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Message started by Sam Rohn on 07/17/09 at 06:01:41

Title: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sam Rohn on 07/17/09 at 06:01:41
just picked up one of these, a remote bracketing controller for Nikon, Canon, etc DSLR's - controls camera via USB &/or release cable, allows long exposures via bulb mode, control number of shots, bracket interval in .3 increments of as many stops as you like, mirror up, etc

https://www.promotesystems.com/products/Promote-Control.html

looks like what we've been waiting for :)

sam

promote-remote.jpg (Attachment deleted)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 07/17/09 at 06:53:42
yeah, these look very sweet. Mine is in the mail, actually, gearing up for a review. ;)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sam Rohn on 07/17/09 at 08:04:54
try to get your hands on a remote cable with a 2.5mm jack, like for canon rebel etc - it will fit the promotes remote port - or get one of these for wireless operation -

http://martybugs.net/blog/blog.cgi/gear/PhottixCleonIIWirelessRemote.html

http://martybugs.net/blog/blog.cgi/gear/PhottixPlatoWirelessRemote.html

both available here - "C6" is the 2.5mm cable - http://stores.shop.ebay.com/Hong-Kong-Supplies__W0QQ_armrsZ1

i got my promote from adorama in NYC, there was a prob w/ the unit i purchased however, when i emailed support (@ 2am EST) they got back to me in 10 minutes, confirmed my issue and offered to overnight me a new unit, which arrived today & works perfectly :)

now to figure out how to mount it on the side of a nodal ninja.....

sam

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 07/17/09 at 08:55:50
Interesting. That Wireless remote would be great for pole panos. If you get your rig together, please post a photo of it. While I keep refreshing that damn UPS tracking page ;)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sam Rohn on 07/17/09 at 11:21:39
i ordered the plato remote a couple days ago, but just heard back that shipping to NY by airmail would take 1-3 weeks :( we'll see -

the promote is about the same height & width as an iphone, and about 2x as thick - fits fine on NN5 upright arm, even w/ cables sticking out the top -  i'm gonna go and see if i can find a cheap cell phone case/mount or whatever that can somehow attach to the NN...

actually, i just tried a simple piece of velcro tape, (wraps around the promote & NN5 upright arm, promote rests on rotator arm), works great, a bit of string would do the same job - pics later today :)

sam

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sam Rohn on 07/17/09 at 13:11:43
boom - promote remote w usb, nikon 10 pin & 2.5mm remote release cable, mounted on a nodal ninja 5, + Nikon D300 w/ Nikkor 10.5mm
promote-remote-nodal-ninja-5.jpg (Attachment deleted)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 07/17/09 at 17:17:12
Thank you, that's sweet. What about the buttons, you can't reach them anymore ?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sam Rohn on 07/18/09 at 02:31:40
the velcro tape (not sticky, just hooks on one side and loops on the other) i used is really thin, so you could press the buttons through it if needed, but i'll prob try find something a bit narrower anyway, a rubber band would do -

ultimately, some kind of drop-in cradle would be best to avoid disturbing the tripod/head i think

most of the button pressing will prob be done with the device not mounted, and triggered via remote when it is mounted, i'd be more worried about accidental button presses while mounted and running anyway...

sam

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 07/19/09 at 04:53:17
Hello everybody,

My name's Arty, I lead the design team for the Promote Control, and hopefully I can answer some questions about the device. Christian, if this post violates the forum rules (e.g. by discussing commercial products with a manufacturer rep), I apologize - please just let me know, I won't do this anymore.

About the buttons and having them pressed - it's valid concern when the remote control is in "stand-by" mode (waiting for a command), however when an exposure sequence is active, all buttons except for Power are blocked to avoid any erroneous input (in "Manual Hold" mode Start button is also enabled). The Power button can be used to toggle display backlight or turn of the device as a way to cancel the current exposure sequence. Hope this helps :)

P.S. I will be looking over the current thread, maybe some of you can throw in a new idea or two on how we can improve the device. New firmware version is in the works, it might not have too many new features at this point, but we working out a few firmware-related ideas that might be promising.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 07/19/09 at 16:07:37
Hi Arty,

No problem at all, your presence in this forum is highly appreciated. We like developers that listen, in fact, the lack thereof from Canon/Nikon made your product possible and necessary.

So, yeah, here you go - first user requested feature would be a cradle or or other means of attaching the device to a rig. Maybe some good things can be learned from cellphone cradles.... or maybe a strap like these runner iphone thingies. Looking at Sam's picture, I also wonder if there could be better solutions for the cables. A) Having both cables strung together would reduce the chance of them tangling up, and B) Having about a phone-cord style cable, with curly loops, might be nicer. I know from working with a regular remote control, that sometimes they start dangling in the picture....

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by sloan on 07/20/09 at 13:26:47
Hi Arty

Very impressive looking - I just had one quick question - why was 1/4000 sec. the fastest shutter speed available in the HDR mode?

cheers
Steve

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 07/20/09 at 14:23:07

Blochi wrote on 07/19/09 at 16:07:37:
Hi
So, yeah, here you go - first user requested feature would be a cradle or or other means of attaching the device to a rig. Maybe some good things can be learned from cellphone cradles.... or maybe a strap like these runner iphone thingies.


Hmm... looks like a good idea to me. We will contact our carrying case manufacturer and see if they can offer something like that. I would imagine it to resemble those iPod's arm bands in overall construction, and having a velcro strap on the back. One potential issue is that it might slide down the tripod leg when attached - so either a rubber backing is needed inside the leg strap, or it has to be attached above a leg lock or something.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 07/20/09 at 14:30:43

wrote on 07/20/09 at 13:26:47:
Very impressive looking - I just had one quick question - why was 1/4000 sec. the fastest shutter speed available in the HDR mode?


Hi Steve! This minimum has been chosen at this time to get around a USB protocol limitation. It is technically possible to use a different protocol to set shutter speeds shorter than that, but it'd require some significant (and camera brand-dependent) extra work that we decided to leave for a future firmware release.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sam Rohn on 07/28/09 at 02:04:00
just received my phottix wireless remote (12 days shipping), the plato remote i ordered works great with the promote remote :)

i actually ordered a cleon and a plato, and they gave me a free upgrade to cleon2, plus a 2.5mm cable & a nikon 10 pin cable

the Phottix C6 2.5mm cable is 2.5mm on both ends, so perhaps any 2.5-2.5 cable will do, if so, one could order for their cameras normal cable, and get the 2.5 for promote @ radio shack

sam

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 07/28/09 at 03:29:10

wrote on 07/28/09 at 02:04:00:
just received my phottix wireless remote (12 days shipping), the plato remote i ordered works great with the promote remote :)

i actually ordered a cleon and a plato, and they gave me a free upgrade to cleon2, plus a 2.5mm cable & a nikon 10 pin cable

the Phottix C6 2.5mm cable is 2.5mm on both ends, so perhaps any 2.5-2.5 cable will do, if so, one could order for their cameras normal cable, and get the 2.5 for promote @ radio shack


Congratulations on your setup, Sam! Show us some pics when you have them :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sam Rohn on 08/09/09 at 04:14:37
hey arty -

i've taken the promote out in the field a few times at this point, and all is working well :)

currently, i have a 1.5 cm thick piece of styrofoam between the NN arm & the promote, this gives a bit more clearance for the cables so as not to rub against the knob on the upright arm, and a more robust velcro cinch strap, this wiggles a bit, but is working ok for now, i'll get some pics up soon -

one thing i might suggest is a louder "cycle complete" beep sound, w/ perhaps adjustable volume, it can be hard to hear in noisy environments...

sam

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by mushroomgod on 08/09/09 at 12:48:49
looks very cool - might have to buy.

One question though, how quickly can it take shots? With my 5d when tethered theres about a 1sec delay between bracketed shots, does this have the same problem?

Also, for anyone whos interested theres a 5DMK2 hack firmware coming out soon that allows built in extension of the cameras bracketing ability - from 3 to 11 shots - this is free, but I have no idea how well it will work.

Seach for Magic Lantern .

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sam Rohn on 08/10/09 at 00:01:32
i'm using a nikon D300, and when it is connected to the promote via USB only, there is a delay between shots at a configurable interval of about .5 - 1.5 seconds, this is a necessity for USB i believe -

however, when i connect via USB & the nikon 10 pin cable, it fires faster than i could by hand, no delay between shots, i assume the canon cable & USB will do the same -

sam

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Byron Nash on 08/13/09 at 18:06:38
It's been a while since I have logged into the forums. I have to say that I am thrilled to see the Promote Control device! This is exactly what we have been needing. I will have to get a few more jobs lined up before I can get one but it looks like it will really speed up the workflow!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by imadummy on 08/19/09 at 21:03:12
Looks like a cool device!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Byron Nash on 08/21/09 at 01:23:31
With the price of this thing being $299, what do you think of getting a cheap netbook and a copy of DSLR Pro to do the same thing?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 08/21/09 at 01:59:12
Does not compare.

The point about the Promote is that it's small, light, powered right away. And with the optional remote release cable it snaps images faster than anything you would ever connect via USB only. However, there are downsides to it. The menu is a little clunky, and the settings aren't as intuitive as they should be. I really have to give you a full review with pictures and all that so you can get the point.


Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Scottes on 08/21/09 at 02:17:59
I recently purchased this device, and like it quite a bit.

As far as comparing to a netbook, I most certainly thought about that. I was thinking long and hard, until I stumbled upon the Promote thanks to a post that pointed me to this thread.


Netbook pros:

Versatility! Viewing photos, storing photos for long trips when you don't have enough cards, storing manuals, mapping software, GPS maybe, Internet access, yadda yadda yadda. You can't beat the versatility of a laptop.


Netbook cons:

Size & weight. I like to travel light. A netbook is 5 to 10 times the size and weight of a Promote.

Field use. How are you going to set this up? Sit on the ground and hope the cables reach? (They won't.) Add something like flip-out "legs" to your tripod to make a table? Hold the laptop in your hands during the whole shoot? Sure, all of those are possible, and can be done, but at a large pain-in-the-butt factor IMHO. And possibly with added weight, if you do something like a tripod attachment to hold it.

Power limitations. A spare set of AAs will keep the promote going for a long, long time. Far longer than a netbook. A spare laptop battery is always possible, but at a much, much larger cost of size, weight, and price compared to a set of AAs.

Price. First, remember that you'll need to spend $75 for Breeze Systems remote control app. (I couldn't find any alternatives to do what I wanted to do.) Then the laptop itself: The cheapest laptop I could find was a small Dell for $350. The smallest laptop that could run Breeze was a Sony for $1000. (Breeze needs real Windows, not Mobile or CE.)


Promote pros & cons are pretty much the flip of everything above.


Now compare to a good timer remote like the Canon TC-80N3. Price is $142 on Amazon, about half of the Promote. It does less than the Promote - but not by much unless you do HDR. (Um, isn't that why we're here on this forum??)

And Promote will be adding capabilities, too. I was talking to the owner, John Moran, and they have some plans for adding features. They plan on doing Depth Of Field calculations in the next version (or real Soon Now). They can possibly keep adding software features that will blow a TC-80N3 out of the water.


Comparing back to a netbook, in many ways there are no comparisons. They're so very different, in size, cost, weight, power life, and especially capabilities. If you want all those other capabilities of a laptop or netbook, then it should be an easy decision. If you want the small size and weight of the Promote, it might be an easy decision. If you don't really need all those netbook capabilities, that makes the decision easier.

And that's how i ended up with a Promote: I wanted small and light, I didn't want the netbook hassles of weight and field use, and I don't need or want the capabilities of a netbook.

Sure, if I had a netbook I would do all those things, no doubt - but they were simply unnecessary to me, and didn't even make my list of considerations when deciding. I truly did not want a netbook, for all the cons listed above. But I was almost ready to deal with one just to get the features of the Promote. So I'm very glad that I found the Promote.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Byron Nash on 08/21/09 at 02:54:16
Thanks for that thorough comparison Scottes. The small form factor and ease of use makes the Promote desirable. I was thinking of it in the context of my normal workflow. I normally sit around on set taking reference photos and then have to jump into action very quickly when crew OK's me to walk on set and shoot HDR seq. I usually have to keep a laptop around anyway and some of the newer netbooks are so tiny that you could hold them in one hand while shooting a sequence. It seems to me that any way you look at it you need to have something to help you fire those sequences faster. The last two shoots I was on I did not have that and everything felt rushed.

I guess the real issue is all of this stuff is so freakin' expensive!!   :o

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Scottes on 08/21/09 at 03:27:33

wrote on 08/21/09 at 02:54:16:
I usually have to keep a laptop around anyway and some of the newer netbooks are so tiny that you could hold them in one hand while shooting a sequence.

Make sure that you can get software to run on the OS. Breeze, for instance, won't run on the Windows CE, Mobile, Pocket PC, etc. It needs Windows 2000, XP, Vista, etc. I think that's because the Canon SDK is full-Windows only, but I'm not sure.

I could not find software that would take HDR sequences and run on the oddball OSes that come on the truly tiny PCs. The Sony Vaio (sp?) was the smallest that I could find that would run Breeze software.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 08/21/09 at 03:37:27
Thanks Scottes for these deep thoughs. I totally agree. And BTW - here's a good netbook deal (I think only for today)

Byron, I know the on-set hush hush "do your thing and get outta the way". If you're shooting Canon, there is no alternative to the Promote. It's not only the setup time, it's also the lag between exposures that fires with close to the same speed as the built-in bracketing (IF you have that second cable attached).
Personally, I shoot Nikon, and found the built-in 9-EV brackets sufficient so far. That's why I will stick to the good old cable release for most jobs. However, in veery low-light conditions, where the longest exposures exceed 1 second, the Promote may even be faster than Nikon's built-in bracketing, because it will allow me to shoot in 2 EV intervals.

uh, oh, I got something for ya.... That's me on set with the Sigma 4.5mm on D200. If it wouldn't be for that freaking rain you could hear the shutter race through these. I found that 30 seconds is a safe on-set time I can request over and over again between takes, without being shut out.
[media width=480]http://www.blochi.com/files/Shooting_on_Set_web.mov[/media]

The Promote should get you close to that speed, a netbook not ever near (and never as reliable).


Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Byron Nash on 08/21/09 at 12:21:56
That is blazing fast Blochi. So you are doing 3 positions with 9EV. That seems sufficient. I've only been doing this for jobs since the beginning of the year so it hasn't been that much. I still have a lot to learn and more gear to get and get speedy with.  Do you take Zenith and Nadir shots when you are on a set?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 08/21/09 at 14:59:19
Nope, not with that 4.5mm. Instead I angle it slightly up, so all three images overlap at the Zenith (since it's 180 deg circular). I have to paint in the Nadir anyway, no point in shooting that.
This shooting style gets me a 4k HDRI, good enough for reflections and lighting. However, when there is a little bit more time, I also try shooting a higher res pano with the 10.5mm. That would be 6 shots + Zenith + Nadir, so about 1:30 minutes. Quite often I do these trailing behind the actual shoot, when they are done in one corner... or in another interesting area of the set.

Blochi

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 08/22/09 at 15:35:14
Hi guys,

I'm sorry it took me so long to respond! I took a two week vacation and spent it hiking in mountains - 11 days and 60 miles of rocks, swamps and creeks to cross with 65 pounds hanging off my back. Boy do I love doing this! Took some pictures of course, will share them as soon as they go through PP. Everything digital was properly geotagged, so there will be a map link. I also shot some with a Pentax 645N (a bit of Reala, Velvia and Ilford Delta)... almost forgot that itchy feeling of "how did it turn out?".

Sam, you are right - using shutter cable will speed up both Canon and Nikon shooting. Furthermore, on most Canon cameras shooting with USB only can be done rather fast. There is a USB delay setting in the Promote Control setup menu, set to 1500 ms by default - this is what some Nikon cameras need, so we went safe route here. But most Canons can take as fast as 500 ms on that setting - which gets the FPS somewhat closer to what you would get with a shutter cable (but not quite as fast).

Scottes, I've seen your review - it's a truly in-depth look - thanks for doing that! I will post a link to the Promote Control webpage, it's a really worthy work!

Speaking of firmware updates, I've got a binary on my desktop that has a few changes and fixes, introduces some nifty things... and - drumroll please - a Hyperfocal Calculator :) It does HF calculations for eight different crop factors (from Four Thirds to 6x7 film), and works both ways - you can choose a distance and it will calculate the required aperture, or you choose an aperture, and it shows the HF distance for selected focal length and crop factor. Distance units can be chosen from meters, feet or yards (contemplated adding miles but figured it might be an overkill ;)). Worked OK in our lab tests... anybody interested in giving it a run before we post it for GA? Send me a PM if interested. FYI, it's possible to roll back to a previously used version at any time, so it should be a safe bet.

Oh, forgot to mention something. I took the Promote Control with me on the hike. Unfortunately I never got a chance to use it for its primary intended purpose of HDR - the hike was a disaster photography wise, we had 8 days of non-stop rain... I'm still trying to wash the mud off my gear. Everything got wet and condensated upon - and I mean everything, including my D3 and its lenses and all other gear. Well I'm glad to report that Promote Control worked great through a short test I ran it through with the D3 after seeing them both getting seriously wet from condensation. Tough beasts seem to get together well :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Scottes on 08/26/09 at 18:34:55
When I shoot an HDR sequence, I've found that I like to test-shoot to find the darkest exposure first. That is, I adjust settings until I get the brightest possible exposure without any blown highlights. I like to ensure that the highlights are captured with the most possible details, so this frame must be "exposed to the right."

With the Promote, I then have to calculate the Middle Exposure. Sometimes this can be a pain if that exposure lands on a 1/3 or 2/3 stop measurement. If it falls on a full stop, like 1/2000, figuring the middle exposure is easy. But when it lands on something like 1/350, my brain starts to hurt. (Quick, what's 4 stops slower than 1/350?)


My suggestion would be to be to have the Promote calculate and display the shutter speeds for the brightest and darkest frames of the configured sequence. Then I could adjust the Mid Exposure until the displayed darkest exposure matched my test shot.

But this enhancement might not be useful if I'm the only one who shoots a sequence in this way.


Does anyone else figure the darkest exposure first? Or do you simply figure the Mid Exposure and pick enough Total Exposures to be sure to cover the dynamic range of the scene?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 08/26/09 at 18:59:25
I used the Promote yesterday, and I thought the same thing. More information would be a great enhancement, and even if it would be just to get rid of this annoying "out of range" message. Which comes on when I think I'm done and hit START. In an ideal world, it wouldn't even let dial in unsupported settings.

So yeah, it should do a display, maybe inverted (to indicate it's only for viewing), maybe on the bottom line:

1/2000  |  |  |  |  |  1/4

With the bars indicating the number of shots, and the numbers indicating the ends.


Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Scottes on 08/26/09 at 19:13:05
Funny, I haven't seen the "out of range message"
Does your sequence include a shot faster than 1/4000?
Or longer than 30" but you're not using a shutter cable?

The error at START is annoying. A warning sign of some kind would be better.


For your display suggestion, I would not find the bars so useful. I think they'd be hard to count if you're doing 11 frames - let alone 45! (and 45 bars wouldn't even fit I'd bet.) I'd rather see something simple at the bottom, like "1/2000 - 1/8" since the other info (Mid Exposure and Total frames) is already displayed.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Scottes on 08/26/09 at 19:15:06
"In an ideal world, it wouldn't even let dial in unsupported settings."

Oooh, please no! I would want an indication that my setting was in error (Like a blinking "Out of Range" message) rather than something that appeared to be that a button was no longer functioning!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Scottes on 08/27/09 at 02:02:33
Just found another little "bug." If you enable MLU on the Promote, but don't plug in the USB cable, you get twice as many shots as planned.

I set up a series of 12 shots in Time-Lapse mode. I plugged in the shutter release, but not the USB. MLU was enabled. I got 24 shots instead of 12 - I'd guess because it was sending once to lock up the mirror, and again to take the shot.

Well, this is user error, more than a bug. But it would be nice if the Promote recognized that MLU was not possible because the USB cable wasn't plugged in. A warning would be nice, as well as sending the correct number of shutter signals. (This is assuming that the lack of USB could be detected.)

Not a big deal, really.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by jujubee on 08/27/09 at 02:09:12
Has anyone tested this out on a prosumer camera model such as the Canon XSI? From my understanding, non Mark series Canons are limited at 1/200.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 08/27/09 at 06:51:06
> My suggestion would be to be to have the Promote calculate and display the shutter speeds for the brightest and darkest frames of the configured sequence

Interesting suggestion, we could make it a setup setting to choose as your preference. I'll enter that into our todo list.

> 1/2000  |  |  |  |  |  1/4

Some visualization of the chosen sequence you mean? I like that. It could only be shown in the "Mid Exp" mode, as in Start/End exp mode it wouldn't matter (user would set start/end himself).

> Funny, I haven't seen the "out of range message"
Does your sequence include a shot faster than 1/4000?
Or longer than 30" but you're not using a shutter cable?

If a shot is longer than 30" with no shutter cable, it will tell about that directly and suggest using the shutter cable. I guess we need to extend the warning about 1/4000s limit...

> Just found another little "bug." If you enable MLU on the Promote, but don't plug in the USB cable, you get twice as many shots as planned.

Not quite true... the reason for this behavior is that MLU was probably off on the camera. MLU actually is not connected to USB in any way - camera simply does not report MLU status via USB (I tried to make a warning like that but unfortunately cameras are not that chatty in this regard). But you are right, Promote sends two signals with MLU on mode, and if camera does not have MLU enabled, it will take two pics per one planned frame, just like it would if you pressed shutter release button on the camera twice for every shot.

> Has anyone tested this out on a prosumer camera model such as the Canon XSI? From my understanding, non Mark series Canons are limited at 1/200.

We tested it with the XSi, and it worked fine, with the same range of possible exposures (up to 1/4000). One thing to mention is that we don't have shutter cables for prosumer Canon DSLRs yet, but you can use any 3.5mm to 2.5mm audio cable for that purpose, and we will soon start carrying those in stock.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Scottes on 08/27/09 at 12:07:11

wrote on 08/27/09 at 06:51:06:
Not quite true... the reason for this behavior is that MLU was probably off on the camera.

Good point. OK, I'll stick with my "user error" version then. :-)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Scottes on 08/29/09 at 04:37:32
I spent 4 hours with the Promote the other night, shooting nothing but HDRs and filling 8 gigs of CF cards.

I ran into one "problem" that I'm going to pass on as a tip since it's happened to me twice now. On my 50D, the Promote can't set a shutter speed longer than 4 seconds if the camera is set to high- or low-speed continuous shooting mode. I got an error a few times when the frame was supposed to be 8 seconds. I finally remembered - again - to set the camera into single shooting mode.

So far, it seems like the promote works perfectly as long as I remember to set the 50D to Manual exposure, One-Shot AF mode, and Single-shooting drive mode.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 08/30/09 at 02:51:50
HDR Capture mode recommends manual focus for the camera (page 29; #5).  Also, in the troubleshooting section it recommends manual focus if having issues.

However, I found that on longer # captures sometimes the final over exposures would get skipped when using the shutter release cable on a D3.  I had to back off of using the shutter release for some sequences and just use the USB connection and slower capture speed.  

I'm talking about when I did some 17+ frames in a capture.  I'm thinking it is not a promote issue as much as a buffer issue of the camera though.  But frames did get skipped until I dialed back.  And I only experienced this on the rare (large) capture.

Basically for HDR capture I have the camera set up as...
Manual Mode
Manual Focus
1/3rd EV steps for camera (which is the D3 default)
AEB off

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 08/31/09 at 14:26:19
I can confirm that Michael's case is likely the D3's buffer issue. I was able to reproduce it with my D3 and 27 HDR shots in a row, using NEF + JPEG S/Norm. If I shot 14 bit compressed NEF only (with no JPEGs) - the issue was solved. Using USB alone (without shutter cable) also solves the issue, but then it doesn't work as fast as with shutter cable - which is why the issue is solved. Having a shorter HDR sequence shot didn't have issues either. FWIW, I was shooting with dual Sandisk Extreme IVs.

We might consider adding an optional extra delay in shutter cable mode, but then it loses one of the biggest advantages of the shutter cable - speed. If you guys have any input on this, I'd love to listen.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Mr.Shneeblie on 08/31/09 at 19:46:24
Hey all - just registered here. I'm new to HDR and I went ahead and purchased this controller (at Houston Camera Exchange). So far I love it! I have a Canon 30D and have had no problems, except the "out of range" message but I assume with a cable release - that range will expand?

If you care to see some of my HDR shots - most taken with this controller - go  here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrshneeblie/sets/72157622114500152/

Thanks so much.

Mr.Shneeblie

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Scottes on 08/31/09 at 20:04:05
I'd have to suspect that this would also happen to me with my Canon 50D. I'll have to give it a test tonight and see.

This may be solved by

1) Taking exposures in the opposite direction. Right now the Promote blasts away taking the fast frames first, which fills the buffer and it never catches up. By reversing and taking the slowest shots first, the buffer will always be empty until the shots are taken faster than x seconds. (With x depending on the camera itself.)

I don't see this working for every possible camera with every possible number of frames taken.

2) Have a user-configurable delay between shots when the total number of shots in the sequence exceed a user-configurable number. (So I can choose a 200ms delay when 17 shots or greater, 500ms delay when 23 shots or greater...) This is great for those of us who can figure out the correct delay for different numbers of shots in a sequence.

This is miserable for typical end-user ease-of-use issues - someone will screw up these settings, and be plenty ticked off at you (Arty) because they didn't read the manual properly. And I wouldn't blame them.

3) You (Arty) choose the delay when the sequence exceeds x shots, and solve for different values of x.

You can make this work for any situation by using excessive values - which covers your butt in any circumstance. That costs the user time, and a repeat of what you said about the benefit of the shutter cable.

4) You (Arty) *figure out* what the delay should be for each value of x, depending on the camera model that the end user configures into the Promote.

While this may seem impossible, I would bet that Rob Galbraith's CF card database of write speeds may be extremely valuable, and let you come up with reasonable delay values for each value of x.

This would require a new Setup menu item, allowing the user to select their camera model. What a pain to list each model!

5) Do the above, but simplify things. Have the user select their camera from 5 grades of camera - "entry-level, mid-tier, pro-sumer, high-end, sports model" or "slow" thru "ultra-fast".

This may be ideal, in the end, for the end user. If they find that some scenario fails (like in Michael's case) then they just need to set their camera model to 1 level down. No error should happen twice, and users should be just fine with that.

It will be easier for you (Arty) to figure out what these settings should be, too. Pick a delay, and a value of x. Use the user-configured camera "grade" selected to adjust delay and x.

As an example, a "very slow" camera gets delay is 100ms at 15 frames, and 500ms for 25 frames. A "slow" gets 100ms at 19 frames, and 500ms for 29 frames. And so on.

So you need to go into your lab and figure out what the numbers should be for 2 "grades" of cameras, like a 1d Mk II (highest grade) and a 50D (mid grade). You should then be able to figure out all the other settings from whichever two grades of camera you pick.

And then send this new feature out to beta testers who own enough cameras to cover all or most variations. Possibly allow beta testers to adjust your settings for delay and x, allowing them to give you back what might very well be exact values for each delay for each value of x frames for their specific camera.



I vote for #5 unless someone comes up with better suggestions.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 09/01/09 at 00:20:39
It's not the D3's buffer.  I figured that out today.

Why?

Because the longer the sequences get and the more long exposures there are in that larger bracket (29 shots versus 17 shots), the greater the number of skipped exposures.

I had one or two skipped exposures on some 17 frame captures, but was getting double skips (skipping not one, but two exposures) as the number of frames grew.

And the tail end of the exposures is when the buffer is catching up because the card is being written to faster than the exposure itself.

Also, the captures go 25 straight frames without a skip, but as soon as they get to the longer exposures the skips happen, whereas with the 15,  17, 19 captures... the skips happen 2-3 captures before the final capture and the skips  are happening during the longer expsure times.  If it were a buffer issue then why are the really big bracketed shots able to catch 25 straight frames?  Those don't crap out until it hits the longer exposures.

That tail end during the longer exposures is where the promote is firing an instruction off to the camera to take the next exposure and the camera is still busy with the shutter open capturing the current frame.  Then the promote fires off another command (the next exposure), but the previous command was ignored and never captured.

Then during the really big bracketed shots, the shutter speeds get even slower and I'm seeing not one, but the next two exposures skipped completely because the  the camera is busy capturing but the promote keeps sending the camera instructions without waiting for those prior commands to be completed.

I don't think reversing the order of the capture would help either, because the promote is sending signals in a timed interval.  My only solution is to disable the shutter release cable temporarily under the setup menu (#2) for the larger exposures.

But there is no way it is a camera buffer issue.  Not if you read what I just said very closely.

Just to confirm that I started pushing larger exposures to 33 and over with just 1/3rd a step between just to see where the D3 buffer would crap out.  Amazingly, it catches every single shot (almost 30 straight) right up until it hits the longer exposures like it does on any sequence as few as 15 frames.  It shouldn't be skipping frames at frame 14, 16, etc... if the camera can take 30 straight with faster shutter speeds.

This is what made me today realize this is a communication situation, not a buffer issue.

All that said, there are so few times when I need to exploit the full range of a scene that I am not bothered to just disable the shutter cable for a shot or two.

I need that full range in so few captures that I would guess that 95% of users will never run into it.

The scenes I hit for it are shooting interiors with blasting bright light coming in through windows.  In order to keep noise down and capture the interior the shutter speeds get slow.  The lower ISO and darker interior demands that be captured as such.  Out of 20 shots on a property I generally have 1 maybe 2 that would bump into the skipped frames issue.  And some properties it has been zero.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 09/01/09 at 15:40:39
Scott, I agree about the Setup setting. That's what we did in the default mode of "USB only" - it just has "milliseconds" vs "entry-mid-pro" grades, and the reason is because my pro level D3 (which needs 1000ms) is actually slower in USB only than Canon's XSi (which works fine with 500ms). So we left it at 1500ms which is what was needed by D200 - the slowest of a rather big bunch that we tested.

However, with shutter cable we never had this problem - honestly, because we didn't do a dozen long frames with all the bodies. Michael certainly picks the prize for figuring it out... thanks Michael!

Speaking of buffer vs. no buffer. I might imagine why it would happen with long vs. short exposures - the Promote Control cannot know when the camera is done shooting (at least not that reliably on 20+ different bodies with their own specialities), so it just times along what the camera is supposed to shoot. We added a safety margin to that as well (actually a few of those), but looks like it's not enough. I guess we will just go the simple route and introduce an optional setup setting that would tame it down in shutter cable mode as well. It will be a different setting from the USB only delay. I will also try to reproduce Michael's long vs. short issue on my D3 before we do any changes.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Scottes on 09/01/09 at 16:19:07
Can the USB cable do queries as well as send commands? For instance, perhaps you can ask the camera how many frames were captured (or shutter count, or something), and loop-poll this until the frame count is one greater than last time, and *then* take the next exposure?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 09/01/09 at 16:29:56
Yeah... but some cameras start responding to commands like that a good second after they are actually free! E.g. my old D200 actually got overloaded with polls and froze until I stopped polling it completely. If all camera makers followed one standard, it'd be easy, but "the good thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from" :-|

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by ricardo on 09/05/09 at 23:15:23

wrote on 07/28/09 at 02:04:00:
just received my phottix wireless remote (12 days shipping), the plato remote i ordered works great with the promote remote :)

i actually ordered a cleon and a plato, and they gave me a free upgrade to cleon2, plus a 2.5mm cable & a nikon 10 pin cable

the Phottix C6 2.5mm cable is 2.5mm on both ends, so perhaps any 2.5-2.5 cable will do, if so, one could order for their cameras normal cable, and get the 2.5 for promote @ radio shack

sam


Hi Sam,

I'm not sure if I understood what you did (due my English perhaps). It's possible to fire Promote using a wireless remote control? If yes, could you explain the configuration you used?  ;)

Thank you in advance,

Ricardo

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sam Rohn on 09/06/09 at 00:49:20
hi ricardo -

yes, i'm using a phottix plato remote with a 2.5mm cable with the promote, works perfectly

configuration is just plugging the plato receiver into the promote, and pressing the button on the plato transmitter to fire the promote :)

search for this item on  ebay, " Plato Wireless Remote C6 ", costs about $43 - this is the main distributors shop - http://stores.shop.ebay.com/Hong-Kong-Supplies__W0QQ_armrsZ1

phottix cleon 2 is a little bit cheaper, and should work fine also

C6 is the cable that will plug directly into the promote, but you could also obtain a 2nd cable (if needed) to use directly into your camera, like the N8 cable for nikon D300

sam

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by ricardo on 09/06/09 at 02:41:49
Hi Sam,
Thank you for your explanation.
Could you give me other information?
I would listen to you about the speed difference between using the D300 built in bracketing and the Promote (using shutter cable).

Regards,

Ricardo

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sam Rohn on 09/06/09 at 13:54:06
the promote is just a s fast as using the D300's built in bracketing, if you mean the promote telling the camera what exposure to use vs bracket mode on the D300 determining exposures

otherwise, the promote will only go up to 1/4000 second (you can compensate w/ aperture), but it will also go longer than 30 seconds by using bulb mode if needed -

sam

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by brainspoon on 09/10/09 at 20:12:17
Hi,

It would be great if the controller would have a 2.5mm or 3.5mm input jack where one could start the capturing sequence by sending a signal to it.

That way one could easily combine it with motorized panorama heads to automate hdr capture instead of just ldr capturing.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 09/10/09 at 21:03:15

wrote on 09/10/09 at 20:12:17:
Hi,

It would be great if the controller would have a 2.5mm or 3.5mm input jack where one could start the capturing sequence by sending a signal to it.

That way one could easily combine it with motorized panorama heads to automate hdr capture instead of just ldr capturing.


It's already there :) The remote sensor port is just a 2.5mm stereo female plug with the same pinout as e.g. Canon XSi remote shutter cable port. Simply shorting both ring and tip to the sleeve (ground) will do the same as if you pressed "Start" button on the Promote Control itself. Is that something you're looking for?

Regards,
Arty

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by brainspoon on 09/10/09 at 21:08:22
Uh, should read more carefully. Sounds exactly like what I was looking for.

The only difficulty is to time both devices, the motor control and the promote, because there is no back signal.

Maybe the promote could display how long each sequence will take including all delays for mirror up, etc?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 09/10/09 at 21:33:43

wrote on 09/10/09 at 21:08:22:
Uh, should read more carefully. Sounds exactly like what I was looking for.

The only difficulty is to time both devices, the motor control and the promote, because there is no back signal.

Maybe the promote could display how long each sequence will take including all delays for mirror up, etc?


At this time it doesn't display the overall timespan of the whole sequence, but it shows what step it is in, and how much of that step is left in seconds. With time lapse you can calculate the length of the whole sequence pretty easily - it's a bit more complicated in HDR though because of various issues and camera differences.

Regards,
Arty

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by brainspoon on 09/10/09 at 21:38:21
Maybe it would be possible for the promote to send a similar signal back on the remote shutter port?
I think that would be useful for other applications too.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 09/10/09 at 21:47:07

wrote on 09/10/09 at 21:38:21:
Maybe it would be possible for the promote to send a similar signal back on the remote shutter port?
I think that would be useful for other applications too.


You mean when it's done with the sequence? Interesting idea. One issue I see there is that remote shutter port is used for actually tripping the shutter... so it can confuse the camera by sending that signal. But I see the point. We can make it an option I guess, but then one would have to use USB only for shutter release.

Regards,
Arty

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by brainspoon on 09/10/09 at 21:54:38
No I meant to send back a signal on the remote sensor port where it got the signal to start capturing the sequence. I think the port ist called "Accessory input" in the documentation. So there will be no problem with the camera.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 09/10/09 at 22:46:26

wrote on 09/10/09 at 21:54:38:
No I meant to send back a signal on the remote sensor port where it got the signal to start capturing the sequence. I think the port ist called "Accessory input" in the documentation. So there will be no problem with the camera.


Ah, I see what you mean now. Unfortunately that kind of port can only be an input or an output... and ours is an input, that's why I thought of the shutter port.

Regards,
Arty

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by brainspoon on 09/10/09 at 23:08:05
Well then the shutter port is the only possibilty. It's still better than doing it manually.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 09/10/09 at 23:10:19

wrote on 09/10/09 at 23:08:05:
Well then the shutter port is the only possibilty. It's still better than doing it manually.


Could you describe in a bit more detail on what this is needed for? I have no experience with motorized heads... hence the question.

Regards,
Arty

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by brainspoon on 09/10/09 at 23:18:14
I am thinking about building my own motorized panorama head that would automatically rotate the camera to all needed positions.
When a position is reached it could trigger the promote to shoot the bracket for that postion. After that the panorama head will move to the next position and will again trigger the promote. It will do that until the complete panorama is photographed.

Right now the head controlling would have no clue if the promote has finished to take all images and would have to wait a predefined timeframe, but when taking panoramas it is better to do it as fast as you can to minimize changing contents in the images.

