UPDATE 19/01/2020: Please check out the new LRTimelapse Pro Timer 3 model and review here.
The LRTimelapse Pro Timer was first developed as a free open source DIY project by legendary LRTimelapse software developer Gunther Wegner. It was specifically designed for pro timelapse and astro photographers.
I remember emailing Gunther years ago asking if I could somehow buy the completed remote as I didn’t have the means to build it myself.
Sadly, the reply was negative, however a few years later we can now finally buy the completed product!
You can buy the LRTimelapse Pro Remote 2.5 here.
Disclaimer: Gunther sent this remote to me free of charge.
By the way, if DIY is your thing: You can still get everything you need to build it yourself from Gunther's website at the following link: https://lrtimelapse.com/lrtimelapse-pro-timer-free/
This model is the predecessor, it is not the exact same device.
There are literally hundreds of different intervalometers and timelapse remotes on the market.
Below is a quick selection of some of the ones you can find on Amazon when you search for ‘timelapse remote’. Prices range from $15 to $150 depending on the model and its features.
I made a video last year comparing three different price categories, you can watch that below or read my article about it here: Cheap timelapse remote VS expensive timelapse remote.
This might sound strange but all of these timelapse remotes are actually not great for timelapse.
The biggest of many issues with these remotes is that they send two separate signals to the camera. The first signal is an AutoFocus signal, the second signal is the triggering signal.
The problem is, timelapse doesn't require an AF signal.
That AF signal actually slows down your camera. The camera is anticipating a photo to be taken and certain functions get disabled.
Switching your lens to Manual Focus does not fix this issue.
This increases the dark time (dark time = the interval time minus the exposure time), which is the opposite of what we want. The shorter the dark time, the less time we have to review camera settings.
The LRTimelapse Pro Timer 2.5 does send an AutoFocus signal to the camera, however it is extremely short (the minimum length in time the camera needs before it gets triggered). After that it sends the trigger signal.
(Gunther explained to me that if the remote was to send only the trigger signal that mirrorless cameras wouldn't get triggered at all.)
This means you get more time to operate your camera in between photos. This is useful to check your exposure, change your settings etc.
Let us have a look at some of the features that make the Pro Timer such a great timelapse remote.
LRTimelapse Pro Timer 2.5 key features
- Universal connection for nearly any camera using a 2.5mm TRS jack (just make sure you buy the right cable to connect to your camera)
- 0.1 second interval steps. Most remotes only allow you to define the interval in 1 second steps.
- Interval ramping. You can adjust your interval as you are shooting, this is extremely useful when shooting holy grail shots!
- Easy to operate with a single, large knob.
- You can store your own shooting presets in the remote's memory.
- It has a dedicated astro Bulb mode for exposures longer than 30 seconds (great for astrophotography and star trails).
- You can completely turn off the screen so there’s no light pollution leaking into your frame.
- You can use the screen as a mini flash light to light up your foreground.
- The remote has multiple mounting options (two hot shoe mounts and two eyelets)
- As the remote has two ports you can shoot with two cameras at the same time. You could also use the second port as a slave trigger for motion control devices such as the Kessler Crane Second Shooter or Dynamic Perception motion control system.
- Built in Li-ion battery that works down to -20C / -4F (apparently it might go even lower).
- Micro USB charging port. The remote can also be powered via an external battery.
As we say in Dutch: it’s not always rose scents and moon shine (don’t ask), let’s talk about the things I don’t like as much about this remote.
What I dont like about the LRTimelapse Pro Timer 2.5
- It is not cheap. That being said, it is an extremely niche product for a relatively small market. I can’t think of too many people that would use this remote to its fullest potential. Heck, even I barely used it on my recent Utah trip even though I had it with me!
- The build quality could be better. The device feels fragile, and I’m not sure how well it would deal with very humid or wet conditions. This does make it very light weight though!
- The screen is very small. Granted, it’s a very nice OLED screen, however I have to squint to read some of the information on the screen.
The LRTimelapse Pro Remote 2.5 is a great product. It is pricey but it is – in my opinion – the best timelapse remote out there because it is made specifically to solve a select few issues you encounter when shooting high end timelapse photography.
Buy the LRTimelapse Pro Remote 2.5 here.
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