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07-28-2008, 03:57 PM   #1
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K20D and computer control

I bought a new K20D to take with me to Novosibirsk (Siberia) for the total solar eclipse on August 1 and I had hoped that the s/w provided would allow me to control the camera in manual mode and take a series of pictures one after the other, starting at 1/500sec, and doubling exposures one after the other (1/250, 1/125, ..., 8sec). This is so I can composite the pictures and acquire a high dynamic range image.

The remote assistant that comes with the camera allows me to take a series of pictures, each starting at 1sec. Obviously not what I desire.

Does anyone know whether it is possible to configure the software to do what I need? Or maybe is there another app that I could use (I use Windows).

Thanks,

Fabio

07-28-2008, 05:03 PM   #2
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I can't follow your question so I'll put down what I think you are trying to ask and then you can correct me if I'm wrong.

I think you have two questions going in this message, one is about bracketing, and the other is about interval shooting.

I assume when you are talking about 1/500 - 8 sec this is shutter speed and you would like to bracket your shots

When you are talking about the software starting at 1 second you are talking about interval shooting.

Is that correct?

Thank you
Russell
07-28-2008, 07:36 PM   #3
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I want to be able to take a series of pictures, one after the other, starting at 1/250, 1/25, ..., 8sec, and do so automatically once I "push a button" in the software. If the s/w allows it, I don't even need to have a pause in between pictures. The key point here is to have the whole processed automated so I don't need to be searching for buttons to push and wheels to turn in the dark.
07-28-2008, 11:04 PM   #4
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I don't think you can get what you want but I'm tell you everything I know how to do and you can then decide for yourself.

Before you start, you'll need to change the save mode to auto save mode. This can be enabled under the File Menu by clicking on the "Auto Save Mode" menu item.

Bracketing will give you 5 shots maximum. You can chose the EV step value for those shots from 0.3 to 2 increments. The will repeat with the same shutter and aperture settings for every five photos sequence.

You'll want to open the Remote Assistant software application after plugging in the USB connection, setting the camera into USER mode, and turning on the camera.

Under the Camera Menu click on "User mode settings". This brings up a dialog box that will let you set up bracketing. Bracketing is the fourth drop down on the top row. Choose 5. In the next drop down to the right, you can set the EV step increment for the bracketing. This dialog box will also allow to set up the camera in whatever mode you wish to shoot in and the camera settings you wish to use. Once that is all set you can then OK button to close the dialog box.

The K20D has a one-push bracketing option, it might be good to enable it. Click on the Camera Menu and under it click on the Custom Setting menu item. Once that dialog box opens, click the "Page 1" tab if you aren't already on it, and then enable One-push bracketing. Click on the "Page 2" tab and choose the bracketing order you wish to use. Click on the OK button to close the dialog box.

Click on the Tool menu, click on Expanded Shooting, and then click on Interval/Timer Shooting. Here you can set a number of shots to take and an interval between those shots. I only have the K10D so I'm not sure how this going to work with the one-push bracketing option but my assumption is that with one count of the interval you'll get five photos. You'll have to test this assumption and then test what interval works for getting the five photos to complete.

If you set the interval too short, nothing happens and it is just counted as an error. As you only have a count of 99 you'll want to minimize these errors. See how long it takes for the series of five shots to complete. Once you have the interval down, you can then figure out how much padding you'll want between the group of five shots so that the 99 activations cover the time slot you are wanting.

For an easy example say the group of five shots takes an even minute to complete. Say you wanted to cover a 198 minute time slot. Since we have a 99 count, that is 99 minutes that the camera is taking photos and 99 minutes where we would not have coverage. Adding a minute would to the interval, making it two minutes, will mean that the camera would shoot for a minute, wait for a minute, and thus cover the whole 198 minute time slot.

Assuming this single bracket doesn't give you enough to cover the 1/500 to 8 seconds range you want, my only suggestion would be to set up the bracketing and camera parameters and then save them to your hard drive in a series of parameter files that cover the bracketing you want. Once you have the saved the parameter files, you can quickly manually load them when shooting the event. If this doesn't make sense in reading, I'm sure you'll figure it out in playing with the software.

Thank you
Russell


Last edited by Russell-Evans; 07-29-2008 at 09:09 AM. Reason: grammer
07-29-2008, 07:53 AM   #5
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Thanks for the detailed explanation. I have a long series of flights from the US to Novosibirsk, and will have plenty of time to test your approach. I'll reply with results once I'm back in the US next week.

Thanks,

Fabio
07-29-2008, 04:47 PM   #6
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There is an interval meter on the K20D. You can set it to take up to 99 pictures. Haven't checked if it works with auto bracketing, but you could give it a look.
11-20-2010, 11:25 PM   #7
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I've been playing with Remote Assistant tonight and the K20D. What a fantastic feature. This will help tremendously when I do some portraits next week. Why on earth they discontinued tethering on the newer cameras is beyond me.
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