Hope that makes it clear what I am looking for. My goal is a fully automated system for taking HDR panoramas.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 09/10/09 at 23:20:00

wrote on 09/10/09 at 23:18:14:
I am thinking about building my own motorized panorama head that would automatically rotate the camera to all needed positions.
When a position is reached it could trigger the promote to shoot the bracket for that postion. After that the panorama head will move to the next position and will again trigger the promote. It will do that until the complete panorama is photographed.

Right now the head controlling would have no clue if the promote has finished to take all images and would have to wait a predefined timeframe, but when taking panoramas it is better to do it as fast as you can to minimize changing contents in the images.

Hope that makes it clear what I am looking for.


Yup, got it now. Do you know of any ready solutions implementing that kind of automation?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by brainspoon on 09/10/09 at 23:27:01
http://www.hdrlabs.com/news/index.php?id=4956306000351384165

http://gigapanbot.de/panobot-en.htm   << only ldr panoramas

http://www.dr-clauss.de/VRstation_DE.htm

The professional ones rely on attached laptops which I was trying to avoid.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 09/10/09 at 23:40:06

wrote on 09/10/09 at 23:27:01:
http://www.hdrlabs.com/news/index.php?id=4956306000351384165

http://gigapanbot.de/panobot-en.htm   << only ldr panoramas

http://www.dr-clauss.de/VRstation_DE.htm

The professional ones rely on attached laptops which I was trying to avoid.


Thanks - now I know more about panoramas than I ever did! Interesting... I wish we have known that when we designed the Promote Control - maybe we could have added a separate port.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by brainspoon on 09/10/09 at 23:44:46
Yeah with some kind of script support or something to upload little programs.
That would make a killer all in one tool.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by brainspoon on 09/11/09 at 00:10:29
Would it technically be possible to use the usb port for more than just controlling the camera?
Then it might be possible to send signals to a micro controller that will move the head.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 09/11/09 at 01:01:11

wrote on 09/11/09 at 00:10:29:
Would it technically be possible to use the usb port for more than just controlling the camera?
Then it might be possible to send signals to a micro controller that will move the head.


Probably not - the USB port needs to control one thing at a time on a device like this. I'd rather think of adapting our remote release port for that.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by brainspoon on 09/11/09 at 01:26:15
If you understand you right you think it would someday be possible to control a motorized head with the promote? Options for the count rows and columns should be sufficient.

If that is the case I will wait with my plans and see what you come up with to built my stuff around the promote.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 09/11/09 at 02:50:34

wrote on 09/11/09 at 01:26:15:
If you understand you right you think it would someday be possible to control a motorized head with the promote? Options for the count rows and columns should be sufficient.

If that is the case I will wait with my plans and see what you come up with to built my stuff around the promote.


Well, technically we should be able to send a signal about finishing a sequence... would that to be sufficient? We won't be able to send anything "smart" though, at least not with the current design, and/or not without serious modifications to the firmware.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by brainspoon on 09/11/09 at 10:45:57
Ah ok. If that is the only technical possibility than it is ok.

Just found this nice project. There they take a cheap system that tracks stars with a telescope and stick instead a camera to it. Seams to be done easily and software is already there. The system triggers the camera with a 2.5mm plug, so it should be easy to place the promote between both.

http://www.brewzone.com/2008/11/diy-pano-head
http://www.autopano.net/forum/f20-merlin,orion-and-papywizard

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 09/15/09 at 19:35:41
OK guys, I would like for you to have a look at something and let me know what do you think. Sam once mentioned that it'd be nice to attach Promote Control to the tripod - so we got our suppliers to work. This is a sample we just got in the mail:





I know there are a few issues with this design - starting with the fact that to operate the control you need to take it out of the case. But other than that, does it look like something you all could use? If not, what needs to be changed? Your comments will go straight to the supplier, and we'll see if they can do what you want.

Thanks :)

Regards,
Arty

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by ricardo on 09/16/09 at 00:43:51
Arty,

I’m very glad seeing how much you listen to your market!

Great job! Is not a Fendi or a Luis Vuitton  but if it holds Promote firmly, it’s okay for me, but I would like to see another feature in Promote in order to I can buy it immediately.

My main issue regarding Promote is: I have a Nikon D200 and a 5D Mark II. Nikon has a better bracketing (up to 9 shots at 1 EV steps maximum) than Canon (only 3 shots at 2 EV steps maximum) but the bracketing of both cameras has the same approach as Promote has: You chose an intermediate exposure and than chose the EV increment, and finally the number of shots. In fact, what I would love to have is the following option: set the limits of bracketing (the darker and the brighter) and than the number of shots I want and the “bracketing software” automatically set the EV step.

The bracketing setting screen of Promote could looks like this (additionally to the existing one):
Minimum exposure:      1/250
Maximum exposure:      2
Number of shots:      12

I believe Canon and Nikon will enhance bracketing capabilities, but if Promote could do it now, I would buy it.

Like me many photographers have both (Nikon and Canon) cameras. Who knows Promote becomes a bracketing standard?

Sorry my English,

Ricardo

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sam Rohn on 09/16/09 at 01:53:03
hey arty -

at this point, i am using a piece of foam packing material, cut out w/ a serrated kitchen knife about 20mm x 40mm x 100mm  + a strip of velcro, with the block acting as a spacer so the cables will clear the Nodal Ninja upright knob

it works well, and stays put when i move the tripod from place to place, but it does block the controls, so i am thinking of threading the velcro through the foam block, and sticking some velcro on the promote and the block - i'll let you know how that works out in the field...

also, the foam spacer block could have a notch cut along the back to give it a better grip on tripod legs

something a bit more sturdy along these lines would work well for me,  something which can attach firmly & quickly onto a mount which lives on the head

maybe a silicon skin w belt clip kind of thing ?

thanks arty :)

sam

ps - wow, 72 replies to this thread so far, blochi, maybe time for a dedicated HDR hardware (promote, bracketmeister, etc)  forum ?




promote-nodal-ninja.jpg (Attachment deleted)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 09/16/09 at 07:51:20
Hey Arty,

Glad you're jumping on the ideas that come up here. Your pouch would sure be handy for carrying the rig around, and then taking the Promote out for the shoot. Agree, the controls should better be accessible. How about just cutting some holes in for the buttons and the display? I used to have an iPod case that was just like that, for the first gen where you actually had to touch the wheel. Damn, I wish I could find it... The front of it was also made from a transparent rubbery foil, so you could see the display through...

But how about the other way? If you could somehow slim the device down a bit, you would be instantly compatible with a million case designs...  

@Sam:

Interesting to see the telephone-cord style cable. Is that your WiFi remote? Don't you also wish the Promote cables would be like that, perferrably combined into one. I don't mind when it splits into USB and Release Cable on both ends, as long as I don't have all this stuff dangling around....

Hardware forum, eh? I'm hesitant to make more categories, already people are missing many useful posts just because they are in an another category. If this thread would go off-topic I would split it, but for right now I think it's just a super-fruitful discussion that is well kept together.
But maybe we can come up with a good wishlist, and make that a poll for Arty. Might be good to have a simple shortnamed reminder list, prioritized by users.


Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sam Rohn on 09/16/09 at 21:20:17
yeah, the curly cable is the phottix plato 2.4 ghz (not wifi though) receiver, mounted on my hot shoe - but i think i prefer the straight cables, as they bundle tighter together

im carrying the promote around in a case sized for an SLR flash unit, i can leave the cables on the promote, and also stuff in the velcro/foam mount thing, plus it attaches to the side of my camera bag

another idea that has crossed my mind would be a bluetooth breakout dongle kind of thing, hotshoe mount (or wherever) with usb & camera cables going to the body, and the promote would control it wirelessly, perhaps w/ an add on transmitter or built in - this would let you monitor remaining time, etc and keep yourself & shadows out of the shot, always an issue w/ panos

i know what you mean about too many forums, but we do have a couple different conversations going on here, new user questions, new feature reqs, case design, etc - it can get kind of jumbled and overwhelming all bunched together...

but that is another conversation, now i'm off topic :)

sam

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 09/16/09 at 22:06:29

ricardo wrote on 09/16/09 at 00:43:51:
Arty,

I’m very glad seeing how much you listen to your market!

Great job! Is not a Fendi or a Luis Vuitton  but if it holds Promote firmly, it’s okay for me, but I would like to see another feature in Promote in order to I can buy it immediately.

My main issue regarding Promote is: I have a Nikon D200 and a 5D Mark II. Nikon has a better bracketing (up to 9 shots at 1 EV steps maximum) than Canon (only 3 shots at 2 EV steps maximum) but the bracketing of both cameras has the same approach as Promote has: You chose an intermediate exposure and than chose the EV increment, and finally the number of shots. In fact, what I would love to have is the following option: set the limits of bracketing (the darker and the brighter) and than the number of shots I want and the “bracketing software” automatically set the EV step.

The bracketing setting screen of Promote could looks like this (additionally to the existing one):
Minimum exposure:      1/250
Maximum exposure:      2
Number of shots:      12

I believe Canon and Nikon will enhance bracketing capabilities, but if Promote could do it now, I would buy it.

Like me many photographers have both (Nikon and Canon) cameras. Who knows Promote becomes a bracketing standard?

Sorry my English,

Ricardo


Thanks for your comments Ricardo! This feature is in the pipeline, it's among the most requested, and I think we will do it in one of the next firmware releases. It's a bit tricky due to a few things, but we'll manage :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 09/16/09 at 22:10:55

wrote on 09/16/09 at 01:53:03:
maybe a silicon skin w belt clip kind of thing ?


Yeah, I was thinking silicone too. What I personally don't like about this pouch is that it doesn't let you see what happens. I'll send that idea to the supplier.


Quote:
another idea that has crossed my mind would be a bluetooth breakout dongle kind of thing, hotshoe mount (or wherever) with usb & camera cables going to the body, and the promote would control it wirelessly, perhaps w/ an add on transmitter or built in - this would let you monitor remaining time, etc and keep yourself & shadows out of the shot, always an issue w/ panos


True. It's a neat but tricky thing to do for technical reasons - we've considered that, and may actually go for it at a later moment. One issue with this design is that the receiver box sitting in hotshoe will need to have its own battery in order to be able to talk to camera (it cannot power from the camera's USB - it needs to power that back in return). 2 AAAs would do I suppose.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by jujubee on 09/16/09 at 23:01:19
As for holding the Promote up - I have it tied with electrical/cable ties around the leg of my tripod - above one of the arm notches. Seems fairly stable. What concerns me is if the weather gets bad suddenly, then the Promote is exposed.

On a separate note, I experienced some skipping after the 6th shot of a 7 frame sequence. I'm using a Canon XSi with a shutter cable (and adapter) - the mode is enabled but the MLU is set to off.

I was also shooting in RAW with a standard CF card. Battery on the camera was low. I just recharged the batteries and will give it some more testing later if I have the time. I have a feeling that I will need a faster CF card as well as disabling the shutter cable and going straight to the USB. It seems that the commands being sent to the camera are much faster than the buffer write.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 09/16/09 at 23:14:04

wrote on 09/16/09 at 23:01:19:
As for holding the Promote up - I have it tied with electrical/cable ties around the leg of my tripod - above one of the arm notches. Seems fairly stable. What concerns me is if the weather gets bad suddenly, then the Promote is exposed.

On a separate note, I experienced some skipping after the 6th shot of a 7 frame sequence. I'm using a Canon XSi with a shutter cable (and adapter) - the mode is enabled but the MLU is set to off.

I was also shooting in RAW with a standard CF card. Battery on the camera was low. I just recharged the batteries and will give it some more testing later if I have the time. I have a feeling that I will need a faster CF card as well as disabling the shutter cable and going straight to the USB. It seems that the commands being sent to the camera are much faster than the buffer write.


Yes, there might be an issue depending on the buffer size. Try using Sandisk Extreme IV cards, they are very fast (although I'm not sure if XSi can write that fast). Using USB only will help too. And by the way, if you enable MLU with shutter cable, it should give camera a bit more time to write every image while the mirror is up. Even if MLU delay is only one second, it should still help.

Regards,
Arty

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sam Rohn on 09/17/09 at 00:09:30

wrote on 09/16/09 at 22:10:55:
<snip>One issue with this design is that the receiver box sitting in hotshoe will need to have its own battery in order to be able to talk to camera (it cannot power from the camera's USB - it needs to power that back in return). 2 AAAs would do I suppose.


couldn't it draw power from the camera cable ? i have a little diGPS unit that gets its power from the nikon 10 pin port, AAAs would prob be better though. less drain on cameras battery...

a silicon skin would be great, perhaps there is some type of existing car/gps/cell phone mount point that could be adapted to tripods & pano heads

1 more suggestion that may have gotten lost in the shuffle, a louder beep upon completing an HDR cycle would be nice, maybe adjustable volume

sam

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by jujubee on 09/17/09 at 00:25:17
An optional sequence delay based upon specific camera models (the most common ones and formats) would be good. Otherwise, the end-user is stuck messing around with it until they find an appropriate setting.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sam Rohn on 09/17/09 at 07:57:16

wrote on 09/16/09 at 23:14:04:
Yes, there might be an issue depending on the buffer size. Try using Sandisk Extreme IV cards, they are very fast (although I'm not sure if XSi can write that fast).


there is a comparative speed test of various CF/SD cards in various cameras and readers here - http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=6007

sam

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by jujubee on 09/17/09 at 11:49:06
Wow - the XSI/450d gets some pretty decent write speeds compared to a lot of the other models which I find surprising. They didn't test the Extreme IV although I wonder if a XSI can even take advantage of that write speed. Apparently, the Trandscend I'm using is 3X slower than the fastest one available on their chart.

Great link - thanks for sharing!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 09/17/09 at 17:37:17

wrote on 09/17/09 at 00:09:30:
couldn't it draw power from the camera cable ? i have a little diGPS unit that gets its power from the nikon 10 pin port, AAAs would prob be better though. less drain on cameras battery...

a silicon skin would be great, perhaps there is some type of existing car/gps/cell phone mount point that could be adapted to tripods & pano heads

1 more suggestion that may have gotten lost in the shuffle, a louder beep upon completing an HDR cycle would be nice, maybe adjustable volume


Camera cable power sounds exciting, I had this thought... but then realized that Canon's don't have that. So the device would not be compatible with Canon cams.

As for volume, we can't change it from the firmware alone, gotta do some HW change for that.

Regards,
Arty

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 09/17/09 at 17:39:31

wrote on 09/17/09 at 00:25:17:
An optional sequence delay based upon specific camera models (the most common ones and formats) would be good. Otherwise, the end-user is stuck messing around with it until they find an appropriate setting.


Well we also bump into different cards used here... so there will still have to be some experimenting. Not even mentioning the different file formats - e.g. if you shoot JPEG only it'd be a lot faster to write it than RAW + JPEG.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by jujubee on 09/19/09 at 22:24:13
Here's an update to my skipping problem with the shutter cable. I switched to Sandisk Extreme III cards - and the skipping still occurred while taking RAW images. It simply needs a delay when processing RAW. But there is a noticeable speed difference between having the shutter on and off.

If you guys do implement a delay, I think we need to come up with a table of acceptable delays per camera model/RAW shooting.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 09/19/09 at 22:56:06

wrote on 09/19/09 at 22:24:13:
Here's an update to my skipping problem with the shutter cable. I switched to Sandisk Extreme III cards - and the skipping still occurred while taking RAW images. It simply needs a delay when processing RAW. But there is a noticeable speed difference between having the shutter on and off.

If you guys do implement a delay, I think we need to come up with a table of acceptable delays per camera model/RAW shooting.


OK, I guess it's the camera writing speed then. We already implemented a delay in 1.14 beta firmware, but it's only for >11 shot sequences (works for D3). We will add another level of that delay, starting at 5th shot or so.

Regards,
Arty

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by ricardo on 09/19/09 at 23:06:37

wrote on 09/19/09 at 22:56:06:
OK, I guess it's the camera writing speed then. We already implemented a delay in 1.14 beta firmware, but it's only for >11 shot sequences (works for D3). We will add another level of that delay, starting at 5th shot or so.

Regards,
Arty


This delay will be configurable and/or optional?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 09/19/09 at 23:09:49

ricardo wrote on 09/19/09 at 23:06:37:

wrote on 09/19/09 at 22:56:06:
OK, I guess it's the camera writing speed then. We already implemented a delay in 1.14 beta firmware, but it's only for >11 shot sequences (works for D3). We will add another level of that delay, starting at 5th shot or so.

Regards,
Arty


This delay will be configurable and/or optional?


It will be both optional and configurable. More than that, since camera starts having a problem only after a few shots (not in the very beginning), the delay will be introduced after 5th shots and up - i.e. if you need to shoot only 5, there is no reason to slow it down.

Regards,
Arty

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by jujubee on 09/20/09 at 03:12:24
Ummm. Actually had one skip on the third out of seven today. Most of the time it does happen at the end so this took me off guard.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sam Rohn on 09/21/09 at 02:21:22
hey arty - another question that has crossed my mind, will there be an easy way for mac users to update the Promotes firmware ?

sam

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 09/21/09 at 03:42:05

wrote on 09/21/09 at 02:21:22:
hey arty - another question that has crossed my mind, will there be an easy way for mac users to update the Promotes firmware ?

sam


At this moment we only have a Windows firmware uploader, but we're working to get one built for Mac. We have a good lead on that, it's just a matter of time - but it's a lot of other R&D going on, so we try to spread our efforts rationally.

P.S. If you happen to know a Mac developer willing to take on the task  with a clearly written instruction and some pre-made sources that just need to be rewritten for Mac, we'd be willing to outsource that (a free Promote Control may be one of the rewards :))

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 09/21/09 at 17:47:16

wrote on 09/20/09 at 03:12:24:
Ummm. Actually had one skip on the third out of seven today. Most of the time it does happen at the end so this took me off guard.


Interesting. OK, I guess we'd need to add another slowdown level which will have longer pause between all shots.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by rajdarge on 09/21/09 at 20:48:29
How about a built in incident light meter ?

just a thought.  ::)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 09/21/09 at 21:04:57

wrote on 09/21/09 at 20:48:29:
How about a built in incident light meter ?

just a thought.  ::)


Hmm. It's a whole new area of expertise which we haven't dealt with... yet :) So most likely not now, but maybe in future.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by rajdarge on 09/21/09 at 23:50:41
It was a little bit tongue in cheek, but the unit could serve a dual purpose then: you could use it as a light/flash meter, and it could automagically judge Aperture,Shutter speed and set of the HDR brackets without relying on the camera's metering. You could set the camera on to full manual and the PROMOTE could do the rest, it would probably be better suited to HDRI light probes or 360degree panoramas.

If you put a back scratcher on it, I could get to that spot out in the field that I can never get to.
raj

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 09/21/09 at 23:55:13

wrote on 09/21/09 at 23:50:41:
It was a little bit tongue in cheek, but the unit could serve a dual purpose then: you could use it as a light/flash meter, and it could automagically judge Aperture,Shutter speed and set of the HDR brackets without relying on the camera's metering. You could set the camera on to full manual and the PROMOTE could do the rest, it would probably be better suited to HDRI light probes or 360degree panoramas.

If you put a back scratcher on it, I could get to that spot out in the field that I can never get to.
raj


LOL ;D Back scratcher is actually a bit easier to do than a good light meter. Nikon spent a lot of $$$ on making theirs. But you gave me another thought that I'd need to have a look at...

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by rajdarge on 09/22/09 at 00:01:42
well if you ever get round to it here is a formula for to convert lux or F/c to EV that I stole off the web ( http://www.convert-me.com/en/bb/viewtopic.php?t=129 )

The definition of EV=0 is an exposure of 1 second at f/1 using ISO 100 film, or any equivalent thereof (2 seconds f/1.4, 4 seconds f/2.0 etc)
The technical definition of Ev is 2Ev = LS/C.
Where:
• Ev = the exposure value
• L = field luminance
• C = Exposure Constant - If you use candelas/ft2, it is 1.3. If you are using LUX (candelas/m2), it is 12.5.
• S = film speed following the ISO standard
Now, as far as where I think you're trying to go with this... Consider that 2ev = A2/T

where:

• A = the f-stop number of the aperture
• T = shutter time in seconds

Combining these two; EV = log2(A2/T) = log2(LS/C) - This is perhaps the most vital formula there is for understandiing the basics of the mathematics behind photography.

and here is a suggested back scratcher prototype.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 09/22/09 at 00:03:32

wrote on 09/22/09 at 00:01:42:
well if you ever get round to it here is a formula for to convert lux or F/c to EV that I stole off the web ( http://www.convert-me.com/en/bb/viewtopic.php?t=129 )

The definition of EV=0 is an exposure of 1 second at f/1 using ISO 100 film, or any equivalent thereof (2 seconds f/1.4, 4 seconds f/2.0 etc)
The technical definition of Ev is 2Ev = LS/C.
Where:
• Ev = the exposure value
• L = field luminance
• C = Exposure Constant - If you use candelas/ft2, it is 1.3. If you are using LUX (candelas/m2), it is 12.5.
• S = film speed following the ISO standard
Now, as far as where I think you're trying to go with this... Consider that 2ev = A2/T

where:

• A = the f-stop number of the aperture
• T = shutter time in seconds

Combining these two; EV = log2(A2/T) = log2(LS/C) - This is perhaps the most vital formula there is for understandiing the basics of the mathematics behind photography.

and here is a suggested back scratcher prototype.


Wow... thanks! I never dealt with EV math directly, but it's a great source. Now, can that back scratcher be charged via USB? :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by rajdarge on 09/22/09 at 01:20:00
I think if you power that thing, life will be short. Full manual mode for us backscratcher purists.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sam Rohn on 09/22/09 at 04:11:47
looks like the business end of an animatronic bear ?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by jujubee on 09/22/09 at 05:28:23
I was almost tempted to make another post today saying that the camera skipped with the shutter cable disabled, but then after a few minutes of swearing and cussing I realized that I blew through roughly 1000 RAW pictures on my 16 gig card...

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Greg Downing on 10/01/09 at 00:52:41
Hi Arty,

I have a feature request.  I often shoot time-lapse where a 3 shot bracket slows the sequence down too much but there is too much dynamic range for a single exposure. Could you add a bracketing feature to the time-lapse? I often want to shoot time-lapse w/ 2 exposures. I can do this with my 1Ds Mark III but not the 5D Mark II.

-Greg
http://www.xrez.com/

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/01/09 at 01:15:22

wrote on 10/01/09 at 00:52:41:
Hi Arty,

I have a feature request.  I often shoot time-lapse where a 3 shot bracket slows the sequence down too much but there is too much dynamic range for a single exposure. Could you add a bracketing feature to the time-lapse? I often want to shoot time-lapse w/ 2 exposures. I can do this with my 1Ds Mark III but not the 5D Mark II.

-Greg
http://www.xrez.com/


Hi Greg,

That would essentially be a HDR Time-Lapse - a combo of both modes. Yes, there have been quite a few requests for that, and we're looking into having it implemented somehow. If you have a running project that "absolutely positively has to be done" (c), you can daisy chain two Promote Controls and have one run a Time-Lapse to the other, and that other one do the HDR. I tried, and it works. The downside is you need two Promote Controls of course. I'd consider it a temporary solution for now, and we will look into implementing it as a feature.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by jujubee on 10/01/09 at 10:12:29
Hey Arty - do you know if anyone has successfully tested the Promote on the 7d yet?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/01/09 at 17:44:55

wrote on 10/01/09 at 10:12:29:
Hey Arty - do you know if anyone has successfully tested the Promote on the 7d yet?


Not yet, but I have a prospect customer who is about to do it. I'm 99% confident it's going to work OK, barring some unforeseen (and unlikely) wizardry Canon might have done on 7D.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by jujubee on 10/01/09 at 19:31:49
I just picked a 7D up. I gave it a quick test and so far the Promote works - manual, ISO 100, and F5.0 (shot indoors.) Read all my brackets correctly.

However, the camera mirror seems super loud which is not a Promote issue.

It also seems to take much longer in-between shots shooting .jpg than taking RAW on my old XSi. I'm using the USB connection since I don't have a shutter cable.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/01/09 at 19:42:29

wrote on 10/01/09 at 19:31:49:
I just picked a 7D up. I gave it a quick test and so far the Promote works - manual, ISO 100, and F5.0 (shot indoors.) Read all my brackets correctly.

However, the camera mirror seems super loud which is not a Promote issue.

It also seems to take much longer in-between shots shooting .jpg than taking RAW on my old XSi. I'm using the USB connection since I don't have a shutter cable.


Awesome! I really appreciate you checking it out! How about I send you a free shutter cable for your 7D as a little "thanks"? Please send us your mailing address via our support desk (http://support.promotesystems.com/). I was sure it's going to work, but "there is no substitute for an experiment" :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by jujubee on 10/01/09 at 20:24:58
Cool Arty - will do. If you need additional tests, just toss me some instructions/steps and I will see what I can squeeze in with some examples.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Scottes on 10/07/09 at 15:18:27
I was out doing a bunch of foliage shooting the other day, pounding on the Promote, and everything went extremely well.

Except for one issue.

I use am RRS pano ballhead and L bracket. The Promote's USB cord means that I can't use portrait mode with this rig.

Arty, is there any way you could develop a USB cord with the camera side at a right angle, like the Canon remote shutter release?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/07/09 at 19:55:31

wrote on 10/07/09 at 15:18:27:
I was out doing a bunch of foliage shooting the other day, pounding on the Promote, and everything went extremely well.

Except for one issue.

I use am RRS pano ballhead and L bracket. The Promote's USB cord means that I can't use portrait mode with this rig.

Arty, is there any way you could develop a USB cord with the camera side at a right angle, like the Canon remote shutter release?


That might be possible. Could you please show a photo of the setup, so that I can better understand what the problem is? Thanks!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sam Rohn on 10/08/09 at 05:06:25
something from this page might help, various angled USB connectors - http://www.usbfirewire.com/uextendminib.html

they also have a custom cable design tool here - http://www.usbfirewire.com/custom/Custom_USB_FireWire_Cable_Design_Tool.html

i use a kirk photo L bracket myself, they make a spacer block for tethered shooting, should fit rrs gear & do the trick here as well

sam

kirk-spacer.jpg (Attachment deleted)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Scottes on 10/08/09 at 15:46:05
Thanks Sam! I'll look into those things.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Phil Holland on 10/08/09 at 21:16:02
Hi Arty,

I also have a feature request if it's possible.

I would like another mode that would allow a custom sequence of exposures that you could input via Promote or some sort of text file via usb.

Something like:
ISO 100 f/8 1/60
ISO 400 f/16 1/250
ISO 800 f/22 1/125
ISO 50 f/22 1/8000

Which would shoot 4 exposures at those desired settings.

I have been doing this via custom software using the Canon SDK, however, I'm smitten by the Promote's design and portability. I would love to have a feature like this available.  It would be extremely useful in capturing high energy light sources on the top end as well shadow detail in HDRs.

Thanks,

Phil

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/09/09 at 17:43:53

Phil Holland wrote on 10/08/09 at 21:16:02:
Hi Arty,

I also have a feature request if it's possible.

I would like another mode that would allow a custom sequence of exposures that you could input via Promote or some sort of text file via usb.

Something like:
ISO 100 f/8 1/60
ISO 400 f/16 1/250
ISO 800 f/22 1/125
ISO 50 f/22 1/8000

Which would shoot 4 exposures at those desired settings.

I have been doing this via custom software using the Canon SDK, however, I'm smitten by the Promote's design and portability. I would love to have a feature like this available.  It would be extremely useful in capturing high energy light sources on the top end as well shadow detail in HDRs.


Hi Phil,

We can do that, but probably will need to hold it off for a while. The issue is again with the user interface - it'd take some tedious setting up to start a sequence like that on a small screen that we can afford while keeping the unit portable (which is what you guys like it for). Perhaps we can do an option that would do a "top off" shot, e.g. fire off a shot at 3-5x as many EV stops above?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/09/09 at 17:57:39
Alright guys, here's a second try about the tripod mount case:



It has a strap on the back and seems to fit our office stand nicely (which is about the same leg diameter as my Gitzo 2541). You can see the screen and press buttons without taking it out. You can also mount that case on your jeans belt (need to undo the belt first though), and use it to carry the Promote around.

How's that - interested?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by jujubee on 10/09/09 at 20:38:07
What I recently did was mount the Promote to my pano head - the reason being is that when you have cords dangling, you often end up having to clone all of that out.

As much as I hate to touch the head as it's taking photos, in some ways the benefits my outweigh the risks.

Is there anyway to get the strap on the back longer so it could accommodate a wider area such as a head?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/09/09 at 20:47:47

wrote on 10/09/09 at 20:38:07:
What I recently did was mount the Promote to my pano head - the reason being is that when you have cords dangling, you often end up having to clone all of that out.

As much as I hate to touch the head as it's taking photos, in some ways the benefits my outweigh the risks.

Is there anyway to get the strap on the back longer so it could accommodate a wider area such as a head?


That's probably possible. What diameter of a panohead you are looking to embrace with that strap? I have a Markins M10 which is quite a chunk, and could measure the dia... is your panohead bigger than that?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sam Rohn on 10/09/09 at 21:08:57
probably a double slit type of thing in the back would be best, this would allow different straps for different mounts -

i think i still prefer the idea of a silicon skin, is that an expensive idea ?

i've played w/ a few different straps at this point, one issue is clearance when shooting the zenith (straight up) the strap can get in the way when mounted as in my pics posted earlier unless it is REALLY thin, the clearance in the NN5 is only about 1mm where the knob is, which can vary by camera/lens combo -

sam


Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/09/09 at 21:26:03

wrote on 10/09/09 at 21:08:57:
probably a double slit type of thing in the back would be best, this would allow different straps for different mounts -

i think i still prefer the idea of a silicon skin, is that an expensive idea ?

i've played w/ a few different straps at this point, one issue is clearance when shooting the zenith (straight up) the strap can get in the way when mounted as in my pics posted earlier unless it is REALLY thin, the clearance in the NN5 is only about 1mm where the knob is, which can vary by camera/lens combo -


Oh, there is a place where you can slide your own strap if you need to. As for silicone, not so much expensive as it is hard to use as it seems - sliding Promote into it would be harder than this one. Plus this one looks sturdier to me.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sam Rohn on 10/09/09 at 21:55:11
true, silicon skins always eventually break at the weakest/thinest point, which i guess would be right above the display window, between that & the ports -

seems you are using also a stretchy wetsuit material for the new prototype ? maybe a slimmer case made from just this ?

here is my latest home made mount, just a bit of foam & velcro, i put velcro on one side of the foam & on the promote as well - i cut the velcro for the promote to still allow the battery cover to be removed & seems the velcro will come off ok when needed

this works real well for both pano head & tripod leg mounts, the foam block keeps the cables clear of the upper rotator knob on the pano head, keeps it from sliding down the tripod leg, & doesn't wiggle about too much - the velcro is plenty strong enough to support the promote, so it wont fall off on its own

of course, i expect this to fall apart on its own eventually as i made it from stuff i had laying around, but i think the foam spacer block idea with some strap options would serve many users well

sam
promote-mount.jpg (Attachment deleted)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/09/09 at 22:03:06

wrote on 10/09/09 at 21:55:11:
true, silicon skins always eventually break at the weakest/thinest point, which i guess would be right above the display window, between that & the ports -

seems you are using also a stretchy wetsuit material for the new prototype ? maybe a slimmer case made from just this ?

here is my latest home made mount, just a bit of foam & velcro, i put velcro on one side of the foam & on the promote as well - i cut the velcro for the promote to still allow the battery cover to be removed & seems the velcro will come off ok when needed

this works real well for both pano head & tripod leg mounts, the foam block keeps the cables clear of the upper rotator knob on the pano head, keeps it from sliding down the tripod leg, & doesn't wiggle about too much - the velcro is plenty strong enough to support the promote, so it wont fall off on its own

of course, i expect this to fall apart on its own eventually as i made it from stuff i had laying around, but i think the foam spacer block idea with some strap options would serve many users well


That new thing we got is pretty much the same type mount - except it may bounce around a bit more, but then again it's a bit more compact, and you can keep Promote in it all the time and use it as a carry bag. It kinda hangs downward a bit though, not sure if that would be a problem.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sam Rohn on 10/09/09 at 22:20:10
the lack of play in the foam thing i made is prob more an issue for panos, as the head shoots the zenith & nadir (directly up & down shots) the cables can move around, pulling on the promote a bit -

for tripod leg mounting for non-pano HDRs, it wouldn't be as much of an issue i'd think

but definitely, i would prefer a sturdier version, i doubt mine will last 6 months :)

and of course, sticking velcro directly on the promote is not ideal

for carrying the promote, i usually leave the cables on it, and it fits very nicely in this state into a case i had which is sized for an SLR flash, plus room for the foam block thingie + the plato remote as well

sam

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Phil Holland on 10/09/09 at 23:06:03

wrote on 10/09/09 at 17:43:53:

Phil Holland wrote on 10/08/09 at 21:16:02:
Hi Arty,

I also have a feature request if it's possible.

I would like another mode that would allow a custom sequence of exposures that you could input via Promote or some sort of text file via usb.

Something like:
ISO 100 f/8 1/60
ISO 400 f/16 1/250
ISO 800 f/22 1/125
ISO 50 f/22 1/8000

Which would shoot 4 exposures at those desired settings.

I have been doing this via custom software using the Canon SDK, however, I'm smitten by the Promote's design and portability. I would love to have a feature like this available.  It would be extremely useful in capturing high energy light sources on the top end as well shadow detail in HDRs.


Hi Phil,

We can do that, but probably will need to hold it off for a while. The issue is again with the user interface - it'd take some tedious setting up to start a sequence like that on a small screen that we can afford while keeping the unit portable (which is what you guys like it for). Perhaps we can do an option that would do a "top off" shot, e.g. fire off a shot at 3-5x as many EV stops above?


I understand that screen real estate issue and the difficulty of implementing it.  I think with a simple .txt file though you could just call up a "custome sequence" mode and have the menu select a file to shoot with as the template and that would be a pretty simple interface, but maybe not.

The problem with the top off concept that I have is I'm already shooting a large exposure range and mainly interested in adding custom range on top of that to preserve highlight details the most.

In vfx land, many would find this useful when dealing with the sun or extremely bright sets. :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/10/09 at 00:03:32

Phil Holland wrote on 10/09/09 at 23:06:03:

wrote on 10/09/09 at 17:43:53:

Phil Holland wrote on 10/08/09 at 21:16:02:
Hi Arty,

I also have a feature request if it's possible.

I would like another mode that would allow a custom sequence of exposures that you could input via Promote or some sort of text file via usb.

Something like:
ISO 100 f/8 1/60
ISO 400 f/16 1/250
ISO 800 f/22 1/125
ISO 50 f/22 1/8000

Which would shoot 4 exposures at those desired settings.

I have been doing this via custom software using the Canon SDK, however, I'm smitten by the Promote's design and portability. I would love to have a feature like this available.  It would be extremely useful in capturing high energy light sources on the top end as well shadow detail in HDRs.


Hi Phil,

We can do that, but probably will need to hold it off for a while. The issue is again with the user interface - it'd take some tedious setting up to start a sequence like that on a small screen that we can afford while keeping the unit portable (which is what you guys like it for). Perhaps we can do an option that would do a "top off" shot, e.g. fire off a shot at 3-5x as many EV stops above?


I understand that screen real estate issue and the difficulty of implementing it.  I think with a simple .txt file though you could just call up a "custome sequence" mode and have the menu select a file to shoot with as the template and that would be a pretty simple interface, but maybe not.

The problem with the top off concept that I have is I'm already shooting a large exposure range and mainly interested in adding custom range on top of that to preserve highlight details the most.

In vfx land, many would find this useful when dealing with the sun or extremely bright sets. :)


Just curious... does this approach still allow you to get a halo-free HDR? When I was playing around with HDRs, I found it rather hard to work with them unless I had a uniform spread of 1EV across all the images - otherwise artifacts started showing up.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Phil Holland on 10/12/09 at 18:14:04

wrote on 10/10/09 at 00:03:32:
Just curious... does this approach still allow you to get a halo-free HDR? When I was playing around with HDRs, I found it rather hard to work with them unless I had a uniform spread of 1EV across all the images - otherwise artifacts started showing up.


The short answer is yes. But, it really depends on how you utilize it and how you process your HDRs. Basically for large light ranges in the 30+ stop category and bright sources there is certainly weirdness introduced by the lens.

For example, if you shoot the sun with say a Sigma 8mm or Nikon 10.5mm you will see an aperture pattern around it.  Taking a few top end exposures can eliminate much of the aperture rays that cause a small headache in the world of vfx.  

Another route is to take more exposures with an ND filter, but this actually requires more shots and more shooting time to get a desired range. It's really all about grabbing all those nasty highlight points and making them as clean as possible.

