Nodal Ninja Panoramic Photography Equipment
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Shutter Release Confirmation Basics – MECHA C1 and C2 Controllers – Updated

In this video, we are going to talk about the shutter release confirmation, how to check if it works, and how to use this feature.

Working principle:
Many cameras will output a flash trigger signal for each shutter release. This signal can be fed back to MECHA via the AUX port as a shutter release confirmation. However, there are some cases where flash output is disabled, and hence no shutter release confirmation is available. For example:
– Some camera manufacturers decided that flash should not be used in some scene modes.
– Some cameras will output flash signal at PC Sync port but not at their flash shoe in some modes.
– Flash is disabled in electronic shutter mode for cameras with slow sensor readout. This includes the Silent Mode.
– Even if flash is available in electronic shutter mode, it may be disabled for some shutter speeds.

It is recommended to use mechanical shutter mode for maximum compatibility with the shutter release confirmation feature.

So, what are the advantages of using this feature?
With this feature enabled, MECHA will make sure the specified number of images are triggered, before it moves to the next position. This prevents missing shots that can ruin the final panorama. It also greatly simplifies the time delay settings. MECHA will use the shortest delay time automatically. This is critical when light is changing quickly.


We will load a single-axis preset, for example, Test 131. First, we will select the preset, then use the Load button to load it. Notice the letter "F" at the beginning of the preset name, which stands for "Factory". 

When creating a preset on the /row page of the User Interface, you can set the duration of the shutter button signal, and also the delay after each trigger sequence. In this case, the exposure set in your camera should not exceed the sum of these two values.

Let's see how shutter release confirmation feature can greatly simplify the setting! When the camera is in single shooting mode, we will select "E: SHT C." option. Then, for each trigger signal sent to your camera, MECHA will wait until one shutter confirmation comes through its AUX port, via a PC Sync cable. So you have to set your camera to take pictures with this in mind.

Factory presets cannot be overwritten, but can be saved with a different name. Before clicking the save button to save the preset, you can add a note in this field, which will be saved along with the preset settings. It is good to give presets suggestive names.

Let's now create another preset. When the camera is in continuous shooting mode, we will select the "E: SHT C1" option. Then, MECHA will send only one trigger signal, regardless of the TRG value, and wait for a number of shutter confirmations equal to the TRG value, and only then continue with the next position in the preset. This is useful when you set your camera for bracketing in continuous shooting mode. So, the shutter button only needs to be pressed once, and the camera takes automatically the whole bracketing set as quickly as possible. Please note that some cameras revert to single shooting mode when the exposure is long.

MECHA uses two types of shutter release confirmation. By default, it uses the new type, as the "Use New Shutter Confirmation" option is enabled in the /config page. Depending on the camera used, the shutter release confirmation may not work with this option enabled. We recommend that you disable it in this case. If this option is disabled, MECHA will use the old shutter confirmation type. 

For MECHA Dual Axis Combo, if your camera is connected to the vertical MECHA (or MECHA-V), and the confirmation is via the AUX Port of MECHA V, the "Shutter Confirmation via other MECHA" needs to be enabled in the /config page of horizontal MECHA (or MECHA-H).

To be able to create presets and change settings in the /config page, you only need a MECHA controller and a smartphone to connect to the MECHA's Wi-Fi network. But to be able to use some features, like shutter release confirmation, you need some accessories, in addition to the basic photography equipment. The most important is the cable for shutter release confirmation, to connect the Aux Port of the MECHA Controller used and the PC Sync Port of your camera. If your camera does not have a PC Sync Port, then you need a Flash Shoe to PC Sync Adapter. 

Shutter release confirmation and IR remote control are possible simultaneously, by using the IR Remote Commander and Receiver for MECHA. In this case, connect the receiver to the Aux Port of the C1 or C2 Controller used, and connect the cable for shutter release confirmation to the female jack of the receiver.

Now you should check if the shutter release confirmation works. On the C2 controller, find the "Shutter CONF. TEST" option, on page 6 of the Config Menu, then press the center button to launch the test. Next, trigger the camera a few times, manually, by pressing the camera’s trigger button, or using a camera remote. Note that if no action is detected, the test ends automatically after 10 seconds of idling. Now MECHA will count the shutter detections from your camera, via its AUX port, and show on C2’s display the number of detections, after 10 seconds of idling. For example, if you trigger the camera 4 times, the display should show ":4", if the test is successful. If the "Shutter CONF. TEST" fails, perform the test again with the "Use New Shutter Confirmation" disabled on the /config page.

There is also a code to test the shutter release confirmation, and you need to use it on the C1 controller. Launch the test by entering the code as usual: 32313 and left arrow button. Then trigger the camera a few times, manually, by pressing the camera’s trigger button, or using a camera remote. Note that if no action is detected, the test ends automatically after 10 seconds of idling. Now MECHA will count the shutter detections from your camera, via its AUX port, and show on LEDs the number of detections, after 10 seconds of idling. For example, if you trigger the camera 4 times, the LEDs should show ":4", if the test is successful. If the test fails, perform the test again with the "Use New Shutter Confirmation" disabled on the /config page. 

Use the "E:SHT C1" and "E:SHT C." options in presets only if the shutter release confirmation test is successful. Otherwise, use the "E:BTN>C." or "E:BTN>CT" option instead, meaning button confirmation.

In order to properly execute a preset, MECHA needs to know the position of the upper rail of your panoramic head. Our upper rail is in the parked position, so we will use the P (parked) button to inform MECHA about that, then use the L (level) button to go from Parked to Level, but switch to Go first. Then click the button. Now our camera is in the correct position for shooting, and we can load the first preset created earlier, which consists of 6 shots around, or 6 positions. Either the LEFT or RIGHT button can be used to launch a preset. With "E: SHT C" option specified in our preset, MECHA will send the first trigger signal for opening the shutter and wait until the shutter release confirmation comes through its AUX port, via the PC Sync cable. Then the second trigger signal, then the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and then it will return to the starting position. 

We will load now the second preset, where the TRG value is 3, and launch the preset with the RIGHT button. MECHA will send one trigger signal, as the option specified in our preset is "E:SHT C1", and will continue only after it receives 3 confirmations, as TRG is 3. Same for the other five positions in the preset. 

The STOP button can be used to stop the preset, and the Cancel button, to cancel the wait, if needed. 

When using the button confirmation options ("E:BTN>C." or "E:BTN>CT"), MECHA does not automatically proceed to the next position in the preset, but waits for you to press the right arrow button on the controller to continue.


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