Share this post with your friends:
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Using 2 Cameras? Make It Easy: Sync the Time

It is a tragedy to not make a picture because you don’t want to deal with post production. Yet, many photographers have exactly this feeling–that photography has become a burden. Here’s an idea to help make using two or more cameras less burdensome.

Why Two Cameras?

Just the other day I had a shoot that would take a full 9 hours, but I wasn’t sure that was enough time, so I was seeking ways to save time and maximize my efficiency. One thing I know about myself is that if I have to change a lens to make a wide angle picture or a telephoto, then I’m a lot less likely to do it, and switching lenses takes up valuable time, too. I put the wide angle lens on one camera body and the telephoto on the other. Now I can drop one camera onto my Spider Holster and pick up the other and I’m ready to make more pictures with a fresh view. Many sports and wedding shooters also use two cameras with wide and long lenses.

But have you ever tried to manage pictures from multiple cameras? It can be a disaster. Lightroom can sort pictures by camera model and even by serial number, or by lens used, but the easiest method is to sort by Capture Time so all your pictures show up in order as things happened. At least, it’s easy if you synchronize your cameras before the shoot, and I know three ways to do it.

1. Use the Menu

Sync-2
Synchronizing using the menu can be tricky.

The traditional way to sync is to go to the menu and set manually set the same time and date on each camera. Don’t forget that if you have a second a shooter you need to synchronize her camera with yours, too. The good news is that once you’ve synchronized, it should stay synchronized for the next shoot.

The only trouble with using the menu to synchronize is that minutes are the most precise number you can choose. If I shoot with another photographer at a wedding, and we’re both shooting the first kiss, then those pictures need to show up in Lightroom in precisely the right order, and being 15 seconds off is a big difference. So, get both cameras to the same menu setting together, and press ok at the same time to sync as closely as possible.

2. Use the App

If you’ve got a newer camera, you can connect to an app on your phone. The Panasonic App allows me to synchronize my cameras with my phone’s chronometer, which is precise and accurate. I simply connect the phone to the camera’s wifi, and then use the geo-tagging menu to synchronize the time. I connect to each camera in turn, and they are all synchronized to the second. Using this method, all my pictures show up in exactly the right order every time. This is the best way to synchronize; I can’t see any downsides.

Sync-3
These screen shots from the Panasonic Image App show how easy it can be to sync with an app. I connect to the camera’s wifi, open the app and choose Geotagging, then Time Sync, press Synchronize and it’s done in a moment. I do that for each camera.

3. Use a GPS Unit

You could use a GPS unit, which will not only embed your location, but it will also embed time data. However, you’d need one for each camera, and they are costly. I don’t own one, but it’s my understanding that they don’t synchronize the clock in the camera, just embed the time in the picture, so you either have to maintain synchrony, or wait for it to synchronize each time you power the camera back on. GPS units also drain your camera battery quickly.

Conclusion

Making your workflow easier means making pictures will be more joyful because it’ll be less burdensome. Whether you dial in the time manually, use your camera’s app, or use a GPS unit, synchronize your cameras before your shoot and you’ll have a much easier time managing the photographs afterward, and more enjoyable time shooting.

Share this post with your friends:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

You might also like:

Thanks to our partners who make Photofocus possible:

Drobo – Drobo is the smartest storage solution in the world. Drobo is storage that protects data — photos, videos and everything else — from hard drive failure. Drobo is peace of mind for the working pro or serious amateur who have a lot of external drives cluttering up the desktop. Save 10% with the coupon code PHOTOFOCUS.

Lume Cube – Proudly known as the World’s Most Versatile Light™, Lume Cube represents the future of LED Lighting. Check out the new Lume Cube STROBE, offering anti-collison lighting for drones!

Backblaze – Get peace of mind knowing your files are backed up securely in the cloud. Back up your Mac or PC just $6/month.

B&H – B&H is a world renowned supplier of all the gear photographers, videographers, and cinematographers need and want to create their very best work.

Skylum – Your photos, more beautiful in minutes. Makers of Luminar, Aurora and Photolemur, Skylum adapts to your style and skill level. Check out the new Luminar 3, now available.

Perfectly Clear Complete – Built for precision. Made for beauty. Perfectly Clear has mastered the science of intelligent image correction – creating superior quality photos in record time, so you can get back to doing what you really love…in no time. Special Photofocus deal here.

Viewbug – Learn and improve your photography with over 500 videos. Trusted by millions around the world, join over 2 million photographers who already use Viewbug.