However, if you use too broad or an strange exposure sequence you can indeed end up with dreaded halos.

Again though, I really have to say that I love the Promote. We have now purchased a few of them now and are currently part of a rig used on set.  And personally speaking, for my own work, it's much more robust than anything manufacturers have available in their line ups in terms of bracketing and time-lapse.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/12/09 at 22:13:42

Phil Holland wrote on 10/12/09 at 18:14:04:
The short answer is yes. But, it really depends on how you utilize it and how you process your HDRs. Basically for large light ranges in the 30+ stop category and bright sources there is certainly weirdness introduced by the lens.

For example, if you shoot the sun with say a Sigma 8mm or Nikon 10.5mm you will see an aperture pattern around it.  Taking a few top end exposures can eliminate much of the aperture rays that cause a small headache in the world of vfx.  


I think if we end up implementing that feature, it'd probably be a top-off approach... unless we come up with a UI that would allow assembling custom sequences in a reasonable time frame. The biggest issue (as well as with a few other ideas) is the small screen real estate, and well, fewer than 104 keys :) But that's where portability comes.

[quote author=Phil_Holland link=1247806902/120#125
Again though, I really have to say that I love the Promote. We have now purchased a few of them now and are currently part of a rig used on set.  And personally speaking, for my own work, it's much more robust than anything manufacturers have available in their line ups in terms of bracketing and time-lapse. [/quote]

Great, I'm glad you like it! May I ask you for your permission to use the above wording on our website? If yes, how can we link to your website? Maybe that would get you a bit more traffic :) Thanks!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Phil Holland on 10/13/09 at 00:57:05
Cool. Let me know if you guys need somebody to test it out.  I'm open to that.


wrote on 10/12/09 at 22:13:42:
Great, I'm glad you like it! May I ask you for your permission to use the above wording on our website? If yes, how can we link to your website? Maybe that would get you a bit more traffic :) Thanks!


Sure.  I have no problem standing by and supporting products I actually use.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/13/09 at 17:14:20

Phil Holland wrote on 10/13/09 at 00:57:05:
Cool. Let me know if you guys need somebody to test it out.  I'm open to that.


wrote on 10/12/09 at 22:13:42:
Great, I'm glad you like it! May I ask you for your permission to use the above wording on our website? If yes, how can we link to your website? Maybe that would get you a bit more traffic :) Thanks!


Sure.  I have no problem standing by and supporting products I actually use.


Thanks, Phil! Added and linked :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Scottes on 10/13/09 at 19:32:12
Arty, another feature request: Any number of exposures, not just odd ones. Last shooting spree left me with a few sequences that really only needed 4 or 6 shots - the last one of each sequences was completely white.

I guess that I could have set the +/- EV to 1-2/3 stops, but then I would have had to do the math in my head again. But at oh-dark-thirty, I simply can't figure out the middle exposure based on the darkest not-yet-blown-out exposure.


Speaking of that, any idea of when a software update might be coming?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/13/09 at 21:06:42

wrote on 10/13/09 at 19:32:12:
Arty, another feature request: Any number of exposures, not just odd ones. Last shooting spree left me with a few sequences that really only needed 4 or 6 shots - the last one of each sequences was completely white.

I guess that I could have set the +/- EV to 1-2/3 stops, but then I would have had to do the math in my head again. But at oh-dark-thirty, I simply can't figure out the middle exposure based on the darkest not-yet-blown-out exposure.


Ah. I wonder why didn't I think of this before. I guess the fact that all cams seem to do odd number only. That's one of the easier ones :)

> Speaking of that, any idea of when a software update might be coming?

We still don't have enough feedback from the beta testers to release the 1.14 - but that may also be a good sign (as in "no problems to report here, Houston"). I'd say rather soon (weeks). One other issue is that we still don't have a Mac updater, and I'm afraid a lot of folks will be disappointed in a Win-only solution. We will work it out as we go... and I will make sure to post an update here on any news in regards to that.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/14/09 at 20:40:44
OK, since Nikon decided to bless us with a D3s and a DX Micro-Nikkor, I thought I would chime in and have some news out LOL :)

I finally got my hands on a Phottix Cleon II remote release:

http://www.phottix.com/wireless-remotes/phottixr-cleon-ii.html

Just like I expected, this thing is working with Promote Control just perfectly, essentially detaching the "Start" button of the Promote Control from the unit and making it wireless. So now you can start your HDRs or Time-Lapses while standing away :) You still need to configure them on the Promote Control device though, but start can now be wireless.

I just sent an email to those guys and offered them a collaboration in this regard. Maybe we will buy those as OEM from them, or will simply resell it as is - I don't know, but we'll get there. Yay! :)

P.S. For you Canon Rebel shooters - we finally got a batch of the Rebel shutter cables, and will start selling those soon too, same price as other shutter cable flavors.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Castillonis on 10/15/09 at 10:55:08
Wow, I missed out by not checking all of the forums.  I had read about the Promote on the Autopano forum, but I was not aware of the great discussion on this thread.

While I was reading the first part of this thread, I sent you a message about adding a miniplug input. I now realize that you have already  implemented this feature on accessory port number three.  The Gigapan Epic 100 and the DSLR imager which will be arriving soon should be able to trigger the promote using an electronic triggering cord with a miniplug connector.

I also have a Merlin / Orion which  has a miniplug out that would work with the promote.  I rented the 100 to 400mm f4L series lens.  The Promote would be inserted between the black cord on the right and the camera.




Currently I use one of Steve's Panocams which was great improvement for me, but it cannot handle shutter speeds below 1s for EXIF info and around 1/20s  for shutter speed because it uses only the remote shutter port with the camera in BULB mode.  It does however display how much time the entire capture will take and how many brackets remain.  The UI is slightly difficult to learn at first because it is so busy.  It ends up being great because you can change everything from a single display.


I took this small HDR pano with the Panocam nintendo bracketing controller and a prototype of the DSLR imager.  I had to use the manual shutter mode on the imager because I don't have a way of triggering the Panocam electrically.  I have to press the button at each position in the pano.  This would not be practical for larger panos.


As soon as I save up some, I will buy a Promote Controller and test it out on the Epic 100, DSLR model, and the Merlin/Orion imaging robots.  I just need to set the 'time per pic' value to a an amount of time sufficient for the entire capture.

Here is a 612 position pano that I took with a rented D700 and 300mm f2.8 lens.  I took three exposure brackets per position, but I have only stitched this with one bracket at first due to the size.  I should have used a teleconverter because I was using a full frame sensor.  You might be able to read the text on the books near the climbers ; )  I also learned that on the Nikon you need to remove the remote shutter connector in order to do things with the controls, such as magnifying live view to get critical focus like you do on Canon w/ the x5 and x10 magnifications using the plus button.

http://www.gigapan.org/gigapans/fullscreen/33262/

Arty, Any chance that you will step the focus on Canon cameras with liveview via the USB port?  The Olympus E-5XX series supports focus bracketing, but not combined w/ exposure bracketing.  I need it for the closer subjects such as japanese gardens, waterfalls.  I have been limited to 50mm on a partial frame sensor and I had to adjust the focus for each row.   I do have the Canon EOS utility and autohotkey installed on my netbook, but I have not taken the time to get it working.  I had intended on doing focus bracketing and exposure bracketing using the netbook along with papywizard and the Merlin robot.   It is a pain to haul all of that gear with me to remote locations.  People give me a strange look with two backpacks and a large tripod with the NN5 attached.

http://www.gigapan.org/gigapans/fullscreen/33382/


Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Castillonis on 10/16/09 at 07:33:12
So, I rambled so much I thought I had better buy a Promote.  It should arrive next week.  I bought Canon N3 connector and Nikon 10 pin connector cables. What do I need to do to get one of the Canon E3 cords?  I guess I could always make my own cord.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 10/16/09 at 08:01:45
Giga-pixel sized exposure AND focus bracketing? Now you're just getting greedy... ;)  How about throwing in a laser scan and a Hi-Fi audio recording?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Castillonis on 10/16/09 at 11:32:54
I would only use focus bracketing for subjects that have close and far elements at focal lengths of about 50mm x 1.6 crop factor = 80mm effective.  I would make tradeoffs unless I wanted to lose my sanity.  The waterfalls that I have been shooting are a good example for a tradeoff with exposure and focus bracketing.  Unfortunately I would need to do this selectively because of the plant movement from the wind from the waterfalls.  This is where APG and Ptgui's enblend, and layers help.

I actually do record sound using an H2 Zoom, but it has been in for repair.  Sometimes I carry a small Panasonic 3CCD DV video camera and I also take some macro shots, but I have mostly been archiving it and saving it for later use as I have been too busy.  I need to buy one of the newer camera bodies that are video capable so that I do not need to carry a video camera.  There is a Roland audio recorder with a good limiter that doesn't need heavy XLR cables.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/16/09 at 19:59:31

Blochi wrote on 10/16/09 at 08:01:45:
Giga-pixel sized exposure AND focus bracketing? Now you're just getting greedy... ;)  How about throwing in a laser scan and a Hi-Fi audio recording?


Haha, someone here already offered a back scratcher... why not, we're in XXI century for sanity's sake :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/16/09 at 23:20:44
Fresh from the forge: The 1.15 beta is ready for limited public beta. Aside of 1.14 beta changes, it has:

- Capability to adapt to smaller buffer cameras by slowing down its framerate with shutter cable. It will do so at five different levels - from "no slowdown at all" to "an extra delay starting from first frame taken", and medium levels will use a progressive slowdown to allow you to shoot short HDR sequences without slowdown that would only be needed for the longer ones (when the buffer gets filled). Probably an overkill, but we don't want to revisit this once again :)

- Drumrolls please - a preview of the HDR sequence you're about to shoot. The preview changes as you play with settings, and says "Invalid Settings" if you fall out of range. How cool is that?

Of course it got all 1.14 beta bells and whistles:

- Hyperfocal Calculator

- Time-Lapse up to 9999 shots

- various bug fixes and stability improvements

If you've got a Promote Control, a Windows PC and you want to try it out before we post it for GA, drop me a line here with your contact info and I will email you the beta release. You can rollback to 1.05 at any moment if you want to.

Title: Promote Control Bracketing Controller connection
Post by Stephen Weiss on 10/17/09 at 03:54:02
My D5000 has a micro USB port, the promote cable is mini USB, how do I connect?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 10/17/09 at 06:32:17
Arty, that is absolutely awesome. Thank you so much, I love the fact that you listen so closely to all the things said here. It really feels like we're able to make a difference.
Sign me up, I'd love to give it a shot. You have my email.

Blochi

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by jujubee on 10/19/09 at 12:52:36
Arty - what do you mean by 'preview'???

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Castillonis on 10/19/09 at 14:34:26
When he says preview, he is referring to the discussion about shutter speed end points and bars to represent each exposure or stops.   I have not seen it yet, but he is saying that preview communicates the range of exposures that you have programmed the device to capture.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/19/09 at 20:51:48

Castillonis wrote on 10/19/09 at 14:34:26:
When he says preview, he is referring to the discussion about shutter speed end points and bars to represent each exposure or stops.   I have not seen it yet, but he is saying that preview communicates the range of exposures that you have programmed the device to capture.


Exactly that! It won't show every single exposure value, but it will show the boundaries.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller connection
Post by Arty on 10/19/09 at 20:54:10

wrote on 10/17/09 at 03:54:02:
My D5000 has a micro USB port, the promote cable is mini USB, how do I connect?


OK, this is something we need to address. The D5000 was listed as supported based on the common protocol implementation - but Nikon decided to make our lifes fun and introduced a weird USB connector that houses both video and USB in it. Stephen, I will send you an adapter to use with your Nikon-branded USB cable - and in future we will probably end up bundling that adapter with all Promote Controls. Thank you, Mr. Nikon :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/19/09 at 20:57:02

Blochi wrote on 10/17/09 at 06:32:17:
Arty, that is absolutely awesome. Thank you so much, I love the fact that you listen so closely to all the things said here. It really feels like we're able to make a difference.
Sign me up, I'd love to give it a shot. You have my email.


Sent you an email. Let me know if you find it useful!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Castillonis on 10/20/09 at 10:06:12
Thank you for adding the DOF calculator.   My cell phone based DOF doesn't work anymore.  I also may photograph something that I have not planned.

I found mini USB to micro USB adaptors on Amazon and Ebay.  I know
that this is not optimal, but maybe it is a work around for now.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?url=search-alias%3Dkindle-accessories&field-keywords=mini+usb+to+micro+usb&x=0&y=0

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/20/09 at 15:43:29

Castillonis wrote on 10/20/09 at 10:06:12:
Thank you for adding the DOF calculator.   My cell phone based DOF doesn't work anymore.  I also may photograph something that I have not planned.

I found mini USB to micro USB adaptors on Amazon and Ebay.  I know
that this is not optimal, but maybe it is a work around for now.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?url=search-alias%3Dkindle-accessories&field-keywords=mini+usb+to+micro+usb&x=0&y=0


Thanks, although I'm afraid it might be a different pinout that what Nikon used. Video signal is not supposed to be a part of the USB physical layer, so I think Nikon may have actually used a similar but different connector.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Castillonis on 10/20/09 at 23:14:40
They probably just multiplex different inputs to the interface.  Olympus uses a mini USB interface for USB, video, and a remote shutter RM-UC1 with the E-510, E-520, E-620 camera bodies.  USB is already a high speed interface.  Nikon just needs to design the PCB well so that things like crosstalk, impedance matching, EMI, bulk capacitance are addressed for all of the signals feeding into the micro USB connector.  On the Olympus the default mode is USB with the ability to change the mode using the menu system.  

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/20/09 at 23:59:51

Castillonis wrote on 10/20/09 at 23:14:40:
They probably just multiplex different input to the interface.  Olympus uses a mini USB interface for USB, video, remote shutter RM-UC1 with the E-510, E-520, E-620 camera bodies.  USB is already a high speed interface.  Nikon just needs to design the PCB well so that things like crosstalk, impedance matching, EMI, bulk capacitance are addressed for all of the signals feeding into the micro USB connector.  


Well I could imagine using different wires for USB and video... but multiplexing USB 2.0 with its 125 us precision for SOF signal on the same wire with analog video looks like an unstable solution to me. All in all, I'm not a big fan of putting signals into connectors that aren't made for those signals... people are known to connect all sorts of wires to wherever they fit, and guess who's to blame if a designer ends up choosing a standard USB jack to supply 12V :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Castillonis on 10/21/09 at 08:58:38
I agree with you about the voltage if that signal is 12v relative to gnd.  People will plug anything that fits.

I just rcvd my promote today and I did a quick successful test with my new imager.  I set the imager 'time per pic' to a value long enough for the entire capture.  The imager triggers the Promote and waits 'time per pic'.  Then the robot moves to the next position and triggers the Promote again.  I wish I had ordered this a few days earlier.  I was taking some panoramas with my imager during the day this past Sunday and I really could have used this capability.

A note about the Olympus E-5xx series.  Unfortunately the E-500 body firmware has focus bracketing but does not have the RM-UC1 remote trigger capability.  The E-510, E-520, E-620 have the wired remote trigger but do NOT have the focus bracketing feature.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/21/09 at 16:25:51

Castillonis wrote on 10/21/09 at 08:58:38:
I agree with you about the voltage if that signal is 12v relative to gnd.  People will plug anything that fits.

I just rcvd my promote today and I did a quick successful test with my new imager.  I set the imager 'time per pic' to a value long enough for the entire capture.  The imager triggers the Promote and waits 'time per pic'.  Then the robot moves to the next position and triggers the Promote again.  I wish I had ordered this a few days earlier.  I was taking some panoramas with my imager during the day this past Sunday and I really could have used this capability.

A note about the Olympus E-5xx series.  Unfortunately the E-500 body firmware has focus bracketing but does not have the RM-UC1 remote trigger capability.  The E-510, E-520, E-620 have the wired remote trigger but do NOT have the focus bracketing feature.


Great to know about the pano trigger... looks like we got another cool field setup! As for Olys, we've tried to make an Oly 420 compatible with Promote, but they used a protocol that is so different that I'm not sure when it might be supported. Plus, someone told me that Oly sensors have the worst DR in current DSLR market, so it might make limited sense to pursue that goal.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Castillonis on 10/21/09 at 17:48:14
The Olympus camera bodies are company bodies that were acquired for testing because I am not able to find them at local Photo stores.  We had to buy a Nikon D80 that uses the MC-DC1 connector as well.  I have often read of people using Olympus on forums and wanted to ensure that the camera is supported.  They also are light and small and work on the Epic 100.  It is a 4/3" sensor with a slightly higher pixel density on the sensor of 3.3 MP/cm^2 for the E-500 and 4.1 MP/cm^2 for the E-520 according to dpreview.com.  Though I am sure you are already aware of all this.

Canon EOS 40D   3.1 MP/cm^2  ( 22.2 x 14.8mm )
Nikon D80           2.7 MP/cm^2
Olympus 500       3.3 MP/cm^2  ( 8 MP, sensor 18.00 x 13.50mm )
Olympus 520       4.1 MP/cm^2

http://www.dpreview.com

Here is some interesting information from flickr on camera usage.  The audience is probably different from the HDR audience, but the sample is large.

http://www.flickr.com/cameras

Any chance I can try the 1.15 Beta?  I would love to try out the DOF calculator and see the visualization of the capture range.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/21/09 at 20:03:43

Castillonis wrote on 10/21/09 at 17:48:14:
The Olympus camera bodies are company bodies that were acquired for testing because I am not able to find them at local Photo stores.  We had to buy a Nikon D80 that uses the MC-DC1 connector as well.  I have often read of people using Olympus on forums and wanted to ensure that the camera is supported.  They also are light and small and work on the Epic 100.  It is a 4/3" sensor with a slightly higher pixel density on the sensor of 3.3 MP/cm^2 for the E-500 and 4.1 MP/cm^2 for the E-520 according to dpreview.com.  Though I am sure you are already aware of all this.

Canon EOS 40D   3.1 MP/cm^2  ( 22.2 x 14.8mm )
Nikon D80           2.7 MP/cm^2
Olympus 500       3.3 MP/cm^2  ( 8 MP, sensor 18.00 x 13.50mm )
Olympus 520       4.1 MP/cm^2

http://www.dpreview.com

Here is some interesting information from flickr on camera usage.  The audience is probably different from the HDR audience, but the sample is large.

http://www.flickr.com/cameras

Any chance I can try the 1.15 Beta?  I would love to try out the DOF calculator and see the visualization of the capture range.


Sure - let me know your email and I will send you a link. What camera are you shooting with?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Castillonis on 10/21/09 at 20:27:12
I mainly shoot with a Canon 40D.  I rent the Nikon D700 and Canon 5D mark II for important shoots.  I sent you my email via a private message.  Thanks : )

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Clive Mitchell on 10/24/09 at 14:14:55
If you are making up a wants list, how about a SD/CF card slot and save to the remote, and focus input for focus stacking? ;D

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Castillonis on 10/24/09 at 20:20:09
We should probably return to discussing something more practical like how to attach the promote to the tripod, panoramic head, or robot.


Quote:
Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Reply #154 - Today at 14:14:55 Quote
If you are making up a wants list, how about a SD/CF card slot and save to the remote, and focus input for focus stacking? Grin


I cannot think of a reason why you would want to duplicate the functionality of the camera and transfer images to a removable flash memory card on the remote.  What benefit would that give you?  If you use a netbook to control the camera and it transfers the photos to the computer, there would be potential advantages.  You can use a bigger screen to look for problems such as poor focus, or you can edit the photo with photoshop.  Another benefit of a netbook would be that you could send the photos to another location while on location or soon after.  The reason the Panocam has a SD memory card is that it uses a nintendo as the computer platform and the firmware is stored on the memory card.  You are able to upgrade firmware on the internal flash memory of the promote, so you don't need a removable card for firmware.  

What do you mean by a focus input?  The remote shutter connectors usually have pins that actuate the shutter and focus the camera.  Some devices only connect the shutter actuation pin or connect both simultaneously. Focus stacking will probably take a long time to implement if Promote systems chooses to do that because it is not implemented in the simpler protocol over USB.  They will only be able to implement it on cameras that have the capability such as Canon SLRs with live view after they look at the USB datastream using a software or hardware USB analyzer and parsing the traffic with software.  Analyzing a protocol over USB is not easy.

If you want to focus stack along with the exposure bracketing on Canon live view cameras you can use software such as Breeze browser's DSLR Remote Pro or the EOS utility on a netbook or laptop.  If you want it to be automated, you would need to use something like autohotkey to drive the GUI.  Though, this is extra equipment and complexity.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Clive Mitchell on 10/24/09 at 20:40:51
I'm glad that you take life so seriously, it gives me more to laugh at. I use NKRemote with a Samsung NC10 netbook and mobile broadband for the times I need to upload. So I have all bases covered. The Promote allows me to be more portable than before, as to developing a mounting system for the ultimate rig velcro does it for me.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Castillonis on 10/24/09 at 21:36:29
Portability and simplicity is why I love the Promote controller as well.  I needed to lug my Merlin / Orion and netbook for capture of exposure brackets during the day or capture the moon without touching my camera.  I have the panoCamera which is great, but it cannot do shutter speeds faster than 1 second w/ correct EXIF info and about 1/20 of a second  depending upon the camera.

Sometimes I need to focus bracketing  and it can be so difficult to haul all of that gear to the location of the shot.

What type of stuff do you shoot with the Promote controller?  I am hoping to have some time to shoot with the 1.15 beta firmware this weekend.  I love the hyperfocal distance calculator feature.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Clive Mitchell on 10/24/09 at 21:56:59
Most of my work is 360 panos, with the majority being old and ancient building interiors so they always have a lack of available light, hence the Promote. Climbing up a ridiculous amount of stairs makes you appreciate the portability that the Promote gives. Now I have it, having spent ridiculous amounts of hard earned cash before on ultimate laptops and software, it is the one item that goes with me at all times and all places. In the UK it is expensive, thanks to import duty and VAT, however it is more than earning it's keep. For anyone in the UK it is now available through Rd Door VR in Leeds (plug).

Hey Castillonis have a beer and relax now and again, enjoy life. ;)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by discocandy on 10/25/09 at 13:52:14

Castillonis wrote on 10/24/09 at 20:20:09:
We should probably return to discussing something more practical like how to attach the promote to the tripod, panoramic head, or robot.


Well I think Sam showed a good way to do it with a NN5.
I've got a NN3 so space is more limited.
but still I manged to make a somehow usefull setup for myself.
tnx to sam for his ideas and my little son for one of his wooden buildingblocks  ;)


I am writing for a dutch online photoblog where I told them about the promote (dutch article). I promised to give them a good review of the promote.



Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Castillonis on 10/26/09 at 11:20:07
Discocandy,  Thanks for showing us your 360 set up for the NN3.

Arty,  Steve who created the PanoCamera and has a Promote suggested that you add the "walk away" delay that the PanoCamera has.  It is a delay before starting the capture to allow for you to get away from the gear or allow things to settle after disturbing the camera by touching the Promote.  The default value could be zero seconds.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/26/09 at 17:14:30

Castillonis wrote on 10/26/09 at 11:20:07:
Discocandy,  Thanks for showing us your 360 set up for the NN3.

Arty,  Steve who created the PanoCamera and has a Promote suggested that you add the "walk away" delay that the PanoCamera has.  It is a delay before starting the capture to allow for you to get away from the gear or allow things to settle after disturbing the camera by touching the Promote.  The default value could be zero seconds.


Yep, we have that in the works for the HDR. I wish we had 2 more lines on the LCD though, it'd make placing things so much easier.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 10/26/09 at 17:22:34
Well, I'd actually wish your LCD would be a graphical pixel interface. Maybe that's something for v2. As cool and useful as the new sequence preview is, it does look a bit plain from a GUI design standpoint.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/26/09 at 18:15:24

Blochi wrote on 10/26/09 at 17:22:34:
Well, I'd actually wish your LCD would be a graphical pixel interface. Maybe that's something for v2. As cool and useful as the new sequence preview is, it does look a bit plain from a GUI design standpoint.


Agreed, it does. And in fact our LCD is graphic - so we can technically output different stuff as long as it's B&W only (no gray shades). Do you think the font size could possibly be reduced in favor of fitting more info?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Castillonis on 10/26/09 at 18:59:55
Our imager firmware scrolls the menu list on the lcd. It also has submenus such as options and expert options to keep the scrolled list from becoming too long

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/26/09 at 19:15:56

Castillonis wrote on 10/26/09 at 18:59:55:
Our imager firmware scrolls the menu list on the lcd. It also has submenus such as options and expert options to keep the scrolled list from becoming too long


Hmm. Maybe that scroll is a good idea after all...

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by wookiee2cu on 10/27/09 at 00:08:45
Arty, I have a quick question for you regarding the remote.  I just purchased it recently along with the shutter release cable for the Canon 40D, very nice remote!  My question is this, I have enabled the shutter cable in the set-up for the remote, do I still have to set the lens to manual focus before I shoot?  I left the lens in autofocus mode, pressed the focus button on the remote, it locked focus and then I hit start.  It started taking a few of the shots but then locked up with an error.  I then switched the lens to manual focus mode and clicked start on the remote and it worked fine.  I wasn’t sure if it had an issue because of my other settings (stops between brackets, number of shots) or if in fact the lens has to be in manual focus mode regardless of having the shutter release cable.  If the latter is the case, then what is the focus button for on the remote?  My current process is set lens focus mode to automatic, set camera mode dial to manual, set aperture, adjust shutter so that it is at dead zero in the exposure metering, press the shutter half way to lock focus, switch the focus button on the lens to manual, press start on the remote.  The reason I ask this is because I want to start shooting HDR panos and I’m wondering if I will need to go through this process for each position of the camera of switching the lens focus mode back and forth between automatic and manual.  Thanks!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Castillonis on 10/27/09 at 10:36:39
I would recommend that you use the manual focus mode.  A camera is not always able to realize focus because of issues such as
  • low light
  • objects at different distances
  • low contrast
  • objects in scene move
  • bright light source relative to overall lighting


If the camera cannot achieve good focus for the length of time that the signal shorts the focus pin to ground then the shutter will not be actuated if the lens is in the autofocus mode.  So when achieving good focus is possible, you may need to give the camera more time.

You can realize better critical focus by using the joystick to move the white rectangle to an area that you want to focus on while live view is enabled.  ( You enable live view by pressing the button at the center of the large dial.  It is necessary to enable live using the menu as the default is that live view is disabled )  Then press the small + button to magnify the screen to 5x and then again to 10x.  This should allow you to realize a better critical focus that you can achieve using AF.

Note:  You are not able to access the menu system on Canon or Nikon when the remote shutter cable or USB or plugged in

Note:  The Nikon cameras have focus motor in the camera body as well as some lenses.  You must switch the switch to M for manual focus as well as any lens switch for AF/M focus.

Note:  The Nikon live view mode is on the dial at the top left of the camera body for cameras with the 10 pin remote shutter connector.

An exception to setting a Canon lens to AF would be if you are using a laptop or netbook with Breeze Systems remote control software and want to focus bracket along with exposure bracketing.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/27/09 at 17:44:41

Castillonis wrote on 10/27/09 at 10:36:39:
I would recommend that you use the manual focus mode.  A camera is not always able to realize focus because of issues such as
  • low light
  • objects at different distances
  • low contrast
  • objects in scene move
  • bright light source relative to overall lighting


If the camera cannot achieve good focus for the length of time that the signal shorts the focus pin to ground then the shutter will not be actuated if the lens is in the autofocus mode.  So when achieving good focus is possible, you may need to give the camera more time.

You can realize better critical focus by using the joystick to move the white rectangle to an area that you want to focus on while live view is enabled.  ( You enable live view by pressing the button at the center of the large dial.  It is necessary to enable live using the menu as the default is that live view is disabled )  Then press the small + button to magnify the screen to 5x and then again to 10x.  This should allow you to realize a better critical focus that you can achieve using AF.

Note:  You are not able to access the menu system on Canon or Nikon when the remote shutter cable or USB or plugged in

Note:  The Nikon cameras have focus motor in the camera body as well as some lenses.  You must switch the switch to M for manual focus as well as any lens switch for AF/M focus.

Note:  The Nikon live view mode is on the dial at the top left of the camera body for cameras with the 10 pin remote shutter connector.

An exception to setting a Canon lens to AF would be if you are using a laptop or netbook with Breeze Systems remote control software and want to focus bracket along with exposure bracketing.


Great answer, thank you so much! I couldn't have said it better :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by wookiee2cu on 10/27/09 at 23:55:37
I've never messed around with live view because I haven't had any issues with my focus system; plus doesn't it drain the batteries faster?  My buddy that I go shooting with has a 30D so that's not even a possiblity for him, that's why I had my initial question.  

All I'm trying to find out is if in HDR mode, can I leave the lens in AF mode and it should work or is it mandatory that the lens be in manual focus mode?  When I tried it with the lens focus mode being left on AF I got an error message and it locked up my camera.  I had to turn my camera off to get the shutter to close.  I was under the impression with the shutter release cable I could leave the lens in AF mode, use the focus button on the remote and then hit start; reducing the number of times I had to actually touch the camera.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/28/09 at 01:57:13

wrote on 10/27/09 at 23:55:37:
I've never messed around with live view because I haven't had any issues with my focus system; plus doesn't it drain the batteries faster?  My buddy that I go shooting with has a 30D so that's not even a possiblity for him, that's why I had my initial question.  

All I'm trying to find out is if in HDR mode, can I leave the lens in AF mode and it should work or is it mandatory that the lens be in manual focus mode?  When I tried it with the lens focus mode being left on AF I got an error message and it locked up my camera.  I had to turn my camera off to get the shutter to close.  I was under the impression with the shutter release cable I could leave the lens in AF mode, use the focus button on the remote and then hit start; reducing the number of times I had to actually touch the camera.


Theoretically you should be able to do so. Unfortunately many cameras try to re-focus all the way when you re-press the shutter release button (and internally that's what Promote Control does with its shutter cable). When trying to re-focus, they often go the whole way to the end of the focusing range and back - and depending on your lens, it might take 1-2 seconds... that's seconds taken off the time that Promote Control thinks the camera should be taking the picture already. It's impossible to predict how long it will take the camera to acquire the focus - and worst of all, cameras don't report success or failure on focusing operations (it's just not a part of the protocol). So we have to play safe and recommend MF - so that camera cannot possibly mess with focusing and throw a carefully engineered sequence out of timing.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Scottes on 10/28/09 at 15:20:48
My eyesight sucks so manual focus has never worked well for me - camera AF is much better. So I usually auto-focus on something at the appropriate distance, and then flip the AF-MF switch on the lens to MF, effectively disabling auto-focus. I got into this habit for panos, and it works well for HDR too.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/28/09 at 17:17:42

wrote on 10/28/09 at 15:20:48:
My eyesight sucks so manual focus has never worked well for me - camera AF is much better. So I usually auto-focus on something at the appropriate distance, and then flip the AF-MF switch on the lens to MF, effectively disabling auto-focus. I got into this habit for panos, and it works well for HDR too.


... exactly what I do as well. I trust AF sensors better than my eye, except for one case - if I'm shooting a distant landscape, then I normally set it to F8 or F11, focusing to MF and infinity - and that's it.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by wookiee2cu on 10/28/09 at 17:58:00
Arty, thanks for the answer.  Maybe the reason I got the error is because of the other settings I entered (stop distance and number of shots).  Another reason I was wondering about being able to shoot with the lens being left in AF is because I have a Tokina 12-24 and in order to put the lens into manual focus I have to slide the focus ring back towards the camera body which causes the focus setting to change.  Thanks again, I will have to look into live view when I use my Tokina.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 10/29/09 at 16:53:12
We've got some good news for all you Rebel shooters - the Canon CN2 shutter cable, compatible with Rebels from 400D and up, is now on sale! Come on over and get one for yourself :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Photosignals on 10/29/09 at 20:06:14

wrote on 10/07/09 at 15:18:27:
Arty, is there any way you could develop a USB cord with the camera side at a right angle, like the Canon remote shutter release?


Yup - just starting to use the unit in anger for HDR architecture.  The major issue is the shutter cable and the USB cable just don't fit into theLl-Brackets stopping all portrait shooting.  Both the shutter release and the USB cable are too tall.

Sadly, from the UK, the shipping option on a new left-angle MINI-A cable extension is $33+ ... for a $5 bit <sigh>.

As the Promote unit is absolutely ideal for architecture shooters, might it be possible to design the cables to work with 'l' brackets.

I'm going to look into the bracket extension but this adds another bit of instability into the equation and I am a bit reluctant to make things even more sensitive to vibrations.

Aside from that, the unit is a delight ... really looking forward to the new firmware.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by marquee on 10/30/09 at 23:21:25
what would be cool is to have the usb cable made retractable like a manual tape measure with a lever to turn making it easier to retract and easy to just pull enough out to attach it to the camera

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by discocandy on 11/03/09 at 15:32:13
Hi Arty.
I also would like to test the beta version for my review.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 11/03/09 at 18:16:09

wrote on 10/30/09 at 23:21:25:
what would be cool is to have the usb cable made retractable like a manual tape measure with a lever to turn making it easier to retract and easy to just pull enough out to attach it to the camera


Those I've seen were pretty thin cables made for desktop use, I'd probably suggest carrying two of those in case one breaks.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 11/03/09 at 18:20:12

wrote on 11/03/09 at 15:32:13:
Hi Arty.
I also would like to test the beta version for my review.


Oh sorry, I forgot to set a notification about PMs sent via the board. Sent you a link in PM :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Photosignals on 11/05/09 at 22:14:51
Hi Arty,

Do you think you are getting close to a release version? The tantalising glimpses of new features are making your customers most expectant :)

Mike.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 11/05/09 at 23:09:07

wrote on 11/05/09 at 22:14:51:
Hi Arty,

Do you think you are getting close to a release version? The tantalising glimpses of new features are making your customers most expectant :)

Mike.


Hi Mike! I guess I need to ask our beta testers about how close are we :) So far I haven't heard any complaints, so I believe we might go ahead and release it. One thing I'm hesitant about is that we don't have Mac updater yet, but I don't see a need to delay delivering all those goodies because of that. Let's give it a week more and we will probably release.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Juergen on 11/07/09 at 23:02:09
For shooting timelapse the intervalometer functions come pretty handy, but the limit of 999 shots occasioally might be a show stopper.

Maybe someone already has suggested it (sorry for not reading all posts, at least I used the search and didn't find it  :D) but how if you add a setting for 000 shots which would cause the Promote to take an infinite number of picures?

Oh, and while we are at it: I wish one could have shutter speeds changed over a certain period of time even in timelapse mode. To become the hero of timelapsers increments should be less then 1 EV, hehe.

Keep up the good work!
Jürgen



Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by jasonhuang1115 on 11/08/09 at 01:24:46
Hi, Arty,

Any update regarding the tripod mount?
I got my Promote Control yesterday as well as the Phottix Plato. The combination works together with my Canon Rebel XS very well. I am now DIY-ing a NN3 mount as what Sam shown before in this thread. Still, I am interested in buying a custom tripod mount if that will be available in the near future.

- Jason



wrote on 10/09/09 at 17:57:39:
Alright guys, here's a second try about the tripod mount case:



It has a strap on the back and seems to fit our office stand nicely (which is about the same leg diameter as my Gitzo 2541). You can see the screen and press buttons without taking it out. You can also mount that case on your jeans belt (need to undo the belt first though), and use it to carry the Promote around.

How's that - interested?


Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 11/08/09 at 05:43:34
I wouldn't sweat a Mac version. I had great success running the updater from my BootCamp partition. Even under VMWare Fusion, so there wasn't even a need to reboot my Mac. The USB communication went through just fine, and the Promote hasn't crashed or hung at all.

The Preview in particular is super-welcome addition. It displays in very low-tech interface, but it's functional. Would probably better to swap the setting with the M-Up, putting it in the very last row, and maybe even inverted (like a status bar). Then it would be more clear that this is not an actual setting I can change, but just a display... It doesn't even need a label, I think, without the leading "Seq:" there would be enough room to have as many dots as exposures.
At least, it will now Beep out invalid EV ranges before I get started shooting, and that's a very good thing.

Here's a blurry screenshot:

photo.jpg (Attachment deleted)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 11/10/09 at 06:25:03

wrote on 11/07/09 at 23:02:09:
For shooting timelapse the intervalometer functions come pretty handy, but the limit of 999 shots occasioally might be a show stopper.

Maybe someone already has suggested it (sorry for not reading all posts, at least I used the search and didn't find it  :D) but how if you add a setting for 000 shots which would cause the Promote to take an infinite number of picures?

Oh, and while we are at it: I wish one could have shutter speeds changed over a certain period of time even in timelapse mode. To become the hero of timelapsers increments should be less then 1 EV, hehe.

