Monday, January 17, 2011

Review: Pixel Wireless Timer Remote Control TW-282

If you’re a photographer who depends a lot on long exposure shooting, astro photography, HDR or even studio shooting, you should own a remote trigger of some sort. Whether this should be wired or not is something you’ll have to decide. For a couple of years, I’ve been using various different options and recently acquired the latest triggering system from Pixel HK - makers of the Pixel Knight triggering systems, an alternative to Pocket Wizard MiniTT1s. It’s more inexpensive than the one from Canon, and the biggest advantage is the fact that it’s a 2.4gz wireless system.


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Pixel TW-282 - Transmitter and Receiver
It can double as a wired remote if you so choose, but the main advantage of this unit is the ability to use it untethered. The size of the unit may seem intimidating, but it’s shaped very well to fit in my hand. The only thing I wish it had was a lanyard loop hole. I’m likely going to add something so I can hang this around my neck. Out of the package it comes with everything you need to get going. A transmitter unit, a cord for my cameras and the receiver (when you order the remote, you have to specify which cord you want), a hot shoe mountable receiver unit, batteries and owner’s manual.

The manual is horribly translated, but for the most part, easy enough to figure things out. I don’t understand why these oversea manufacturers can’t find a proper translator.

Like most wired remotes of this type aside from the standard single, multiple, and delayed shooting, it’s a full intervalometer which allows for a full range of timed shooting for long exposure or time lapse photography. There’s options to set how many shots you want to take (or infinite), a delay function (which is handy if you set your bulb function to work in mirror up mode), and the length of exposure time. All of this can be done wirelessly through the main remote.

One real handy feature of this remote is the ability to light up the display. This is really handy in low light and especially when I’m doing black card photography where it’s nice to see what the time is (in the past I’ve counted in my head, or tried to read the top LCD display which is very difficult to do in low light). Another handy feature is the ability to use this as a wired remote. The cord attached to the side of the receiver can be pulled out and plugged directly into the top of the main remote. I would recommend this course of action if you plan to do a time lapse series to conserve the battery power of the receiver.
Wind Warning
Wireless remotes are very handy for shots like these: View on Black 

The range is very good. It’s rated for 80 meters (or above according to the manual), but I only tested it at 20 meters (65 feet). It has 99 channels plus a special ALL channel which would be handy to fire all at once if I have multiple cameras with the receiver unit as pictured on top of the camera. The transmitter is rated for 4 years on 2 AAA batteries. The receiver is rated for 400 hours on CR-2 lithium batteries.

Overall the product is very well built. A couple of weird glitches that takes getting used to (like when the remote times out in battery saver mode you need to select the bulb or intervalometer modes again) but for what I paid for this unit I highly recommend getting this over the overpriced wired name branded ones.

If you're in BC, you can order these through Kerrisdale Cameras or Lens & Shutter for around $150.  Booth Photographic Limited is now a Canadian supplier, so if you can get Cameron gear at your local camera stores, they should be able to order them in for you. For more specifications or product information, click on the link.

47 comments:

  1. This manual is a joke. I'm finding it almost impossible to comprehend.

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  2. I agree Brett. I offered to rewrite their other manuals and they did take it under advisement. The Pixel Expert when they reprint manuals will have my edits. I wish they would send me a manual before publishing so I can help them translate it properly.

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  3. Hi, this product work with my Canon 1 d Mark II N??

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  4. Yes, it should work fine with the 1D Mark IIN. It uses the same N3 trigger as all current semi pro and pro models. The remote also accept cables for other triggers, so it is a pretty universal system.

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  5. I'm having some trouble using this product with my Canon T3i. I want to create a timelapse movie by taking photos 10 seconds apart. The device doesn't want to take more than one photo, even when set up on the delay mode. The camera is set up to take a single shot. Any advice?

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  6. all good, the instructions are a little confusing how that works. You need to set the interval no the delay. Don't hit the trigger but the play button (button with the sideways arrow on the top right).

    Delay is just a delay before the first shot, then the interval is your delay between shots. Set N to -- to make it go infinite. Hopefully that helps you.

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  7. Thanks! That helped a lot Terrance! I got it figured out. You were very helpful and so fast in your response. Impressive!

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. OBJECTIF SUBJECTIVE said...
    i would like to do some time lapse at night. how do i get my shutter to trigger open for 45 secs and have the shooting intervals be every 3 minutes. i would like to get about 5 minutes of footage at this setting.

    help!

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  10. OBJECTIF SUBJECTIVE couple of things before you start... first shut off Long Exposure Noise Removal. Sometimes that throws off some timers, second switch to Bulb then do that following.

