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Universal Timer – high speed photography for the masses


image 146 Universal Timer   high speed photography for the masses

High speed photography used to be the domain of the super geeky or nuclear scientists but with the rise of cheap and very good digital SLRs, anyone can give it a go. To assist you there is the Universal Timer, a 3-in-1 high speed photography timer with a bevy of tricks up its sleeve.

You can use the Universal Timer to remotely control either flash guns or a camera shutter, or both. Once a triggering signal is received, the timer waits anywhere from 100s all the way up to 9999 seconds and is programmable in increments of 100s, 1ms or 0.1s.

image 149 Universal Timer   high speed photography for the masses

The timer can remotely fire two flash guns via cables and you can use either current Nikon/Canon flashes or older manual flash guns so you don’t need to spend a fortune to get great results. It can control the camera shutter via a cable or the built-in infrared remote, preprogrammed with Canon and Nikon IR codes of course! If you don’t have a Nikon or Canon dSLR, then don’t panic, you can programme the Universal Timer with your camera’s IR control codes if you have a remote control.

image 147 Universal Timer   high speed photography for the masses

With the flash and camera sorted, the only thing left is to trigger the Universal Timer to start the count-down. The Timer has a built in microphone to listen for gunshots, balloon pops and lightbulb tinkles so you can pretty much get started straight out of the box. However, if the speed of sound is too slow, and it eventually will be, then try ludicrous light speed. You can purchase a plug-in optical sensor and use it to trigger your photographs using a simple laser pointer. Set it up so the water drop breaks beam, the countdown starts and bingo, waterdrops frozen in mid splash.

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When you are finished exploring the high speed world you can take your Universal Timer outside and do even more. Position a laser pointer and receiver across a bird feeder, set your camera up close to the food with a Universal Timer and wait for the bird/cat/squirrel to approach. Instant professional wildlife shots without the professional wildlife photography lenses. David Attenborough would be proud! The timer can also be programmed to take photos at regular intervals for time-lapse photography for those super cool rolling cloud movies.

So there you go, all you need is $US169 and a 9 Volt battery and all this high speed creative fun can be yours, after a lot of experimentation of course. There are stacks more features in the Universal Timer and the whole thing has been well thought out for ultra versatility for novice and expert photographers so check it out, it looks fantastic!

The Universal Photo Timer is an innovative photographic hand-held controller. The unit integrates an infra-red camera remote, flash sync output and timer with triggering sensors. The unit helps you to capture split second events such as falling water drops, popping balloons or ballistics shots in response to triggering events.

Tags: universal+timer, high+speed+photography, photography+gadget

Dan Ferris is the Red Ferret’s Oceanic correspondent and Associate Editor based in Sydney, Australia. Despite not knowing Russell Crowe or Nicole Kidman, Dan has risen above adversity and now scours the world for interesting tidbits to write about. He spends far too much time photographing stuff and tinkering with computers.

Dan – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.



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