The Panasonic Lumix GF1 makes for a great little walking around camera, especially with the 20mm f/1.7 pancake lens. But one of my few complaints about it is that it doesn’t have a built-in intervalometer to take time-lapse shots. It seems like a pretty basic thing to include and presumably something that could fairly easily be added by a firmware update if Panasonic was so inclined. So far they haven’t been.
JJC TM-D Multi-Function Timer Remote Control
But for about $50-$70 you can get a third-party timer cable release that does the job quite nicely. There are a few variants, including the JJC TM-D Multi-Function Timer Remote Control, the RainbowImaging LCD Timer Remote Control, the RainbowImaging Wireless LCD Timer Remote Control. The specific one I use is the JJC TM-D Multi-Function Timer Remote Control, sometimes sold under different listings online. The key thing to look for is the letter following the “TM-“. JJC also makes remotes for a bunch of other cameras with different connectors (details here), but the one that’s compatible with the GF1 is the TM-D. And it’s worth shopping around–the price varies quite a bit online.
While it’s not as flexible as the built-in intervalometer in the Nikon D300 I usually use for time-lapse–you can’t specify more than one shot per second, for example–it does work quite nicely.
What’s in the Box
Nags & Niggles
I do have a few quibbles with it, though. Firstly, it’s not as slender as it could be, which is mainly a concern because the big reason I carry around the GF1 in the first place is that it’s small. Secondly, and annoyingly, although you can set a number of activations, the maximum you can set is 399, which is fine for short clips, but not much good for longer ones. Of course, for longer clips it’s easy enough just not to set any limit and leave it running. But still, 399 seems rather arbitrary and there are times it’d be handy to have a higher number (999?) available. I’ve yet to see how long the batteries last in the remote, but will no doubt find out when I start experimenting with long-term time-lapse with the GF1 power by an AC power supply. And finally, the settings reset each time you turn it back on, so you need to reset each shoot.
But overall, I find it very handy to add time-lapse capability to my GF1. There are all sorts of times it’s not convenient to be carrying around a big DSLR, and the timer remote makes the GF-1 just that much more useful to me.
Specs From the JJC Website
- Full functions supported as the camera shutter switch (with halfway or complete pressing)
- Functions as a timer remote and can be programmed to function as an intervalometer
- Design for group, macro, long exposures, continuous, motion shooting, etc.
- Energy saving design
- Timer delay: 0s to 99hrs 59min 59s in 1s increments
- Exposure time: 0s to 99hrs 59min 59s in 1s increments
- Interval: 0s to 99hrs 59min 59s in 1s increments
- Power source: Two AAA-type batteries
- Battery life: Approximately two months of continuous shooting with a delay of 5 min, an exposure time of 4 min 56 s, and an interval of 5 min.
- Weight: 90g (without batteries)
- Length of Cord: 90cm
Iwo Jima Memorial
This time-lapse snippet of the Iwo Jima Memorial (Marine Corps Memorial) next to Arlington National Cemetery was taken with the Panasonic GF1, 20mm f1.7 lens, a tripod, and a JJC TM-D Multi-Function Timer Remote Control.
19th and K Street
This time-lapse snippet of the corner of K Street and 19th Street in downtown Washington DC was also taken with the Panasonic GF1, 20mm f/1.7 lens, a tripod, and a JJC TM-D Multi-Function Timer Remote Control.
Taken with the Panasonic GF1, 20mm f/1.7 lens, a tripod, and a JJC TM-D Multi-Function Timer Remote Control.