Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 4, 2012.

Update #3

Shoot HDR with TriggerHappy!

Ever wanted to shoot an amazing HDR image?
High dynamic range imaging (HDR) yields greater dynamic range between the lightest and darkest areas of photographs. Producing an HDR image requires taking multiple shots of the same scene. If your camera doesn’t have a built-in HDR mode, turning dials then pressing the shutter is the solution; however, changing settings manually can shake the camera blurring the photos and ruining the framing of the shot.

TriggerHappy does the grunt work for you!
Use TriggerHappy’s intuitive HDR mode to specify the number of shots, the EV interval, and the shutter speed. Shoot up to 9 shots and 16 stops of dynamic range. TriggerHappy lets you shoot HDR time lapses as well!

Details

TriggerHappy brackets images for HDR by changing the shutter speed, and not aperture or ISO. You can choose to shoot with TriggerHappy’s Auto Exposure if your camera has built-in bracketing. With Auto Exposure TriggerHappy sends a request to the camera to take an image, but it does not specify a shutter speed.

For TriggerHappy’s Manual Exposure, put your camera in bulb and TriggerHappy will choose the shutter speed for each image based on the shutter speed you specify in the TriggerHappy App.

In the image above, a 9 second base shutter has been specified. Currently, we only let you choose the base shutter in whole seconds. TriggerHappy then computes the exposures of the other four shots based on the exposure interval specified. So for example, the '-8' shot would be 256 seconds. How did we compute that? 9 seconds * 8 EV which is equivalent to 9 * 2^8 which is 2304 seconds. Sounds crazy long, huh? But we decided to give you complete control!

Gotcha. We cannot guarantee correct shutter speeds under one second because camera makers’ interfaces don’t allow for accurate sub-second exposures. Usually with Canon DSLR’s anything faster than 1/20th second is inaccurate.

Ideas?

We’re agile engineers. See something you would like to improve? Tell us. As backers to our project, you have first say! Please leave your wonderful ideas in the comments.

Thank you so much for the support!

Kevin, Luke, and Brett

The TriggerHappy Team

Comments

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      Creator Joonas Makkonen on September 24, 2012

      Trying to change the HDR settings on an iPhone 4S (iOS6) crashes the app.

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      Creator Dave Harris on August 27, 2012

      In using the HDR function, after getting the 5 bracketed images, the camera keeps firing as the duration clock counts down from the 60 sec minimum. There should NOT be a duration setting. I assume this is because HDR is a subset of the Time Lapse mode. This needs to be re-thought. I would vote for a separate HDR mode with settings that more closely match those on the camera. I was hoping this product would turn my Canon into a Nikon which already has built-in 5, 7 and 9 stop HDR bracketing.

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      Creator Lyle Troxell on April 3, 2012

      I'm really excited about using triggerhappy for HDR and for timelapse, and I wanted to suggest you make sure the app can run in the background a bit, so that if a call or text comes in, it doesn't ruin the shot. And, an ability to get back to what you were doing, in case of using another app easily.

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      Creator Jeff Gelzinis on April 3, 2012

      @Roman, Since I didn't know the equation for EV I was trying to reverse engineer what they were doing in the example, so their double mistake really threw me off. AND they were trying to show the positive EV case, but labeled it "-8". Your explanation is perfect though. Thanks for taking the time to spell that out.
      @TriggerHappy, I hope that fuzzy math doesn't show up in the code for the app ;-) (not that I know anything about code either).

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      Creator Roman Kazmierczak on March 30, 2012

      @jeff +1EV is a twice as much light. x+8EV= x*2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2=x*2^8
      9s+1EV=9s*2=18s
      9s+3EV=((9s*2)*2)*2=(18s*2)*2=36s*2=72s or 9s*2*2*2=9s*(2*2*2)=9s*(2^3)

      In the example there is a mistake and result from calculation is wrong as well.
      In case of 9s-8EV = 9s*(1/(2^8))= 0.03515625= 1/32
      But camera doesn't have a settings like 9s or 1/32. Calculating from 9s it would be 1/30s and calculating from 8s would be also 1/30s.

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      Creator Bitbanger Labs on March 29, 2012

      trailed off there a bit, but if I have any other feature ideas I'll be sure to throw them your way

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      Creator Bitbanger Labs on March 29, 2012

      You should look into a means of adjusting exposure manually with smoothing. For example, if you are shooting a timelapse in bulb with the sun setting, you can tell that you are going to lose a stop or two of light over the next 30 minutes. So, with the camera still shooting, you would select an exposure bump, say +2EV, and then the number of shots you want to ease into that adjustment, maybe 60 frames. Then the software would ease your exposure up to that +2ev mark without missing a frame. You would run into issues if you're exposure time begins to overrun your interval, so a third setting would be needed to set a minimum interval. This way your interval would also slowly be expanded to leave a second or two buffer between frames.