    Push the D pad to the right until you get the 'Long' option. Hit the center button and change the time by hit the D pad up and down (in you case this would be the exposure time). Hit the center button to continue. Hit the D Pad to move to the next option, 'Interval' then hit the center button again and enter the time you want for the Delay between shots (in your case 3 minutes). Hit the center button to continue and then enter the amount of shots you want but choosing the 'N' option where you can select 1-99 or Infinite (--).

    Once you set all that, it's just a matter of hitting the right most button with the play/stop looking icon (triangle and square) to start the cycle.

    The delay option is confusing on the remote (there's two of them). One of them is for delayed single shot timer and the other is for the interval timer to give a delay before start.

    Hope that helps you.

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  11. What is the maximum amount of exposures one can make in a time-lapse sequence? I have seen figures of "99", "399" and even "unlimited" (= what I want to have).

    dutch3dmaster

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  12. Dutch3dmaster, you can do any number from 1-99 and infinity/unlimited (by choosing -- )

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  13. Hi, I have a basic question:
    After you set the time lapse (a photo every 1 sec for say 25 minutes), do you need to have wireless connection between the transmitter (the remote) and the receiver (the unit on the camera) during the whole time?
    Or one initial activation of the remote is enough (with no need of wireless connection later)?

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  14. Ideally, you should use the wired connection, but it's not necessary, but the remote should stay in close proximity to the transmitter. You push the play button once and it will run through the cycle and send the necessary trigger signal for each subsequent shot.

    The key to getting it going is to push the play button on the remote, not the shutter.

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  15. OK, but once I press play on the wireless remote, can I just walk away with my remote (or turn it off) and the camera will continue taking pictures according to the program? (or the remote has to stay on and close by?)
    THe reason I'm asking this is because we want to operate time lapse in a camera that's inside a housing with limited access to it...
    Thanks :)

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  16. You do need to leave the remote nearby and on. It's the brain that controls the whole process. You do have about 100 ft of operation you can walk away with, but always a good idea to keep it near by to ensure 100% operation.

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  17. Hi Terrance,

    Having read the Q&As here I now have some idea how to use this timer, I have never come across such an impossible to understand manual. Thank you for making at least some of it clear.

    How about you publish a readable translation?

    all the best,

    Anthony Hobbs

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  18. Not a bad idea Anthony... however I never had the original text so it's not as easy as just republishing it. I sent them a list of edits so hopefully they have edited their manuals and eventually publish it on their website. I did help them on their last product release the Pixel Kings and helped re-write the english translations of that (not perfect, but at least decipherable).

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  19. Hi
    Do you have to have the receiver in the hotshoe when wireless or can I hang it on a tripod and put a flash in the hotshoe.
    Thanks
    Tim

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  20. Timk, you do not need to have it in the hotshoe. It can hang free or if you have a tripod that has a place to attach it to to the side you can do that as well. It has a 1/4 inch threaded screw hole.

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  21. Thanks for the rapid reply Terrance :-)

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  22. Excellent Comments, thank you all
    I am searching for the last three days when i have time on a suitable product and i think this will do for me, it's very similar to the youngnuo shutter release but with a face lift

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  23. Hi Tarrance,

    I'm not having trouble with delay shooting, but when I try to set up a timing plan for shooting I run into problems. I set up the delay at 05 then long at 01 then interval at 02 but the display shows 98 00 02 and I cant seem to get rid of the 98. Any suggestions.

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  24. Hi thanks for the review.

    Does it work with a canon EOS 50 D ?

    Bests,

    Sergio

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    Replies
    1. Hello Sergio, it certainly does. I own a a 50D as well. In fact there's very few modern cameras that don't work with it. I also use it with my Olympus Pen camera.

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  25. Hi terrance, ive just got this for myself and im just a student and im VERY confused with the manual =P i want to do a timelapse of a sunrise of say 1 picture every 10 seconds. how do i set that up?

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    1. The manual is rather tricky I can't excuse that.

      Move D-Pad until you see Long. Make sure it's set to 0 then D-pad again until you see INTVL and set that to 10 seconds. Move over D-Pad to N and then set to --. Hit the Play button to start the sequence (right most button under the word 'Low" and stop with the same button. That should work for you.

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  26. Hi Terrance

    Just got my new TW-282 in the mail. When I placed the battery in the receiver, it got really hot and started stinking up my whole house. I had to put it outside. Then I tried the remote, and the light was not working. Needless to say, I am very disappointed and have to ship it back. Is this a common problem?
    Simone

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    Replies
    1. Hi SImone. I've never heard of this kind of failure before. It definitely sounds like a short of some sort and should be covered under warranty. Although I'm not sure how it's possible. The device is very simple, and it has a single motherboard with very little circuitry on it. I've taken mine apart before and see very little in the way that it could fail. You did the right thing to ship it back. Was this through an ebay seller?

