Hähnel’s Giga T Pro II is an upgrade of their excellent remote control for dSLRs. New features include an On/Off switch on the transmitter, a continuous shooting mode that follows the speed you set on your dSLR, and an interval mode that leaves all other interval capable remotes biting the dust.
When about a year ago I received Hähnel’s Giga T Pro wireless remote control for review, I was enthusiastic about its capabilities, and unimpressed about some of the comments I read. Over the year that followed, I kept using this brilliant device only to discover how much of the blogs and so-called ‘experts’ blow up minor quirks of a device out of proportion (it’s not exclusive to devices, this behaviour; but that’s a different discussion). One of those disadvantages that were blown up as if it were enough to start world war 3 was the lack of an On/Off switch on the Giga T Pro transmitter.
Admittedly, the Giga T Pro and its successor’s transmitter use a rather expensive CR2032 battery. Batteries deplete when the device that uses them is turned on, but I over the year that I have used the Giga T Pro quite intensely I am still running off the original battery of the unit. Nevertheless, Hähnel equipped the Giga T Pro II with a tiny On/Off switch to please its customers. Apart from that, the Giga T Pro II looks the same. Its LCD screen is a bit more ‘grainy’ and the LED lights that you can switch on for when it’s dark, are less bright and turn off a tad quicker. All designed to make the battery last longer.
All modes of the Giga T Pro II behave the same as the old unit’s, except for continuous shooting and interval shooting. With the Giga T Pro’s implementation of continuous shooting I had a bit of a problem: the unit determined the shooting speed and that was never as high as my camera’s (5 fps). The Giga T Pro II has no problems with the high speed or slow speed of my camera’s continuous shooting mode. It just follows whatever the camera does. It behaves as a perfect ‘hold-down-the-shutter-button robot’ — and that is exactly what I want.
The interval mode of the Giga T Pro II, however, is what will get most people to buy the device. It’s no longer a simple interval timer, but a very sophisticated one. The interval timing capabilities of the new model are in fact worth the price of the whole unit by itself. The reason is simple: it’s an interval within an interval timer. Now, one of the other comments I kept reading while the year passed by was the lack of a good user guide. Although I’m not in favour of the sort of user guides that resemble a medical leaflet — which was the format of the first Giga T Pro’s manual — I never found the user guide to be unclear. If you just followed the instructions step by step, you were on your way very soon.
The user guide format has changed; it’s a booklet now. The interval timing has become a little more complicated, so I expect another year of complaining — although, this time, Hähnel has a really good YouTube presence where all the capabilities are explained. Aside of all the help you can get with this feature, I found it quite simple to understand and to implement.
It works as follows: you set your interval as you used to. This includes setting a delay, a number of shots, time in-between, etc. With the Giga T Pro II, you can now also set a number of times the first interval should be repeated, and the time in-between the sessions of the first interval. This dramatically expands the use cases for interval shooting. It’s of course great when you want to shoot the galaxy, but it will also be wonderfully useful for shooting wildlife (think of animals’ foraging patterns), stealth photographing (e.g. street photography), spontaneous portraits… and much more.
An example that I will be trying out is to go to a Saturday food market, plant my camera so that it doesn’t attract attention, and set it to shoot at an interval of 12 shots every 10 seconds, and repeat this pattern four times every five minutes. This will allow me to cover a longer period of time without wearing down the shutter mechanism too much, and with more variation in the audience and the scene between the interval sessions.
The Giga T Pro II costs approx. 80.00 Euros. They’ll be the best eighty Euros you’ve spent on peripheral camera equipment.