Last weekend I set out on a quick camping trip to make the most of some gorgeous clear weather we had here in British Columbia. Of course, I took the 7D Mark II with me as part of my ongoing test program for it and this time I’d planned to shoot some night sky images, particularly some star trails. Since I needed to carry both camera gear AND camping gear, I transferred things into a much larger hiking pack. I thought that I’d got everything, but I was in a rush and unfortunately the one thing that I managed to forget was my bag of remote cable releases. A pretty essential accessory for star trails where you want to set up an intervalometer to capture a long series of long exposures for stacking later in Photoshop. Kicking myself, I thought I’d have to make do with single images and not a star trail. The temperature was well below zero degrees and I wasn’t about to stand there and press the button 150 times at 30-second intervals! Then it struck me…..the 7D Mark II has a built-in intervalometer!
Canon 7D Mark II @iso3200 with Canon 24mm f/1.4 L II
Yes for the first time ever, Canon has included an intervalometer in the menu of the 7D Mark II and I was able to set it up to shoot the star trail shot you see here. It’s not quite such a flexible solution as the remote cable control since it doesn’t allow you to define exposure lengths of longer than 30 seconds, but in a pinch, it’ll do an admirable job. Now I know I shouldn’t really get so happy about a feature that, let’s be honest, should have been in cameras 5+ years ago…… but what the heck! It saved my ass! In fact, I can definitely see myself shooting more images like this simply because it’s so quick and easy to set it up. Put your camera into manual exposure mode, set the exposure number to 00 (infinite) in the intervalometer menu and then just press the shutter button once and it’ll happily click away until the battery runs out!
Hi Dan. I remember your previous post about the intervalometer saying that it was limited:
“Unfortunately instead of giving us a useful feature, they took it as
an opportunity to slap users in the face by limiting the number of shots
Dear Canon, this is USELESS. That would produce a
timelapse lasting approximately 4 seconds. Are we supposed to be excited
Is this still the case or did they fix it with a firmware update?
Ah yes well remembered!! In fact it was purely Canon’s poor choice (even incorrect choice) or wording in their 7D release material. It IS possible to have it set to unlimited.
Interesting reading. I’m in the market for a new camera to take on off-road motorcycle trips, general travel and hiking, as well as a honeymoon on safari in Tanzania. Put simply, it’ll be used and abused, exposed to dusty as well as damp/wet environments and be shaken about. The 7D Mk2 looks great, but the weather proofing would surely be negated as the crop factor means that I would then also need to buy a 10-22 EF-S lens, in place of my current venerable 17-40mm. This lens doesn’t have the L-series weather seal, so surely rendering the body’s weather sealing useless?
For the same money, I could buy a 6D, but I hear that its weather proofing is shocking. So, instead, I’m looking to buy the 5D Mk3 which covers every angle seemingly, but I’m reticent about doing so, given that 5D Mk4 is expected sooner and the 6D Mk2 is rumoured… Your thoughts would be welcome! Thanks, Pete
That is a tricky situation. If you are that concerned about weather sealing then yes maybe you should wait for the 5d4. It will be announced in August. That said, you could also just carry around a light weight rain cover for the camera. Most people do this anyway. Weather sealing tends to be relied upon for emergencies.