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How Can I Trigger Multiple Cameras To Fire Simultaneously?

Sometimes one camera just isn’t enough and there are special situations where you would want to trigger more than one camera at the same time.

It can be complicated, but in this post we’ll describe one of the best ways to do it to avoid headaches.

But first…

Why Would You Want To Trigger More Than One Camera At The Same Time? 

We won’t go in depth into some of the uses but here are some brief descriptions on some of the uses.

Bullet Time and Time Slice Photography 

Bullet time photography is a technique which allows you to visualise a subject in a way that would normally be impossible with just the human eye.

It lets you break the normal rules of space and time and uses a large number of cameras to let you view a scene in extreme slow motion by stitching a large number of photos together.

Remember that iconic scene in the matrix where Neo is dodging all those bullets and the camera goes around him almost as if the camera is travelling through time and space differently?

Well that pretty much describes bullet time photography.

Lightpainting

While you can do light painting using just one camera and doing a long exposure, with the use of multiple cameras you can take it to the next level by getting a more 3D effect and have the image shown from different angles. 

Photogrammetry 

Photogrammetry is the practice of taking a high number of images from different angles to measure and map things.

This can be applied to many things and is commonly used for 3D computer models of real life objects or scenes.  

Watch the video below which showcases quite a few examples of the types of photos that can be achieved.

What Options Are There For Triggering Multiple Cameras Simultaneously? 

Different people prefer different methods of carrying this out depending on their preference, budget and technical know-how.

You would also need to consider the number of cameras that you want to use.

Examples include: 

  • IR triggers
  • Radio frequency 
  • Split electrical wire

We want to avoid having you do any complicated custom wiring while still being able to scale to a decent level, so we are going to stick to a commercial solution which should be perfect for most situations. 

What Is The Best Way To Trigger Multiple Cameras?

The easiest way to do something like this is to use commercial solutions like Esper’s TriggerBox.

It basically allows you to remotely trigger up to 6 cameras per TriggerBox and you can hook up multiple TriggerBoxes together to allow an unlimited number of cameras together.. 

The Esper TriggerBox is a trusted product in the community and the customisable features make it really useful to work with. 

For triggering the cameras through the TriggerBox there are two modes that you can use: 

  • Green All Trigger Mode
  • Blue Smart Trigger Mode

Green All Trigger Mode

Each TriggerBox is connected to your cameras through the trigger socket on the camera body.

You can then connect multiple TriggerBoxes together to get a larger group of cameras to work together.

To set off the shutters for all of the cameras, you just need to connect a shutter release cable to a TriggerBox.

Use this to fire the cameras which should all fire within 0.000002 seconds of each other – if you want to think of it in terms of fractions then that’s 1/500,000th of a second!

Blue Smart Trigger Mode

In this mode, you need to connect your TriggerBox to a computer first then launch the Esper TriggerBox software. 

This is where the magic starts.

In the Esper TriggerBox Controller software, you can control how and when each camera fires with full control on timing.

Don’t worry, when you buy the TriggerBox from Esper you’ll get the software bundled in.

Watch the short demo below for some examples of what you can achieve by using the Esper TriggerBox.

You can find out more about this on Esper’s website here.

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