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Time lapse technical pointers

When I first started doing time lapses a few months ago, I used the iPhone app trigger trap with its accompanying dongle for my EOS cameras (EOS Rebel t3i, and my trusty EOS 5D MKI)

The setup proved to be somewhat cumbersome, as I had to strap the iPhone to the tripod with a rubber band and handle two devices at the same time… In the meantime I had been using the t3i for video with Magic Lantern, which extends the cameras feature set with peak focusing, audio meters, crop overlays, zebras and other things that are very useful for video.

What I also discovered at the time, was that Magic Lantern has a built-in intervalometer for and the Rebel became my camera for said setups, but upon comparison, the larger sensor of the 5D with its lower pixel density still provides better image quality with less noise, especially at night, and I was somewhat bummed out that I still had to use the older camera with the somewhat cumbersome trigger trap setup.

On a side note, I had used a 5D MKII before, but never liked how it handles video, as it seemed like an afterthought on the camera and seriously preferred the Rebel t3i for video, especially with the swivel screen and more modern software (you can read some of my recommendations about video gear on a budget here). So I stuck with my trusty old 5D MKI for still and then recently discovered that someone ported Magic Lantern to the MKI (or EOS 5D classic), which seriously made my day – no more fiddling around with dongles and remote cables!

Contrary to common belief, Magic Lantern does not alter the firmware of the camera and gets loaded as an additional program from the memory card, which needs to be made bootable through the firmware update process. Takes 2 minutes to to and one can run the camera in “factory” mode from a fresh memory card.

Trigger trap does have a greatly advanced feature set, and now also offers an Android app, for those who are interested in experimenting with it. the dongle and adapter cables for a variety of cameras are available on amazon.

products mentioned in this article:
Canon EOS Rebel t3i
trigger trap
trigger trap dongle and adapter cables for a variety of cameras are available on amazon.
Magic Lantern port for 5D MKI (EOS 5D classic),

If you buy something through the provided amazon or B&H photo links, you help me out and motivate me to write more tips and reviews, as I receive a small percentage of the sale. thank you!

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A collection of New York black-and-white street photography from 2003-2013

About Markus

Markus Hartel is a (street) photographer, graphic designer and educator living and working in New York City.
You can purchase prints, or book a one-on-one street photography workshop directly on this site.

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