Fire Your DSLR or Speedlight Remotely by Laser, Lightning or Sound…
If you have just got into DSLR photography and have always wondered how photographers manage to capture those amazing lightning images or incredible photos of wildlife that seem so hard to nail, let me introduce you to the Nero Trigger.
Having already reviewed the original Nero Trigger and liked what it could do, I was more than intrigued when the next version was released.
The original was quite a cool little gadget with some innovative and very useful features that could inspire creative photography so what could the next generation offer?
Before we go into what it can do, let’s explain which cameras it is compatible with so that you don’t get too depressed when you realise it won’t work with your current gear:
Nikon (MC-30, MC-DC1 and MC-DC2)
D1, D100, D1H, D1x, D2, D200, D2H, D2Hs, D2x, D2xs, D3, D300, D300s, D3100, D3200, D3s, D3x, D4, D5000, D5100, D5200, D600, D700, D70s, D80, D800, D800e, D90
Canon (RS-80N3 and 2.5mm)
EOS 1000D, 10D, 1100D, 1D, 1Dc, 1DMkII, 1D MkIIn, 1D MkIV, 1Dx, 1Ds, 1Ds MkII, 1Ds MkIII, 20D, 20Da, 300D, 30D, 350D, 400D, 40D, 450D, 500D, 50D, 550D, 5D, 5D MkII, 5D MkIII, 600D, 60D, 0Da, 650D, 6D, 7D, D30, D60, Kiss Digital, Kiss F Digital, Kiss N, Kiss X2, Kiss X3, Kiss X5, Kiss X50, Kiss X6, Powershot G1x, Powershot G10, Powershot 11, Powershot 12, Powershot 15, Powershot SX50, Rebel T1i, Rebel T2i, Rebel T3, Rebel T3i, Rebel T4i, Rebel XS, Rebel XSi, Rebel XT, Rebel XTi
A100, A200, A230, A290, A300, A33, A330, A330TT, A35, A350, A37, A380, A390, A400, A450, A55, A550, A550V, 560, A580, A65, A65V, A700, A77, A77V, A850, A900, A-99
645D, 1st D, 1st DL, 1st DL2, 1st DS, 1st DS2, K10 Grand, K100D, K100D Super, K10D, K110D, K200D, K20D, K-30, K-5, K-7, K-m, MZ-6, MZ-L, Prlx, ZX-L
Ok, so now we know whether you can use it or not, let’s see what it can do!
- Lightning Mode
- Sound Mode
- Time Lapse Mode
- Laser Mode
- HDR Mode
- DIY Mode
The Nero Trigger 2 is equipped with sensitive detection sensors that will detect a variable change in light level from 1 to 99 in one stop increments.
This can be used to trigger your camera or flashgun (speedlight) via lightning, fireworks, sparks, Infra Red and so on…I am sure you are already thinking of the possibilities with just this mode alone.
Camera Requirements: Manual Mode, Long Exposure
This is a great mode for high speed photography such as popping balloons, breaking glass or even explosions and has a sensitivity level of between 1 and 999or from 0 to 999 milliseconds!
You can also decide whether you want a single shot exposure or multiple shots to ensure the perfect capture of whatever it is you are shooting. Great for sports or wildlife photography.
This mode works best when firing the flash as the light is instant whereas most camera have some shutter lag. So if you were trying to freeze broken glass for example, the glass may have fallen to the floor before the camera has had time to fire the shutter whereas in a dark environment, the flash would fire almost instantaneously capturing the moment bang on cue.
Time Lapse Mode
Time lapse is big business these days with everyone wanting to learn how to create this video effect as it simply looks so good. Time lapse allows us to be able to capture and see things happening that our eye could not normally process such as the slow opening of a flower or the movement of clouds across the sky.
In reality, doing time lapse the old way can be incredibly boring and require other accessories such as remote timer controls. It also means standing by your camera to make sure the camera and timer are doing their job.
The Nero Trigger however, in Time lapse mode, has interval and exposure parameters so you can tell it exactly how long to keep the shutter open with a pre-determined interval time between each photo. You can also limit the number of pictures to be taken by setting a frame limit.
A great mode for getting creative but you will need a laser of some sort and I would recommend a decent red laser as the beam cannot be seen like the green lasers. This is particularly useful if you are using the laser mode of the Nero Trigger to photograph wildlife for example.
It could also be used to capture fast moving objects such as horses during show jumping, cars or motorbikes without distracting them with a heavy duty, powerful green laser.
The cool thing about laser mode is that lasers fire an awful long way so you can trigger your camera or flash from great distances which helps when trying not to leave your scent anywhere when shooting wild things…
Laser mode on the Nero Trigger also has a threshold parameter, so you can use laser sources with differing power outputs. Its delay parameter specify when to take the picture after the triggering event has occurred and again, you can limit the number of pictures to be taken.
Like time lapse, HDR is massive these days and there are a number of programs and apps available to assist and allow you to get creative with HDR, tone mapping and general dynamic range trickery.
Once again, the Nero Trigger has adjustable parameters so you can be in full control of your DSLR and track the process in real-time from the screen of the Nero Trigger unit. You need to set your focus to manual and the shutter speed to “B” or Bulb on your camera as these settings are made within the Nero Trigger.
DIY mode is a little more confusing and comes with a warning that you use this mode at your own risk as you may damage the unit. Basically, DIY mode will trigger your DSLR by receiving just about any type of external signal as a triggering event.
This could be a rising signal, a falling signal or both…i.e. the trigger will activate during both rising and falling signals creating multiple shots.
I am not sure when you would use this mode but you are told to read a certain appendix in the instructions before entering this mode.
Real World Test
I did a test using the sound mode recently and much to my surprise, the unit worked pretty well at the first settings I tried. I was new to firing a catapult so didn’t fair that well but the Nero Trigger 2 did perform well and set the camera off when it should have.
I will eventually get round to trying the lightning and laser mode but if they perform like the original Nero Trigger, then I am sure they will both work just fine.
As you can see, I am pretty useless at this sort of thing but I hope you can see that the Nero Trigger 2 has a fair bit of potential for the creative (and patient) people out there. Here is a very crude and quick video showing my pathetic attempts at exploding an apple with a close range catapult…