if this is what others using the 7D/T2i have seen. Hmmmm.

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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Stephen Smith
Re: time-lapse for T2i
on Apr 15, 2010 at 4:16:52 pm

I've never done it before but I found this great article that says you need to set everything to manual to stop that from happening: http://content.photojojo.com/tutorials/ultimate-guide-to-time-lapse-photogr...




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Dave Klee
Re: time-lapse for T2i
on Apr 20, 2010 at 9:50:51 pm

Hey Stephen, I know it's been a little while but I just saw this thread and wanted to chime in.

You're smart to avoid a laptop for time lapse control. It certainly works, but doesn't give you nearly the portability and flexibility you want. I think a wired timer remote is the way to go.

Canon makes two basic wired remotes -- the Canon Remote Switch (RS-60 series) works with the T2i and the lower-end canon bodies. However, it's just a really simple, manual, "push the button" kind of remote. Not ideal for time lapse because there's no timer. But, it's cheap -- $30 or less.

Canon's higher end Timer Remote (TC-80 series) is a great time lapse controller. However, it has two big drawbacks: it's a little pricey ($150), and only works with the higher end bodies (20D and up).

The problem is the physical remote connection -- the Rebels have a stereo micro-mini (2.5mm), while the higher-end Canons use an N-3 connector for their remotes. The e-bay link earlier in this thread appeared to point to a remote with an N-3 connector, so I don't think that will work for you.

Now, for years I've seen what appears to be an off-brand timer remote with the correct micro-mini connection to work on a Rebel. An example (of one I haven't bought) is here: http://www.amazon.com/Satechi-Remote-Control-Digital-Cameras/dp/B001CCH2MO

If you can verify your camera has that remote jack that looks like it accepts are really small headphone connector, then a timer remote like this should work for you as long as it says it supports interval shooting.

There's also a company out there that makes digital camera interval timers with cables that interface with a variety of cameras. Again, I haven't bought one, but they have a good reputation. Their low-end model is around $150: https://www.harbortronics.com/

If you're handy, there are a lot of DIY options out there for a timer remote. Since the micro-mini remote plug for the Rebels is relatively standard, a few people have made instructions for how to cut up some wires and make something that will work. Really, you can use almost anything because the Rebel is simply setup to take a "contact closure" to trigger the camera -- which is the equivalent of two wires coming together to complete a circuit loop. When the wires touch, the camera takes a picture. I use a lot of industrial and security timers for long-term stuff because they're inexpensive and reliable. But, I can't make anything as compact and easy to use as the Canon timer remote -- and maybe one of those off-brand timer remotes with the right plug will be just as good.

As for exposure settings, like you already found, full manual mode is generally -- but not always -- the way to go. If you're doing something really long term, you may want some version of automatic exposure. But, if you're doing a shorter time lapse (3 hours or less), I'd generally recommend full manual mode to avoid that exposure "pop" that you see in a lot of time lapses where the frames seem to flash slightly brighter or darker from time to time. Honestly, that is unavoidable to some extent -- most cameras these days have some degree of "exposure compensation" built in where the camera tries to correct a picture for you if something is out of range (and sometimes it's very difficult to completely turn off). However, the I believe that Canon is one of the better brands at minimizing this effect, so you made a good choice with a T2i.

It's also worth thinking about your power consumption if you're looking at doing a lot of time lapse. I've found that a battery grip (so you can run the camera off two batteries) is a great investment. Older Canon batteries gave me about 4 hours max, but I know they've improved in the last few years. It's not necessary, but if you find your camera running out of juice too quickly you might be happy with the extended capabilities.

But, one word of caution is that I've heard (but have been unable to verify) that the Rebels are built to work for 25-30,000 closures. I have certainly worn out a lot of Rebel shutter-boxes over the years. Not saying it's not worth it, just know that you will be shortening the life of your camera if you use it for a lot of time lapse.

Hope some of that helps, and have fun!

Dave




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Stephen Smith
Re: time-lapse for T2i
on Apr 21, 2010 at 2:38:45 pm

Dave,
Thanks for your reply, it sounds like you have done a lot of time-laspes. I still have not purchased an intervalometer yet. Philip Bloom recommended this intervalometer, unfortunately, since this post was started it has not been available for purchase. I e-mailed Opteka on the 15th and they said it will be in stock in 7-10 days. I'll look at my camera tonight and get back to you on the remote connection.

I would like to do a sun rise or sun set. I ran a quick test last night with my laptop and once the lap top started I could no longer change the manual exposer, so as it got dark things didn't turn out how I wanted them. Do you have any recommendations for the best settings for a time-lapse of a sun set?



Stephen Smith
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Dave Klee
Re: time-lapse for T2i
on Apr 22, 2010 at 4:12:06 pm

Hey Stephen, thanks for the tip on that specific timer -- might have to try one of those myself!

As for sunsets, they can be tricky. Most of the time I'll go full manual like you did, but then you have to choose the right exposure, ISO and white balance.

I generally shoot at ISO 100 unless I have a good reason not to for a sunset -- I feel like you get the best colors that way.

For white balance, I'll generally pick the "cloudy" or "shade" setting.

For shutter speed and aperture, you've got to do a balancing act. If you expose for full sunlight, it gets really dark really quick and you miss all the great colors that happen right around sunset. If you expose for near darkness, then your sunset is completely over-exposed and all the good colors are blown out.