      I shoot timelapse for a living, so I'm excited to finally see a controller based of something as customizable and powerful as a smart phone, congrats on the kickstarter success.

      You might be able to tell I shoot plenty of timelapse, so if you want

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      Creator Aaron Meyers on March 28, 2012

      @Ray Rosher: I'll base my answer off my knowledge of Nikon's shutter remote connector (the 10 pin connector, described here http://www.alldigi.com/tag/nikon-10-pin-connector/). The only thing the camera allows you to control is the shutter press. You can't control anything else besides shutter half press, wake-up, or full-press. There's no EV control, etc. Because of that, the commands you need to send to the camera are very limited and the audio port is prob. good enough.

      Additionally, for long exposure/timelapse shooting it allows you to charge your phone while TriggerHappy continues to run.

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      Creator Allan Aylard on March 28, 2012

      A 1 second minimum base shutter speed is equivalent to Canon's TC-80N3 Timer Remote Controller. The Trigger Happy Camera Remote promises to have a much nicer interface at a substantially lower price.

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      Creator DerekL on March 28, 2012

      Pondering on HDR and the shutter speed problem (most of mine are sub second exposures)... Would it be possible to build the app to automagically fire the shutter the same number of times as the camera brackets?

      I.E., when I set my T2i up for HDR (I.E. setting my bracket), it takes three shutter presses to capture the EV, +EV, and -EV exposures. An HDR mode, where the app has been told it's connected to camera "x" or to take "y" shots (3 in the example above) would be handy.

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      Creator Ray Rosher on March 28, 2012

      Just wondered why your not using the 30 pin connector instead of the audio jack plug

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      Creator Steve Sloan on March 28, 2012

      I'd love to use TriggerHappy as a motion detector. I play a dog sport called flyball and would like to set up a camera that would be triggered every time a dog crossed the start/finish line.

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      Creator Jeff Gelzinis on March 28, 2012

      @Kickstarter, How do I subscribe to these comments?

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      Creator Jeff Gelzinis on March 28, 2012

      @Roman, I'm still confused. I see how your math got you to 2,304s, but where does "2^8" come from? Or in the example they posted, where does "8^2" come from? And how does a 9 second base shutter at EV -8 yield 729s? First of all, I don't understand where the equation comes from. Second, shouldn't a negative EV yield a FASTER shutter in order to UNDERexpose the image?

      @AnyoneElse, please spell this out for me so I can stop feeling like an idiot.

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      Creator Roman Kazmierczak on March 27, 2012

      @Jeff galzinis 9s+8Ev=9*(2^8)=2304s=38m24s

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      Creator Trevin Chow on March 27, 2012

      +1 for "start from darkest to lightest " (or even the other way around). Easier to manage in lightroom and you then know that a higher sequence numbered photo is either lighter/darker than the previous one.

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      Creator Jeff Gelzinis on March 27, 2012

      "How did we compute that? 9 seconds * 8 EV which is equivalent to 9 * 8^2 which is 729 seconds"

      These guys are clearly smarter than me or I would have come up with this app myself, so can someone clear this up for me? I only see two ways to interpet this, either "9 times (8 squared) = 576", or possibly "(9 times 8) squared = 5,184", neither one of which add up to 729. What am I doing wrong?

      Also, what does the math look like on the positive end of the scale? (e.g. 9 second base shutter at +8EV)

      - Jeff

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      Creator Aaron Meyers on March 27, 2012

      Having to set shutter speed to do HDR brackets makes using TriggerHappy for HDR a much MUCH bigger pain. Currently in camera you set the aperture you want, and you set the bracket size and the camera figures out the shutter speed. As you have it now, I'd have to fire a shot at 0EV, see what the shutter speed was, and then set that in TriggerHappy. This would work OK, but it'd be even better if you just left the camera at 0EV and then TriggerHappy did the rest. I guess it's not necessarily possible since the camera isn't sending you any information back and you don't really have control over the exposure compensation (all you can do is set the shutter speed). The big thing though, is being stuck to using shutter speed to the second. What if it's daylight and I'm shooting 0EV at 1/800th of a sec? That's not going to work if I have to round up to 1 second.

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      Creator Jeff Burkholder on March 27, 2012

      As a professional photographer, if it's to control shutter speed, it would need to control the same speeds the Canon cameras do. Which can be to 1/3 stop. But for me, I'd be setting my exposure manually and for HDR's I'd be doing 1 full stop range. This yields the best HDR result and what would be easiest for you. But it should be able to handle the 1/3 shutter speeds (with a full-stop change) so if the camera's set at 200th shutter the next shutter would be either 400th or 100th.

      We'd want true full-stop ranges. So best to keep as the Canon cameras do.