Keep up the good work!
Jürgen


First off - thanks :) I remember someone suggesting the infinite number of exposure in Time-Lapse... we'll probably add that in the next release. As for changeable exposures - I think we will go full way and just make the Time-Lapse HDRs - that'd probably take care of the issue :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 11/10/09 at 06:26:25

wrote on 11/08/09 at 01:24:46:
Hi, Arty,

Any update regarding the tripod mount?
I got my Promote Control yesterday as well as the Phottix Plato. The combination works together with my Canon Rebel XS very well. I am now DIY-ing a NN3 mount as what Sam shown before in this thread. Still, I am interested in buying a custom tripod mount if that will be available in the near future.

- Jason


We look into having those delivered from our supplier in January - unfortunately, no earlier date is available. I will make sure to let everybody know as soon as we have them!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 11/10/09 at 06:37:39

Blochi wrote on 11/08/09 at 05:43:34:
I wouldn't sweat a Mac version. I had great success running the updater from my BootCamp partition. Even under VMWare Fusion, so there wasn't even a need to reboot my Mac. The USB communication went through just fine, and the Promote hasn't crashed or hung at all.

The Preview in particular is super-welcome addition. It displays in very low-tech interface, but it's functional. Would probably better to swap the setting with the M-Up, putting it in the very last row, and maybe even inverted (like a status bar). Then it would be more clear that this is not an actual setting I can change, but just a display... It doesn't even need a label, I think, without the leading "Seq:" there would be enough room to have as many dots as exposures.
At least, it will now Beep out invalid EV ranges before I get started shooting, and that's a very good thing.

Here's a blurry screenshot:


It's a second time I hear about BootCamp on Mac performing well for Promote Control FW update... maybe we will even consider making it one of the official options. As for dots for every exposure - hmm, we have a few guys who shoot 37 exposures in a row, and LCD is 21 characters wide. Maybe we can cut those long ones off though.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Juergen on 11/10/09 at 07:08:08

Quote:
First off - thanks  I remember someone suggesting the infinite number of exposure in Time-Lapse... we'll probably add that in the next release. As for changeable exposures - I think we will go full way and just make the Time-Lapse HDRs - that'd probably take care of the issue


Sounds great  :)
Just for clarification:
Time-Lapsers are encountered with greatest difficulties when capturing periods from daylight to darkness or vice versa. What manual exposure mode for HDRers is a controllable exposure curve to Time-lapsers. Unfortunately there is yet  no device or software available that would allow a constant change of exposure in small increments over a defineable and "long" period.

In order to avoid any flicker, shutter speeds (and/or aperture) should vary in increments of 1/32 EV ;)

And I am sure you would make even more people happy when the Promote would come with a pouch that could also keep both cables (preferably while they stay plugged). Today I figured out that one could accidentally power on the Promote when the cable is stored in the lid.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sam Rohn on 11/11/09 at 07:02:41

wrote on 09/21/09 at 03:42:05:
P.S. If you happen to know a Mac developer willing to take on the task  with a clearly written instruction and some pre-made sources that just need to be rewritten for Mac, we'd be willing to outsource that


hey arty -

i took the liberty of posting your offer to the hugin google group, i think someone there might be able to help

sam

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 11/12/09 at 00:05:47

wrote on 11/11/09 at 07:02:41:

wrote on 09/21/09 at 03:42:05:
P.S. If you happen to know a Mac developer willing to take on the task  with a clearly written instruction and some pre-made sources that just need to be rewritten for Mac, we'd be willing to outsource that


hey arty -

i took the liberty of posting your offer to the hugin google group, i think someone there might be able to help

sam


Thanks, Sam! Let's see if somebody comes up with an offer. Although the idea of running it from BootCamp seems tempting.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 11/12/09 at 00:09:04

wrote on 11/10/09 at 07:08:08:
Sounds great  :)
Just for clarification:
Time-Lapsers are encountered with greatest difficulties when capturing periods from daylight to darkness or vice versa. What manual exposure mode for HDRers is a controllable exposure curve to Time-lapsers. Unfortunately there is yet  no device or software available that would allow a constant change of exposure in small increments over a defineable and "long" period.

In order to avoid any flicker, shutter speeds (and/or aperture) should vary in increments of 1/32 EV ;)

And I am sure you would make even more people happy when the Promote would come with a pouch that could also keep both cables (preferably while they stay plugged). Today I figured out that one could accidentally power on the Promote when the cable is stored in the lid.


Hmm. In those conditions, Time-Lapse / HDR combination would create a whole bunch of images you might not need. But let me ask you this - why not just set the camera on the Aperture Priority, and let it time an optimal exposure? And if you are worried about it not hitting the spot, you might enable internal AEB (even if for 3 shots), set it to continuous drive, and then use Promote with a shutter cable and exposure length of, say, 10 seconds once in 5 minutes. This will be equivalent to holding the shutter button on camera down for 10 seconds once in 5 minutes. The camera will then take 3 pics every 5 minutes, and you can then pick those you like.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Juergen on 11/12/09 at 07:52:17
Thank you for the suggestion Arty, but that shows I hadn't described the goal correctly :)

1. Indeed there is no need for HDR in timelapses.

2. Autoexposure may work in some cases but in many cases it won't. Chances are obstacles, movement, birds, or whatever can cause the camera to "jump" more or less EVs and spoil a complete shoot.

What timelpasers wish for is a device that would allow to start a shoot say 1 hour before sunset and end 1 hour after sunset. During that time take an image every 3 seconds but change exposure values (let's say from -3 EV to +3 EV just as an example) consecutively but in increments of 1/32 EV to avoid any flicker in the final film. (20 pics/min = 1200/hour = 2400 images total with varying EV from -3 to +3 in 192 steps)

Of course one would have to find out the correct settings by some experiments but at least one would get a predictable and a flickerfree result.

Right now there are just some DIY approaches from people using motorised rigs to turn the aperture ring very, very slowly.

Best
Jürgen

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 11/12/09 at 19:18:42

wrote on 11/12/09 at 07:52:17:
Thank you for the suggestion Arty, but that shows I hadn't described the goal correctly :)

1. Indeed there is no need for HDR in timelapses.

2. Autoexposure may work in some cases but in many cases it won't. Chances are obstacles, movement, birds, or whatever can cause the camera to "jump" more or less EVs and spoil a complete shoot.

What timelpasers wish for is a device that would allow to start a shoot say 1 hour before sunset and end 1 hour after sunset. During that time take an image every 3 seconds but change exposure values (let's say from -3 EV to +3 EV just as an example) consecutively but in increments of 1/32 EV to avoid any flicker in the final film. (20 pics/min = 1200/hour = 2400 images total with varying EV from -3 to +3 in 192 steps)

Of course one would have to find out the correct settings by some experiments but at least one would get a predictable and a flickerfree result.

Right now there are just some DIY approaches from people using motorised rigs to turn the aperture ring very, very slowly.

Best
Jürgen


Wow... turning aperture rings with motors sounds rather geeky :) I think I got the idea. I believe this can probably be done all right, although I'd be cautious about catching the right exposure every time, but I'm sure some experiment might help. Let me write this down to our TO_THINK list :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Juergen on 11/12/09 at 20:15:37
Glad to see, we're getting closer :)
Let me know, when you're moving from TO_THINK to LETs_TRY and I'll try to give you some helping hands ;)
Of course I'm always ready to dicuss upcoming issues.

Thanks again
Jürgen

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 11/12/09 at 20:20:27

wrote on 11/12/09 at 20:15:37:
Glad to see, we're getting closer :)
Let me know, when you're moving from TO_THINK to LETs_TRY and I'll try to give you some helping hands ;)
Of course I'm always ready to dicuss upcoming issues.


Just to make sure we're on the same page - we can't do steps less than 1/3 EV. At least not until we hit Bulb.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 11/12/09 at 20:23:29
I was going to further demonstrate what Juergen talks about.

Here is a timelapse I shot from my balcony, with the D200's built-in timer and with everything Auto.
[media width=620]http://www.Blochi.com/timelapse/media/Overnighter_JPEG.mov[/media]

Especially the transitions are troublesome, when the camera has to decide between two neighboring exposures. Which seem to be too far apart.
What a real timelapse feature needs is temporal dampening. You'd need to remember the last exposure time, then determine the new Auto-Exposure. If the new Auto-Exposure different by a threshold (like 1/4 stop), then change the exposure in that direction, but ONLY by 1/32 stop. Of course, both thresholds should be configurable. It doesn't really matter if we're lagging behind the AutoExposure, in fact that may actually be a pleasing effect.

For now, I treated the sequence above with timeblend in After Effects. This sort of shows what I would like to see in the sky, but unfortunately is also kills some of the more interesting things going on in the citylight windows and elsewhere....  

[media width=620]http://www.Blochi.com/timelapse/media/Overnighter_TimeBlend_H264.mov[/media]

Nothing that couldn't be fixed with keying and compositing, but this added effort only pays off for when I really need to use that footage for something... Would be better if it came clean from the camera in the first place.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Juergen on 11/12/09 at 21:39:26
Thanks for jumping in, Blochi. Temporal dampening sounds cool but you're right that could also help :)


Quote:
Just to make sure we're on the same page - we can't do steps less than 1/3 EV. At least not until we hit Bulb.
Uh, sure. I was afraid of this :) But hey, at Promote people are used to face challenges, right ;)

Without kidding I think the bulb approach isn't too bad anyway as timelapsers mostly use ND filters to get long exposure times. So starting with 1 second or 2 and extending these might be a way to go. If you also could change the aperture we can avoid unwanted long intervals due to extended exposure times.

Now you get an idea why shooting from day to night is called the holy grail of timelapse :)

Juergen

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 11/13/09 at 00:10:42
If bulb is what it takes, then so shall be it. EXIF data is irrelevant in a timelapse, because the frames are treated as footage anyway. All we need are good coherent pictures, so  there is less postprocessing necessary.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by adam on 11/17/09 at 22:56:07
Hi Arty et al,

Received my promote control today, very excited to give it a whirl. Unfortunately unless I'm missing something silly, it's DOA... in that pushing the "mode" button does nothing.

I was thinking of finding one of the new firmware versions to dload and see if that did the trick, but can't find on the promote website.

Am I just missing something? Or do I need a new unit?

Thanks,
Adam

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 11/17/09 at 23:01:41

wrote on 11/17/09 at 22:56:07:
Hi Arty et al,

Received my promote control today, very excited to give it a whirl. Unfortunately unless I'm missing something silly, it's DOA... in that pushing the "mode" button does nothing.

I was thinking of finding one of the new firmware versions to dload and see if that did the trick, but can't find on the promote website.

Am I just missing something? Or do I need a new unit?

Thanks,
Adam


Hey Adam,

It doesn't seem like a firmware issue - more like a hardware problem. I've got your support ticket submission, we'll send you a new unit instead. Sorry about the hassle!

Regards,
Arty

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by adam on 11/17/09 at 23:05:22
Thanks Arty! Can I expect to receive soon? Waiting on it for timelapse sequence on a film project.

Thanks again,

-Adam

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 11/17/09 at 23:07:42

wrote on 11/17/09 at 23:05:22:
Thanks Arty! Can I expect to receive soon? Waiting on it for timelapse sequence on a film project.

Thanks again,

-Adam


Sure, we'll probably arrange a UPS Canada Standard shipment if that's OK.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by adam on 11/17/09 at 23:10:30
Just responded via the support ticket.

Thanks again for everything, really looking forward to getting going with the promote. Looks like everyone here quite likes it!

Best,
Adam

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 11/18/09 at 01:41:06
Well, either that, or people who don't like it stay quiet. As they should.  ;D

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by discocandy on 11/19/09 at 07:58:36
after a private mail where that asked me more about  my setup I'll post these images here.






to do the zenith I shorten one leg to balance the setup.
works perfectly.
I also marked the angle I need to put my centre colom to get around the same hight I was taking the horizontal images.
difference around 1.5 cm in hight.. but that is manageble

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by RJ on 11/21/09 at 15:47:09
Greetings all, and to Arty...

Just read the article in Shutterbug and found my way here. What a cool concept and my order is already in :)

Earlier in this thread there was discussion on the various combinations between the Promote and wireless triggers. Have you considered an enhanced product that includes the wireless receiver in the Promote Control device? I know various manufacturers either embed directly or offer the port to add the wireless module. Sekonic is one example where you can add and then the magic happens... triggering via a pocket wizard. Creating an access door and slot for users to add their own receiver module like our "smart phones" would be cool.

I understand this would be a hardware change but might be worth it. I'm sure the experts here will add their thoughts. To me it would be worth it to have fewer external items to connect, and less chance of a failure in each. I'd pay for the feature...

Thanks!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by adam on 11/27/09 at 00:10:10
Just wanted to post that I received my replacement unit (Thanks Arty!), and it works beautifully.

Just did some testing and couldn't be happier with it. Awesome piece of gear.

Cheers,
Adam

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sam Rohn on 11/30/09 at 02:21:04

wrote on 11/21/09 at 15:47:09:
Creating an access door and slot for users to add their own receiver module like our "smart phones" would be cool.


its already there, the #3 accessory input is a standard 2.5mm plug :)

sam


promote-ports.png (Attachment deleted)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sam Rohn on 11/30/09 at 02:39:47
or maybe i misunderstood the OP ?

if you mean like a module that fits inside the promote, sekonic light meters & pocket wizards aint cheap, and im not sure how many people use such devices for HDR etc...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1AtrHmy9JI

better i think would be a bluetooth breakout setup, BT receiver dongle on camera goes to shutter & usb, & a little transmitter thing sits on top of the promote, or built in to the promote 2 :)

better still, how about built in bluetooth or wifi support & remote protocol on all new DSLRs !

sam

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Photosignals on 12/03/09 at 22:11:26

wrote on 11/05/09 at 23:09:07:

wrote on 11/05/09 at 22:14:51:
Hi Arty,

Do you think you are getting close to a release version? The tantalising glimpses of new features are making your customers most expectant :)

Mike.


Hi Mike! I guess I need to ask our beta testers about how close are we :) So far I haven't heard any complaints, so I believe we might go ahead and release it. One thing I'm hesitant about is that we don't have Mac updater yet, but I don't see a need to delay delivering all those goodies because of that. Let's give it a week more and we will probably release.


Hi Arty,

It's been a few weeks :) Any sign of the lovely new present for my Promote unit?  Definitely can use some of the upcoming features.

Cheers,
Mike.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by jpmassey on 01/07/10 at 22:23:41
I learned about the promote control from this thread after being shocked that my 5DmII only did 3 bracketed exposures. I'm considering buying it, but when is the new firmware coming out?  :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by davetee on 01/11/10 at 17:56:56
Arty I have a question please.

I intend using the controller to do bracketed shots in vertical format which I will then stitch together for one hi-res shot.  I normally use my camera on aperture priority and let the camera set the shutter speed. Would I be right in assuming the Promote overides this and sets the shutter speeds around the mid-exposure I dial in. If so, why has control been taken away from the camera? In a scene which is very bright on one side, e.g. landscape with low sidlighting, this would mean I have to keep stopping in order to work out a mid-exposure shot for each vertical shot (sometimes the light is only avalable for 10-20 seconds due to the amount of cloud we get).  Can control not be left with the camera instead. Or is there a better way of achieving what I want using the Promote? Camera is Nikon D700

Thanks

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by jujubee on 01/11/10 at 22:07:42
I'm beginning to think the Promote needs its own forum section. :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Icecream on 01/16/10 at 08:45:14
Hello, I have now bought a promoter control for my Nikon d40x. Unfortunately, I get the HDR mode is not adopted. What settings do I need to make it work? Set to manual mode M is clear, but what else? I always get an error message: Could not beset Expsure time to. Enable "Auto Exposure Mode (has the D40x, anyway?) Or set camera to Manual exposure.
Can someone help me? Sorry my English

Regards

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Photosignals on 01/17/10 at 09:19:37

wrote on 01/11/10 at 22:07:42:
I'm beginning to think the Promote needs its own forum section. :)


Looks like Arty has moved on - no replies from PMs or forum posts.  A shame .. perhaps they are just busy.



Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sam Rohn on 01/21/10 at 00:55:03
he's been quiet since like november it seems - anyone heard anything about firmware updates, etc ?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by drkollossus on 01/21/10 at 01:14:03
These last two messages worry me. I just got my Promote, yesterday, and It doesn't seem to want to work with either my canon 7D or my 40D. It will drive the focus but not fire a shot. I've tried it with all combinations of cables.  If anyone has used it with either of these two cameras I sure would love to hear from you, Because I opened a customer service ticket on their site and haven't heard a thing... yet. 

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by geopal on 01/22/10 at 14:15:05
My promote control will be here next Monday, hope it works with my D60, but I am getting a bit worried after Icecream's message  :-?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by drkollossus on 01/22/10 at 21:43:07
At this point I have tried everything, I can not to get any sort of a response from the company what so ever. I received mine on Tuesday, it doesn't work. Okay it worked once, after much fidgeting with it. but I have not been able to repeat it. I was hoping that it was just a bad cable, or at worst they could service or replace it. But I have been unable to get any response from them at all. If you find, and call the phone number on their website it answers with a voice mail message from Moran Research and Consulting, no mention of Promote. I really want this to work. but if there is no tech support I just can't recommend this product. I hope yours works. and I hope I hear from some one in the next few hours.  I have left 3 support ticket ranging from low to urgent to critical priority. I would expect some sort of acknowledgment besides an automated response email. I hope Arty is Ok and I hope this gets worked out, but right now I'm kinda angry about it, if you couldn't tell.

Cheers
Brad Hayes.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by drkollossus on 01/22/10 at 23:14:48
OK, just a quick update: I just got a few emails from arty. he is helping me diagnose the problems, has offered to get a new one to me asap. Feeling much better now. Fingers crossed. 

Title: We're not going anywhere!
Post by Arty on 01/23/10 at 01:48:19
Hi everybody,

Sorry guys, I guess it does look weird... but I was really busy - and for some reason, I was not notified of of the messages on this topic. Lots of things are going on - polishing that 1.15 updater, trying to get 64 bit drivers, questions, reviews... and New Year holidays to finish it off. But we're not going anywhere! Upcoming stuff:

1. Tripod cases are literally around the corner.

2. HDR Timelapse is on top of our list now. Maybe even before 5D2 >30 second hack - depending on how either goes.

Issues: Icecream, could you get in touch with us over support helpdesk please? It's easier to keep track of issues that way :) Here's the link:

https://support.promotesystems.com/

P.S. I will try to see what's wrong with my message notifications.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 01/23/10 at 06:12:29
Part of it might be my fault, I updated the forum software recently and lots of people seem to have their settings lost (or messed up). Was not intended, I just tried to make it better (attachements, pano viewer, and such), and I'm already happy no message got lost in the process....

The most reliable way to keep track of this forum is by subscribing the RSS feed.
http://www.hdrlabs.com/cgi-bin/forum/YaBB.pl?action=RSSrecent;catselect=general_cat

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by jpmassey on 01/24/10 at 06:44:38
I went ahead a bought a promote control. Seems to work well, but it seems there is a long delay (1s) between shots in the HDR mode. I'm using the shutter cable, and have enabled it in the settings. Camera is 5d mark ii. How do I make the shots go faster?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by wookiee2cu on 01/25/10 at 22:23:35
Hello drkollossus, I have a Canon 40D and the remote works fine for me.  However you have to make sure that a few settings are correct in order for it to work properly.  If you purchased the additional shutter cable, make sure to enable that in the settings (by default it is set to no).  I also have Automatic Exposure Mode Control turned on.  Settings on the camera.  Make sure it is in manual mode, set the AF on the lens to manual and make sure that the camera is set to single shot and not high speed or any other setting.  I have enabled the live preview in the camera settings; that way I can adjust the focus and see it clearly before firing off the photos (also you can hit the magnify button on the back side to zoom in on the live preview to ensure focus).  I almost always have my brackets set up for 5 shots at 1 stop intervals.  I hope this is helpful, if you got a bad unit I’m sure Arty will take care of you.  I have to admit, I really like this remote!  It saves me so much time and is very handy to have when I’m shooting a pano.  Saturday night I shot a HDR pano, it was about 17 columns and 2 rows.  I fired 5 shots for each position at 1 stop intervals.  The longest exposure was 2 minutes (I was at ISO 100 and I believe f/6.3), took me almost 2 hours to shoot the whole thing.  Can’t even imagine how long it would have taken me to do that manually.  Good luck, when you get it up and running you’ll be very happy.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 01/28/10 at 23:51:25

wrote on 01/24/10 at 06:44:38:
I went ahead a bought a promote control. Seems to work well, but it seems there is a long delay (1s) between shots in the HDR mode. I'm using the shutter cable, and have enabled it in the settings. Camera is 5d mark ii. How do I make the shots go faster?


Hi there,

I answered in the support ticket, but let me duplicate here - maybe this will help some other folks with 5D2. Unfortunately 5D2 is the slowest of the bunch that we tested with Promote Control - and it often cannot go much above 1-1.5 FPS (at least the way I tested it with RAW, no JPEG, no NR, Sandisk Extreme III). The reason is that we found 5D2 to be slower than other cameras (including lower level Canons) when it is controlled over USB. We found it helps to do the following:

1. Disable in-camera noise reduction if you have any.

2. If you shoot RAW+JPEG, try keeping RAW only.

Still, I spent 2 hours trying to make 5D2 go faster than 1.5FPS, but with its current firmware it was not going any faster. The 450D lying around was happily clicking at around 2-3 FPS though. I then tried to make 5D2 work faster when tethered to computer - but to no avail, it still took a maximum of 1-1.5 FPS. Looks like 5D2 has a speed problem with USB-based work - and we need USB to switch exposure speeds.

I don't know if Canon can fix that with a firmware... it does look like it's a firmware issue though, otherwise why would 450D be faster for 25% the price? I can only think of sensor resolution as a reason.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 01/29/10 at 00:01:29
Oh, and wookiee2cu - thanks for your message and your thumbs up! :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 01/29/10 at 03:33:35
Good news from the forge... I nearly banged my head out, but got a proof-of-concept 64-bit FW updater. Lots of work to get it to a packaged condition, but now I know it's possible. Stay tuned folks... and I will need someone with a 64-bit Win7 or Vista to test that. Any takers?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Juergen on 01/29/10 at 05:04:33
Hi Artyom -
Still on XP 64, though ;)

Cheers
Jürgen

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Castillonis on 01/29/10 at 20:48:23
I had difficulty using the Promote with a rented Nikon D3X with my prototype imager.  I was triggering the Promote via the third port and the signal may not have been asserted for a long enough period of time  0.5 second assertion low.  I am successfully using it now with a Canon 5D Mark II with new firmware that allows you to change how long the signal is asserted.  Pentax uses a Canon E3 connector and needs a slightly longer assertion time or it misses shots..

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by supertrogg on 01/31/10 at 10:26:58
Arty,

You can count me in for the 64-bit loader testing. I have Win 7 64-bit and Vista 64-bit. Theres even a Server 2003 64-bit too!!!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 02/01/10 at 18:28:42

Castillonis wrote on 01/29/10 at 20:48:23:
I had difficulty using the Promote with a rented Nikon D3X with my prototype imager.  I was triggering the Promote via the third port and the signal may not have been asserted for a long enough period of time  0.5 second assertion low.  I am successfully using it now with a Canon 5D Mark II with new firmware that allows you to change how long the signal is asserted.  Pentax uses a Canon E3 connector and needs a slightly longer assertion time or it misses shots..


Ah. So Promote took long to react to the signal on the sensor port, right? Just making sure I got it correctly.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 02/01/10 at 18:37:30
Alright, 64-bit updater is done - at least it worked OK on a test Win74/64 that I have running on a VMWare. Juergen, supertrogg, please check your PMs. Everybody - we will have 1.16 coming, it's nothing but a relabeled 1.15 beta, so no sweat about updating unless you want to - but I wanted to flag it up for public so that we can start cooking new stuff on top of it. Stuff's getting better :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by geopal on 02/01/10 at 18:37:35
Arty,
I was testing my promote control on nikon D60 in timelapse mode, and the period was 5 minutes- during that time the camera screen wouldn't go off to sleep mode and stay ON all the time... that would drainthe battery pretty quick, so I wanted to ask, is this normal and the same on all cameras, or I did something wrong?
Thank you in advance!
George

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 02/01/10 at 20:18:44
George,

Yes, it's normal - the reason is that we need to keep the camera awake if we're using USB connection. USB is a complicated bus (doh... I shouldn't get started on that favorite peeve of mine), and needs some startup procedures before it can lend itself in any useful way. So if we let it go and let camera fall asleep, we will need to re-init the camera before every shot - and this would mess the timing. If you were to use the shutter cable (which unfortunately is not an option for D60), you could have disconnected USB cord for timelapse, and this would resolve the issue.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by geopal on 02/01/10 at 20:29:15
Thank you Arty for the detailed answer, so nothing to worry and one more reason to upgrade camera ;)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Castillonis on 02/02/10 at 08:00:05
Arty, My device was not asserting the signal for a long enough time period as an input to the third port ( 2.5 mm miniplug ) on the Promote to trigger the start of a capture.  I am now able to change how long I assert the signal on my device so that I trigger the Promote to start the capture.

To be safe, I need to retest the Nikon D3X that I rented.  I posess a Nikon D700 that I can use to test the ten pin input before I return to test the D3X.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 02/06/10 at 01:16:53
OK everyone - firmware 1.16 is out:

http://tinyurl.com/yfgq483

or go to

http://support.promotesystems.com/

and click "Downloads".

Both updater and FW 1.16 is there, along with 1.05. Note that 1.16 is nothing but a relabeled 1.15 beta - everybody with 1.15 beta doesn't need to update.

This message is mostly for people coming here from search engines - most of you local folks already know about it anyway.

With the above being done with, I'm off to doing new firmware tweaks. Mmm... tasty :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 02/08/10 at 03:39:33
Everybody,

I need your input here. We're trying to design how to build HDR Time-Lapse the fastest possible way and make it usable. The biggest problem is GUI - how do we place fields of both HDR and Time-Lapse into the same room that was previosly occupied by either of these two alone. The idea is to keep them where they are, and somehow make Time-Lapse do not a single shot for every "frame", but do HDR sequence instead (if requested), using values from the HDR screen.

The question is how to present this choice to you, the user. At this time we see the following options:

1. Make a special setting for Time-Lapse's "Exposure" field - it will be located in the very beginning of the range, and you can simply scroll to it. It will say "<HDR>" instead of a pre-defined time.

2. Add a Setup setting that will choose between basic Time-Lapse and HDR Time-Lapse. This will do the following:

a) Remove "Exposure" field from the Time-Lapse screen.

b) If you "Start" a Time-Lapse with that feature on, it will use values from Time-Lapse and HDR screen to do the HDR Time-Lapse.

3. Any other option that you might care to offer.

What do you think? I want this to be usable for everybody, and I want your input.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 02/08/10 at 05:41:35
Sounds good.

Number one might get overlooked, I think adding an HDR setting next to Mirror Up would make it more clear. The exposure setting wouldn't need to disappear, it could say "3F" or "5F" or "7F" - depending on what is set in the HDR setting. Ideally, it would explicitly say "1/20...2sec", but I'm not sure if there is enough room in the interface..

PS - do you actually feel comfortable with this mammoth thread? Wouldn't it be better to start a new one?


Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sam Rohn on 02/08/10 at 08:06:29
i'd agree with the idea of breaking this thread up a bit, a lot gets lost in the shuffle...

does yabb have a split/merge topic feature ?

sam (waiting to borrow a pc to update promote firmware)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 02/08/10 at 08:43:25
Yes, it has. But I need to
A) figure out where to split and
B) make a backup first. I'm very proud that no message got lost since 2003 - this forum is older than the website - and I want to keep it this way. ;)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 02/08/10 at 20:25:53
Yeah, maybe splitting it would be good. As for the UI, I agree that (1) will be overlooked easily - nobody will find it without reading the manual very closely. We'd also still need all the settings that are currently in the HDR screen, including Mid Exposure - just setting 3/5/7F means we got to have a Mid Exposure to start working from. I kinda like the idea of having the HDR flag in MLU row, but since that line is shared between all screens, we'd then need to explain why doesn't it apply to One Shot, Manual Hold, HF calc etc (let alone HDR itself).

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 02/08/10 at 20:35:53
What I meant is that the actual settings are done on the HDR screen, but instead of deleting the exposure line it could show the settings from over there. To at least carry some information. Maybe putting it in brackets would indicate that this is just a display....

Is there a technical reason for the MLU row to be shared? I'm sure no user would complain if the timelapse screen has one setting more than the others.


Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 02/08/10 at 21:29:16
Oh yeah, HDR screen will still have its settings intact - but Time-Lapse will have Exposure: 00:00:01 replaced for Exposure: <HDR> or something like that. And the MLU row... I kinda planned it to be something like Windows taskbar that remains common for all modes, but you raise a valid point.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by supertrogg on 02/08/10 at 22:09:18
Arty,
For the Time Lapse/HDR display:

1: On HDR screen, shuffle current lines down 1 and enter 'HDR TIME LAPSE   : YES/NO'
2: On TIME LAPSE screen on top line, 'TIME LAPSE (HDR - 05F)' if set to 'YES' and not show anything if set to 'NO'. If set to 'NO' allow Time Lapse to function as normal.
3: Optionally change 'Exposure' to 'Exposure Sets' or some other suitable name and increment the count by 1 per however many seperate exposure sets you have.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 02/09/10 at 01:48:07

wrote on 02/08/10 at 22:09:18:
Arty,
For the Time Lapse/HDR display:

1: On HDR screen, shuffle current lines down 1 and enter 'HDR TIME LAPSE   : YES/NO'
2: On TIME LAPSE screen on top line, 'TIME LAPSE (HDR - 05F)' if set to 'YES' and not show anything if set to 'NO'. If set to 'NO' allow Time Lapse to function as normal.
3: Optionally change 'Exposure' to 'Exposure Sets' or some other suitable name and increment the count by 1 per however many seperate exposure sets you have.


Lee,

Good idea you have there. I was originally thinking that the "HDR Time-Lapse: YES/NO" should be on whatever screen of the two (HDR or TL) that is changed more often during HDR-TL work - so you mean HDR is changed more often than TL settings? I guess that's right. What do you think should happen if user clicks "START" while being in TL mode with HDR-TL activated in HDR screen - should it start HDR-TL sequence just like it would from the HDR screen? I guess it should.

What do you think people?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by David Rowley on 02/09/10 at 19:44:38
Hi Arty,

I bought the promote control a few weeks ago and have been very pleased with it so far. I'm still waiting on the shutter cable though (in UK only seems to be 1 supplier), so I'm looking forward to being able to shoot sequences a bit faster. I found this thread last night and managed to read the whole thing over a few hours! It's really great that us users can have so much input to the development of the firmware.

About the HDR timelapse. I was so glad to read last night that this is a top priority. I agree with supertrogg about the HDR on/off in the timelapse menu and keeping the HDR options in the HDR menu. About your question if timelapse should work in the HDI menu. I'd have to see no, not unless there is also a similar Timelapse on/off in the HDR menu. It would be a bit confusing if it started shooting timelapse HDR without seeing an option for it on the same screen I'd think.

Just my thoughts.. Thanks for the great product!  :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 02/09/10 at 20:50:43

wrote on 02/09/10 at 19:44:38:
Hi Arty,

I bought the promote control a few weeks ago and have been very pleased with it so far. I'm still waiting on the shutter cable though (in UK only seems to be 1 supplier), so I'm looking forward to being able to shoot sequences a bit faster. I found this thread last night and managed to read the whole thing over a few hours! It's really great that us users can have so much input to the development of the firmware.

About the HDR timelapse. I was so glad to read last night that this is a top priority. I agree with supertrogg about the HDR on/off in the timelapse menu and keeping the HDR options in the HDR menu. About your question if timelapse should work in the HDI menu. I'd have to see no, not unless there is also a similar Timelapse on/off in the HDR menu. It would be a bit confusing if it started shooting timelapse HDR without seeing an option for it on the same screen I'd think.

Just my thoughts.. Thanks for the great product!  :)


Hi David,

Thanks for your warm words :) I really want this product to be more of a community effort rather than "one-man-with-the-shovel" idea - you can never get things right without the teamwork. About the HDR / TL, I thought Lee suggested having "Time-Lapse" On/Off on the HDR screen - not the other way around, and I agreed to that since I realized that in shooting HDR/TL, HDR settings will be changed more often than TL - right? As for starting an HDR/TL instead of just plain TL, we can make TL screen mention "HDR" if "Time-Lapse: ON" is set on HDR screen, so that you will know what you are about to start. In addition, we plan to finally make a "STOP" feature so that you can get out of the sequence you didn't really want to start. P.S. Please feel free to comment!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by brianmatiash on 02/09/10 at 23:36:20
As an owner and huge fan of the Promote Control, I cannot express how happy I am that there is such a dedicated thread for this device.  It has made shooting brackets w/my 5D2 a breeze and Arty has been an awesome resource to chat with.

There is one huge feature that I have proposed to Arty and I wanted to throw it on here, as well, to get everyone's take on it.  I apologize if it was discussed in some capacity earlier on in this thread (I tried searching for similar topics).

Basically, I think this feature would mostly benefit owners of the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D, or anyone who has a physical Bulb switch.  Right now, the 5D2 and 7D are limited to 30 second exposures when in Manual.  So, if the Promote needs to go past 30 seconds in a given sequence, it fails.  This has burned me several times, especially in low light situations where going passed 30 seconds is pretty common.  I am not really willing to bump up my ISO to accommodate and I like exposing at 1 stop intervals (typically across 9 brackets).

At first, I thought I could just leave the camera in Bulb but that doesn't work since Canon oddly report its fastest exposure as 1 second even if it actually is much faster.  So, a 1/4000 exposure will show up as 1 sec, as will a 1/2000, 1/1000, etc.  This messes with the way Photomatix processes the bracketed images.

I proposed a solution to Arty already and am hoping that it makes sense and is possible to implement with a future firmware release.  I'd like to get everyone's thoughts on it, too.  The logic would go like this:

- Camera set to M
- Obtain desired mid-range exposure by setting Aperture, Shutter, and ISO on camera
- Input desired settings on Promote Control in HDR Mode
- Promote Control issues exposure commands based on mid-range until exposure is greater than 30 seconds
- If exposure is greater than 30 seconds in bracket sequence, pause and display message: "Switch to Bulb, Set Correct Aperture & ISO, Press Button to Continue Sequence"
- Press Button on Promote Control
- Promote Control resumes bracket sequence of all remaining exposures greater than 30 seconds
- End sequence

Thoughts?

Brian

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by supertrogg on 02/10/10 at 18:06:12
Arty,
I think you got what I meant.
Control HDR Time Lapse from HDR screen.
Append to Time Lapse screen title (HDR - plus the number of exposures in a set, i.e. 05F). That is your indicator on the Time Lapse screen in case you forget what mode you're in! Additionally when HDR Time Lapse set to YES, change Exposure to Exposure Sets (or similar) to indicate how many sets of exposures you have set on the HDR screen. This would be useful to me as I take HDR Panoramas. The counter that is there currently can be incremented by one for each set whilst (fresh idea!!) the total number of exposures can be incremented in brackets after it,
When HDR Time Lapse is set to NO hide above (HDR - 05F) and return Time Lapse to the way you have it now.

A possibly simpler solution:
Leave both TL and HDR as they are, more or less.
Create new menu item TL HDR. Use this as a basic automated workflow. Set both up as required and when the TL HDR is ON intercept the TL trigger for the shutter and use it to trigger the HDR sequence.
When the TL HDR is OFF, both TL and HDR modes work as they do now.

Does that make sense?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 02/10/10 at 18:35:19

wrote on 02/10/10 at 18:06:12:
Arty,
I think you got what I meant.
Control HDR Time Lapse from HDR screen.
Append to Time Lapse screen title (HDR - plus the number of exposures in a set, i.e. 05F). That is your indicator on the Time Lapse screen in case you forget what mode you're in! Additionally when HDR Time Lapse set to YES, change Exposure to Exposure Sets (or similar) to indicate how many sets of exposures you have set on the HDR screen. This would be useful to me as I take HDR Panoramas. The counter that is there currently can be incremented by one for each set whilst (fresh idea!!) the total number of exposures can be incremented in brackets after it,
When HDR Time Lapse is set to NO hide above (HDR - 05F) and return Time Lapse to the way you have it now.

A possibly simpler solution:
Leave both TL and HDR as they are, more or less.
Create new menu item TL HDR. Use this as a basic automated workflow. Set both up as required and when the TL HDR is ON intercept the TL trigger for the shutter and use it to trigger the HDR sequence.
When the TL HDR is OFF, both TL and HDR modes work as they do now.

Does that make sense?


