long exposure

Shooting long exposures usually needs a tripod and a way to release the shutter without touching the camera. You can use the Canon Camera Connect app to trigger long exposures using a WiFi connection.

Thanks to a really great comment from Krisztián Balázs on my earlier post about EOS 5D Mark IV WiFi options I have three options as to how you can start long exposures with from your smartphone or tablet using Canon’s Camera Connect App.

Using the app also ensures that you don’t inadvertently move or dislodge the camera for optimal sharpness and minimal camera shake when you’re taking long exposures.

Depending on the duration of your long exposures, you might need to use one of these three solutions below.

  • Long exposures up to 30 seconds

  • Long exposures, started and stopped at will

  • Long exposures of a pre-determined duration


 

1. Long exposures up to 30 seconds

long exposures controlled from camera connect

  • Connect up the camera and the Canon Camera Connect app
  • Turn the mode dial to manual (M) or shutter priority (Tv) and choose the required shutter speed up to 30 seconds
  • Start the remote shooting function in the app and tap the shutter button to start the exposure

This would be ok for relatively short exposures, where the camera’s available settings are suitable. Available settings are 30s, 25s, 20s, 15s, 13s, 10s, 8s. If you need a 17 second exposure you’ll need one of the other methods.

2. Long exposures, started and stopped at will

long exposures with bulb mode controlled with camera connect

  • Connect up the camera and the Canon Camera Connect app
  • Turn the mode dial to bulb (B) or if your camera doesn’t have B mode, then choose manual and run the shutter speed past 30s to bulb
  • Start the remote shooting function in the app and tap the shutter button to start the exposure, the screen displays Shooting and has a timer in the top left corner that shows how many seconds and minutes have elapsed. Tap the on-screen shutter button again to end the exposure

This would be good when you want to start the exposure but are not sure when to finish it. If you shoot fireworks, you might want to open the shutter and then when a firework has lit up the sky you could tap on the app to end the exposure.

3. Long exposures of a pre-determined duration

Use the camera bulb timer to determine the duration of the long exposures.

long exposures determined by the bulb timer
long exposures determined by the bulb timer

long exposures with bulb mode controlled with camera connect

  • Connect up the camera and the Canon Camera Connect app
  • Turn the mode dial to bulb (B) and then hit MENU on the camera and navigate to the bulb timer function. This gives you the ability to set any time duration in seconds from 1 second to 99 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds for your bulb exposure
  • Start the remote shooting function in the app and tap the shutter button to start the exposure, the screen displays Shooting and has a timer in the top left corner that shows how many seconds and minutes have elapsed.
  • The exposure will finish when either the configured bulb timer has elapsed, OR when you tap the button the bottom of the app screen

This would be good when you want to start the exposure and either want a very specific duration for the exposure, or want to set a maximum limit for the exposure time. If you shoot fireworks, you might want to open the shutter and then when a firework has lit up the sky you could tap on the app to end the exposure, however you can use the bulb-timer to preset the maximum exposure duration.

Does you camera have the bulb timer for long exposures?

Not all EOS cameras have the bulb timer feature, so make sure to check your manual to find out.

Generally the bulb timer is only included in recent mid-range and advanced cameras including; EOS 80D, EOS 7D Mark II, EOS 5D Mark IV, EOS 5DS/5DS R and EOS-1D X Mark II.