      +/- range of exposure. I generally do nothing more than 8 stops +/-. If I need more (which I've done up to 9 in past for less noise end results).

      And as Bryn asked focus check or focus set would be good, but also would like to turn that off when I don't want it (or all else fails I set in manual focus).

      And I too +1 as Peter put (Black frame) nice feature, but I just use my hand in front of lens more often, but if this was a feature I'd use it.

      (Joop's idea) I generally start from darkest to lightest (easier to see in Bridge or Lightroom your HDR sets). I'd say let it do either one as an option: start at darkest (under exp.) or start at brightest (over exp.)

      The biggest thing I can see this is to control the functions of the camera: Shutter, Aperture, ISO and increments of that. That's what got me into this. HDR to be either by Shutter or Aperture... ISO's a nicety but not key for me. Yes to +/- 8 or 9 stop total range.

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      Creator Kenneth LeFebvre on March 27, 2012

      I would love to see some support for extensibility. Not only are you building an amazing tool, but you have the potential to be the platform for a whole ecosystem of undreamed of plugins for our cameras!

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      Creator Marshall Woolard on March 27, 2012

      This might be covered by the product already. I plan to get into night sky photography and there is software that will put the multiple images together. Will be using only camera lens and not telescopes. Not sure is non linier bracketing times would produce any additional useful info.

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      Creator Bryn Forbes on March 27, 2012

      for focus stacking check out helicon remote (for pc and android) would be great to have equivalent for iphone

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      Creator Stephen Cupp on March 27, 2012

      The shutter speed thing is probably a limitation of the camera and not the phone. That port was meant for exposures outside of the cameras built in shutter speeds. To get the faster shutter speeds just set the camera to do the bracketing. This shouldn't be a problem. Most DSLR's have bracketing anyways.

      What I would like to see is being able to control the device connected to the camera with another device. So I can put the camera on a tripod with a wide angle lens. Then put some food out and from a distance away be able to fire the camera when I see animals approach.

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      Creator Leen Lauriks on March 27, 2012

      Sounds awesome! But indeed, a shorter shutter speed (even unaccurate) would be nice. How did you shoot the time lapse video in the car without blurred photos if you can only shoot from 1 second? Or is this limitation only for HDR (also for that application, shorter shutter speeds would be nice)?

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      Creator Bryn Forbes on March 27, 2012

      Focus bracketing would be awesome. I'm contemplating buying an android phone just to get it.
      Also, one comment on the "can't guarantee sub second". I'm willing to give up accuracy (especially if it's a preference) to get sub second exposures. I'm fine with exposures being slightly wrong and in the 1/30th of a second range than only being able to get 1 second.
      Finally it's probably outside the scope of your project, but how about allowing increase/decrease of ISO with the HDR bracketing in order to enable maintaining a certain shutter speed accepting any noise increase

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      Creator Roman Kazmierczak on March 27, 2012

      I am disappointed with shutter speed accuracy. So this app will only control the shutter speed in bulb mode.I hoped you will use USB to control cameras settings like in androids app.

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      Creator Joop Snijder on March 27, 2012

      How about an HDR mode where you start with the shortest exposure. I always search for a start exposure where all highlight detail is preserved, then raise the exposure with one or two stops sequences until all shadow detail is captured.

      I really would like TriggerHappy supports this workflow. So start with lowest exposure chose bracket size (+1, +2, ...) and keep manually fire the shutter. Then as a photog evaluate the histogram and repeat firing until all detail is captured.

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      Creator Kevin Harrington on March 27, 2012

      Love the ideas. Thanks Peter and Derek! I am not sure about shutter speed on the D800, Dustin. We are going to test that soon. Dave, we haven't thought about focus stacking, but it would be cool!

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      Creator DerekL on March 27, 2012

      I have to give +1 to Peter's black frame idea... I usually shoot the inside of my ballcap before and after an HDR set to make them easy to find in post.

      Can't you send remote + and - EV settings to a Canon?

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      Creator Dustin Kerstein on March 27, 2012

      What is the shutter accuracy for Nikon cameras? Specifically the D800 if you have tested it. I imagine we will all need serious ND filters if the minimum is 1/20th for daylight triggering.

      Thanks,
      Dustin

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      Creator Peter West Carey on March 27, 2012

      I'd like to see the option to add a black frame before an HDR set. Close down the aperture and set the shutter speed as high as it will go. Having this black frame would make it easy to find and reference sets when working in post production. But only make this an option (check box) so people aren't required to use it.

      I would like to see this option at the beginning and end of time-lapse as well for the same reason, to easily find the begging and end of the series. As it is now, I hold up my hand to mark these locations and sometimes forget.

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      Creator Dave Dillahunt on March 27, 2012

      How about a future capability for focus stacking like on the Promote Control?

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