Canon 7D Tips – Time Lapse Video & the Interval Timer Remote

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Did you see my latest time lapse video – Soho and the Gritty City?  It contains over 3000 still photos shot with the Canon 7D and the Canon 17-55mm EF-S lens.  Each photo was batched through Photoshop CS5 using Topaz Adjust and my Grunge Me Presets.  The end result really is moving pictures.

The key to shooting so may photos is an Interval Timer Remote (also called Intervalometer).  This remote is used to automatically take a photo at a specific interval; in this case, every 1-second.  The interval will vary according to the subject matter.  Quick moving scenes like a busy street can be set for 1-second.  Slower subjects like a sunrise, sunset or clouds can be set for 60-seconds.

Until recently, the only Interval Timer Remote for Canon DSLRs was the Canon TC-80N3.  Very reliable, but, at $150, it is also pretty expensive for something that will be used once in a while.  I was in B&H recently talking to my rep and we discussed several new items including two new Interval Timer Remotes!  Take a look (note – all remotes were photographed with their protective film in place):

The first remote in the photo is the Canon TC-80N3.  The second remote is the Vello ShutterBoss Timed Remote which has all the same features as the TC-80N3 but only costs $49.95!   In fact, I used the ShutterBoss to shoot Soho and the Gritty City.  It worked perfectly.  It even has one important feature the Canon TC-80N3 does not.  The ShutterBoss will go to sleep when inactive to save the battery life.  The ShutterBoss also has an Audible Beep which can be turned on/off, another feature that the Canon TC-80N3 does not.

The last remote is something really special – Vello Wireless ShutterBoss Timer Remote.  All the same features as the other two remotes in a WIRELESS remote with a range of up to 250 feet!  The receiver sits on a hot shoe with a cable running to the camera’s cable release connection. The remote transmitter can be used from any angle and has 99 radio channels running through 2.4 GHz frequency.   The remote can even be used to wirelessly trigger multiple Pearstone receivers as long as they are set to the same channel.   Set up several cameras to cover different angles and trigger them all with one remote.  Now that is cool! Having a problem getting a clear signals? You can even directly connect the remote transmitter and the receiver by a cable, turning it back into a wired remote.  I have a few more ideas for another time lapse video and plan to test the Pearstone Wireless Shutterboss in the near future.

 If you are interested in an interval timer remote, be sure to take a look at the Vello ShutterBoss Timed Remote and the Vello Wireless ShutterBoss Timer RemoteThey are B&H exclusives.  If you are interested in more info, I have several articles on time lapse videos below as well as several samples all shot with the Canon 7D.

One More Tip – Be very careful of the focus while shooting.  A change in focus (like shifting from a distant building to a nearby person quickly moving through the frame) will ruin the staggered animation effect.  Either set the focus point really high out of the way of passersby or set the lens to manual focus.  Even if you do shoot a few change of focus photos, you can probably pull them without a significant impact on the animation.  Remember is will take 24 still photos to fill 1-second of video.

NOTE – If you are using the Canon 60D or Rebel series, you do not have the same N3 connector.  You will need the sub-mini connector for an interval remote timer.  Take a look at these instead – Vello ShutterBoss Timed Remote for Canon with Sub-Mini Connection and the Vello Wireless ShutterBoss Timer Remote (Canon Sub-Mini Connection)They are also B&H exclusives.


Time Lapse Video – Times Square and the Gritty City

Time Lapse Video – Soho and the Gritty City

Canon 7D Tips – Time Lapse Video & the Interval Timer Remote

Tips on Shooting Time Lapse Video

Tips on Creating/Editing Time Lapse Video

Time Lapse Photography and Photoshop CS4 Editing, Actions & Batching

Time Lapse Video – Time Square Pop

Time Lapse Video – Toy Times Square Story

Time Lapse Video – Snowglobe


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9 Replies to “Canon 7D Tips – Time Lapse Video & the Interval Timer Remote”

  1. The Vello Wireless ShutterBoss Timer Remote says it has a max. of 99 shots, whereas the “non-wireless” version says it offers unlimited shots. Not being so up on time-lapse yet, I was wondering if that was a limitation that would warrant the purchase of the wired version.

  2. Just updated the link. The new version shoots up to 99 counted shots. If you want more than that number (which you probably will), you will need to set it to unlimited. I use a stopwatch app on my Android phone to keep track of the time. I usually shoot a minimum of 5-minutes per location.

  3. But I don’t think the wireless version has an unlimited option. The unlimited is just on the wired version. At least that’s what the specs say.

  4. Unfortunately, the counter on the Vello ShutterBoss Timed Remote only goes up to 399. Your best bet is to use a stopwatch app or countdown timer app on your smartphone to keep track.

  5. Very nice! Think about adding in different periods of the day (early morning, evening rush, night). Mixing in some ground footage would also provide additional context for the location.

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