Yep. I just think that hiding that option in Setup menu might be a bit too deep to be easily found... so if I can, I will stick with the on-screen option and do the rest of the logic as described. Oh, and having sets/exposures at the same time is a great idea - I didn't think of that. Huh, it's surprising how one could get caught up in details and miss such simple things.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by David Rowley on 02/10/10 at 23:07:42

wrote on 02/09/10 at 20:50:43:
Hi David,

Thanks for your warm words :) I really want this product to be more of a community effort rather than "one-man-with-the-shovel" idea - you can never get things right without the teamwork. About the HDR / TL, I thought Lee suggested having "Time-Lapse" On/Off on the HDR screen - not the other way around, and I agreed to that since I realized that in shooting HDR/TL, HDR settings will be changed more often than TL - right? As for starting an HDR/TL instead of just plain TL, we can make TL screen mention "HDR" if "Time-Lapse: ON" is set on HDR screen, so that you will know what you are about to start. In addition, we plan to finally make a "STOP" feature so that you can get out of the sequence you didn't really want to start. P.S. Please feel free to comment!



Hi Arty,

Yeah, sorry got a bit mixed up there with whos idea was whos. I have to say my +1 is against the timelapse yes/no (or on/off) in HDR screen. After a quick re-read and re-think. I'd likely have a better idea of the number of frames and delay and would probably be making my exposure decisions after calculating my frames etc. I guess this way we would also get a free HDR delay time if we choose 1 T/L frame and stick a delay in there? That would be really handy for getting my shadow out of the way when taking shots away from the sun.

David

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by geopal on 02/11/10 at 08:23:08

wrote on 02/10/10 at 18:06:12:
...
A possibly simpler solution:
Leave both TL and HDR as they are, more or less.
Create new menu item TL HDR. Use this as a basic automated workflow. Set both up as required and when the TL HDR is ON intercept the TL trigger for the shutter and use it to trigger the HDR sequence.
When the TL HDR is OFF, both TL and HDR modes work as they do now.

Does that make sense?


Yes, I was also thinking about the same simple way, just set everything in both menues and add another one which links them.

And I am also in for some kind of delay for HDR for getting rid of shadows and reflections :)
Best regards, G

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 02/11/10 at 23:46:26

wrote on 02/10/10 at 23:07:42:

wrote on 02/09/10 at 20:50:43:
Hi David,

Thanks for your warm words :) I really want this product to be more of a community effort rather than "one-man-with-the-shovel" idea - you can never get things right without the teamwork. About the HDR / TL, I thought Lee suggested having "Time-Lapse" On/Off on the HDR screen - not the other way around, and I agreed to that since I realized that in shooting HDR/TL, HDR settings will be changed more often than TL - right? As for starting an HDR/TL instead of just plain TL, we can make TL screen mention "HDR" if "Time-Lapse: ON" is set on HDR screen, so that you will know what you are about to start. In addition, we plan to finally make a "STOP" feature so that you can get out of the sequence you didn't really want to start. P.S. Please feel free to comment!



Hi Arty,

Yeah, sorry got a bit mixed up there with whos idea was whos. I have to say my +1 is against the timelapse yes/no (or on/off) in HDR screen. After a quick re-read and re-think. I'd likely have a better idea of the number of frames and delay and would probably be making my exposure decisions after calculating my frames etc. I guess this way we would also get a free HDR delay time if we choose 1 T/L frame and stick a delay in there? That would be really handy for getting my shadow out of the way when taking shots away from the sun.

David


Spot on, David! I thought about having a separate feature for the HDR start delay, but what the heck - we can get two birds with one firmware update :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by upshot on 02/12/10 at 00:00:31
I agree with the idea of having the HDR on/off in the timelapse section which will pickup the current settings in the HDR section. That would work fine for me!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Greg Downing on 02/18/10 at 20:51:36
Hey Arty, You going to be at PMA? I am planning on being there on Sunday.
-Greg

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sirimo on 02/18/10 at 21:11:58
Just unpacked my Promote that I ordered a few days ago. It's very impressive. Just what I've been looking for.

Also very pleased to see such a hands on approach from Arty in here. The development of the time lapse HDR sounds perfect for me. I don't do time lapse as such... but shoot multiple frames at each exposure level. Then using Photoshop extended's mean / median image stack, I create stacks of the same exposures to remove noise before the HDR blend.

At present I've been firing this all off my hand, well by remote switch, using my 1DsmkIII's 7 shot bracketing. Having this all automated will be a godsend! I presume I can use the HDR/TL for this and just put the interval to a second?

Heading up to Scotland next week to test it all out along with the NN5 with RD16.

Arty is there any news on when the new firmware with timelapse function will be out? I'm guessing not by next week.

I'd be pleased to Beta test at any stage.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by PanoCamera on 02/18/10 at 21:49:50
I just answered an email about the Promote, and I thought some of my statements might be apropos to potential users here:

Yep, I have one and it works nicely, if you don't have micro 4/3'rds bodies, Sigma, Alpha, etc. Luckily I have a 5D2 so it is a near perfect match. I needed to turn off noise reduction to get it to sync properly for some reason, and it didn't seem to work with live-view active, probably due to "the nut at the wheel." The rubber gasket quickly fell apart, and the 3.5mm & 2.5mm jacks broke after a few weeks of hanging and banging on a tripod, but it still works with it all held together by electrical tape.  If they would add a programmable delay before shooting it would be perfect (and users wouldn't need to glue a Satechi wireless to the back as I have done.) It's a great first effort and I'm looking forward to their future products.


On Feb 17, 2010, at 4:19 AM, ***** wrote:

Hi Steve,

Just in case I never returned you email for recommendation, I have purchase a Promote unit and it is brilliant, support is great and gadget does the job perfectly.

Everyone who wants to do HDR should buy one!


Incidently I recommended the Promote to one of the guys at This Week in Photography and they mentioned it on the show, so "good on 'ya" Promote!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by upshot on 02/19/10 at 14:45:18

wrote on 02/18/10 at 21:11:58:
At present I've been firing this all off my hand, well by remote switch, using my 1DsmkIII's 7 shot bracketing. Having this all automated will be a godsend! I presume I can use the HDR/TL for this and just put the interval to a second?


You know, all you need is an intervalometer... You can set the exposure time long enough to shoot off your brackets and then set an interval. Vola.  You already have a highly capable bracketing machine in the 1dmk3.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 03/01/10 at 19:44:53

wrote on 02/18/10 at 20:51:36:
Hey Arty, You going to be at PMA? I am planning on being there on Sunday.
-Greg


Hi Greg,

Sorry, I obviously missed it :) I'd love to be there, but had different plans for that time. How was it?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 03/01/10 at 19:48:24

wrote on 02/18/10 at 21:49:50:
I just answered an email about the Promote, and I thought some of my statements might be apropos to potential users here:

Yep, I have one and it works nicely, if you don't have micro 4/3'rds bodies, Sigma, Alpha, etc. Luckily I have a 5D2 so it is a near perfect match. I needed to turn off noise reduction to get it to sync properly for some reason, and it didn't seem to work with live-view active, probably due to "the nut at the wheel." The rubber gasket quickly fell apart, and the 3.5mm & 2.5mm jacks broke after a few weeks of hanging and banging on a tripod, but it still works with it all held together by electrical tape.  If they would add a programmable delay before shooting it would be perfect (and users wouldn't need to glue a Satechi wireless to the back as I have done.) It's a great first effort and I'm looking forward to their future products.


On Feb 17, 2010, at 4:19 AM, ***** wrote:

Hi Steve,

Just in case I never returned you email for recommendation, I have purchase a Promote unit and it is brilliant, support is great and gadget does the job perfectly.

Everyone who wants to do HDR should buy one!


Incidently I recommended the Promote to one of the guys at This Week in Photography and they mentioned it on the show, so "good on 'ya" Promote!


Hi,

Nice to hear it works for you! Sorry about the jacks, if the end up being a problem, we will replace the unit of course. The delay before HDR will be addressed at the same time we add HDR-TL - since TL has a pre-start delay, it will also apply to HDR-TL when it's ready. And for the future products - well, we're not done with our R&D yet ;)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 03/02/10 at 18:01:36
Hi folks,

Has anybody tried Promote Control with a Canon 550D yet? We don't have it around to test, and it should be compatible, but with Canon you never know. It won't hurt to try of course - the worst that might happen is it would not run an HDR (and only if Canon decided to update something again). If anyone tried, please give me a buzz. Thanks!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 03/06/10 at 06:59:56
I'll try it this weekend and post results here Arty.  The canon 550D / T2i that is.  I"ve had it for over a week and plan to use the T2i for video mostly, but have been slammed with shoots and haven't tested it with the promote control yet.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 03/08/10 at 21:15:26
T2i / 550D works with the Promote Control in HDR Mode.  I didn't test it for any other functions.  I just used it with the USB connection with camera in full manual and it works just as it does using my D3, etc.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 03/08/10 at 21:20:32
Oh... I don't know if this has been the way other Rebels reacted, but I could not review images with the Promote Control connected.  So after taking a sequence I had to turn the Promote Control "off" to then hit the play button on the T2i/550D to review what I just shot.

When I tried playing the images (reviewing/viewing) with the promote control connected and on the camera would not play them and said "BUSY".

My D3 does not have that limitation and I never tested it with my Canon XS before selling it last year.  I'm not sure if this is how past Rebel's have acted or not.

Just FYI.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by JackHoward on 03/13/10 at 00:35:02
Arty, the Firmware Updater is coming across as a Win EXE file. What's the story with FW updates for those of us on Macs?

Thanks!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 03/13/10 at 08:08:33
I ran it successfully on my Bootcamp partition. Didn't even reboot, just fired up VMWare...  Slight inconvenience, bit no big deal, really. I'd rather have Arty work out new features than painting the backdrop for a fancy DMG installer disc.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by brainspoon on 03/14/10 at 02:48:01
Did someone test the Promote together with the new 550D and a shutter cable? I can't make those two work together.
USB alone works perfectly, but when I enable the shutter cable it just runs through all exposures on the Promote in less then a second.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by pat on 03/17/10 at 00:50:34
Can anyone tell me how I would purchase the Promote control, I live in Australia, and I have approached a few wholesalers and camera shops, with no luck.

I says on the website for USA Canada and Europe only..

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 03/17/10 at 01:01:29

Michael James wrote on 03/08/10 at 21:20:32:
Oh... I don't know if this has been the way other Rebels reacted, but I could not review images with the Promote Control connected.  So after taking a sequence I had to turn the Promote Control "off" to then hit the play button on the T2i/550D to review what I just shot.

When I tried playing the images (reviewing/viewing) with the promote control connected and on the camera would not play them and said "BUSY".

My D3 does not have that limitation and I never tested it with my Canon XS before selling it last year.  I'm not sure if this is how past Rebel's have acted or not.


Hi Michael,

First off, thanks for confirming the T2i operation - I expected it to work fine, but there is no substitute for experiment! Speaking of no preview while shooting, we actually had that issue with Nikon cameras. The problem is that some cameras (all Nikons) disable their rear LCD screen while USB is active. So we had to take it down after every HDR sequence to allow previewing on Nikons. Of course it increased the startup time. Thankfully, Canons didn't have that limitation - apparently, until now. Can someone with a pre-T2i Rebel try the same and see if that is only a T2i issue?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 03/17/10 at 01:02:52

Blochi wrote on 03/13/10 at 08:08:33:
I ran it successfully on my Bootcamp partition. Didn't even reboot, just fired up VMWare...  Slight inconvenience, bit no big deal, really. I'd rather have Arty work out new features than painting the backdrop for a fancy DMG installer disc.


Thanks, Christian! In support of my humble efforts let me say that our top issue is 5D2 and its dreaded manual Bulb - hope that will make 5D2 folks happier.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 03/17/10 at 01:03:51

wrote on 03/14/10 at 02:48:01:
Did someone test the Promote together with the new 550D and a shutter cable? I can't make those two work together.
USB alone works perfectly, but when I enable the shutter cable it just runs through all exposures on the Promote in less then a second.


Hi,

Please write us a support ticket at http://support.promotesystems.com/ - we will try to handle that. It should work just fine, probably it's some setting issue.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 03/17/10 at 01:04:26

wrote on 03/17/10 at 00:50:34:
Can anyone tell me how I would purchase the Promote control, I live in Australia, and I have approached a few wholesalers and camera shops, with no luck.

I says on the website for USA Canada and Europe only..


We now ship to Australia too! Come back in, we'd be glad to send it out ;)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by pat on 03/17/10 at 01:04:54
Hi Arty I see your online, I hope you saw my question about the Promote control and its availability for Australia, I also sent you a PM with the same message

Pat

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 03/18/10 at 20:18:50

wrote on 03/17/10 at 01:04:54:
Hi Arty I see your online, I hope you saw my question about the Promote control and its availability for Australia, I also sent you a PM with the same message


Yep, I wrote you back. Thanks!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 03/18/10 at 20:43:36
To everybody with Canon T2i/550D - we received comments from two customers with 550D cameras that shutter cable doesn't work with that camera, while USB connection is perfectly compatible. Seems to be another surprise from Canon (thank you, guys!). We will try to find a 550D sample to track this issue down and fix it (probably will just tweak some timings). For now, please feel free to use your 550Ds with USB only - they seem to work great. Thanks!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller connection
Post by libertynetworkDesign on 03/24/10 at 02:22:03
Do you know if this bundling has occurred
I have D5000 and have just bought a Promote Controller
from Adorama.



wrote on 10/19/09 at 20:54:10:

wrote on 10/17/09 at 03:54:02:
My D5000 has a micro USB port, the promote cable is mini USB, how do I connect?


Stephen, I will send you an adapter to use with your Nikon-branded USB cable -and in future we will probably end up bundling that adapter with all Promote Controls. Thank you, Mr. Nikon :)


Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller connection
Post by Arty on 03/24/10 at 17:15:43

wrote on 03/24/10 at 02:22:03:
Do you know if this bundling has occurred
I have D5000 and have just bought a Promote Controller
from Adorama.
wrote on 10/19/09 at 20:54:10:

wrote on 10/17/09 at 03:54:02:
My D5000 has a micro USB port, the promote cable is mini USB, how do I connect?


Stephen, I will send you an adapter to use with your Nikon-branded USB cable -and in future we will probably end up bundling that adapter with all Promote Controls. Thank you, Mr. Nikon :)


Unfortunately we have not yet found a way to produce those adapters reliably. That adapter is not too common (albeit compliant to the USB standard), and needs custom manufacturing. We are still looking for ways to have that produced, and the lack of that adapter is the sole reason for the lack of support for D5000 at this time. The adapter itself is a "Mini-A male to Type A female", and would be used with your D5000 USB cable to connect the camera to the Promote Control.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Enbilaman on 03/24/10 at 19:15:59
Please forgive me to post a bug report here and if it is a wrong place: I haven't find a way to report it on the PromoteSystems site...

I have observed what IMO is a bug of the v1.16 update of the Promote Control FW.
It affects HDR mode: the longer exposure duration limit of the range becomes plainly wrong when the number of Total Exposures is set higher than a certain critical number (31). Consequently the actual number of fired shots is less than expected and displayed.

Lets give a typical example: if "Mid Exposure" is set to 1/3 with "Step"= 0.3EV and "Total Exposures"= 45 then "Seq: [1/500..2.5s]" is subsequently shown on the Promote control LCD display, but the number of actual shots shall be only 32 (!) exposed from 1/500 to 2.5 sec. Brighter exposures of more than 2.5 sec. are skipped.

As a matter of fact, when the "Total Exposures" number is set to 31 then "Seq: [1/100..10s]". If it is set to 33 then "Seq: [1/125..10s]". For a Total Exposure set to 35 then "Seq:" [1/125..8s], etc. The upper limit continues decreasing down to 2.5 sec.(when 45 shots are set).

In short: if more than 31 exposures are set, the longer time limit value that is displayed is not valid and the shutter firing stops actually at #32.

I usually shot not more than 9 shots in a sequence though...


Michel

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller connection
Post by libertynetworkDesign on 03/24/10 at 20:15:12

wrote on 03/24/10 at 17:15:43:

wrote on 03/24/10 at 02:22:03:
Do you know if this bundling has occurred
I have D5000 and have just bought a Promote Controller
from Adorama.
wrote on 10/19/09 at 20:54:10:

wrote on 10/17/09 at 03:54:02:
My D5000 has a micro USB port, the promote cable is mini USB, how do I connect?


Stephen, I will send you an adapter to use with your Nikon-branded USB cable -and in future we will probably end up bundling that adapter with all Promote Controls. Thank you, Mr. Nikon :)


Unfortunately we have not yet found a way to produce those adapters reliably. That adapter is not too common (albeit compliant to the USB standard), and needs custom manufacturing. We are still looking for ways to have that produced, and the lack of that adapter is the sole reason for the lack of support for D5000 at this time. The adapter itself is a "Mini-A male to Type A female", and would be used with your D5000 USB cable to connect the camera to the Promote Control.


Please confirm that the below is the correct adapter:
Product Type      Data Transfer Adapter
Connector Details
1 x 5-pin Micro Type B Male USB 2.0 USB
1 x 5-pin Mini Type B Female USB 2.0 USB

http://www.provantage.com/startech-uusbmusbmf~7STR916T.htm

Thanks

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller connection
Post by Arty on 03/26/10 at 00:10:06

wrote on 03/24/10 at 20:15:12:
Please confirm that the below is the correct adapter:
Product Type      Data Transfer Adapter
Connector Details
1 x 5-pin Micro Type B Male USB 2.0 USB
1 x 5-pin Mini Type B Female USB 2.0 USB

http://www.provantage.com/startech-uusbmusbmf~7STR916T.htm

Thanks


Umm... not quite. The connector on Nikon D5000 is not standard at all, and requires Nikon's own cable to connect to it. The problem is that the other side of Nikon D5000 USB cable cannot be connected to the Promote Control. So what you need is "Mini-A male to Type A female" adapter - to put between Promote and your Nikon D5000 USB cable. They are also known os OTG adapters. Here's a good example:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/OTG-Cable-Adapter-plug-Socket/dp/B000EORX7U/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 03/26/10 at 00:22:43
OK, people, I need some help. I have a working beta of the firmware that can deal with that dreaded Bulb on 5DM2 and 7D. I guess that qualifies for a Yayy :) But before I let you all try it, I need to know how to identify 5DM2 and 7D - otherwise everybody will have to switch to Bulb manually, and that would not be good, eh? :)

So how about downloading this little program that can identify USB devices:

http://www.ftdichip.com/Resources/Utilities/usbview.zip

then run it while your 5DM2 or 7D is connected. In the left pane find and select "Digital Still Camera", and then in the right pane you will see some information. I need the value of "idProduct" part - copy the idVendor along please, to make sure it's the right thing. Then PM that pair to me, and let me know which camera is it for. As soon as I have it, the beta is out :)

P.S. I only need IDs of the 5DM2 and 7D please. Thanks :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 03/26/10 at 06:14:44

Enbilaman wrote on 03/24/10 at 19:15:59:
Please forgive me to post a bug report here and if it is a wrong place: I haven't find a way to report it on the PromoteSystems site...

I have observed what IMO is a bug of the v1.16 update of the Promote Control FW.
It affects HDR mode: the longer exposure duration limit of the range becomes plainly wrong when the number of Total Exposures is set higher than a certain critical number (31). Consequently the actual number of fired shots is less than expected and displayed.

Lets give a typical example: if "Mid Exposure" is set to 1/3 with "Step"= 0.3EV and "Total Exposures"= 45 then "Seq: [1/500..2.5s]" is subsequently shown on the Promote control LCD display, but the number of actual shots shall be only 32 (!) exposed from 1/500 to 2.5 sec. Brighter exposures of more than 2.5 sec. are skipped.

As a matter of fact, when the "Total Exposures" number is set to 31 then "Seq: [1/100..10s]". If it is set to 33 then "Seq: [1/125..10s]". For a Total Exposure set to 35 then "Seq:" [1/125..8s], etc. The upper limit continues decreasing down to 2.5 sec.(when 45 shots are set).

In short: if more than 31 exposures are set, the longer time limit value that is displayed is not valid and the shutter firing stops actually at #32.

I usually shot not more than 9 shots in a sequence though...


Michel


Interesting... I will check into that. It's a pretty serious HDR though :) As for bug reports, those are best sent to http://support.promotesystems.com/

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller + Live View
Post by Enbilaman on 03/26/10 at 11:08:20
For shooting HDR with the Canon EOS 5D Mk2, I have given up using the shutter cable. My camera is now controlled via the sole USB cable: I simply push on the Live View mode button of the camera and then push on the start button of the controller to fire up the shooting sequence. Waiting for the beep sound (if I can hear it though) or for when the previewed image to "stay still" on the camera LCD to jump to the next sequence.
The mirror stays up all the time while shooting several HDR sequences in a row until switching off the controller.
It's the most silent way. Furthermore I could not measure a speed difference compared to shooting with 2-cables when shooting up to 13 total exposures in a sequence with much less hassle than with the cables in tandem.
No photo has yet been skipped in about one hundred of various trials and shooting campaigns. I am also still waiting for the possible report of such a dreaded occurrence from another photographer who is also currently kindly helping in testing this method.

May others confirm or infirm this observation, possibly with other Live-View-enabled camera models?

Michel

PS: Arty, yes, shooting 45 (or 32) exposures is quite a serious HDR endeavor that I wont pursue beyond testing!
You may check however if this anomaly doesn't creep viciously into other simpler and more common operation though...

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Harry on 03/26/10 at 17:36:45
Hello Arty,

this is from a EOS 7D :

Device Descriptor:
bcdUSB:             0x0200
bDeviceClass:         0x00
bDeviceSubClass:      0x00
bDeviceProtocol:      0x00
bMaxPacketSize0:      0x40 (64)
idVendor:           0x04A9 (Canon Inc. (Kosugi Office))
idProduct:          0x319A
bcdDevice:          0x0002
iManufacturer:        0x01
iProduct:             0x02
iSerialNumber:        0x00
bNumConfigurations:   0x01

ConnectionStatus: DeviceConnected
Current Config Value: 0x01
Device Bus Speed:     High
Device Address:       0x01
Open Pipes:              3

Endpoint Descriptor:
bEndpointAddress:     0x81  IN
Transfer Type:        Bulk
wMaxPacketSize:     0x0200 (512)
bInterval:            0x00

Endpoint Descriptor:
bEndpointAddress:     0x02  OUT
Transfer Type:        Bulk
wMaxPacketSize:     0x0200 (512)
bInterval:            0x00

Endpoint Descriptor:
bEndpointAddress:     0x83  IN
Transfer Type:   Interrupt
wMaxPacketSize:     0x0008 (8)
bInterval:            0x0A



Is this right ?

Greetings from good old germany

Harry

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller connection
Post by libertynetworkDesign on 03/26/10 at 22:43:57


Umm... not quite. The connector on Nikon D5000 is not standard at all, and requires Nikon's own cable to connect to it. The problem is that the other side of Nikon D5000 USB cable cannot be connected to the Promote Control. So what you need is "Mini-A male to Type A female" adapter - to put between Promote and your Nikon D5000 USB cable. They are also known os OTG adapters. Here's a good example:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/OTG-Cable-Adapter-plug-Socket/dp/B000EORX7U/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top[/quote]

Thanks.
I was confused I thought I would use your cable and add an adapter.http://www.hdrlabs.com/yabbfiles/Templates/Forum/default/embarassed.gif

If I understand you correctly, I use the D5000 USB cable and place an adapter on the big end of the Nikon cable to mate to the USB connector on the Promote Control. http://www.hdrlabs.com/yabbfiles/Templates/Forum/default/smiley.gif

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller + Live View
Post by Arty on 03/27/10 at 00:05:25

Enbilaman wrote on 03/26/10 at 11:08:20:
For shooting HDR with the Canon EOS 5D Mk2, I have given up using the shutter cable. My camera is now controlled via the sole USB cable: I simply push on the Live View mode button of the camera and then push on the start button of the controller to fire up the shooting sequence. Waiting for the beep sound (if I can hear it though) or for when the previewed image to "stay still" on the camera LCD to jump to the next sequence.
The mirror stays up all the time while shooting several HDR sequences in a row until switching off the controller.
It's the most silent way. Furthermore I could not measure a speed difference compared to shooting with 2-cables when shooting up to 13 total exposures in a sequence with much less hassle than with the cables in tandem.
No photo has yet been skipped in about one hundred of various trials and shooting campaigns. I am also still waiting for the possible report of such a dreaded occurrence from another photographer who is also currently kindly helping in testing this method.

May others confirm or infirm this observation, possibly with other Live-View-enabled camera models?

Michel

PS: Arty, yes, shooting 45 (or 32) exposures is quite a serious HDR endeavor that I wont pursue beyond testing!
You may check however if this anomaly doesn't creep viciously into other simpler and more common operation though...


Hi Michel,

I haven't heard of such issues with simpler HDR sequences yet... but it's worth looking into anyway. As for shutter cable, yeah, unfortunately 5DM2 is all but wipes that advantage with its slow processor (the other major advantage of shutter cable being MLU).

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller connection
Post by Arty on 03/27/10 at 00:06:06

wrote on 03/26/10 at 22:43:57:

Quote:
Umm... not quite. The connector on Nikon D5000 is not standard at all, and requires Nikon's own cable to connect to it. The problem is that the other side of Nikon D5000 USB cable cannot be connected to the Promote Control. So what you need is "Mini-A male to Type A female" adapter - to put between Promote and your Nikon D5000 USB cable. They are also known os OTG adapters. Here's a good example:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/OTG-Cable-Adapter-plug-Socket/dp/B000EORX7U/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top


Thanks.
I was confused I thought I would use your cable and add an adapter.http://www.hdrlabs.com/yabbfiles/Templates/Forum/default/embarassed.gif

If I understand you correctly, I use the D5000 USB cable and place an adapter on the big end of the Nikon cable to mate to the USB connector on the Promote Control. http://www.hdrlabs.com/yabbfiles/Templates/Forum/default/smiley.gif


Exactly! :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 03/27/10 at 00:11:10

Harry wrote on 03/26/10 at 17:36:45:
Hello Arty,

this is from a EOS 7DIs this right ?

Greetings from good old germany

Harry


Ahhh... that's awesome, thanks a lot! I was afraid we'd have an issue looking for 7D (it's less common than 5DM2), but here it comes! I also just got a 5DM2 ID from someone else (thanks, Michel!). let me make sure all this actually works with a real 5DM2, I'll meet a friend tonight and test it, and will then post it online for yall. Have a good weekend everybody!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by brianmatiash on 03/27/10 at 00:45:12

wrote on 03/27/10 at 00:11:10:
Ahhh... that's awesome, thanks a lot! I was afraid we'd have an issue looking for 7D (it's less common than 5DM2), but here it comes! I also just got a 5DM2 ID from someone else (thanks, Michel!). let me make sure all this actually works with a real 5DM2, I'll meet a friend tonight and test it, and will then post it online for yall. Have a good weekend everybody! 


Hey Arty,

Just emailed you.  I am extremely excited to see what this workaround can be.  If you need more 5DM2 IDs, just let me know - I was a bit sidetracked today with a personal issue but I can get you another ID, should you need it.

Cannot wait to test out this new FW!!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller connection
Post by libertynetworkDesign on 03/27/10 at 03:33:00

wrote on 03/27/10 at 00:06:06:

wrote on 03/26/10 at 22:43:57:
[quote]

http://www.amazon.co.uk/OTG-Cable-Adapter-plug-Socket/dp/B000EORX7U/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top


Thanks.
I was confused I thought I would use your cable and add an adapter.

If I understand you correctly, I use the D5000 USB cable and place an adapter on the big end of the Nikon cable to mate to the USB connector on the Promote Control.

Exactly! :)


THANKS !!  ;-)
Curious.  Only available in the UK.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 04/06/10 at 20:47:41
Big day for 5D Mk II and 7D shooters - here's a beta with manual Bulb prompt! Hooray :)

Click here to download

Please note that it's a beta release - which means it might have issues and I'd recommend trying it at home before going to the field with it. We tested it with 5D Mk II and it performed well, and I have at least one more user with 5D Mk II who said: "IT WORKSSSSSS!!!!" (thanks Brian!) So I felt it's safe to release ;)

Please do report your experience here, so that others may decide whether they'd like to jump on it. Meanwhile, we're on to the HDR-TL universe. Stay tuned :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by pat on 04/06/10 at 23:52:01
I am so excited I got my promote control today, down in Australia, but is there problems with 5d mk2"s

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Enbilaman on 04/07/10 at 09:39:22

wrote on 04/06/10 at 20:47:41:
Big day for 5D Mk II and 7D shooters - here's a beta with manual Bulb prompt! Hooray :)

Click here to download

Please note that it's a beta release - which means it might have issues and I'd recommend trying it at home before going to the field with it.
Please do report your experience here, so that others may decide whether they'd like to jump on it.


I am pleased to report a positive trial with my EOS 5D Mk II :)
- Flawless installation of 1.17 Beta firmware via VMWare Fusion/XP pro (32 bits) on Apple IMac 27"i5.
- Successful operation with different sets of HDR exposures with duration of more than 30 sec.

Michel


Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by brianmatiash on 04/07/10 at 18:41:44

wrote on 04/06/10 at 20:47:41:
I have at least one more user with 5D Mk II who said: "IT WORKSSSSSS!!!!" (thanks Brian!) So I felt it's safe to release


Always glad to help!  I put this firmware through the ringer over the past week.  Seriously heavy use.  I cannot tell you how much of a pleasure it is to be able to set the mid-range exposure at a value in between 2 seconds and 15 seconds.  My HDR work has significantly benefited from this.

Two points:

1. Not sure how much real-estate space you have to play with on the display that instructs you to switch to Bulb to continue but I'd recommend adding a quick blurb to ensure consistent aperture values.  Bulb will not automatically match the aperture that is set in Manual so that could lead to problems for an unsuspecting user.

I've taken to the practice of - when I know that I'll be switching from Manual to Bulb, I'll first pre-set the desired aperture in both modes before firing off the bracket sequence.  Just .05 worth of free advice.

2. Right now, the fastest mid-range value accepted by the remote is 1/250 sec.  This results in the fastest shutter speed of 1/4000 in the bracket sequence.  I know that the 5DM2 can also be set at 1/6400 and 1/8000.  Would it be possible to get that supported?  I am not sure if it will ultimately make sense to have a standalone 5D2/7D firmware but I know that it would be awesome to be able to capture those shutter speeds, especially when bracketing in a very bright scene.

Nonetheless, BRAVO Arty!  The beta firmware brings the functionality that I've been dying for so thank you so much!  Let me know if I can help with any more testing.

Brian

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 04/07/10 at 21:10:40

wrote on 04/07/10 at 18:41:44:

wrote on 04/06/10 at 20:47:41:
I have at least one more user with 5D Mk II who said: "IT WORKSSSSSS!!!!" (thanks Brian!) So I felt it's safe to release


1. Not sure how much real-estate space you have to play with on the display that instructs you to switch to Bulb to continue but I'd recommend adding a quick blurb to ensure consistent aperture values.  Bulb will not automatically match the aperture that is set in Manual so that could lead to problems for an unsuspecting user.

I've taken to the practice of - when I know that I'll be switching from Manual to Bulb, I'll first pre-set the desired aperture in both modes before firing off the bracket sequence.  Just .05 worth of free advice.


Oh, so saved aperture can be different between Bulb and M? Bugger. How about adding "..., keeping the same F-number."?


Quote:
2. Right now, the fastest mid-range value accepted by the remote is 1/250 sec.  This results in the fastest shutter speed of 1/4000 in the bracket sequence.  I know that the 5DM2 can also be set at 1/6400 and 1/8000.  Would it be possible to get that supported?  I am not sure if it will ultimately make sense to have a standalone 5D2/7D firmware but I know that it would be awesome to be able to capture those shutter speeds, especially when bracketing in a very bright scene.


Well pointed, however it's not the 1/250 mid-exp limitation that drives it, it's the top 1/4000 sec limitation. If you reduce the number of shots or the EV step, you can set your midpoint to a faster exposure. But again, I know 1/4000 kinda bites...we'll address it one day.


Quote:
Nonetheless, BRAVO Arty!  The beta firmware brings the functionality that I've been dying for so thank you so much!  Let me know if I can help with any more testing.
Brian


You bet :) We'll be out with more tasty stuff pretty soon!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by BigOldSofty on 04/11/10 at 01:30:51
My control has arrived and am happy with it :)
I'm just wondering what devices can be connected to its accessoy input.  I have one of the wireless remotes like the Phottix CleonII Wireless Remote and would be interest to know it that cna be used to st things going.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Castillonis on 04/13/10 at 03:37:34
You can use remote shutter switches that are designed to be used with the Canon E3 ( 2.5mm mini plug ) remote shutter connector that are on Canon Rebel cameras as well as the Canon G10 and G11 point and shoots.  You can buy these on Amazon, B&H Photo, and Ebay.

I am able to use the Promote Control Bracketing Controller with the Gigapan Pro imager.  I connect a Canon E3 style connector from the imager to the third port of the Promote.  Then I connect the Promote to my camera.  I use one trigger from the Gigapan Pro with a long enough delay to let the Promote finish the bracketing sequence.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 04/13/10 at 22:00:48
We seem to have a little issue here... we ran out of stock on Promote Controls :o It happened much faster than we expected - the new batch was already launched in production, but the increasing demand caught us. The new controls are expected to hit the shelves in 2-3 weeks from now, or earlier - I will keep you posted. Adorama and BHPV will get the first dealer shipments, so check with them as well as on our website.

On a personal note... WOW! Four years ago, when I stood at 12:30am with my D200 atop my tripod and thought "how can I make this go easier", I never expected it to turn out like that. Thank you all, we will be back with more goodies very soon! And yeah, firmware development still goes on :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by discocandy on 04/17/10 at 13:27:15
thank you Arty.
for making this tool for us.. it is a dream!
I take it with me always as it is a standard thing in my setup.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 04/19/10 at 19:52:01

wrote on 04/17/10 at 13:27:15:
thank you Arty.
for making this tool for us.. it is a dream!
I take it with me always as it is a standard thing in my setup.


Great, thank you for the warm words! We will keep on working :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by BigOldSofty on 04/21/10 at 00:33:55
Arty a suggestion I have for the Promote Control as an added mode.  Focus layering for macro work so you manually set focus for one position and then get the controller to take an additional number of shot with slight shifts in focus. Then the shots can be merged.  Now if each 'focus plane' could have HDR shots it would be even better.  Oh that would fill and entire CF card for a single image.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by marquee on 04/26/10 at 02:01:52
I cannot help but think the focus bracketing would be just the kind of thing that would be a killer add ons to the promote itself.
Its a enormous requirement for Macro shooters

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 04/27/10 at 03:18:39
Regarding focus stacking guys...

Some cameras won't shoot properly using the promote control in HDR mode if you forget to turn OFF autofocus.

So your wish list to have the promote control add some kind of HDR mode with autofocus abilities for focus stacking seems very unlikely.

Michael James
http://www.hdriblog.com
http://www.digitalcoastimage.com

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 04/27/10 at 08:20:14
Actually, I think this is a wonderful idea.

Autofocus should be OFF for that anyway, because the Promote is supposed to control the focus (instead of the shutter speed).

Here is an older blog post about focus stacking (when it was experimentally combined with HDR), but what matured is the plain "best exposure" focus stack.

@discocandy: Pretty awesome travel pack you got there. ;)

@Arty: I don't break out my Promote often enough, but every time I do it kicks ass! Just the other week it made it possible to do this massive 500 Megapixel Night Pano. Thank you for such a wonderful tool!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by marquee on 04/27/10 at 08:59:12
Autofocus should be OFF for that anyway, because the Promote is supposed to control the focus (instead of the shutter speed).

Exactly, my thoughts.

There is software out there that can do it through a tethered PC, but the whole idea with the promote is that you are rid of that extra element.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 04/27/10 at 22:46:35

Blochi wrote on 04/27/10 at 08:20:14:
Actually, I think this is a wonderful idea.

Autofocus should be OFF for that anyway, because the Promote is supposed to control the focus (instead of the shutter speed).

Here is an older blog post about focus stacking (when it was experimentally combined with HDR), but what matured is the plain "best exposure" focus stack.

@discocandy: Pretty awesome travel pack you got there. ;)

@Arty: I don't break out my Promote often enough, but every time I do it kicks ass! Just the other week it made it possible to do this massive 500 Megapixel Night Pano. Thank you for such a wonderful tool!


You are most welcome, Christian! And thanks for your comments... I'm thrilled :) It's one awesome pano you took too - I wish I had a chance to do something like that, but it appears most of my time is spent hacking the heck out of the Promote Control :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 04/27/10 at 22:51:24

wrote on 04/27/10 at 08:59:12:
Autofocus should be OFF for that anyway, because the Promote is supposed to control the focus (instead of the shutter speed).

Exactly, my thoughts.

There is software out there that can do it through a tethered PC, but the whole idea with the promote is that you are rid of that extra element.


Good point. Focus control is not a part of the official PTP standard, but obviously there is software, so there is a way. What do you mostly use - Helicon Remote, DSLR Remote Pro, anything else?

