Top positive review
33 people found this helpful
Functional product that could be much better
on March 16, 2012
This is an inexpensive product that seems to function as intended, and does its job. I figure that is worth four stars, in this case. I'm using it with a Canon T3i, which isn't on the compatibility list, but it works fine. It is an effective wired remote control, allowing the taking of a picture while minimizing camera shake, and at a distance of up to three feet from the camera. Used as a remote shutter release, it allows the "half-press" of the button to set focus and/or exposure, just as the button on the camera does.
A remote shutter release can be useful in many situations, especially when you, the photographer, are relating to the model or subject. It is essential on long exposures, using the bulb setting, to capture fireworks, lightning, or stars. The timer can also be set to make a long timed exposure, where you choose the duration of up to 99 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds (which I will call "100 hours" for the rest of the review). Most interesting to me is the intervalometer function, which will direct the camera to take a series of exposures at any interval up to 100 hours between shots, selectable in one-second increments. The total number of exposures is entered separately, and can be any integer up to 399, or "unlimited", which I take to mean that you have to turn it off manually, whenever you decide you have enough. I plan to use this function for making compressed-time videos of clouds and weather, building construction, flowers opening, and other time-lapse subjects.
Less interesting to me, this timer can be used for a shutter release delay in one-second increments, from zero to 100 hours. Being able to set a delay of something longer or shorter than the built-in camera self-timer delay (usually ten seconds) might come in handy in some situations. Unlike the built-in camera timer, you can set this timer to take multiple exposures at the end of the delay, again up to 399 exposures, or unlimited. I can't imagine a use for really long delays. How would I know in advance that I will want to take a picture, for example, exactly 43 hours, 15 minutes, and 12 seconds from now? If you need it, this timer will do it. The same multiple exposure option can be set without any time delay, so if you want to take, say, five exposures whenever you press the button, you can program that in. The same selection range of 1-399 plus unlimited applies here.
Several reviewers mentioned that the Bulb locking button didn't work for them. Mine works flawlessly, and I couldn't get it to pop off unexpectedly, even when I tried. Check this feature when you receive the item, to make sure yours works properly. The manual specifies "two AAA 1.5V LR03 alkaline batteries (available Separately)". No mention is made of rechargeables, which I would prefer to use.
Up to this point, the timer seems to perform properly all of the functions listed in the Amazon product description. Now I will list the ways that this product could have been made better and easier to use, at little or no cost to the manufacturer.
With brand-new alkaline batteries, the LCD screen light is so dim that in a fairly dark room, I thought it wasn't working at all. Only in complete darkness could I tell that the timer's lights were illuminating the screen. With or without the lights, my timer's screen is hard to read in low-light situations.
The manual could use proof-reading and more complete information. The diagrams could be much clearer. It contains phrases like this instruction under Start the Timer: "Focus and the release indicator Lianhong Deng." Most of the errors are guessable, but I haven't figured that one out yet.
Every timer function defaults to the hours setting first. This means that every time, you have to move the cursor over to the seconds setting. I expect that I will set only the seconds in more than 99% of my usage, so this is a needless waste of time. Timer settings should begin with the seconds, and let me move to the minutes and hours, only if I need to.
As others have mentioned, this sophisticated electronic device has no ON/OFF switch. What a waste.
There is no "Clear" function. This means that whenever you change a setting or mode, you have to manually go into each variable, and reduce it to zero, if it is no longer needed. It's easy to forget to do this. Since there is no ON/OFF switch, when you take the timer out of the box after a period of non-use, it will still execute your previous settings. I'm unlikely to remember this between uses. It's quicker and more reliable to take one of the batteries out for a second, which resets everything, than to go through each menu and reset all the variables to zero manually.
Settings for the different functions will interact, which is sometimes useful, and often confusing. Suppose I set up the timer to take 100 exposures with the intervalometer. Later, I set the delay timer to take group photo with a 15-second delay, so I can get in the picture. When I start the timer, it will take the delayed picture that I want, and then proceed to take 99 more photos, unless I stop it.
Overall, I think this timer is useful for me, but with a little attention to better interface and usage features, it could have been much better.