      I know many local stores carry the Pixel Remotes these days. The Pixel brand is more mainstream and carried by all sorts of vendors over cheaper remote triggers like Yongnuos. They do sell lots world wide so there's bound to be a dud once and awhile.

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  27. Hi Terrance.

    Thank you for responding to quickly. I got the unit from a seller on ebay. It was shipped from China. The really disturbing thing was that the battery got VERY VERY hot as soon as I put it in the receiver. Wonder is the battery is defective. However, light on the remote also did not work. I did try to use the cable with the remote, but that did not work neither. I was wondering if you need the receiver to work the remote even if you just use use the cable. The manual of course is no help. Anyway, the seller offered to either replace it or give me the money back. I am not sure yet if I will order it again.
    Simone

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    Replies
    1. Which vendor did you order from. There's some very trusted HK dealers of Pixel stuff online: hkequipment is the official Pixel ebay seller. I get my stuff from Pixel direct these days, but only because I test and review their equipment.

      Yes you can use the remote without the receiver. It's actually very handy and honestly if you use it for intervalometer stuff, you should go with wired.

      It is possible the battery was defective, but I wouldn't chance it and send it back.

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  28. The seller is cam.plus. I am now deb.ating to get my money back or just have them ship another one. The price was good. I only paid $55.

    Simone

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    Replies
    1. Get them to ship you another one. The price is a good one. But if you do have concerns ask for your money back and order from hkequipment. Either way, I know the product is normally solid, so I would expect your second one to come with no issues.

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  29. Thanks Terrance. I did inform them to send me another one....it is just a long wait. I will be back to chat once I received the new one.
    Thanks again. See ya soon

    Simone

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  30. Hi there, thank you for sharing! Will thi swork togehter with 5D Mark III?
    Best Mik

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    Replies
    1. Yes it will work fine on the 5DmkIII and any EOS with the correct cable. I've personally tested it on Nikon and Olympus systems with no issues.

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  31. Hi Terrance, great info, could you tell me if there is any way to avoid the 1 sec delay in continuous mode,I would like to shoot 8fps bursts with my 7D, the only way I can do it is to put the 7D in High continuous mode & the remote in Bulb mode, is there any other way?

    Thanks

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    Replies
    1. No, unfortunately you can't. What you're doing is the best way to do it, but it means you have to hit your button twice. The continuous mode doesn't work the way you'd expect it to so using the bulb mode on the remote to lock the button down is your best bet.

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  32. Terrance: Thanks much for your comments. At the risk of repetition, you're much clearer than the manual. My question: I'm setting up the unit to do random burst modes: unit set to Bulb, camera (Canon 60D) set to Continuous Shooting. So, when birds land on the feeder, I can start the unit taking multiple shots until I stop the unit. Unfortunately, the unit turns itself off after a very short time, and I have to turn it back on, and scroll over to Bulb. Do you know of any way to keep the unit turned on for a longer period, say, five minutes or so? Thanks again.

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    1. I'm not sure I fully understand why you are using bulb mode to take multiple shots. Unfortunately it does time out which is annoying at times but I've gotten used to pushing the D-pad over to bulb and starting it up.

      Something you might want to consider for doing bird feeder shots is using Magic Lantern which can set up the internal AF of your camera to become a motion trigger.

      Magic Lantern is available for the 60D free at this URL: http://www.magiclantern.fm/

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  33. I'm searching for a good remote/intervalometer
    Does anybody knows how it compares to hahnel giga pro II?
    thank you

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    Replies
    1. I don't have first hand experience with the Pro II. I have used the Pro I and wasn't bad to use.

      The giga pro II does have one advantage over the latest edition of the Pixel remote in that somewhere the line, Pixel removed the port on the remote that allowed you to use it wired. For me this has become very handy when the transmitter runs out of battery power. Not sure why they made that change, but based on that alone, I would go for the Giga Pro II instead.

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  34. Hi Terrance,

    Just got one of these myself for timelapse just a quick question.

    If i have metered the shot @ <1 sec would the setup be as follows:

    delay: 2 secs (i'm guessing this is the delay before it starts)
    Exposure: 0 secs
    Interval: 1 sec (for a nice smooth timelapse)
    shots: -- (so i can keep going)

    i have read that it handles >= 1 sec exposure in several places but cant find anything on < 1 sec exposure

    (i'm thinking for timelapsing clouds on a bright sunny day for example)

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    Replies
    1. don't bother with delay, but that sounds correct. You just want to have enough time to ensure that the full cycle runs it's course on the camera before it takes the next shot.

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  35. Dear Terrance,

    I just wanted to comment on your excellent blog, about this subject. I just ordered the Timer and can't wait to use it. All my questions are answered right here! Everything I needed to know. Thank you.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Dennis

    ReplyDelete

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