At this time we are busy with implementing HDR-TL, as well as making sure we don't have any out of stock situations again (doh!), but I'm curious to dig further into FS (focus stacking). Isn't it a wonderful thing to have upgradable firmware? ;)

Title: Angled USB connector
Post by Photosignals on 04/29/10 at 13:52:45
Has anyone found a source for a right-angled USB cable for the camera end?

When using 'L' brackets fro RSS etc., both the shutter and USB cables stick too far out of the camera to fit onto the tripod head.

I 'think' is is an angled USB mini-A to USB-Mini B cable if Arty can confirm the spec needed :)

Mike.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sam Rohn on 04/30/10 at 21:08:33
re: angled USB connectors, i posted this a while back -


wrote on 10/08/09 at 05:06:25:
something from this page might help, various angled USB connectors - http://www.usbfirewire.com/uextendminib.html

they also have a custom cable design tool here - http://www.usbfirewire.com/custom/Custom_USB_FireWire_Cable_Design_Tool.html

i use a kirk photo L bracket myself, they make a spacer block for tethered shooting, should fit rrs gear & do the trick here as well

sam


Title: Re: Angled USB connector
Post by Arty on 05/03/10 at 18:50:16

wrote on 04/29/10 at 13:52:45:
Has anyone found a source for a right-angled USB cable for the camera end?

When using 'L' brackets fro RSS etc., both the shutter and USB cables stick too far out of the camera to fit onto the tripod head.

I 'think' is is an angled USB mini-A to USB-Mini B cable if Arty can confirm the spec needed :)


Yep, that's what it is :)

Title: excellent customer support
Post by geopal on 05/05/10 at 15:05:39
Just for all the people who read this thread and try to decide whether to buy this device or not, want to tell you that you not only buy something very useful and unique, but you also receive above excellent customer support, which is always very important! Thank you Arty and team!  [smiley=thumbup.gif]

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Astin on 05/05/10 at 23:10:53
Any news on the shortage? Ordered mine from BH 4/11, Promote Systems site update 4/13 about shortage, claiming 2-3 weeks.  It's 3 weeks now, and the wait is driving me nuts! :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Harry on 05/06/10 at 20:50:06

BigOldSofty wrote on 04/21/10 at 00:33:55:
Arty a suggestion I have for the Promote Control as an added mode.  Focus layering for macro work so you manually set focus for one position and then get the controller to take an additional number of shot with slight shifts in focus. Then the shots can be merged.  Now if each 'focus plane' could have HDR shots it would be even better.  Oh that would fill and entire CF card for a single image.


That would be a great feature for the Promote Control. I hope that can be realised.  :D




wrote on 04/27/10 at 22:51:24:
Good point. Focus control is not a part of the official PTP standard, but obviously there is software, so there is a way. What do you mostly use - Helicon Remote, DSLR Remote Pro, anything else?


I'm using Helicon Remote with the 7D and 50D. But only at home.

The Promote Control with a feature like Focus Remote - best phototool ever ! ! !

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by wookiee2cu on 05/09/10 at 01:18:40
Had a problem today and wondered if anyone else has had this issue (it has also happened a few other times but not to this degree).  I was shooting an HDR pano and I was in High Dynamic Range mode.  I had it set for 0.7EV steps and 5 exposures (at first I had it at 1.0EV steps but the 1st image was almost black and the last was almost pure white so I bumped it down to 0.7EV).  Anyways, a few positions in I noticed it only fired off 4 shots instead of the 5.  So I deleted the 4 shots and reshot that positon.  About 4 positions later it did the same thing.  This must have happened at least 13 times through out the pano (on a few occasions it only fired off 3 shots).  About half way through I turned off the Automatic Exposure Mode control as it was on and that didn't seem to make a difference at all.  I was shooting across water at a city skyline, the sun was behind me, I started around 2:30 so the sun was falling behind me lighting up my subject and it was pretty bright out.  I'm on firmware 1.05.  Every thing was on manual mode and my camera was set to single shot, not highspeed or anything and the lens focus was set to manual.  Anyone have a clue as of to what is going on?  I did notice that when it only shot 4 images it was droping the darkest one which was 1/800. Very frustrating, I hope it's something stupid that I was doing and not an issue with the device.  Also, the camera was not buffering previously shot images, I waited until the red light went off before I started shooting again so it wasn't that.  I'm also using the shutter release cable with my Canon 40D.

The last time this happened was at night time when I was shooting a HDR pano of the city skyline from another vantage spot but it only happened maybe 3 times out of the 22 different positions of the pano.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions! :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by geopal on 05/10/10 at 06:50:48
@wookiee2cu,
I also have some trouble shooting panos with 5 steps- it drops from time to time the last/darkest/ frame, which sometimes can be 4-8 seconds. And it happens only from time to time, but tought me to count how many time the camera clicks. Last time my Extreme III card was full and I put a regular, slow card in and from 5 exposures it shot only 3... so I guess faster cards make difference but I think that is another issue...It can shoot 10x5 shots and have randomly one serie miss the last one... Don't know why, I am using it on D60 Nikon. Have you tried adjusting USB delay time??

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by wookiee2cu on 05/10/10 at 17:59:26
Hello Geopal, I was using some SanDisk Extreme III 4GB cards and they were empty when I started and the first error was about 4 positions in (approximately 20 photos had been shot on the empty card before the error occurred).  I didn't mess with the USB delay time but I don't think that's the issue as it worked fine on several other postions.  For whatever reason it's like the unit decided it didn't need the 1/800 frame which is the darkest out of the 5 shots.  I'm just glad I caught it otherwise I would have been very angry had I gotten home and was going to run the photomatix batch job.  Given I would have to go through the folder and delete all 1/800 shots but that's besides the point, something is not right here.  If anyone has any ideas please let me know, thanks in advance!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by geopal on 05/10/10 at 18:25:27
I did mess up with my USB delay time, as it was skipping every second photo- I made it slower and it stopped doing that (nice!), but the "problem" you have appeared to me as well...random last photo skipping... don't know how and why the remote decides which photo is unnecessary and skips it...

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by wookiee2cu on 05/10/10 at 20:52:04
geopal, I guess I can set the delay a little longer just to rule it out.  Actually it's the first photo that is being skipped in the bracketing series.  I thought it was maybe because I was shooting too fast and the camera was still buffering from the previous position so I made it a point to wait for the buffering light on my 40D to stop, then move the pano head to the next postion and then click 'start' on the remote but I still experienced the problem. It's a great little device, I just hope I can get this figured out.   

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Castillonis on 05/11/10 at 01:00:29
Arty, I use Helicon Remote, Breeze Systems DSLR Remote Pro, and Granite Bay to control my cameras.  Helicon Remote will exposure bracket and focus stack out of the box.  I have only done this with Canon cameras and need to try it with a Nikon.  With the Canon you need to leave the focus mode on the lens in Autofocus.  Watch the focus ring and guide numbers after an exposure sequence has finished and you will see the focus ring turn.  Try to not exceed infinity as the ring turns but the focus stays at infinity.  This is definitely something that you need to learn to use at the office or home before you try it in the field.  One problem for me is that I am using it on a netbook and it is too easy to inadvertantly move the mouse to a different part of the UI.

I have been using a SanDisk Extreme 60MB/s UDMA 32GB card which has allowed me to capture at a higher rate on the Canon 5D Mark II and the Nikon D700.  I was told by a reliable person that the faster cards actually allow you to shoot faster.  I will probably buy another 32GB 60MB/s UDMA card before I buy a faster card due to the cost.  I am running out of space when I bracket RAW files and need more memory.  When I rent the Nikon D3S or Nikon D3X they have two compact flash slots which would allow me to capture 64GB before needing to change cards.

I have a video that I took using the Promote with the Gigapan Pro in Sedona, AZ, but I have these very annoying sniffing sounds in the audio

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 05/11/10 at 23:00:23

wrote on 05/10/10 at 20:52:04:
geopal, I guess I can set the delay a little longer just to rule it out.  Actually it's the first photo that is being skipped in the bracketing series.  I thought it was maybe because I was shooting too fast and the camera was still buffering from the previous position so I made it a point to wait for the buffering light on my 40D to stop, then move the pano head to the next postion and then click 'start' on the remote but I still experienced the problem. It's a great little device, I just hope I can get this figured out.   


Interesting. The thing is that remote will always issue the shutter release command - it's camera that may decide not to react for whatever reason. If the camera returns an error code, the Promote will stop and complain - but when a camera is busy doing something, most bodies simply say "OK" but never take a shot. Possible reasons might be:

1. Card or image buffer full

2. AF on - if AF fails, there will be no shot taken, but Promote will most often be told it all worked out.

One other thing - some Canon cams appear to be a problem if they are in "Power down" mode - i.e. top LCD has nothing on it. Normally when a command is sent, the camera should wake up and start shooting immediately (Nikons do that), but Canons may skip the command and return success. It might be useful to "wake up" the camera by lightly tapping the shutter button before starting the sequence - or just make your power down timeouts longer, so that camera doesn't fall asleep as fast.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 05/11/10 at 23:02:10

Castillonis wrote on 05/11/10 at 01:00:29:
Arty, I use Helicon Remote, Breeze Systems DSLR Remote Pro, and Granite Bay to control my cameras.  Helicon Remote will exposure bracket and focus stack out of the box.  I have only done this with Canon cameras and need to try it with a Nikon.  With the Canon you need to leave the focus mode on the lens in Autofocus.  Watch the focus ring and guide numbers after an exposure sequence has finished and you will see the focus ring turn.  Try to not exceed infinity as the ring turns but the focus stays at infinity.  This is definitely something that you need to learn to use at the office or home before you try it in the field.  One problem for me is that I am using it on a netbook and it is too easy to inadvertantly move the mouse to a different part of the UI.

I have been using a SanDisk Extreme 60MB/s UDMA 32GB card which has allowed me to capture at a higher rate on the Canon 5D Mark II and the Nikon D700.  I was told by a reliable person that the faster cards actually allow you to shoot faster.  I will probably buy another 32GB 60MB/s UDMA card before I buy a faster card due to the cost.  I am running out of space when I bracket RAW files and need more memory.  When I rent the Nikon D3S or Nikon D3X they have two compact flash slots which would allow me to capture 64GB before needing to change cards.

I have a video that I took using the Promote with the Gigapan Pro in Sedona, AZ, but I have these very annoying sniffing sounds in the audio


Thanks for the insight on the Helicon! I will definitely look into that. Can you post the video somewhere?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by wookiee2cu on 05/11/10 at 23:56:49
Hello Arty,
There were no error codes on the camera and the first time it happened there were about 20 photos on a 4GB card.  I thought it might have been a buffering issue so I would fire off the bracketed shots, wait for the buffer light to stop showing activity, move the pano head to the next postion and then fire off the next round of bracketed shots and it still happened.  I made sure the lens was in MF mode and that the camera mode dial itself was in M mode and it was set for single shot (ie not high speed, 2 sec delay and so on).  I did not check the top lcd to see if it was reading anything but the camera should not have fallen asleep between postions as we are only talking about a minute and a half at most.between firing off the shots.  It was a pretty bright sunny day so the shutter speeds were pretty fast.  I believe the quickest was 1/800 and I was bracketing 5 shots at 0.7EV.  I'll have to experiment some more I guess.   





Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by HSSwan on 05/17/10 at 21:34:05

Castillonis wrote on 04/13/10 at 03:37:34:
I am able to use the Promote Control Bracketing Controller with the Gigapan Pro imager.I connect a Canon E3 style connector from the imager to the third port of the Promote.Then I connect the Promote to my camera.I use one trigger from the Gigapan Pro with a long enough delay to let the Promote finish the bracketing sequence. 

20 pages in and I found what I was looking for!  Thanks, Castillonis!  I do have a question for Arty about what I'll need to hook up an Epic Pro like the above but to a Nikon D90 ...  What cables will I use?  Hints appreciated.

Thanks in advance, this thread is a unique tool by itself.


Harry

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by wookiee2cu on 05/18/10 at 18:16:13
I'm a little confused, doesn't the Gigapan Epic Pro bracket up to 20 shots per each position?  For those of you who have it, how sturdy are the arms on it?  I watched a video of it where a guy was on a ridge shooting a beach and it was slighly windy but it looked like the Epic Pro was rocking pretty good.  Curious as of to how sturdy/stable the unit actually is.



Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by HSSwan on 05/18/10 at 19:37:12

wrote on 05/18/10 at 18:16:13:
I'm a little confused, doesn't the Gigapan Epic Pro bracket up to 20 shots per each position?  For those of you who have it, how sturdy are the arms on it?  I watched a video of it where a guy was on a ridge shooting a beach and it was slighly windy but it looked like the Epic Pro was rocking pretty good.  Curious as of to how sturdy/stable the unit actually is.

It doesn't bracket your shots but it does take up to 20 per position.  With a D90 I'm limited to a three shot bracket setting.  Now, I haven't had the chance to do more than a few simple panos but I like the construction and, yes, the arms are easily up to a D90/300 2.8 combo.  Shooting in windy conditions usually is a problem anytime and there is a bit of a wobble as noted in the video but I believe it can be tightened to reduce the effect.   I can let you know more as I go....

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 05/22/10 at 00:21:40
OK, everyone with Canon T2i - sorry, but I've got bad news on the shutter cable operation. It completely blocks the shutter cable port when connected over USB - so the shutter release commands given by Promote Control over shutter cable are ignored. We could probably disconnect the USB operation before releasing the shutter via shutter cable - but this would defeat the primary purpose of the shutter cable operation - increased framerate. It looks like Canon introduced yet another hardware limitation that will not allow us to support T2i operation with shutter cable. Dang...

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Jim in Oregon on 05/22/10 at 15:02:52
I cannot seem to figure out where the exposure information for preset exp comes from in one shot mode. Used with a Canon 5DMII it sets the shutter speed to 30". Where did it get the 30" from? I seem to missing something here. From camera method works fine. Other than that a grerat ptoduct!
Thanks, Jim

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 05/25/10 at 00:13:45

wrote on 05/22/10 at 15:02:52:
I cannot seem to figure out where the exposure information for preset exp comes from in one shot mode. Used with a Canon 5DMII it sets the shutter speed to 30". Where did it get the 30" from? I seem to missing something here. From camera method works fine. Other than that a grerat ptoduct!
Thanks, Jim


Hi Jim,

I think I know what the problem is... you're using shutter cable, right? If so, Promote will allow you to set arbitrary speeds in HH:MM:SS format, and will try enabling Bulb on its own in order to honor your arbitrary shutter speed. But 5DM2 cannot set Bulb via USB, and resorts to 30". So, if you want to shoot one-shot with 5DM2 and shutter cable, then here is the solution:

1. Disconnect USB cable altogether - it won't do auto-Bulb then.

2. Put your camera in Bulb mode.

So: manual Bulb on camera, and shutter cable only in One Shot - and you're good to go.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by sealz on 07/05/10 at 05:50:14
Hi there

I recently purchased the Promote for my 7D primarily for HDR use (vfx). I'm not sure whether i'm doing something wrong or if it's a camera specific issue but the promote seems to be firing off doubles or even skipping some exposures and when I look at the set some actually have no discernible difference in exposure even when set to 2 evs apart. Have I got a faulty device or is there still ironing out to do with the 7D?

Brendan

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 07/05/10 at 09:30:11
I"m assuming you have the camera in manual mode (not Av or otherwise), with AEB fuction on the camera set to off, with your EV steps set to default at 1/3rd jumps, your focus to manual.

All that before even touching the Promote Control.

Right?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by sealz on 07/06/10 at 04:27:54
Hi Michael

Yeah have done all those settings correctly on camera before using the Promote. Am using both the shutter and usb cable to connect the two.
Tried again this morning and it fired off 3 on the mid-exposure but the rest was fine. I'll do some more testing and hopefully it sorts itself out!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Joachim Buambeki on 07/07/10 at 09:29:07
Hi,

is the Promote able to combine bracketing with timelapse?
I need to fire a burst of seven shots with 2EV spacing for very frame of an HDRI timelapse every n seconds.
Is that possible?

Best Regards
David

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 07/07/10 at 09:51:10
Yes, but you'd need the latest firmware beta. Haven't had any problems with it, so it's probably close to final.

In that, the timelapse and HDR settings panes are linked with a backdoor. So you'd first make your HDR settings, do a test shot, then go to timelapse and set the timings. Was rather intuitive.



Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Joachim Buambeki on 07/07/10 at 10:05:34
Great! Thanks for the fast reply.

Is it really possible to fire a burst of several pictures with a Canon 5DII like with the Nikon in the video from HDRIblog.com about the Promote?

I am asking because the usual delay of about 3sec I always get between my shots when controlling the camera with my laptop, is not really helpful when doing timelapse for obvious reasons.

Best Regards
David

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by JackHoward on 07/14/10 at 21:43:54
Christian, you'd mentioned that HDR and Time lapse now work together on the latest beta FW. I cannot seem to get this to work on a Reb XTi by doing an HDR shot and then switching over to Time lapse. It just keeps firing away one shot at the same exposure. Any ideas?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Sirsilent on 07/15/10 at 20:06:11
quick question:

Does the controller work with the Panasonic GH1?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by sealz on 07/22/10 at 04:58:31
Michael, I'm still having troubles with my promote/7d combo. Performance seems to be flakey, sometimes it works great firing off 9 or 11 exposures, other times it skips some exposures altogether.

Has anyone else got a 7D + Promote and had any issues?

Brendan

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 07/23/10 at 06:26:39

Joachim Buambeki wrote on 07/07/10 at 10:05:34:
Is it really possible to fire a burst of several pictures with a Canon 5DII like with the Nikon in the video from HDRIblog.com about the Promote?


Depends on the camera to determine top speeds. And you need to connect not only with the USB cable, but also the separately sold shutter release cable.

If you connect only with the USB cable I "think" the default interval in a bracket/burst is 1 second.  This would also apply to timelapse.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 07/23/10 at 06:38:44

wrote on 07/22/10 at 04:58:31:
Michael, I'm still having troubles with my promote/7d combo. Performance seems to be flakey, sometimes it works great firing off 9 or 11 exposures, other times it skips some exposures altogether.

Has anyone else got a 7D + Promote and had any issues?

Brendan


Yes. If you read the very early posts in this thread you'll actually see me asking Arty about this issue.

I'm assuming you are hitting this issue because your over exposed shots are getting VERY slow (shutter speeds).  I hit this doing interior architectural photography shooting at f/8 to f/11 and ISO 100-200 combined with dark interiors means the over exposed shots towards the end of the series are getting sloooooooooow.

One thing you could do is increase the "USB shutter release frame delay" which is option #4 under the setup menu.  Default if I recall is 1000ms.  I took mine up to around 2500ms and it can go as high as 5000ms.  Obviously this is contrary to shooting as fast as possible, but when you get into conditions where the over exposures are long shutter speeds, this helps a bit.

In nearly dark/dusk conditions even that does not work entirely.  The promote control is firing off a signal to the camera, but the camera doesn't "get" it because it is still taking the current shot.  Then the promote control sends another signal shortly after the one and if the camera is idle, then that one is taken, but the one prior the camera never took and never will.

This has never been solved with firmware.

However, the taking of double pictures you spoke of earlier on is something I only experienced when I was messing with Mirror Up options.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 07/23/10 at 06:54:55
The promote control lives in my bag and thrives on my D3.

Even though the D3 happily does 9aeb (max of 1EV between frames), the promote control has been critical for my line of work which often requires 11-15 shots with 1EV steps.

80% of this gallery was shot using the promote control and my D3:
http://digitalcoastimage.com/comps/selections/index.html

Yes, I'm a fan boy  :)

I don't get paid a dime, but I know I've sold a couple dozen promote controls.  And that's what I'm aware of because I've been emailed by folks who saw the youtube videos I created that promotesystems.com has on their site.

I know other HDR guys with blogs that have it as important gear and I'm sure they have gotten the word out too (which was birthed from me) BUT!!!

I first heard of the promote control HERE... so all that kudos goes to Christian  :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by sealz on 07/23/10 at 08:14:52
Thanks for the reply Michael, your comments on the USB delay makes perfect sense as I only have this problem (so far) in darker situations.
I'm definitely on board and love the Promote, the fact that i'm a canon user would almost make this device a requirement.

It's a shame you couldn't contribute to the last fxphd class on HDRs Michael with the oil spill etc, I think members (including myself) really would have loved to hear what you had to discuss!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 07/23/10 at 08:16:21

Michael James wrote on 07/23/10 at 06:38:44:
This has never been solved with firmware.


However, I'm pretty sure it could be solved in firmware. People were just talking about this "wait for frame" delay issue over in the OCC section of the forum. Not saying the OCC would be better, it actually doesn't have the USB connection (yet) so it only fires shots through the remote release cable and thus comes with limitations on the short end of the shots.... But in theory the Promote firmware could be configured to wait for an OK signal from the camera before firing the next shot. It does, however rely on a certain higher level of USB protocoll magic, which must be sniffed or something....

Maybe that's something Arty should have a look at:
http://www.hdrlabs.com/cgi-bin/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1277771284

Blochi

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 07/23/10 at 08:34:50

wrote on 07/23/10 at 08:14:52:
Thanks for the reply Michael, your comments on the USB delay makes perfect sense as I only have this problem (so far) in darker situations.


I suspected this. I've learned to deal with it simply because shadow data is not as mission critical for me as highlight data.  I can live with the every now and then skipped over exposure frame.


wrote on 07/23/10 at 08:14:52:
It's a shame you couldn't contribute to the last fxphd class on HDRs Michael with the oil spill etc, I think members (including myself) really would have loved to hear what you had to discuss!


That was fate sealed by BP's disaster.  BP and then technology gremlins as three attempts to FTP to the fxphd server flaked somehow.  Partial files got through each time.  So the 40 minute long tonemapping class I did never got there and then I had to go out of town to shoot.  Mike was forced to put together classes last minute as a result.

I was basically opening up pandora's box for the background fundamentals course.  It never got to Mike Seymour.  I was actually supposed to be teaching class 8, 9 and 10.  BP screwed all that up for me and the students there.  Hell even Mike said he was anxious to learn my workflow.

It took me so long to prep and record it was pretty upsetting when the FTP stuff happened.

C'est la vie.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 07/23/10 at 08:42:21

Blochi wrote on 07/23/10 at 08:16:21:
However, I'm pretty sure it could be solved in firmware.


I don't know if it was here or personal email that Arty mentioned that as an alternative.

I seem to recall he thought he had fixed the issue.  At least he could not recreate the problem despite mine continuing. It could be he increased SETUP #4 to 1500ms or higher and then wasn't hitting the issue.

However, I shoot in dungeons at times and the shutter speeds get waaaaaaaaaay slow and there are always skipped frames during the over exposures.  And it has nothing to do with the buffer.  That I'm 100% confirmed sure of.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by sealz on 07/23/10 at 09:45:46

Michael James wrote on 07/23/10 at 08:34:50:
It never got to Mike Seymour.I was actually supposed to be teaching class 8, 9 and 10.


The latter end of the course left me a bit hungry for more in depth material on HDRs and integration with CG. The demo on projecting the 360 hdr onto geometry was fairly rushed. I put it into practice and felt there surely could be a better way of lining up the IBL feedback node with a spherical projector node. Maybe it was just his example that needed guess and check.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by snoleoprd on 08/04/10 at 19:40:44
I have been using my Promote now for about a week. Great device, love using it with my 5DMark II. I have found an issue with the 1DM4 and that it will not set the camera to bulb when taking longer than a 20 second exposure, I have emailed Arty and he is working on a new firmware to fix that, great customer service.

Another feature that I thought would be useful and that is at the end of an hdr sequence it leaves the camera at the last exposure settings, and this is the longest exposure, I think it would be nice for it to change the camera back to the "middle" exposure setting so that makes it easier to remeter the scene and then start the sequence again.

Cool product and great customer service.

Alan

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 08/04/10 at 21:42:24

wrote on 08/04/10 at 19:40:44:
I think it would be nice for it to change the camera back to the "middle" exposure setting so that makes it easier to remeter the scene and then start the sequence again.
Alan


I second that notion!!!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by JCB on 08/18/10 at 20:26:17
Arty,  Just curious... Since digital photographers tend to be Mac based folks, why is it that the Promote firmware update path is only available for a PC & XP ?  Thanks...  :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by marquee on 08/20/10 at 05:43:56
I was wondering arty if its possible to have the geotagging unit be an integral part of the promote controller. With the current set up the geo tagging unit and the shutter release share the same 10 pin cable, making one usable at a time.
It would be great to have a smaller geotagging unit piggy back of the promoteController.
Even if the metadata captured lies with mid exposure would be handy tool rather than no geoData.

Could this be a possibility or simply wait till the cameras manufacturers plant geo tagging into the unit itself. Which I don't see happening soon enough.

Does anyone have a alternative workflow?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by snoleoprd on 08/20/10 at 06:04:59
For geotagging the flow I use with my Canon cameras is a small gps unit that is normally used for sports, and then I synch the data from that with the images after they are downloaded. I use Gpicsync to do that, also Breezebrowser can do it as well and I am sure other apps. This makes it easy to add gps info on hdr images, just make sure that your camera time is accurate and matches the gps time, although some of the programs allow some slop.

Alan

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by snoleoprd on 08/20/10 at 17:26:36
I have a question is there a bluetooth dongle that will let something like the Promote controller communicate with the Canon camera via Bluetooth? I saw the review at the begining of this thread about using the Phottix Plato hybrid wireless remote with the Promote, What would be neat is to have the Phottix Plato and a Bluetooth dongle on the camera and be able to run hdr sequences and hdr timelapses wirelessly with the Promote controller. Any ideas?

Alan

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by wbmcl on 08/23/10 at 02:29:36
Hi all. I've had the Promote Control (1.18a now) and the CN2 cable for my Rebel XTi since 12/09 and for the most part have enjoyed it immensely.

However, try as I might, I only seem to get partial functionality. After extensive testing, I only seem to get HDR bracketing functionality (correct and expected shots according to settings) if I have the "separate cable for shutter release" (2-19 in setup) set to "No", regardless of whether the cable is attached.

However, if I say "Yes", then I get "phantom" shots. The camera *appears* to be shooting correctly (and more quickly I might add as befits one of the benefits of the cable) but there is no camera sound and nothing is written to the memory card.

This is true with Mirror Lock-up enabled on both camera and PC, but if so, and randomly, the camera, upon the last shot, will "make a sound" - only then lock up the mirror I presume. Hard to test this as it's rare.

To make matters more odd, despite the itemized dysfunctionality, the "Focus" button DOES work when the CN2 cable is plugged in and enabled. So a signal is getting through from PC to camera, but only the focus signal.

I am submitting a ticket to Promote Control. Does anyone have any ideas as to a resolution to this issue? I would love to have the full functionality of the $300 PC.

Bill M.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 08/24/10 at 07:05:23

wrote on 08/23/10 at 02:29:36:
However, if I say "Yes", then I get "phantom" shots. The camera *appears* to be shooting correctly (and more quickly I might add as befits one of the benefits of the cable) but there is no camera sound and nothing is written to the memory card.

This is true with Mirror Lock-up enabled on both camera and PC, but if so, and randomly, the camera, upon the last shot, will "make a sound" - only then lock up the mirror I presume. Hard to test this as it's rare.


I've seen this happen when you have the camera set to any auto functions. The camera needs to be in Manual Mode, with AEB turned off, with auto focus turned off.  If any of those are accidentally left on, your strange findings are sure to occur.  I'm not saying that is why your results are the way they are, but do check to see if you've missed any of those steps.
1. Camera in M mode. Not Av
2. AEB off
3. Autofocus off


wrote on 08/23/10 at 02:29:36:
To make matters more odd, despite the itemized dysfunctionality, the "Focus" button DOES work when the CN2 cable is plugged in and enabled. So a signal is getting through from PC to camera, but only the focus signal.


The Promote Control's manual explains that the camera can be triggered (autofocus and shutter release) when turned off if you have both the USB and Shutter release cable connected.  That is normal behavior and described as a feature in the manual.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by wbmcl on 08/28/10 at 05:40:03

Michael James wrote on 08/24/10 at 07:05:23:
I've seen this happen when you have the camera set to any auto functions. The camera needs to be in Manual Mode, with AEB turned off, with auto focus turned off.If any of those are accidentally left on, your strange findings are sure to occur.I'm not saying that is why your results are the way they are, but do check to see if you've missed any of those steps.
1. Camera in M mode. Not Av
2. AEB off
3. Autofocus off


Thanks for the reply Michael.

I've been testing and testing again since I posted this problem and even *just now*, and as usual, I placed the camera in Manual mode, with Auto-Exposure Bracketing not enabled and with Autofocus on my Tokina 12-24mm set to Manual Focus. Hooking both cables from the Promote to my XTi and hitting Start on the Promote once again, and as usual, made for a series of "phantom shots" as described in my first post. Even the Focus button the Promote is doing nothing when I put the lens into Auto Focus mode.

All this occurs when I have setting 2-19 ("Use a separate cable for shutter release: Yes".) When I set it to No, the Promote fires off the proper shots, but for those past 30 seconds and without Mirror-Lockup. The latter two are highly desireable considering the low light places I find myself in for HDR photography.

I've put in a ticket to Promote and "Max" is on the case. I'll post here later if there's succeeding steps.

If you or anyone else here has any other ideas, I'd welcome them.

Bill M.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by highbred3d on 09/01/10 at 03:30:07
Extra Identical Exposure:

I just recently got the optional shutter release cable (because I also recently got a d300 :) ), and I just shot a bunch of panos across a couple days, and now I'm noticing that sometimes I get an extra and identical exposure written to my CF card. But I didn't notice when I was shooting. Has anyone seen that?

For example, my camera settings are good that I can tell, I set my sequence for 7 images, but when I review them in lightroom or on my camera LCD I see 8 and the last two exposures are ALMOST identical (I can't perceive the difference, but the histogram begs to differ). And it didn't always happen too, which is weird.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by geopal on 09/02/10 at 10:58:00
"Promote works in mysterious ways!"
Joking, sorry couldn't resist! I also happen to have some lost frames or sometimes error saying camera is not responding pls connect usb cable, but I got used to it /as it doesn't happen very often/ and easy to fix, and for the frames- just learnt to count. Never had experience with identical shots...Maybe only once, but I forgot the "AutoISO" ON  :D

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Vito Di Vita on 09/23/10 at 15:39:59
Here's a question for all the people that use Promote for 360˚'s w/ PTGui:

Why is it that when I'm doing long exposures, (seconds/minutes), PTGUI does not like recognizing the bulb exposures? What can I do to fix that?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Victor on 10/30/10 at 04:46:26

wrote on 05/11/10 at 23:00:23:
One other thing - some Canon cams appear to be a problem if they are in "Power down" mode - i.e. top LCD has nothing on it. Normally when a command is sent, the camera should wake up and start shooting immediately (Nikons do that), but Canons may skip the command and return success. It might be useful to "wake up" the camera by lightly tapping the shutter button before starting the sequence - or just make your power down timeouts longer, so that camera doesn't fall asleep as fast. 


Arty,

I've just acquired a Promote Control two days ago and am having a problem whereby the communication between it and my Canon 7D is nearly impossible. I love the looks of the unit, the tactile feel of the buttons, the ease of use of the menu system, the fact that it uses AA batteries, etc., but I'm highly disappointed in the reliability of communication between it and my camera. I have both the USB cable and the N3 cable attached and active in the menu. My unit came preloaded with Firmware version 1.16 on Wednesday. I immediately updated it to version 1.18. I tried to practice with the unit for two hours last evening and experienced the communication errors in every mode except manual. This morning, I saw that version 2.0 had just been made available, so I updated the unit to this newer firmware version. This evening, I ran my PC/7D combo through same battery of tests as the previous evening with, unfortunately, the same results.

Oddly, I did find one thing that made the unit perform flawlessly. When I "wake" the camera by lightly pushing the shutter button and immediately push the "start" button on the Promote Control unit, whatever mode I'm in functions perfectly, even MLU. As soon as the display in the viewfinder goes dark (roughly four to five seconds after a half-press of the shutter button), communication reverts right back to being a problem again. Only when the viewfinder (as seen through the eyepiece) is active does the unit work as it should. This, as you might imagine, renders the intended use of the Promote Control unit useless.

I have tried slowing down all of the settings in the menu with no luck. I have put in a fresh set of alkaline batteries, as well. I have triple-checked my cable connections. I simply cannot figure out this problem.

Is the Promote Control unit just not reliably compatible with the Canon 7D?

Please let me know your thoughts on my situation.

Thank you for your help!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Victor on 11/01/10 at 17:55:20
UPDATE: I opened a case with Promote's support department and they responded very quickly. It seems as though the workaround for this problem is to hit the focus button before starting anything. This will wake up the camera via the USB cable. I haven't tried the time-lapse feature, but I imagine that if I'm not physically there to press the focus button to wake the camera up, the time-lapse mode won't work. Either way, they did say that they are working on a new firmware release to address this very issue with communication between the Promote Control and the 7D, so I'll keep my fingers crossed.

All this being said, I still think it's worth the price, in my opinion. The build quality and the support are there, so I can only see good things coming from this company.

Finally, if I may suggest one extra mode to be added to the Promote Control (since I see that there's a Hyperfocal Calculator in there already), I'd find it handy if there were a Time Calculator to give you the correct shutter speed when using different types of neutral density filters. I find myself always referencing the shutter speed calculation sheet that came with the Lee Big Stopper. It would be really handy if it were built in to the Promote Control as a separate mode because you can calculate your time with the Time Mode, then simply plug in the resulting time into the "One Shot" or "Manual Hold" modes.

Thanks for listening!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Doug on 11/03/10 at 03:47:54
I recently tried this unit with my 5Dm2. Bottom line: It just didn’t work. Customer Service was frustrating as they refuse to use the phone. I returned the unit after several days delay due to the repetitive emails exchanged. Like “are you sure it’s plugged in?” Maybe they have a lot of problems solved because people who spend $300 on a camera accessory aren’t savvy enough to insert a plug. They returned the same unit back to me after they determined there was nothing wrong. Same unit! At least they could have tried a different unit. I knew it was the same unit because the batteries that came with it were dead and I used my own, which were still installed (shouldn’t they be removed for shipping?). Between the time they shipped it back to me and its return I got an email from them apologizing, that they in fact admit there is a problem with the firmware support for my particular camera and provided another beta update to their previous firmware update(why was this not done prior to returning?). I’m sure that the many happy users, for whom this unit works with their camera, aren’t wrong, but, it did not work with my 5Dm2.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Steve Chapman on 11/03/10 at 20:59:14
I use it with the 5DM2 for work. There was something I had to do in the camera setup or it wouldn't work. Wracking my brain to remember....

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Steve Chapman on 11/03/10 at 21:00:23
I think it was in-camera noise processing had to be off or Promote would try to take shots when the camera wasn't ready.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by snoleoprd on 11/04/10 at 15:11:15
The promote works just fine with my 5dm2, I have not had any issues. The latest beta works great and there is a new version of the firmware available on their website.

Alan

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by wookiee2cu on 11/09/10 at 22:16:27
Just noticed the new firmware update, I'm stoked that for HDR they now have shadows, default, hightlight!  Seems I was always a little off trying to guess what the mid-range was in the scene and entering that shutter speed.  Now I can pick out the brightest, use the highlights setting and will have much better results.  Thanks for the new option! 

In regards to Victor, I know when using the Promote for HDR your camera mode has to be in Manual but I thought it had to be in Manual regardless what you were using the Promote Remote for otherwise you will get errors.  Only reason I say this is I saw you wrote "I tried to practice with the unit for two hours last evening and experienced the communication errors in every mode except manual."  Am I wrong?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Victor on 11/10/10 at 01:16:46

wrote on 11/09/10 at 22:16:27:
In regards to Victor, I know when using the Promote for HDR your camera mode has to be in Manual but I thought it had to be in Manual regardless what you were using the Promote Remote for otherwise you will get errors.Only reason I say this is I saw you wrote "I tried to practice with the unit for two hours last evening and experienced the communication errors in every mode except manual."Am I wrong?


Wookiee, I was referring to the manual mode on the Promote Control, not the manual setting on the camera. Also, whenever the Promote Control needs the camera to be in bulb mode, it will prompt you do so, if not, then manual is the camera setting you'll need to be in.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Mac MacDougall on 11/20/10 at 23:27:28
Inspired by earlier discussions in this thread, I went looking for a case for the Promote Control that I could mount to my tripod.  I found that the Zing Designs SPE Small Camera/Electronics Belt bag provided almost a perfect fit for the Promote.  This is a padded neoprene pouch with a belt loop on the back and a velcro-fastened flap.  I purchased it ($9.99) from B&H

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/92404-REG/Zing_Designs_570_111_SPE_Small_Camera_Electronics_Belt.html

and fastened it to a tripod leg with a strip of double-sided velcro.  My camera is mounted on an RRS L plate, and was hard to use in portrait mode with the Promote-provided cable.  Following a tip posted by Sam Rohn, I purchased a short cable with an angled connector from usbfirewire.com (left angle mini-B extension cable, p/n RR-2MBL01-EXT-06GL5, $13) which I could route thru the side of the L plate.  I leave this on the camera all the time, and plug the Promote USB cable into it when using the Promote.  When roaming around, I leave the Promote Control in the Zing case.

