Question about cheap Ebay remote timer for Canon

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Peabody, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. Peabody

    Peabody Guest

    I need to get a wired remote timer for my XT, and find this
    particular model widely available on Ebay for under $20:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/130471915684

    But I'd just like to understand exactly what happens when the timer
    takes a picture. The connector is a stereo plug, so the timer
    could, if it wanted, do a half-press, wait a while, then do a full
    press. Or it could fire both at the same time, or possibly just do
    the full press alone.

    Does anyone have one of these, and a multimeter, and wouldn't mind
    doing a quick test to see how it works? Or, actually, if it
    does the half/wait/full version, you could probably tell that by
    looking through the viewfinder as it takes a picture.

    Thanks for any help.
     
    Peabody, Feb 21, 2011
    #1
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  2. Peabody

    tony Guest

    On Feb 21, 9:51 am, Peabody <> wrote:
    > I need to get a wired remote timer for my XT, and find this
    > particular model widely available on Ebay for under $20:
    >
    > http://cgi.ebay.com/130471915684
    >
    > But I'd just like to understand exactly what happens when the timer
    > takes a picture. The connector is a stereo plug, so the timer
    > could, if it wanted, do a half-press, wait a while, then do a full
    > press.  Or it could fire both at the same time, or possibly just do
    > the full press alone.
    >
    > Does anyone have one of these, and a multimeter, and wouldn't mind
    > doing a quick test to see how it works?  Or, actually, if it
    > does the half/wait/full version, you could probably tell that by
    > looking through the viewfinder as it takes a picture.
    >
    > Thanks for any help.


    Yes the wired and the wireless both have half press (focus) full press
    (shutter release) if they are any good. I bought a third party (Hong
    Kong thru Ebay) wired: worked fine and I spliced in an extra 10m of
    cable with jack plugs so I could extend it when I wanted. But then I
    bought a wireless third party but it was DOA. I took it apart
    expecting to find a dry solder joint, but there is a small printed
    circuit board inside; not sure why. So I junked it and bought an
    original Canon: expensive but it works. And the wired one is gathering
    dust.
     
    tony, Feb 22, 2011
    #2
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  3. Peabody

    newshound Guest

    "Peabody" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I need to get a wired remote timer for my XT, and find this
    > particular model widely available on Ebay for under $20:
    >
    > http://cgi.ebay.com/130471915684
    >
    > But I'd just like to understand exactly what happens when the timer
    > takes a picture. The connector is a stereo plug, so the timer
    > could, if it wanted, do a half-press, wait a while, then do a full
    > press. Or it could fire both at the same time, or possibly just do
    > the full press alone.
    >
    > Does anyone have one of these, and a multimeter, and wouldn't mind
    > doing a quick test to see how it works? Or, actually, if it
    > does the half/wait/full version, you could probably tell that by
    > looking through the viewfinder as it takes a picture.
    >
    > Thanks for any help.
    >


    Mine seems to do a three second "half press" before the full press.

    Using it to do time lapse "videos" it was fine in good light, but after dark
    (not as silly as it sounds, I was watching ships sailing out of a port) the
    camera was displaying its "I can't decide where to focus" light, and the
    focus was hunting randomly on each frame. Easy enough to fix by setting the
    camera on manual focus, provided you have it.

    All in all, a nice and very reasonably priced toy. I actually bought it just
    to provide a cable release for macro photography. Planning to do some time
    lapse sunrise / sunset / star pics when it gets warm enough to leave the
    attic skylight window open!
     
    newshound, Feb 23, 2011
    #3
  4. Peabody

    Peabody Guest

    Better Info says...

    > It is also interesting to note that variations on the
    > sunset script have also been used in aerial photography
    > in balloon flights from 120 miles above the earth's
    > surface


    I saw one of those flights where the documented total budget
    was less than $500. That included an inexpensive Canon P&S
    camera, an external battery pack, a GPS receiver, and a
    radio beacon of some kind for recovery. And of course the
    balloon and some helium. And of course CHDK was free. They
    got some amazing pictures. And these were just hobbyists.
    $500. Ain't it wonderful.

    > Just a few examples of some of the discoveries
    > attributed to CHDK. Other research projects include such
    > things Princeton University's physics lab photographing
    > magnetic reconnection of helium-plasma.


    I think there was also a Princton group that did KAP (kite
    aerial photography) to map and document coastline in
    Louisiana where oil washed ashore in the recent BP disaster.
    This also was done with CHDK.

    > All thanks to compact & superzoom cameras and CHDK. The
    > blind DSLR worshippers in these newsgroups don't have a
    > clue of what's happening outside of their myopic
    > last-century-crippled tunnel-vision.


    Well, I hope my original post won't lead to yet another
    fight in here. I have both kinds of cameras, and just use
    them for different things. But my A590 and CHDK make a
    pretty compelling combination for time lapse, and all of
    mine were done with it. But I've also seen wonderful
    night-sky time lapse videos done with DSLRs using fancy
    external equipment. It just depends on what you want to do
    and what your budget is.
     
    Peabody, Feb 24, 2011
    #4
  5. Peabody

    Peabody Guest

    newshound says...

    > Mine seems to do a three second "half press" before the
    > full press.


    Thanks very much for that information. I think that will
    work just fine.

    > All in all, a nice and very reasonably priced toy. I
    > actually bought it just to provide a cable release for
    > macro photography. Planning to do some time lapse
    > sunrise / sunset / star pics when it gets warm enough to
    > leave the attic skylight window open!


    I'm a bit leary of using up my DSLR shutter actuations on
    long time lapse sequences. Maybe I shouldn't worry about
    that, but I do. So I still do time lapses with my P&S and
    CHDK software. That seems to work fine, particularly since
    everything is going to be resized down to 1080P at most,
    which is about a 2MP frame size.

    I really need the timer for two things. The first (another
    thread here) is because my camera doesn't work properly in
    self-timer mode. It sets both focus and exposure right away
    when you press the shutter, and not just before taking the
    picture. So by the time I run and get into the picture,
    it's all wrong. I can get around that by going all manual,
    but I think the timer will be a better solution.

    And the other thing is that it will allow me to take a
    series of pictures over time while rearranging the subject
    matter, and not have to go back to the camera each time.
    Not exactly time lapse because I'm only talking maybe 10
    pics instead of 1000, but the same kind of thing.

    And, and you say, the manual cable release feature will also
    come in handy, although you can get those without the timer
    stuff for about $3.

    The genuine Canon timer, which does exactly the same thing,
    is $140. I prefer the $18.25. By the way, I should say for
    those interested in this kind of thing that there is a
    wireless (RF, not infrared) version of this timer available
    for around $50 on Ebay.
     
    Peabody, Feb 24, 2011
    #5
  6. Peabody

    newshound Guest

    Very interesting and helpful, thanks!

    I keep "not quite getting round to" trying CHDK, but now you've provided
    some extra motivation.

    I do a bit of macrophotography for work, usually hand-held, but I must have
    a play with stacking too.

    So many interesting ideas, so little time......
     
    newshound, Feb 24, 2011
    #6
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