Advanced Remote Control for DSLRs

Shooting up to 45 bracketed images for HDR unattended, time-lapse, bulb ramping, focus stacking, and a hyperfocal distance calculator all wrapped in a device the size of an iPod—that's the Promote Control. It prefers Canon and Nikon cameras, but will work with many other DSLRs. With my Sony Alpha A700, bulb ramping, bulb HDR, time-lapse, and the calculator all worked. (Note: If you have a question about whether your camera is compatible with the Promote Control, please contact Promote Systems' technical support via their website.)

The Promote Control is a palm-sized, processor-controlled unit. Since the unit came to market, firmware updates have added impressive new features; however, for many of these, your DSLR must accept commands over USB and write to memory card simultaneously. On fully supported cameras, you may only need the special USB cable that ships with the unit, but with my Sony, I needed a special PC-sync ($29.95) and an optional Promote Systems shutter cable ($18.95).

I tested the Promote Control with the features that were available and found that I could combine functionality, as well. For example, bulb HDR can be combined with time-lapse so that you can create HDR time-lapse videos. Many features have several options, even manually mounting neutral-density filters when bulb ramping.

Everything can be customized, from the Promote Control's LCD screen color to your camera's ISO limits. HDR bracketing can be set to 9.0 EV steps apart. While the Promote Control wasn't difficult to use, I recommend that you first read the user guide because of its many capabilities.

Even though the camera I tested it with isn't fully supported, I was impressed with how this unit expands your camera's functionality and creative possibilities.

Company: Promote Systems
Price: $329 (base unit)
Rating: 5
Hot:  Controls; capabilities; form factor