One more I'd like to do is substitute a shorter USB cable, 12" or so, for the Promote cable.  However, I'm not sure what the proper description is for the USB plug that plugs into the Promote Control -- can anyone provide that?

Many thanks to all the earlier posters who got me this far.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Steve Chapman on 11/21/10 at 00:05:17
I spent $10 at Fry's and got a soldering iron, solder, and shrink tubing, then cut & joined the promote cables to the length I needed. You might look for a right-angle mini USB connector for your camera, as the promote can put quite a bit of torque on the camera, especially if you leave it on while moving the tripod about.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by FromTheLens on 11/25/10 at 12:08:44
Hello all, I am new here, but I've also just bought the promote control. I had a few problems with it and e-mailed their tech support (which is great by the way) and below are their answers.

#2.) is about a current defect with the D90 shutter cables in that the connector to the camera port is a "bit bigger" than their specs originally intended. The cable gets stuck in the port and requires quite a bit of arm strength to pull out again. Mine was stuck so tight that the casing on the metal nub at the end of the connector sheared off in the port and is now stuck in there. The crazy thing is that it still works and is actually easier to take out than before, but I can't close the rubber door on the d90 when I'm not using the port because of the metal thats stuck in there sticks out.

#3.) is in respect to timelapse functionality whether we could use it if we didn't want to use HDR. Right now you can only put in exposure times of 1 second by setting the exposure value in timelapse to 00:00:01. They are going to implement it so you can choose a specific shutter speed instead and use fractions of a second like 1/10th etc.

#4.) is in regards to the case that attaches to the tripod so you don't have to hold the promote.

#1.) is about only being able to pull off 32 of 45 exposures at 1/3rd stop.


[Answers below from Max Mindfield of Promote]

1. Frankly I have never tried to push our lab D90 through all 45 exposures but it looks to me that this is rather camera`s limitation (like buffer overload or USB timeout) than Control`s. Let me try this on our D90, I will get back to you. Maybe this can be fixed by introducing greater USB delay between the shots to give the camera enough time to prepare for next exposure.

2. We have carefully analyzed our latest batch of cables and found that some cables do have the defect like you described. The connector is sometimes slightly bigger than we mentioned in specs. We therefore halted all sales of these cables until our manufacturer fixes the problem and sends us the new batch of cables with proper connectors. I will send you one for free as soon as it becomes available. We will also reimburse you the cost of this cable. Sorry for these troubles..

3. Yes, this is something that we will implement quite soon. Stay tuned!

4. We already got a batch of cases, and they are sent to our warehouse. So they will be available for purchase either this or next week.





Anyway, I just got an update from them. They just came out with the cases and e-mailed me. 24 bucks is kinda steep for a case, and the one linked by Mac MacDougall looks like more of a steal. Thinking of taking an exacto knife to cut out the holes in the case.

https://www.promotesystems.com/products/Promote-Control-Tripod-Case.html


Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Richard Martel on 11/28/10 at 22:45:48
Hi,

Hoping that I may get some help with a Promote Control (PC) That I just purchased.

Promote Control V 2.0

Canon 5D Mk II  V 2.0.8

Using just the supplied USB cable the unit functions fine. Even MLU works.

With exposures ove 30 seconds the PC prompts to use the optional shutter cable, CN-3.

The problem is Nothing works when the Shutter/USB cable is connected. I cannot control the camera with any camera controls. nor with the PC. If I remove the shutter cable from the PC the camera will fire. If I plug in the shutter cable to the PC the camera will fire too.
Even with the shutter cable prompt select to NO it does the same.
Camera is set to Manual and all auto features disabled in menus. AF manual, even with a manual focus lens. Shutter cable is selected to YES in PC. 

The error message that shows up is “ Please connect camera via usb & turn it on.”  The USB connection works fine by its self.

Tried using different CF cards too.

I tried setting this up in many ways with no luck.

Thanks for reading this any questions just ask.

Thanks much, Richard



Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Richard Martel on 11/29/10 at 20:56:02
Problem solved...User error. I did not have the shutter cable all the way in. It took a fair amount of insertion pressure to go all the way. I want to thank Promote Control's Max Mindfield for the quick reply and support.

Thanks, Richard

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Steve Chapman on 11/30/10 at 00:04:36
File this under "about time", I opened the Promote, jammed a Satechi wireless controller inside, and re-routed the Promote power to the Satechi's rechargeable battery. I can now step away from the tripod before firing the promote, and I can charge it via any USB power source.




Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 11/30/10 at 00:38:11
Damn. That sounds like some sort of impulsive reaction, where people like me would have just slammed it against a wall ;)

Way to go, Steve!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 12/01/10 at 16:57:37
Hey guys,

Sorry for not following up with all the replies - I'm now mostly into development, and am only participating in support when needed. The support is now led by my Max whom you've seen referred to in this forum - if there is something he can't resolve, he will forward that to me, so no worries here :)

A bit of report from the forges. We've got an insane amount of requests for Mac updater software, so we simply had to sit down and do it:

http://tinyurl.com/29mwjgf

Don't forget you still need an actual firmware binary - here's the latest 2.0:

http://tinyurl.com/2dzorkb

Yep, with HDR Time-Lapse and all that. Not sure if I announced it here yet, but if you are to flash that, get a copy of 2.0 manual as well:

http://tinyurl.com/2eukkp4

On future plans... I plan to play with that focus stacking thing, unfortunately Canon only for now, but my R&D on Nikons may discover something I'm not aware of. We've now got our own 5DM2 to test with, yay! Another thing is we got some hub samples - in a nutshell, this is a little box that lets you connect one Promote to 2-3 more and have yourself a stereo and/or panoramic HDR Time-Lapse with 2-3 cams... or more if you stack more hubs. May mean a pretty steep cash outlay for the gear of course, but the result should be sweet.

Tripod cases - yeah, looks kinda pricey. Let me see what we can do about that.

Wireless hack - oh my, that's something! Congrats, I can't promise that everyone doing that sort of thing will not lose the warranty, but Steve you sure get an exception from that - impressive job! People, let me ask you - do most of you prefer a Li-Ion power rechargeable via USB to a set of 2 AAs you can get in the store? As for the wireless, we got a shipment of Phottix Cleon II wireless controllers - unfortunately they are not built-in to the Promote Control, but it works :) I will try to get them into the stores before Xmas.

That's it for today. As always, send us your comments and ideas via http://support.promotesystems.com - we're here and we do listen! OK, time for me to get back to coding :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by kirkt on 12/01/10 at 17:13:07
Holy cow!

I finally took the plunge and purchased a Promote Control and cable last night (Tuesday night, 11/30). As a Mac user, I was preparing myself for the adventure of VMWare Fusion + WinXP + USB + Firmware update.  Then I checked in on this forum and, BAM!, a Mac updater.  Seriously?

Sweet!

My unit should arrive this Friday and I will give the updater a test, along with the features added in 2.0 paired with my 5DMkII.

Just downloaded the 2.0 User Manual so I can hit the ground running.

Damn I love this forum. Thanks Arty.  :)

Kirk

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by geopal on 12/02/10 at 08:53:15
Wow Arty!
Great news!
panoramic HDR timelapse!!! wholly cow! Insane!
1 remote, 1 hub, several cameras??

I am fine with AA batteries from the store, haven't had the need to recharge via USB, but can be handy sometimes I guess.
Best regards,G

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by kirkt on 12/02/10 at 22:09:25
Oh...man...this...is...awesome.

Got the Promote today - simple, easy to use, fantastic tool.  I read the user manual last night - I want to let Arty and his colleagues know that it is one of the most concise and effective manuals I have ever read for a gizmo.

Can't wait to start putting it through its paces.

Kirk

Title: Firmware upgrade issue?
Post by jasonhuang1115 on 12/04/10 at 18:19:14
Hi, Arty and other Promote Control fellows,

I ran into a firmware update issue and hope to hear some comments.
I was able to upgrade the firmware on my older laptop with 32-bit Windows XP, But today I tried to upgrade the firmware 2.0 on my workstation with 64-bit Windows XP, I kept getting this error
"The procedure entry point _except_handler4_common could not be located in the dynamic link library msvcrt.dll"

I follow the exactly same procedure mentioned in the Manual.
1. After installing the firmware update application,
2. I hold the Mode button to plug the USB cable into the workstation.
3. When prompted for installing the driver, I clicked "yes". (BUT, I didn't see the Promote Control listed in the "Safely Remove Hardware" as it was on my 32-bit Windows XP laptop.)
4. Then I tried to upgrade the firmware through the application and got the error message.

Any idea on how to resolve this issue?

Thanks,
Jason

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by geopal on 12/10/10 at 10:37:28
Jason,
you should better open a ticket in the support section of Promotesystems. I bet Arty is busy and doesn't read often here... And Max is prettyy fast at helping out!
G

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by jasonhuang1115 on 12/10/10 at 14:08:38

wrote on 12/10/10 at 10:37:28:
Jason,
you should better open a ticket in the support section of Promotesystems. I bet Arty is busy and doesn't read often here... And Max is prettyy fast at helping out!
G

Thanks for the suggestion, G. I will go open a ticket.  :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by geopal on 12/14/10 at 07:19:07
Just for your own interest, something that everyone knows but...
I had an indicator on my Promote saying battery low, when I opened the back cover to replace the batteries I was unpleasantly surprised to see that the ones inside had leaked! :-?  :o
So, after almost a year being inside, just open up the cover to check the batteries from time to time, to avoid even bigger damage to the unit!
Best, G

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by agonzo on 12/18/10 at 23:13:06
[b] [smiley=smiley.gif] :o[/b]

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by agonzo on 12/18/10 at 23:22:27
Arty, Just received my new Promote Control as a new early Xmas gift from my wife. WOW...It is fantastic.One question.Am I to believe that with night photography when one area is measured for exposure that when any shots in the 'Bulb' range will automatically be calculated and exposed for?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Dudley Warner on 01/01/11 at 15:47:24
I just purchased the Promote Control for use with my Canon 5D Mk II, and I am really pleased.  It works as advertised, and the only issues I initially had were either user error or were addressed quickly by the Promote technical assistance.

What is the best choice for a wireless controller that is compatible for the Promote Control?  The ones mentioned in this topic area seem difficult to get.

Thanks -

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by wbmcl on 01/12/11 at 04:29:04
Hi all - or is it, "helllooo ... hellloooo ... hellloooo"?

I use a Rebel XTi with the Promote Control, and try as I might, I haven't been able to speed up the shot taking beyond the standard speed as provided by the default setup. I do have the appropriate shutter cable, but I have yet to achieve a speed improvement upon enabling the cable in the firmware, as the video here shows:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6v4MOQbWMPk#t=05m18s

Is this speed a by-product of the Nikon D3 in the video, and has anyone else seen a speed increase using an XTi or any other camera, and if so, how?

Regards,

Bill M.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by LostInInaka on 01/12/11 at 14:05:58
Would be awesome to be able to use other triggers (sound, light, etc) with this remote as well

being able to plug it in to the optional port it should be a simple(?) firmware update to implement such features I would think.

Argh....its the one thing OCC does that I like, but this promote can shoot at faster speeds...

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 01/12/11 at 21:54:28

wrote on 01/12/11 at 04:29:04:
I do have the appropriate shutter cable, but I have yet to achieve a speed improvement upon enabling the cable in the firmware, as the video here shows:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6v4MOQbWMPk#t=05m18s

Is this speed a by-product of the Nikon D3 in the video, and has anyone else seen a speed increase using an XTi or any other camera, and if so, how?

Regards,

Bill M.


Bill, your FPS will never be faster than the XTi can do natively.

I created those youtube videos about 18 months ago and never thought they'd be used so extensively, hence why I didn't cover some topics such as FPS.  The speed you are hearing in that part of the video is a result of the D3's fast FPS capture rate.  It can capture 9fps natively.

Also, I did those videos prior to all the firmware updates, hence why no HDR Timelapse is discussed.

If I redo videos I'll post them here on HDR Labs somewhere and would upload to whatever YouTube/Vimeo account Christian wants me to upload them to.

Cheers.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by wbmcl on 01/18/11 at 04:01:25

Michael James wrote on 01/12/11 at 21:54:28:
Bill, your FPS will never be faster than the XTi can do natively.


Thanks for the quick response, Michael. Some followups:

Why does your D3 improve its speed when the USB cable is installed and enabled, while mine does not?

Without the Promote, my camera can fire 3 fps, relevantly, when I employ burst mode and AEB. With the Promote, I get - at best - a frame every two seconds (or so - obviously slower when the shutter is held open longer.) This makes it tough when shooting a scene with clouds.

There don't appear to be many user settings that can hasten the process of the Promote but for, perhaps, two:

a) Mirror lock-up delay (not applicable here)
b) Shutter cable release frame delay
c) USB cable release frame delay

I have both the USB and shutter cables, so (b) is not relevant, according to the manual. And I have the user setting "off" (fastest) for (c).

I love the Promote, but can't understand why its bracket shooting is so much slower than the built-in Canon's.

Bill M.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 01/18/11 at 08:29:49
Bill, what is your USB cable release frame delay set to?  You'll find it under "Number 4 of 20" under the setup menu.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 01/18/11 at 08:34:50
Bill, also... I'm assuming you:

1. Have the camera in MANUAL MODE on the dial
2. Manual focus
3. Single Shot Release (not continuous)
4. EV steps at 1/3rd steps (usually the camera default)
5. AEB off

Anything, but the above and you're sure to get strange results using the promote control.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by wbmcl on 01/21/11 at 22:22:13
Thanks again for the tech support, Michael.

My Promote is set to 500ms (fastest).

Have the camera in MANUAL MODE on the dial - check.
Manual focus - check.
Single Shot Release (not continuous) - check.
EV steps at 1/3rd steps (usually the camera default) - check.
AEB off - check.

I too have experienced "weirdness" when deviating from the above, typically extra firings, or non-firings. I've learned to effectively coddle the Promote to get the most out of it, by implementing your above list. But speed I can not get.

I'd love to hear from other XTi (or XT/XSi) owners if they too experience a shot approximately every 3 seconds, even when the shutter speeds are set by the Promote at 1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1/60, 1/30, 1/15, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 (which I just tested.)

Regards,

Bill M.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by discocandy on 01/24/11 at 21:15:32
I had around the same with my 50D
It was due to slow compactflash cards in my case. bought a 600 speed and now it is bloody fast!!
No missfires anymore.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Chris Fessel on 01/26/11 at 20:18:40
Hi,
I wonder if someone can give my a pointer to a solution to this problem:

PR + Shutter cable. Works fine for days, then (for no I reason I can think of) the communication when using the shutter release cable fails.

- Checked the cables, look OK to the eye.
- Shot HDR with the PR + shutter cable combination only so far, so no change of settings (actually I saved the settings to a custom position anyway). But I checked everything over and over as well.
- Checked the camera (5D2) with the Canon remote and it works (= socket for PR shutter release cable is OK)
- Reset the PR
No good. As soon as the shutter cable (+ appropriate settings) come into play I see the display of the Canon changing the exposure times but no shutter is fired.
Using the PR with USB connection alone works fine (but is no use to me as I tend to expose in the over 30" range).

Support doesn't point to a faulty cable but suggests to downgrade the Firmware to v1.8 (although, as mentioned, everything worked fine in the past with the recently purchased PR and Firmware 2).

That's why I hope someone here can suggest something I might have overlooked so far.
Any ideas are welcome.

Thanks a lot in advance,
chris

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 01/26/11 at 22:02:29
yikes. Doesn't sound good.
It happened to me in the past, that my Nikon USB cable kept sliding out of the camera while shooting. This had to be really pushed in hard to hold the connection, and because the plug points downwards from a Nodal Ninja, it kept sliding off. I ended up using a rubber band to hold it all together.

Not sure if this helps, your problems sounds more severe actually.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 01/27/11 at 06:51:44

Blochi wrote on 01/26/11 at 22:02:29:
yikes. Doesn't sound good.
It happened to me in the past, that my Nikon USB cable kept sliding out of the camera while shooting. This had to be really pushed in hard to hold the connection.

Not sure if this helps, your problems sounds more severe actually.


Ditto here Christian.

His problem sounds more severe for me too.  Though I've had issues with lost communication with a D3, T2i and 60D.  Usually just took turning off and then back on the camera or promote control or both solved the issue.  Annoying, but was always able to get back on track.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by rpm3dinc on 01/28/11 at 03:05:11
I just got my Promote, and I use a Nikon D90.  While I am waiting for Promote Systems to release the Shutter Cable, I decided to attempt a Indoor test shot (no the greatest test, but wanted to get used to the Promote).

I set my D90 to a single shot mode, and made sure the Ev step was 1/3.  Then I moved the dial to Aperture mode, focused and then flipped the dial to manual and the camera to Manual focus.  Then I set the Promote to 0.3EV, 1/80 (camera showed 80 shutter (Nikons don't show 1/80)... and then setup 5 frames, and pressed start.

Camera fired off 5 shots, however upon review even though I can clearly see the shutter speed adjust inbetween shots, the visual shots do not seem to be really any different than the first shot taken... "Could be the lighting I am in, but as this was a quick test I wasn't expecting much than what I normally see with 3 brackets..".

Perhaps I am doing something wrong?

I am so used to using a full 2 stops between 3 bracketed shots I might not visibly be able to see the difference between the shots since I am only using 1/3 step instead of 2 full steps between shots, but it still seems like something is not working right...

The flash was firing with each shot to, which obviously ruins the exposure and Stop Compensation, so I turned off the TTL and Flash exposure metering in the settings on the camera...

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 01/28/11 at 06:30:19
Before trying to address anything else... why did you have the flash armed?

I'm assuming you had a speedlite on top the D90?  If not why would you have flipped up the flash on the D90 itself.  That makes no sense.  The promote control would not initiate any flash firing so I'm assuming you did.

Also, you answered your own question.  If you did a 3aeb with 2EV steps that of course is dramatically wider (in dynamic range) than taking 5 shots at 1/3rd EV jumps.  Its basic math.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by rpm3dinc on 01/28/11 at 11:09:55
I didn't raise the flash at all, it auto fired with each shot from the Promote, so I had to go into the settings and turn off TTL Flash Exposure Metering. 

My Flash has always popped up when the camera thought it needed it, though I do turn it off most of the time manually by simply pressing the Flash button. 

I assume by changing the TTL setting that the flash won't auto-fire anymore unless I press the flash button. 

D90 is brand new, was using a D70, so still getting used to some of the features that are new.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Joergen Geerds on 01/31/11 at 00:15:13
I have the same failure problem (PR2.0 and 5Dm2 FW 2.08)... it mostly works in the beginning, but after a 200 exposures PR starts failing... no good. the only work-around is going into live view and use only USB mode, and unplug the shutter cable. it somehow looks to me the PR software has problems firing the shutter pin.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 01/31/11 at 15:38:41

wrote on 01/26/11 at 20:18:40:
- Shot HDR with the PR + shutter cable combination only so far, so no change of settings (actually I saved the settings to a custom position anyway).


I missed that note about your saving to custom settings.  My understanding is that the camera should only be in "M" mode.

But I also see your issues are with the 5DM2 and now another post about issues with the 5DM2 as well.  Could be a conflict only Arty can comment on and you need to communicate directly with promote systems, not here to get that addressed.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Joergen Geerds on 01/31/11 at 21:37:52

Michael James wrote on 01/31/11 at 15:38:41:
But I also see your issues are with the 5DM2 and now another post about issues with the 5DM2 as well.  Could be a conflict only Arty can comment on and you need to communicate directly with promote systems, not here to get that addressed.


It is filed with Arty and his tech support. it would be great if they could get to the bottom of this strange bug, and find out on what side of the cable the problem is.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 02/02/11 at 06:32:25

Joergen Geerds wrote on 01/31/11 at 21:37:52:
It is filed with Arty and his tech support. it would be great if they could get to the bottom of this strange bug, and find out on what side of the cable the problem is.


Do follow up when they get back to you.  We all need to know.

I was an early adopter and found out the hard way that it didn't work in HDR Mode with the original 5D.  They hadn't tested it yet and found that out and changed their website after the fact.

Thankfully for me the D3 was my main camera so no substantial impact.
...but Mike Seymour of FXPHD and fxguide.com bought the promote control based on my recommendation and had an old 5D.  He and I both found out at the same time (the hard way) it hadn't been tested with that camera despite them having it posted as a supported camera on their site.  It won't work with the old 5D in HDR Mode.  C'est la vie.

Sounds like there is a potential that something is now in conflict with the 5DM2.  So keep us abreast.

All that said, I'm so thankful that Promote Systems created this product.  I could have never have pulled off shoots with the in camera AEB of my 60D or even my D3 without it!!!

I shot all but one shot from this shoot with a 60D using a promote control:
http://www.digitalcoastimage.com/30A/index.html

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Steve Chapman on 02/04/11 at 21:50:09
Great shots. I just saw this CEO portrait on a news item:
http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/04/asus-chairman-jonney-shih-promises-secret-weapon-to-rival-ipad/

and thought "really? They paid CEO money for this?" It should look like your photo's, Michael.

FYI, try the Promote & "5D Mark 01" with noise reduction turned off, the poor over-stressed digic chip can't pay attention to USB commands while running the equivalent of a photoshop filter before saving.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 02/05/11 at 07:56:51

wrote on 02/04/11 at 21:50:09:
Great shots. I just saw this CEO portrait on a news item:
http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/04/asus-chairman-jonney-shih-promises-secret-weapon-to-rival-ipad/

and thought "really? They paid CEO money for this?" It should look like your photo's, Michael.


Thanks for the kind remarks, but that CEO shot is quite different from what I do.

However, the fact the shooter cared not that his foot lined up with the bench and a half dozen other no-no's.. its clear the CEO cares more about the hype he's pontificating than the look he's portraying :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 02/05/11 at 07:57:56

wrote on 02/04/11 at 21:50:09:
FYI, try the Promote & "5D Mark 01" with noise reduction turned off, the poor over-stressed digic chip can't pay attention to USB commands while running the equivalent of a photoshop filter before saving.


If I repurchase a 5D (original), I'll try just that.  I haven't had one for well over a year now.

Title: Change shutter speed display
Post by Photosignals on 02/06/11 at 12:17:06
Been a user of this wonderful system nearly since it was released - can't do without it. Even bought a second one to ensure my other shooter has the same benefits.

A couple of suggestions for Arty et al :)

- Allow the Promote's shutter speed display to reflect the camera's way of showing it.  Thus when the camera's display shows 4/10th's, 5/10th's, 6/10th's and 8/10'th's of a second, the Promote currently shows 1/2.5, 1/2, 1/1.6, and 1/1.3.  When in a hurry, I have to do a double take to figure out the relationship :)  Blame age I guess.

- Allow 2-3 pre-set HDR ranges to be stored.  When doing interiors, I will often find I flip between a few common settings depending on the available light.  If I could choose one of 3 settings I had previously used, it would allow more consistency.

- While the Hyperfocal calculator is useful, a Depth of Field calculator would be even better :)

Mike

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 02/06/11 at 12:57:30
Hey, those presets sound awesome. You could even make it so there is a monkey-grip. Push the middle button + one of the four control directions, to quickly switch to one of the four presets. Then you can work that puppy completely blindfolded...

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by geopal on 02/11/11 at 07:18:49
presets would be great  8-), DOF calculator as well, though with so many parameters I don't know if it will fit in the available screen  ::)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 02/11/11 at 07:35:21

Blochi wrote on 02/06/11 at 12:57:30:
Hey, those presets sound awesome. You could even make it so there is a monkey-grip. Push the middle button + one of the four control directions, to quickly switch to one of the four presets. Then you can work that puppy completely blindfolded...


I'm not going to hold my breath, but I share your enthusiasm :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Chris Fessel on 02/17/11 at 10:58:42
Hi,
to keep you updated of the problem with Canon (my reply #393 - Jan 26th, above):
Meanwhile there are a (very) few other folks where the very same problem shows.
Currently PromoteSystems try to analyze the issue but the trouble is that it shows on just a few Cameras only, so it's hard to find a solution to that strange and rare behaviour. They had the actual PromoteControl hardware sent to them from another sufferer.

Now they are shipping a new unit and cable to me.
It's still in transit, so I keep my fingers crossed, that the issue will be solved.

chris


Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by spittle on 02/22/11 at 13:06:27
I have problems from time to time with the Promote loosing connection with my 400D - has a message pop up. They sent me a new shutter cable but it didn't do the trick.

Also sometimes I'll also get some duplications of shots so need to listen to the exposures every time.

While it's a good product, I wouldn't say it's 100% reliable.

And regarding nice to have's:

Anyone else think it would be good to have a mode were the unit changes the exposure to a higher ISO for exposures that are over 30sec?

Whilst I use the shutter cable on my current camera, if I went for a 550D for my next camera the long exposures are not possible.

Also I'm a bit impatient at times so for night shots I could save a minute of two by switching to higher ISO for the last shot or two.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Joachim Buambeki on 02/23/11 at 13:09:41

wrote on 02/22/11 at 13:06:27:
Anyone else think it would be good to have a mode were the unit changes the exposure to a higher ISO for exposures that are over 30sec?

Yep, I second that request.
Perhaps this could be implemented with a maximum shutter speed so the Promote can keep the ISO always as low as possible.

Best Regards
David

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 02/25/11 at 22:19:34
Hi everyone! OK, I'm back with news. First of all, thank you all for the suggestions, preset idea I love myself, and Christian, your suggestion to flip through presets while holding a button combo is awesome! I actually think it might be the only way, since we don't have any more screen real estate left for settings on the HDR screen. But I like this idea... reminds me of combo shots in Mortal Combat.

DOF Calculator - why not! I don't think we should cram it into the same screen as Hyperfocal calculator, will probably make it a separate mode screen.

Exposure time same way as camera shows it - hmm, thing is Canons are different here than Nikons. E.g. 1/1.6" on a Nikon, and 0.6" on a Canon (AFAIK). Which is better? I can rewrite them no problem, just vote which of them you like more.

On the connectivity problem. There are a few issues we heard of - literally, a few, but those seem to be stubborn cases. Strangely, all of them with Canons - no Nikon issues, as far as I remember hearing from our support team. We do not have a 100% explanation yet, I still think it's the camera timeout. See, if a Canon times out and goes to sleep, you can't wake it up over USB. Nikons wake up over USB successfully though, which sort of proves the timeout theory. With that in mind, I might recommend everyone setting their Canon camera timeouts to a longer setting, or making a habit of half pressing camera shutter button and waiting a second or two before starting a sequence on Promote. The thing to look after is the top camera LCD - if it's blank, the camera is sleeping and Promote won't get to it until you wake the camera up. Unfortunately we cannot wake it up from Promote for some technical reasons, but we will keep on working on this. One more thing - if it quits working for anybody, we will replace the wires, the unit, whatever it takes to get it to work, period.

Now about fun stuff. Meet 2.11 beta. I'm not posting it to our official download area because it has only been tested with a few cameras (Nikon D3, D90, Canon 5DM2, 1DM3, XTi, T1i), but it did work well with those. Here's what it's got:

1. Support for Long Exposure NR on both Nikons and Canons. Which means that when turned on, it will wait after every shot until camera finished it's Long Exposure NR.

2. Tadammmm! We're all the way down to 1/8000 second now, on all cameras that can do that. To my knowledge, excluded are all Rebels and some prosumer Nikons (our D90 cannot do below 1/4000). That's why by default Promote won't go below 1/4000, unless you enable it in a new Setup option. Took some time to do it right due to some problems with protocols, but it works now. Have fun.

3. Something we should have had a long time ago, but didn't... sigh. The 2.11b will scan your camera for possibly problematic settings and will report if it finds them. For example: AF (a big no-no), Continuous drive, in-camera bracketing etc. If you are a pro user and know what you're doing, you can go to Setup and disable that scan so it won't complain anymore.

In addition to above, it will try to synchronize itself with the MLU and Long Exposure NR status on the camera. Which means that by default it's no more required to manually flip MLU on and off on Promote - it will read MLU status from the camera, and adjust accordingly when you press START on Promote. Same applies to Long Exposure NR. It will try to sync to camera on USB connection as well, although that won't happen with all cameras in all situations. But it will resync before sequence, so whatever you set, it will try to work with that.

4. To the same line, it will now see if any images have been taken after an exposure sequence, and warn you if not - like if you're missing a shutter cable. It will only complain if no shots at all have been taken - because by time sequence is complete, most shots are in the buffer, and are not reported as successful just yet. It should help a few people out to set things up correctly. Note that this feature works differently on Nikon and Canon for many reasons, and on Nikons it won't report missing shots on very short sequences - but at least we can help most of other folks. This warning is also optional, on by default, but can be turned off via Setup.

Here it is:

http://tinyurl.com/4tpfcbc

For those who just joined us, here is a KB how-to on updating firmware:

http://tinyurl.com/6em6hzh

A usual reminder: it's a beta, so it might act up. Try it before taking it to the field. If for any reason you are unhappy, feel free to roll back to v2.0:

http://tinyurl.com/2dzorkb

Last, but not least - please send your comments and suggestions on the beta to our support desk:

https://support.promotesystems.com/

Unfortunately I don't have much time to visit the forums with all this development, but if there are issues, our support team gets me on them in no time.

Thanks, and have a good weekend!

P.S. Christian, thumbs up for the key combo idea, I do like it a lot!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 02/26/11 at 03:18:07
Way cool, thanks Arty.
Sounds like this listening feature makes the Promote the most advanced remote controller ever! If it hasn't been that anyway. ;)

BTW - I thought about splitting the thread, but decided against it. There's actually a great history of development and ideas here, and every good forum needs this one mammoth thread that just keeps on growing. The Promote project is certainly worthy to be that thread. You can just click the "Get Notification" button to stay on track, even without checking this forum regularly.

Thanks again for all your hard work!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by geopal on 02/26/11 at 10:55:59
Arty, thanks for the updates! Great news as always!
About Nikon/Canon shutter time display "issue", maybe there can be something in the setup control menu, number 25 let's say: choose your camera type: Nikon/Canon and this to change the display type of shutter speeds :) Thus both camps will be happy! (I am happy now :) )
Best regards, G

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Photosignals on 02/26/11 at 18:27:48
Thanks Arty, so rare and nice to have developers actually listen to their customers and sound so enthusiastic :)  Exceptional :)

On the Canon vs Nikon shutter speed issue, adding it to settings would indeed be the ideal option.  Might knowing if the person is on a Canon or Nikon help in other ways (disabling / enabling features?)

I did not really believe the promises of updates when I first bought the product (been burned so often) but have been happily proved very wrong.




Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Enbilaman on 03/05/11 at 10:40:36
Hi Arty

wrote on 02/25/11 at 22:19:34:
3. Something we should have had a long time ago, but didn't... sigh. The 2.11b will scan your camera for possibly problematic settings and will report if it finds them. For example: AF (a big no-no), Continuous drive, in-camera bracketing etc. 


Awesome!
Thanks a lot

Michel

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 03/08/11 at 23:15:14
Thanks for warm comments everybody! I wanted to comment on an interesting observation by some of us (thanks Jef! I hope you don't mind if I quote you on this issue). Jef said:

"I'm working with Nikon D700 and Fuji S5 (this one not for real estate photography, as Promote Control can't control the S5) . For all my work, on both cameras, I have have autofocus on Continuous, but with AF activation OFF - AF-ON ONLY. More and more pro photographers seem to be moving in this direction... focusing happens when I push the AF-ON button, so , focusing is decoupled from the exposure button. Loosing this way of working is a major pain, so I had to deactivate this item in the Promote Control setup."

Well, on Nikons, AF-ON doesn't necessarily mean camera will take an image immediately upon shutter release command (or pressing camera shutter release). What controls that behavior are camera Setup settings A1 and A2 (AF-C and AF-S mode priority). If one the above settings which is relevant to the current focus mode is set to Focus, camera will not take a picture unless it's in focus. There will be no focus hunting on shutter release if we decouple focusing from shutter release button - but there will be no picture taken either. And if that setting is set to Release + Focus, and lens is out of focus, a picture will be taken, but with a noticeable delay. Either of the above conditions will interfere with the HDR sequence.

Thankfully, on cameras where you can set AF-C priority, it defaults to Release - and it shouldn't be a problem to work with that, since it doesn't seem to introduce any delay at all (if you do work in AF-C, that is). So here is Promote Control firmware 2.15 beta that takes care of this and allows working in AF-C or AF-S, provided the respective priority is set to Release:

http://tinyurl.com/4tpfcbc

(UPD: links to an updated version, 2.15 had a bug)

I can hardly imagine someone using AF-S with priority set to Release, but this will now work too.

Thanks to Jef for pointing this out - hope this will make Nikon people a bit happier.

P.S. Please comment if you are using 2.11 or 2.15 and it works fine for you - I will post it to GA on our website then.

/me

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by geopal on 03/09/11 at 13:24:08
Arty, I tried previous beta, works great, just one comment!
About this Long Exposure NR On/Off feature.
On Nikons LE NR triggers for photos longer than 8 seconds, bellow that not. So I noticed that Promote wated let's say 6 seconds to make the other jump, and the camera was already ready....Can your team fix that? if LE NR is ON on Promote, it should trigger for exposures bigger or equal than 8 seconds. Otherwise great feature, and NO lost photos because of that!
And, yes, presets would be great...Even factory hard coded several ones would work...
Best regards, George

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 03/09/11 at 16:23:07

wrote on 03/09/11 at 13:24:08:
Arty, I tried previous beta, works great, just one comment!
About this Long Exposure NR On/Off feature.
On Nikons LE NR triggers for photos longer than 8 seconds, bellow that not. So I noticed that Promote wated let's say 6 seconds to make the other jump, and the camera was already ready....Can your team fix that? if LE NR is ON on Promote, it should trigger for exposures bigger or equal than 8 seconds. Otherwise great feature, and NO lost photos because of that!
And, yes, presets would be great...Even factory hard coded several ones would work...
Best regards, George


The problem is that not even all Nikons have that at 8 seconds. Some of them start with 1 second, and to my knowledge, all Canons do the same. I think we need to add a Setup setting to choose where to start Long Exposure NR. Agree?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 03/09/11 at 17:56:41
Uh oh folks, we found a bug - Bulb exposures were timed incorrectly. Here's a fix:

http://tinyurl.com/4tpfcbc

Also fixes a bug when Nikon cameras weren't able to automatically jump to Bulb as needed. Enjoy :)

P.S. From now on I will put the early beta updates into the same file - so that people reading an older post wouldn't end up with an outdated beta. So if some post announces version X, and after download you see version X+n, don't worry, it's an improvement (hopefully :))

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by geopal on 03/10/11 at 06:55:59

Quote:
The problem is that not even all Nikons have that at 8 seconds. Some of them start with 1 second, and to my knowledge, all Canons do the same. I think we need to add a Setup setting to choose where to start Long Exposure NR. Agree?


Great! :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by wbmcl on 03/29/11 at 04:26:13
Perhaps Arty can address this topic:

I've inquired here before but have not had a satisfactory or conclusive answer to the notion that though my XTi can shoot bracketed shots at 3fps, my Promote is far slower - typically 1 shot every 2 seconds at fractional shutter speeds (longer obviously at longer speeds).

It seems that with the in-camera AEB, the camera fires off three shots into the buffer which in turn writes to the card. But the Promote seems to write the first shot to the card and *upon conclusion* fires the second sequential shot, which writes to the card, etc. It doesn't fire off numerous shots anywhere close to 3fps. This can be bothersome with outdoor shots where clouds are passing by.

Is my camera/Promote behavior typical or otherwise, and depending on that, is the Promote not able to send shots at camera motor speed into buffer and work with them as the in-camera AEB?

Regards,

Bill M.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by spittle on 03/30/11 at 07:02:55
wmbcl - My 400D (XTi) is also slow at taking exposures with the Promote.

I've also tried a 550D but this take fast exposures.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by munch on 04/03/11 at 15:56:17
this is my first post here, hello to everybody!

i just received my 5Dmk2 firmware 2.0.8 and promote control with firmware 2.16beta...and did some hdr-shoots for testing, using the extra shutter cable for performance boost, but it is as slow (fast) as with usb-cable connection only!
i thought, i can take more pictures with different exposures in a shorter time when using the extra shutter relase cable?!

i have read the manuals several times:

1. 5dmk2 set to M
2. Autofocus off
3. Shootingmode to single
4. C.FnIII Autofocus/Drive Mirror Lockup Enable

then...

