Here’s a nice bit of kit that I wanted to point out to folks – The Canon TC-80N3 Timer Remote Controller.
At its most basic it’s a remote shutter controller – something you can use to trigger your shutter without actually touching the camera (and running the risk of shaking it if you’re shooting something that requires absolute stability). But it’s a lot more than that too – it allows you to control the timing and duration of your exposures to a much greater extent than a standard Canon body gives you. For example, with just about every modern Canon the longest exposure you can take without holding down the button in ‘b’ (bulb) mode is 30 seconds. This timer lets you take arbitrarily-long exposures, if you’re trying to get one of those cool night-sky pictures, for instance.
But the other fun thing I find myself using it for is to do timelapse photography – a series of images shot at regular intervals that you can then string together into a short movie. Here’s one I just did of an ice-cube melting.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Go to for a sample of what this can yield.
Which mostly just proves that watching ice melt is perhaps slightly more interesting than watching paint dry but probably not quite as exciting as watching grass grow.
I’ll leave the actual assembly of still-images into moving footage up to you – Quicktime can do it (hmm, might require Quicktime Pro now that I think about it) but there are several other ways to accomplish this.
So in spite of the rather outrageous price-tag for this device ($131 at Amazon… whereas the components for this thing would cost about 25 on the open market), and ignoring the fact that many lower-cost cameras (as well as the newer Nikon DSLR’s I believe) have this sort of capability built-in, I’d still recommend it as something a Canon shooter should think about picking up.
It only works on certain models of Canon DSLR’s – I can attest to it working fine with 20D, 40D and 5D – so double-check before you buy. And did I mention the rather outrageous price-tag? (I suspect there’s a good Chinese knockoff out there somewhere that costs a fraction as much and does just as good a job… anybody know if this is the case?)
Me, I’m off to watch grass grow.
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