I like to target those ten minutes or so right after the sun goes over the horizon for the best coloring in the clouds. In general, that means I'll over-expose at the beginning of the sunset when there's full sunlight by 2 or 2.5 stops -- that's maybe 45-minutes to an hour before the sun actually goes down. I tend to just use the exposure meter in the camera as a rough estimate of what 2 or 2.5 stops over-exposed is. Then, when it gets down to those great colors, the exposure is usually pretty close for me.

Of course, part of the fun is messing around and seeing what works best for you! Hope you enjoy it and post some of your results.

Dave



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Stephen Smith
Re: time-lapse for T2i
on Apr 23, 2010 at 6:19:55 pm

Okay, as for the stereo micro-mini (2.5mm). I'm not a 100% sure if I used a 2.5mm one but it was smaller then the kind that comes with headsets. And it was a little to big.

I ran my first 2 hour long time-lapse and had some problems. I set the shutter to 1/13, the Exposer was around 5. ISO was 100.

I set the laptop to: Delay Setting 20 seconds. Interval Timer Shooting 20 seconds. I'm not sure what the difference between the to is.

Anyways, if you watch the video you can see it flickers once the light starts to disappear. About every 4th picture is really dark. I know I can just yank those photos for the sequence but I would like that they are not there in the first place. Any idea as to why it went really dark every 4th photo? Watch the test time-lapse below:








Stephen Smith
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Stephen Smith
Re: time-lapse for T2i
on Apr 23, 2010 at 6:57:56 pm

Went back through a tutorial and didn't set the White Balance to Manual. Could that be the cause?




Stephen Smith
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Dave Klee
Re: time-lapse for T2i
on Apr 23, 2010 at 8:00:45 pm

Hey Stephen, it's getting there -- cool that you could post some progress. It's hard to say for sure what's going on without seeing the original images, but manual white balance is definitely important. Worth trying again.

It can also be useful to pull time lapse images into Adobe Bridge (or that Canon file browser that isn't bad) and scroll though them looking at the EXIF metadata. Sometimes you can see subtle shifts in exposure, ISO or white balance from frame-to-frame that explain problems like these. So, if you look at your white balance frame-by-frame and see different numbers, you know that might be causing problems.

I'd be interested to see how things look with manual white balance -- I haven't shot with the T2i, so I'm actually very interested in the results.

I've heard there's an Auto Lighting Optimizer feature in the menu, too, and I would imagine you would want this set to "off" if it's not already. Saw it in a review here: http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/canon/eos_rebel_t2i-review/using#alo_test Also, any kind of auto exposure compensation that can be turned off should be turned off. I'm not familiar enough with the T2i menus to know what all the options are, so maybe all you need to worry about is that Auto Lighting Optimizer.

Hope that helps, and I'll be looking forward to seeing more!



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Stephen Smith
Re: time-lapse for T2i
on Apr 29, 2010 at 4:29:43 pm

I've been told this intervalometer will work with the T2i.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B002IPQQPI/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&co...

I've purchased it and will report back on whether it does or doesn't




Stephen Smith
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Stephen Smith
Re: time-lapse for T2i
on Apr 29, 2010 at 9:24:34 pm

Here is time-lapse test 2:



Much better.



Stephen Smith
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Dave Klee
Re: time-lapse for T2i
on Apr 29, 2010 at 9:26:46 pm

Hey Stephen, looking nice! What were the setting changes (if any) that made it work for you?

That timer looks great, by the way -- looks like it has the right plug for the Rebel. I'll be interested to hear how you like it!



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Stephen Smith
Re: time-lapse for T2i
on Apr 29, 2010 at 9:37:40 pm

Once again, thanks for your help Dave. I don't have the settings with me, I'll post them later. As for the program that comes with the camera that works on the laptop, I like it a lot. A matter of fact, I'll try to use it whenever I can over the intervalometer. Once it stats it places each photo into a gallery which is another program that comes with the camera. There you can look at side by side comparisons of all of the photos. If you scroll up and down the gallery real fast it creates the effect of you watching the photos stitched together in a movie. That way I know if I got a problem early into the process where as seeing a still as it is taken from the cameras viewfinder won't help me.




Stephen Smith
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Brandon Morris
Re: time-lapse for T2i
on May 6, 2010 at 3:02:31 pm

looks great.
so the second mov was using the canon software or intervalometer?
did you turn anything on/off?

Brandon Morris
http://www.brandonmorris.com
I  my Mac's.


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Stephen Smith
Re: time-lapse for T2i
on May 11, 2010 at 3:07:00 pm

Both clips where captured with the Cannon Software. Everything is in full manual. I used the M (manual) setting on the round dial. Hope this is the answer you where looking for.




Stephen Smith
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Stephen Smith
Re: time-lapse for T2i
on Sep 24, 2010 at 5:58:02 pm

Here is a time-lapse I did shot with an intervalometer instead of a laptop.


Stephen Smith
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Dave Klee
Re: time-lapse for T2i
on Sep 24, 2010 at 6:01:23 pm

Hey Stephen, nice work!

Is this with that Opteka timer you were looking at earlier? You happy with it?


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Stephen Smith
Re: time-lapse for T2i
on Sep 24, 2010 at 6:10:36 pm

Sorry about the compression on the video. It looks super sharp and colorful on my broadcast monitor. It is not the Opteka timer. They never got any in. I checked back months later and they still did not have any. I even called Opteka and no go. So I got the Studiohut Timer Remote Control on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002IPQQPI/ref=oss_product
It was great. I was in an area where I did not want to hike with a laptop. Set it to go and it worked perfect. Plus, I was able to fish while it worked its magic. That is a win win.

Stephen Smith
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