5. connect 5dmk2 and promotecontrol with usb and extra shutter cable
6. setup (2of23) promotecontrol to use the extra shutter cable YES and setup(3of23) shutter cable release frame delay OFF (fastest)
7. setup (4of23) usb-cable release frame delay 100ms (fastest)
8.setup (5of23) enable exposures below 1/4000 YES
9.setup (7of23) Mirror Lockup delay 1 sec
10. setup (8of23) Automatic Exposure Control NO
11.setup (10of23) enable camera setings check/sync YES
12. setuo (11of23) enable post-sequence image check YES

then goto High Dynamic Range Menu:

Mid Exposure: 1/125
Step: 1.0EV
Total Exposures: 07
T-Lapse: OFF

M-Up: ON
LeNR: Off (btw, what does LeNR mean?)

...then finally

press START

...

all of the seven images are taken with the correct exposure - great!
no missing frames - great!
no double or triple images of one frame - great!

but it is toooo slow! always the same long pause between the 7 shots.
it also sounds like the mirror is in action for every shot (not locked up).
compared to the nativ 5Dmk2 bracketing-shot with 3 frames only (this is fast!)

i also did some hdrs with mirror lockup disabled for 5dmk2 and remote control -
this seems to be a little faster but still too slow!

it shouldn`t take longer than 2-3 seconds to take all of the seven frames (1/4000 ... 1/60)

with mirror lockup enabled, i guess it adds the 1s mirror lockup delay setup(7of23) for every single frame of the seven frames = 7s + (1/4000 ... 1/60)

what did i do wrong? help needed to get it to work as fast as possible - to take  pano-hdris of vivid places.

thank you for any advice!
munch

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Steve Chapman on 04/12/11 at 00:25:50
You won't be able to lock the mirror up for the sequence duration (unless someone has a trick I don't know?) but you can adjust the usb timing to see how fast your camera can process data coming in from the remote.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 04/16/11 at 20:27:08
I just tested the Promote Control on a Canon T3 / 1100D (the new low end rebel).

I only tested HDR Capture mode and it works.

FYI

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by AaronPriest on 04/21/11 at 13:59:40
I've used the Promote Control a LOT for interior real estate and HDR panoramic landscapes on my Nikon D70 and D700. I continue to be blown away by the features that have been added since the very first betas. You keep finding a way to cram more into that thing and still be user friendly in the field. :-)

I have yet another feature request though, haha! I'm doing more HDR timelapse photography than ever, I've gotten hooked! Going from sunset into star trails is currently not possible with the Promote unless I choose an incredible range of exposures to cover all that, and then throw two-thirds of them away. Can the Promote be made to read the meter of the camera and take an HDR bracket off that auto exposure? Currently I'm using the built in intervelometer of the D700 to get autoexposure HDR and it works great for crazy timelapse like sunset into star trails. Sure, you get a little flicker in post from AE, but that is easily dealt with. The cat's meow would be some averaging from the current meter reading and past three bracket sets for the next bracket set, where you had a nice steady ramp in exposure change over time, without one meter reading going a little wild from a stab of moonlight through clouds. Anyway, I'm just dreaming out loud here. What do you think?  8-)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 04/23/11 at 22:26:29
Canon T3 + Promote Control = Working

Canon T3 + shutter release cable with Promote Control = Working

Video showing it in action:

http://youtu.be/rf4nbfDlLpk

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 04/24/11 at 02:29:17
Funny, you just mention on your blog that the delay is caused by the burst buffer filling up.... wonder how it does with JPEG capture.

I just made this chart to illustrate the speed advantage when capturing JPEG instead of RAW, especially when the burst buffer is full. It shows the ka-chick sounds of the D300 in Hi-Speed Burst mode.


Bracketing_Speed.png (Attachment deleted)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 04/24/11 at 09:21:18

Blochi wrote on 04/24/11 at 02:29:17:
Funny, you just mention on your blog that the delay is caused by the burst buffer filling up.... wonder how it does with JPEG capture.


The T3 does 3fps in JPEG capture.  2fps in RAW.  Pretty slow, but better than what seems like 1fps with USB only and no cable release.

The buffer is 5 for raw and no limit for JPEG.  Actually the limit that canon puts on it is 830 which I assume is because that's about what the battery is rated at before running out of juice!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 04/24/11 at 09:48:54
Hehe, nice way of wording the specs. Guess it can write JPEGs with 3 FPS, clearing out the buffer as fast as it can capture. Essentially bypassing the buffer all together.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by spittle on 05/07/11 at 23:32:35
Any 7D owners able to say yes to no to getting promote to work effectively?

I'm looking to upgrade my camera, not sure which though yet.

Does 7D shoot fast?

Can you view images with promote still connected? With 550D you need to disconect it to viewier shots. *edit* tried again today and this worked fine, including live view focusing.

Can you focus in live viee, then turn it off and take your promote brackets?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by spittle on 05/09/11 at 16:57:11
I tried a 7D today with the promote. It needed a diferent shutter release cable so I just tried USB.

There was a pause between shots and it worked about as fast as my 400D, so not very fast. Certainly in comparison to my dad's machine gun fire 550D.

Can anyone shed some light as to whether it would be possible to acheive faster speeds than this with a separate cable? or did a miss a setting somewhere?

It's a real shame if that was as fast as it can do.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by sealz on 05/10/11 at 04:09:51
I seem to have no problems with the 7D and Promote, have been using for a while and it's great

Brendan

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Rork on 05/10/11 at 11:00:09
I'm about to order one, but just have to ask..... ;-)

Anyone using this with a Canon 30D? Any issues??

cheers,

rob

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by spittle on 05/10/11 at 11:04:13
Say you have a number of exposures, all bunched up on say the 1/4000 side of things, 1/3 stop spacings, roughly how many frames would it take per second?

I noticed quite a pause when using with USB only.

This may not matter but I'm trying to establish what to expect before splashing out the cash.

Currently the only downfall I can see regarding the cheaper 550D in terms of acheivable image quality is that it diesn't support MLU. for wide angle work this isn't really important but I may need it in future.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Brandroid on 05/12/11 at 18:01:21
Looking through this thread, it seems like I'm not alone in my experience with using the remote with the 400D. There's no discernible speed increase between frames when shooting with the USB cable alone and shooting with the shutter cable/USB combo.

I've logged a support incident with Promote Systems, but I've yet to hear anything back. Has anyone else heard Promote Systems offical word on support for this camera?

The 400D is listed as supported on the page for the Canon shutter release cable, so I'm not sure why it's not benefiting from the use of the cable.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by spittle on 05/12/11 at 18:32:10
The cable adds mirror lock up.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Brandroid on 05/12/11 at 19:49:09

wrote on 05/12/11 at 18:32:10:
The cable adds mirror lock up.


True, it does add MLU, and that works fine. However, according to this page, it should also add 6 other features/enhancements as well. Unfortunately, the one that matters most to me, doesn't seem to work.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Stanley Conrad on 05/15/11 at 16:46:17
Arty,

I just ordered a Promote Controller last night for my 5Dmk2.  Am I limited to the 13 shot burst rate in RAW of the camera when using the Promote for HDR bracketing?

Thanks for the reply,

Stanley Conrad

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Photosignals on 05/16/11 at 14:52:56
Hi Arty,

A bit tangential to the hardware side of Promote but, with the new Android 3.1 providing built-in platform support for USB host mode and exposing an API that lets applications manage connected peripheral, might Promote consider using their expertise to build a version of the controller for a tablet? 

I am certain there would be a huge demand for this if it offered similar features as the dedicated controller plus downloaded the images for preview.

Mike

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Rork on 05/16/11 at 16:33:17
I ordered mine this weekend, although I'm not sure about delivery.
It's all a bit hazy with "out of stock" messages on the site. And I'm not receiving replies on my email about the order either.

Odd....

Low tolerance for waiting ;-)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Michael James on 05/16/11 at 18:29:58

Brandroid wrote on 05/12/11 at 18:01:21:
The 400D is listed as supported on the page for the Canon shutter release cable, so I'm not sure why it's not benefiting from the use of the cable.


In case you didn't do this already...

You changed the setup menu from No to Yes correct?  Because the cable only increases the FPS if you do.  If you didn't change the setup menu you'll get no bump in speed.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Brandroid on 05/16/11 at 19:07:13

Michael James wrote on 05/16/11 at 18:29:58:
In case you didn't do this already...

You changed the setup menu from No to Yes correct?  Because the cable only increases the FPS if you do.  If you didn't change the setup menu you'll get no bump in speed.


Yes, I've got it enabled in the system settings and still no discernible increase in FPS. The camera will shoot 3 fps by itself, while the Promote is shooting about .33 fps. It seems like the remote is waiting for the image to finish writing to the card rather than making use of the image buffer. As soon as the card access light goes out, the next shot fires.

I'm hoping there's something that can be improved in the firmware to correct this, but I've yet to hear anything back on the support ticket.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by spittle on 05/16/11 at 21:48:55
Something you may find interesting.

550D is actually fully supported. You just need to change the setting "Automatic Exposure Mode Control" (Change this to yes)

It works with the shutter release cable for long exposures and MLU.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by wbmcl on 05/17/11 at 03:52:33

Brandroid wrote on 05/12/11 at 18:01:21:
Looking through this thread, it seems like I'm not alone in my experience with using the remote with the 400D. There's no discernible speed increase between frames when shooting with the USB cable alone and shooting with the shutter cable/USB combo.

I've logged a support incident with Promote Systems, but I've yet to hear anything back. Has anyone else heard Promote Systems offical word on support for this camera?

The 400D is listed as supported on the page for the Canon shutter release cable, so I'm not sure why it's not benefiting from the use of the cable. 


This mirrors my experience with the Promote on that very same camera as documented in an earlier message.

I just concluded a Promote Control three-phase test of 5 RAW shots, consisting of shutter speeds 1/2000, 1/500, 1/125, 1/30 and 1/8:

1. w/shutter cable and Menu #2=Y
(results in frames per second):
a. 12.5
b. 12.2
c. 12.4

2. w/shutter cable and Menu #2=N
a. 12.9
b. 12.8
c. 13.0

3. w/o shutter cable and Menu #2=N
a. 12.5
b. 12.7
c. 12.8

Testing was done by hitting the Promote's Start button while simultaneously tapping my Android phone's Stopwatch function and immediately upon hearing the Promote's ascending two beeps, stopping the Stopwatch. There is approximately an up to +/- 0.2 second human lag variable.

Conclusion is obvious and observed by independent posters here: even without numbers, and shutter cable or no, the Promote is far slower than the Canon 400D's built-in AEB *despite* Promote's own marketing bullet point of:

"Using a separate shutter cable with Promote Control offers the following benefits:

* Ensures faster camera reaction to shutter release, especially in "High Dynamic Range" mode."


Regardless of this, I love the Promote, and use it rigorously (see my photo sets at Flickr link below). However, can anyone, with any camera confirm that the shutter release cable actually "ensures" a faster shutter sequence, and if so, how much faster? Should the XTi be faster than a frame every 2.5 seconds?

Can Arty please respond to this?

Bill M.
[url=www.flickr.com/billmclaugh[/url]]www.flickr.com/billmclaugh[/url]

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Rork on 05/17/11 at 07:38:28
Not to defend Promote as I'm still waiting on mine, but what's the maximum buffer on the camera? If the Promote has to wait on the camera being finished dumping the images on the card, it cannot go any faster.

Other than that, I'm interested in this as well  :)

rob

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Erekose on 05/18/11 at 11:15:20
Hi,

I am evaluating the Promote controller as a possible addition to my D90 gear.

According to the manufacturer's web site, the D90 shutter cable is currently unavailable, but I already own a Phottix Cleon II and would know if I can plug its (detachable) shutter release cable in the Promote Controller as a working alternative.

Moreover, given the shutter cable connection, I wonder if on the D90 it is possible to make use of the MLU option ... the camera offers an "exposure delay mode" that rises the mirror 1s before activating the shutter and I use it all the time, but would really welcome the opportunity to increase the delay to, say, 10s to completely eliminate vibrations.

To all those using the Promote on a D90: are all the controller functions available with the latest firmware releases working with the D90, and/or are there any glitches to be aware of?

Thanks,
Massimo

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Brandroid on 05/19/11 at 15:32:24
I finally got word back from Support at Promote Systems regarding the slow shots on the 400D. Looks like I'll be stuck with the slow shooting until I upgrade my camera body. Here's what they had to say:


Quote:
Sorry for the slow response. Internal bracketing is always faster than when shooting tethered via USB/shutter cable. Reason is, during internal bracketing camera uses "burst" mode, while USB/shutter cable protocol requires one-by-one image processing.

That said, shutter cable should definitely speed things up. If it doesn`t happen, probably it is because your camera can not process/write images faster. I wonder if using faster CF card would help. What if you also choose JPEG instead of RAW?

We will test our lab 400D tomorrow with the Control so I will let you know exact settings and FPS in different modes. I am keeping the ticket open until then.


I never heard back from him on the results with the 400D in their lab. He did tell me that they've found the 50D, 7D, and 1D to be among the fastest Canon bodies when used with the Promote. He also singled out the 5DMkII as being somewhat slower.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 05/20/11 at 00:33:40

wrote on 05/17/11 at 03:52:33:
Regardless of this, I love the Promote, and use it rigorously (see my photo sets at Flickr link below). However, can anyone, with any camera confirm that the shutter release cable actually "ensures" a faster shutter sequence, and if so, how much faster? Should the XTi be faster than a frame every 2.5 seconds?
Can Arty please respond to this?
Bill M.
[url=www.flickr.com/billmclaugh[/url][/quote]]www.flickr.com/billmclaugh
[/url]

Bill,

It should definitely be faster - but we only tested it with JPEGs on the 400D I think. I will ask Max to retest on RAW files. When doing a head-on comparison with 450D, I noticed the latter was a lot faster even in JPEG mode. It looks like 400D has a lot slower CPU in it... which is very unfortunate.

Let me clarify a bit. Promote by itself won't wait until the next frame - it will start commanding the next shot immediately after previous one. Now two things can happen - either camera will just say "I'm busy, get off me" - and then Promote would wait (which is what you probably see), or camera would rather say "Yep, shot taken" - and take none. For these nutcase cams we introduced an extra delay - and it can be set separately for USB-only and shutter cable - assisted shooting. Bill, can you check for me and see if Setup settings #3 and #4 say? If it's anything but fastest on both, set them to "Off (fastest)" and "500ms" respectively - this used to work with 400D just fine. And then let us know if it helped.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 05/20/11 at 00:37:30

wrote on 05/18/11 at 11:15:20:
Hi,

I am evaluating the Promote controller as a possible addition to my D90 gear.

According to the manufacturer's web site, the D90 shutter cable is currently unavailable, but I already own a Phottix Cleon II and would know if I can plug its (detachable) shutter release cable in the Promote Controller as a working alternative.

Moreover, given the shutter cable connection, I wonder if on the D90 it is possible to make use of the MLU option ... the camera offers an "exposure delay mode" that rises the mirror 1s before activating the shutter and I use it all the time, but would really welcome the opportunity to increase the delay to, say, 10s to completely eliminate vibrations.

To all those using the Promote on a D90: are all the controller functions available with the latest firmware releases working with the D90, and/or are there any glitches to be aware of?

Thanks,
Massimo


Massimo,

OK, first off - sorry, MLU won't work on D90 :( The one that Nikon decided to grace us with on D90 is not truly a fully functional MLU in the sense we need it.

Otherwise, I have a D90 on my table right now and it seems to work with the latest firmware just fine. Speaking of D90... shhh people, but we have just received news that our D90 shutter cable mess may be over pretty soon (as in 2-3 weeks). I got cable samples from our new supplier, and they did fit our D90, so we are all set to have them in stock soon. Sorry about the delay.

As for Cleon, I think their D90 cable has 2.5mm jack on it? If yes, you'd need a 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter, since Promote uses 3.5mm jack for shutter cables.

If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us over at our support desk available from our website. Unfortunately I don't get to see this board too often... engineering duty calls! :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 05/20/11 at 00:46:25
Hey guys,

Sorry for showing up here so rarely - you all know we've had our hands full trying to get D90 shutter cables (which is almost resolved), and I also got busy doing something on a new firmware.

Meet a new 2.19 beta:

https://www.promotesystems.com/downloads/software/promote_control/firmware/latest_beta.zip

It's mostly related to fixing issues with Canon EOS xxD series, some people got error messages when starting an HDR with a shot >30 seconds. It's now fixed. I think we will post it to GA on the website soon.

P.S. We got us a new Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/promote.control

Don't ask me why we need this, but people say we need to spread the word, so here it goes. We might post some videos there once in a while (thanks Michael ;)), so who's got Facebook accounts can now follow us there.

I'm now working on another project here in Promote, but I promise I will get back soon to implement some of the features you guys asked for :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by jrsforums on 05/20/11 at 04:41:23
Arty...

Way back when...you mentioned that you might work on focus bracketing for the Promote.  Is that still a work in process?

Thanks...John

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 05/20/11 at 19:18:54

wrote on 05/20/11 at 04:41:23:
Arty...

Way back when...you mentioned that you might work on focus bracketing for the Promote.  Is that still a work in process?

Thanks...John


Yep, it sure is. It's a good CHUNK of work though, meaning if we start it we can't go and do anything else, it gotta be finished first. So we try to schedule it so that it doesn't disrupt other development, but we will do it eventually.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 05/23/11 at 02:31:44
Just created a RSS syndication for the news about Promote Control:

http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/pipe.run?_id=4d5a44034e823306c1b0494abacb136d&_render=rss

Tune your RSS readers yall :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by brainspoon on 05/29/11 at 20:29:59
Hey Arty, don't know if it was requested before, but wouldn't it be possibe to add an additional HDR mode to the promote or maybe extend the existing one to use the cameras internal bracketing feature for capturing the images?

This way this would at least reduce the USB requests by a factor of three and one would benefit of the ultra fast burst speeds of some cameras like the 7D.
Just take the first bracket. Move the mid point and take the next bracket.

Well there are some limitations like you are forced to have an image count of the power of three, but I think one can live with that.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 06/01/11 at 05:57:14

wrote on 05/29/11 at 20:29:59:
Hey Arty, don't know if it was requested before, but wouldn't it be possibe to add an additional HDR mode to the promote or maybe extend the existing one to use the cameras internal bracketing feature for capturing the images?

This way this would at least reduce the USB requests by a factor of three and one would benefit of the ultra fast burst speeds of some cameras like the 7D.
Just take the first bracket. Move the mid point and take the next bracket.

Well there are some limitations like you are forced to have an image count of the power of three, but I think one can live with that.


We considered that, but at this point in time it's hard for us to implement something like this due how vastly different cameras implement internal bracketing. We still think of it, and may come up with a solution like this in future.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 06/09/11 at 18:10:30
Guys,

We have finally got our suppliers to resolve their issues with shutter cables for Nikon D90 and compatible cameras (including D7000). Cables are available here:

http://www.promotesystems.com/products/Promote-Control-Shutter-Cable-for-Nikon-D90.html

Come get yours :)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by geopal on 06/10/11 at 13:41:18
nice Arty, and great new look of the site!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by RichardS on 06/15/11 at 20:24:05
I got my D90 cable just a while ago and WOW!  No more waiting!  I'd found that for less than 3000ms I'd lose exposures during the sequence so I had gotten used to waiting...and waiting....and waiting...  Not anymore!

Thanks Arty!

Title: Re: Promote Control firmware update
Post by pat on 06/18/11 at 06:03:13
While trying to do firmware update I keep getting a message saying that I should not be going through a hub but directly to the p.c. which is what I am doing.  Has this happened to anyone else and how did you overcome it.

Pat from Rosebud in Australia

Title: Another feature that would be nice to have in Prom
Post by pat on 06/18/11 at 06:49:02
It would be nice if the Promote would also have a feature so the camera can be re-focused for focus stacking.  The resulting images can the be processed in software such as Helicon Focus.

Wolf
(Melb Aus)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by rpm3dinc on 06/18/11 at 15:33:49
Thanks for the Cables Arty!  I purchased 2 of them (Just in Case)... plus eventually I will also have a D7000 to add to my D90... so its better to have 2 than 1 at this point... Course I only have 1 Promote Control... LOL

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by rpm3dinc on 06/18/11 at 15:39:00
One thing I did notice, and maybe its just a setting I am using or not using, but when I bracket shots from the camera (without the Promote), The camera labels the photo EV steps, meaning, in iPhoto it says 0EV, -2EV, 2EV... But when I use the promote, it only has the shutter speeds 1/40, 1/125, 1/250, etc... 

Is there a setting to get it show the EV steps?  it makes it allot easier than going through 1,200 photos trying to figure out what photo belongs to what bracket... even though they are taken in order, its still difficult to see where one begins and ends...

Or am I just not thinking about it right?

It might just be a function of shooting the HDR shots in Manual mode, since Bracketing in usually done in Aperture mode, maybe because the camera has to be in Manual to use the promote it there-fore doesn't label the EV steps?

Title: Re: Promote Control firmware update
Post by Arty on 06/21/11 at 04:35:08

wrote on 06/18/11 at 06:03:13:
While trying to do firmware update I keep getting a message saying that I should not be going through a hub but directly to the p.c. which is what I am doing.  Has this happened to anyone else and how did you overcome it.

Pat from Rosebud in Australia


Pat,

Best thing to do in such cases is to file a support ticket by clicking "Support" on our website - that's the fastest way to receive help. Do you hold Mode button down while connecting your Promote Control? If yes, does the screen stay blank after connection? It should, otherwise there is a malfunction or the Mode key is not held down. If it still doesn't work, let us know and we will help you out. Thanks!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Kelly Bellis on 06/25/11 at 19:01:29


Whew! This is quite the thread!! ... and I guess the place to post such things as the suggestion to consider changing the battery cover plate's screw. In the image above, there's a D-ring built into the head of the screw on the battery cover plate to a GPS receiver (Ashtech ProMark2) that folds down flush when not in use.

This is one design modification that isn't a big deal if it is panned, but one of the first ideas that landed after opening the box yesterday afternoon containing my new controller.

I still have to catch up on reading this thread (only up to page 4 (September 2009), but wanted to post this idea while fresh.

Max may have already passed this idea onto Arty (and now see after getting through this behemoth of a thread) many others have done likewise, and is one that I came up with even before the Promote arrived after having studied the users manual and waiting for this gem to arrive from B&H. In addition to the methods already afforded the user (SETUP (9 of 23) - firmware v2.19 beta) Highlights, Mid Exposure, Shadows, allow the user to enter the metered extremes of the range being shot in terms of ISO, f-stop and shutter speed; the desired EV step interval OR the desired number of steps/ exposures thereby eliminating the trial and error approach. Additionally, if the camera manufactures somehow make such data available through this interface, engineer the entry of such data directly from the camera itself, while also allowing user to manually enter f-stop and shutter speed values. Correct me if I'm wrong (always PLEASE), but it seems implicit that the ISO value is already recognized by the Promote Controller.

And that leads me to how I found this thread in the first place as I went searching for how I might be able to utilize the wireless remote that I already have.

Question:
Is there an N3 adapter that would go on the end of the receiver-to-camera cable like the one shown below and into the Promote?


Thank you for any reply.

Kind regards,

Kelly

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Kelly Bellis on 06/25/11 at 19:12:26
... or should I just get something like this ???


... or this

(available at ebay)

What are the specifications on the type of device that will allow remote triggering of the Promote? i.e., RS-80E3, RS-60E3, etc.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Kelly Bellis on 06/26/11 at 11:30:36
Okay, took it in the field yesterday but am unsure: What is the expected behavior of the mirror lock-up feature?

Having in the past used Canon's LiveView while shooting panos so as to have the mirror locked up and not come down until time out or user interrupt event, I was very disappointed and confused that the mirror kept flapping away for each and every exposure. Is there any way that the mirror can go up, wait its defined delay before beginning the series and stay up through their entirety and only then at the completion of the series drop back down? I thought I read somewhere here that LiveView should not be used with the Promote. Or am I missing something here:

1) having enabled mirror lockup on the camera (Canon 40D) and turned it on in HDR Mode of the Promote
2) am using the separate shutter release cable
3) SETUP (3 of 23) Shutter cable release frame delay: Off
4) SETUP (4 of 23) USB cable release frame delay: 500 ms
5) SETUP (7 of 23) Mirror Lock-up delay: 2 sec
6) SETUP (10 of 23)  Enable camera settings check/sync: Yes

As mentioned earlier this is using firmware v2.19 beta.

Thanks for any reply.


Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Kelly Bellis on 06/26/11 at 13:38:33

wrote on 10/26/09 at 17:14:30:

Castillonis wrote on 10/26/09 at 11:20:07:
Discocandy,  Thanks for showing us your 360 set up for the NN3.

Arty,  Steve who created the PanoCamera and has a Promote suggested that you add the "walk away" delay that the PanoCamera has.  It is a delay before starting the capture to allow for you to get away from the gear or allow things to settle after disturbing the camera by touching the Promote.  The default value could be zero seconds.


Yep, we have that in the works for the HDR. I wish we had 2 more lines on the LCD though, it'd make placing things so much easier.


Was this idea abandoned or just lost in the works?

It sounds like such a setting could be added in the SETUP line up if real estate was short in the HDR mode's screen and other users really needed it.

Speaking personally, this hands off issue for me is better addressed using a wireless trigger, and just to follow up on that, I've ordered the E3 variety from the eBay merchant that I linked to earlier in this thread. Trying to find an N3 to E3 adapter was almost fruitless and without cutting and soldering something I could see would cost almost as much as the $18 rig from the eBay store.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Kelly Bellis on 06/26/11 at 14:12:35

wrote on 10/26/09 at 19:15:56:

Castillonis wrote on 10/26/09 at 18:59:55:
Our imager firmware scrolls the menu list on the lcd. It also has submenus such as options and expert options to keep the scrolled list from becoming too long


Hmm. Maybe that scroll is a good idea after all...


And Stoney's idea was excellent - is that still in development?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 06/27/11 at 18:13:32
Hi Kelly,

We have recently started selling Phottix Cleon II C6 for wireless remote start:

http://www.promotesystems.com/products/Promote-Control-Wireless-Remote-Sensor.html

That thing is proven to be perfectly compatible. Otherwise, any wireless trigger capable of working with a Canon Rebel would work just fine.

I heard your MLU questions were answered via a support ticket, but for the record - MLU on 40D cannot work any other way but flap up/down with each shot, we simply do not have that level of control over the camera (I wish I did, I'd have done a lot of other tweaks to it then).

Speaking of delays, you could use a wireless trigger, or set up a 1-shot HDR time-lapse. Time-lapse mode has an optional start delay, and after some discussion we have agreed here that instead of adding another option for start delay on HDR screen, one could use TL start delay if required... or use a wireless start.

As for scrolling, I can't comment on that right now - we are doing other feature updates, including working over focus stacking mode, so it might take us a while to implement extra options. I personally am in favor of KISS principle (Keep It Short and Simple), but of course won't hesitate to throw in an option or two, if necessary ;)

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Kelly Bellis on 06/27/11 at 18:20:29
Hi Arty,

Thank you for the reply.

Yes, Max did reply via the ticket interface/ email.

If the mirror is able to be locked up indefinitely when in LiveView or in Manual sensor cleaning, what prevents it from being controlled by the Promote unit?

Kind regards,

Kelly

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 07/18/11 at 19:28:15

wrote on 06/27/11 at 18:20:29:
Hi Arty,

Thank you for the reply.

Yes, Max did reply via the ticket interface/ email.

If the mirror is able to be locked up indefinitely when in LiveView or in Manual sensor cleaning, what prevents it from being controlled by the Promote unit?


The camera itself of course has full control over the mirror. But what it lets us do over USB is limited. It's like a language - we have a word for "take a picture", but there is no set of words it would understand for "raise mirror, take 5 pictures, lower the mirror". That's up to camera manufacturer to implement in their firmware. If I were Canon, I'd probably open pretty much anything to developers, and let them have it.

Arty

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Blochi on 07/21/11 at 01:47:33
OK, Arty just posted some totally awesome news, that deserve a new thread.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by tecnica on 10/07/11 at 11:36:34
_______________________________________________________

Question #1

I have a question pertaining to this product. I noticed from the instruction manual that is says you have to set the camera to MANUAL mode in order for the device to work.

However your images when looking at them using adobe bridge or lightroom will not display the EV only the shutter speed.

So how would you know which EV is what when working in photomatix? How do you folks overcome this?


______________________________________________________

Question #2

Another question I have is has anyone been using the promote with a Nikon D5000? Any issues to report?

_______________________________________________________

Question #3

in regards to the shutter speeds does the device calculate the shutter speeds based on the EV stepping or would I have to know the shutter speeds I want ahead of time? Reason being in Aperture Priority on camera it calculates the shutter speed automatically

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by slightlypearshaped on 11/12/11 at 06:21:16

wrote on 05/16/11 at 21:48:55:
Something you may find interesting.

550D is actually fully supported. You just need to change the setting "Automatic Exposure Mode Control" (Change this to yes)

It works with the shutter release cable for long exposures and MLU.


Hey all first post here.
Spittle can you clarify this for me, are you saying that the canon N2 cable from Promote actually DOES work with the 550d with the Promote Control plugged into the USB?  I'm on the verge of buying both control and cable so would love to know if this is true as its contrary to what is stated on their website.

Thanks in advance m8 : )

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by spittle on 11/12/11 at 10:44:35
It worked perfectly for me with a 550D and the additional cable. Mirror lock up worked, so did automatic switching to bulb for long exposures.

It also shot frames much faster than my 400D.

I'd love to know whether the focus stacking works with this model.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by slightlypearshaped on 11/13/11 at 00:20:35
phew, awesome cheers mate.
I placed the order for both seconds after posting.  I get like a little kid when it comes to this stuff.

If you mean focus stacking on 550d, I'll be trying that out.  Just a fair wait for it to be delivered obviously.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by spittle on 11/13/11 at 03:29:02
just remember to adjust the automatic exposure mode setting - and I'd be keen to hear your results for the focus stacking. I tried with my old 400D this morning without success.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by MFranquelo on 11/14/11 at 15:50:03
Hello!, i´ve just ordered a Promote Control! :) , cant wait to try it... i don´t know if this question has been answered before but, when can we spect to have focus stacking for nikon cameras ? for D7000 for example ? any aproximated date ?

Thank you!
Regards, Manuel.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by hdrEmotion on 11/16/11 at 04:05:04
I've just ordered a Promote Control, too.

But I still need a shutter release cord for my D7000. The original cable seems to be just a standard phone jack cord with the dedicated shutter plug on the other end.

So I wondered if THIS can be used as well? It's much cheaper and maybe it makes the job. What do you think?

Just for your info: This cord is sold by Promote for the use with D90, D7000 and so on.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Arty on 11/16/11 at 21:06:45
Guys, focus stacking will only work on Canon cameras that have Live View. 400D doesn't have LV, so it won't work. We tested it with 5DM2 and 7D, and it worked fine (firmware 2.26b). If someone tries it with a Rebel that has Live View, I'd love to know about that.

Arty

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by MFranquelo on 11/20/11 at 18:49:31
Just one more question, im building my own shutter release cable, i would need to know the following : ... on the jack connector that plugs on the promote control, where should i put the ground, the pre-release and the release signal ?

Thank you
Regards, Manuel.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by slightlypearshaped on 11/23/11 at 07:35:26

wrote on 11/13/11 at 03:29:02:
just remember to adjust the automatic exposure mode setting - and I'd be keen to hear your results for the focus stacking. I tried with my old 400D this morning without success.


Ok mine arrived a lot sooner than expected.  Turned up on my doorstep on Monday morning, only just now had the chance to play with it.

I can confirm that the shutter release cable does work for the 550D.  It didn't work on 2.0 firmware but did after an update to 2.20.  While I didn't time it (I'm really quite exhausted at the moment) it 'seemed' to be quicker and obviously when it reached the +30s exposures it all operated automatically as you would hope.

I will hopefully find time to play with focus stacking tomorrow, if not then definitely the next day.  Murphey's law, I get a new toy to play with and a million things that have to be done this week appear on my to do list.

All in all I am very happy with the promote control.  Once you do a few sets you get a work flow going and it becomes more natural.  Looking forward to field testing it instead of taking hundreds of exposures of my office -_-


Edit: So for those curious, it took 7 days to reach me in New Zealand from the time of "item has been shipped" email update.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by alex113 on 11/30/11 at 15:18:23
I was trying to find if this connector would work in a pcx device 1-1705951-1

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by alex113 on 11/30/11 at 15:19:48
I found 1-1705951-1 has a through hole right angle. It might not fit the same connector

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by TJH on 03/29/12 at 01:29:48
Does anyone know if the Promote Control will work with the 5D mkIII?  Has it been tested yet?  Thanks.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by geopal on 04/01/12 at 08:21:55
I think there was some info on that on Promote Systems facebook page

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by vedd on 06/26/12 at 12:15:24
Just wondering, is it possible to instruct Promote controller to start the bracketing sequence with the brightest exposure (slowest shutter speed) first? I've tried using the "Shadow" and "Highlight" start point but it seems both of them are starting from the darkest exposure..

If it's not and if the developer is reading this, is it possible to add that feature? This is especially useful when shooting during dusk or popularly known as the evening 'blue hour' when the light changes very fast from bright to dark.. I'm from Malaysia, which is in the tropics, and the evening blue hour is relatively short - lasting for about 20-40 minutes. In these situations, it would make sense (at least for me) to start the sequence with the brightest exposure. If it begins with the darkest exposure, then the whole sequence will be end up having a more or less flat exposure sequence.

Regards,
vedd


Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by wbmcl on 08/22/12 at 16:43:23

wrote on 03/29/12 at 01:29:48:
Does anyone know if the Promote Control will work with the 5D mkIII?  Has it been tested yet?  Thanks.


I have both and they work well together. Much faster than with my XTi as well.

Bill M.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by tived on 12/15/12 at 13:44:32
any chance we will see the promote with cameras like Olympus O-MD?

that would be really great

thanks

Henrik

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Rice on 02/06/13 at 07:56:24
Do you all still recommend the promote for the 5D MK3 since you can now AEB 7 images up to 3EV steps? Just wondering if it is still worth purchasing and what benefits I would gain.

I just received my 5D so someone correct me if I'm mistaken.

Thanks,
Rice

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by echoaux on 05/31/13 at 22:43:53
not a pro just like to play! Yes the Promote Controller is the best and fastest snapper with the largest range of f stops +/- 1 thru 21 (unlimited really)on one side of zero .3, .7 and 1 (no .5)increments. Have shot 19 (thats 9 shots either side of zero @ 22f on camera lens with kit 8-55mm lens @8mm)at .3 fstop (-3 to 0 to +3)[took like 5 minutes] on semi busy street with T2i of sunset for low noise and depth of field joined with Photomatix pro and Nik HDR Pro 2 both outstanding results with no traffic (foot or cars red traces) in HDR result also did 13 @.3 f22 with kit 8-55mm lens shots +/-6 of smokey mountains getting rid of the blue haze. And all you can do well I have only done HDR mid and have not yet used HDR panoramic but will as soon as I get motor for tripod. Want to do Panaromic at golden hour of moonrise/sunset and sunrise/moonset day before full moon with mirror locked up all three times a year showing azimuth of both at different times. Tell me a camera that will do that, you can not even do it tethered to a computer (well the Promote Control is a computer). My only problem right now is updating in windows 8 does not recognize driver :-[ can in windows xp/vista. Has anyone else had this problem.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Steve Chapman on 06/26/13 at 19:21:54
I really need the SD1 Merrill to work with my Promote! SD1 has a ptp mode, is there anything I can do that anyone knows of?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by robwiel on 07/08/13 at 12:06:20
Hi, 6D supports bracketing in auto-mode its only 3 shots.
But you can set it to manual 7 shots - difference here being that you will have to manually click those 7 shots.

I was thinking about getting promote + plato for my canon.

But, in theory i can use wireless shooting through EOS utility from laptop, or EOS remote application for android or even just buy plato, correct?

I know its not that flexible and slower but EV calculation is done by camera and I just need release.


Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by lifemore on 08/27/13 at 09:50:21
working greate for me after purchasing.  thank you for helping,.

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Steve Chapman on 09/13/13 at 11:53:28
Robwiel, if you only need to click the shots, would a simple remote release cable do it?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by conradsly on 11/14/13 at 07:01:28
thanks for sharing all the info on this folks!

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by boogotti on 12/18/13 at 16:22:52
Save your money put Magic lantern on your canon camera, can do auto 40 brackets if you need to at 0.5EV,

i use it on my 6D really handy, saved my self getting proremote

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by spittle on 02/22/14 at 22:55:54
Since using a 5D3 I've not used my promote as often. But I want to shoot a really high contrast scene that needs from 1/8000 to 30secs if I want to capture (almost!) the whole dynamic range.

Is it possible to make the promote ramp the ISO to say ISO400 for long exposures?

Or ISO200 for any over 1sec, and then ISO400 for the final exposure?

Title: Re: Promote Control Bracketing Controller
Post by Daddybom on 03/07/14 at 16:46:54
Marvelous.

I finally found the answer regarding the remote control system for Promote System using Phottix!

Truly happy that this gonna solve all my  pain when I need the remote badly for the pano.

Cheers!

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