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What is a High-Speed Camera Trigger and How Does it Work?

What is a High-Speed Camera Trigger and How Does it Work?

Many high-speed camera triggers have entered the market for the past years and this device has transformed photography for the better. It’s not surprising that professionals and shutterbugs always include a trigger kit in their camera bag.

However, if you’re one of the few who is still yet to discover the practical and versatile benefits of acquiring a high-speed camera kit, don’t worry. This article will help expand your knowledge about this device. Additionally, the following sections will help you understand the basics of how it works.

Defining a high-speed camera trigger

Before delving into the details, it’s important to answer this question first: what is a high-speed camera trigger? Basically, it’s an external device that is connected to your camera and has a primary purpose of remotely triggering your shutter. The triggering can be wired or wirelessly depending on the type of trigger that you have.

There are old versions of camera triggers but the recent developments in technology have also upgraded today’s trigger devices. For instance, a smart camera trigger, although works as a standalone device, has the option to connect with other smart devices like your smartphone. Additionally, powerful camera triggers have built-in sensors that make use of light, sound, and motion to achieve a perfectly-timed shot.

What is a High-Speed Camera Trigger and How Does it Work?

How the best high-speed camera triggers work

What makes a high-speed camera trigger powerful is its wide range of modes that can be used independently or combined. However, the more important question is, using these modes, how does a camera trigger work?

Let’s take a look at each mode and how you can use them in your different high-speed photography needs.

1. Sound Mode, Sensitivity, and Timing

A typical high-speed camera trigger has a sound sensor to easily activate your camera’s shutter. Most photographers use a sound trigger for high-speed events such as balloon-popping, butter photography, and even rocket launch photography. From these examples, you can conclude that a sound trigger can be used both in the outdoors and indoors.

A sound sensor’s sensitivity can be adjusted to even the lowest decibels, allowing photographers to select and target sounds especially in the outdoors. For indoor use like in a studio, photographers rely on sound to trigger the camera especially in shoots that need an environment from low to no light at all.

The Sound Mode allows the control of not just your camera but also other flash units. It means that one or two flash guns can be orchestrated to take simultaneous or sequenced bursts. Lastly, high-speed camera triggers have a Delay option that enables you to adjust the timing of every shot.

What is a High-Speed Camera Trigger and How Does it Work?

2. Lightning Mode and Light Sensor

One exciting reason why many photographers want to get their hands on a high-speed camera trigger is that of its role in lightning photography. If you’re planning to try taking photos of rare and majestic lightning bursts, then a camera trigger is a must. Why?

Every lightning burst takes a quarter of a second or faster. The natural human reflex is not fast enough to catch this event, so you’ll need the help of a faster trigger. A high-speed camera device specialized in lightning photography has a Lightning Mode. Additionally, it has a highly sensitive Light Sensor that lets your camera capture even the slightest, smallest lightning spark.

Timing will also be at your side, thanks to the trigger’s accurate Delay option which can be adjusted to values as specific as a millisecond. Additionally, since a smart lightning trigger can be wirelessly controlled, risky shots during a thunderstorm will no longer be intimidating.

3. Laser Mode, Motion Sensor, and More

Motion and movement can be a good stimulus for many high-speed photography events. No matter how fast or delicate a subject is, a high-speed camera trigger equipped with Laser Mode will make every photo session easier.

A Laser-equipped camera trigger helps your camera detect movement. If you have this kind of trigger, you just have to point the laser to a specific direction where the event will take place. For example, water drop photography, wildlife photography, or even sports photography make use of this method.

For Water Drop or Splash Photography:

How does it work? As soon as the object (e.g. water, paint, fluid, water droplets) hits the projected laser beam, your camera immediately takes the shot. Additionally, just like the other modes mentioned earlier, Laser mode also makes use of the Delay option. This allows you to be creative with your shot, or to capture a specific moment even with unpredictable subjects like water. 

For Wildlife Photography:

Just place your camera in a stable position where wildlife (e.g. birds, animals) are more likely to appear. The laser beam is a non-intrusive and non-threatening light source so it won’t drive your potential subjects away.

For Sports Photography:

Just attach your camera on a strong and stable mount (like a basketball ring, or a side of a half or quarter-pipe for skating). Your camera will immediately take the photo as soon as you break the laser beam’s projection.

What perfect are you can signal your camera to either take a single photo or a sequence of shots.

What is a High-Speed Camera Trigger and How Does it Work?

4. Timelapse, HDR, and Multiple Modes

High-speed camera triggers are designed to capture high-speed events – but it doesn’t mean that every trigger unit should be limited to these functions. For instance, smart camera triggers are powerful enough to handle other camera modes such as Timelapse, and HDR. Additionally, the possibility of combining every mode that was mentioned above can be just a click or two away.

For Timelapse Scenario:

A trigger’s high-speed capabilities and versatile technology make it an over-qualified device for taking timelapse scenarios. In a timelapse, your camera takes sequential images of a landscape or an event passing in motion. The shutter and the timer will work together to capture perfectly framed and timed sequences. The trigger also allows you to adjust specific details like exposure, to a number of frames per second.

What is a High-Speed Camera Trigger and How Does it Work?

For HDR Scenario:

High Dynamic Range images are stunning and mesmerizing, but you’ll need the right camera and equipment to achieve a good result. With the high-speed camera trigger’s accurate and precise optimization, these are achievable. Additionally, exposure, lighting, and other factors that contribute to a perfect HDR image are easily adjustable.

The best thing about having a high-speed camera trigger is about the unlimited potential that it offers. Whether it’s a simple camera trigger or a smart high-speed camera trigger, make sure that you’re investing in the right device that can boost your talent and creativity. Remember, you’re just one decision away from upping your game in high-speed photography. So what are you waiting for?

Related Article: 6 Tips to Choose the Best Camera Trigger for High-Speed Photography