Getting Started

A typical set for high speed photography includes the following components: Universal Photo Timer, a flash cable and a sensor.

You will need some of your own equipment as well. It includes a camera, a flash and a tripod.

A DSLR camera is typically the best choice, however you can perform high speed photography with virtually any camera. You can also use any flash, however typically a small battery operated speed light offers shorter flash durations compared to large studio flashes.

A typical darkroom sequence to capture popping balloons or smashing on object (using sound trigger) is as follows:

  • Open camera shutter in your camera (in bulb).
  • Pop a balloon or smash/drop an object.
  • The microphone (UPT_MIC1 or UPT_MIC2) picks-up the sound.
  • Create a delay with the Timer as needed.
  • After the delay, the Timer activates the flash to make the exposure.
  • Close the shutter.

Typical darkroom sequence to capture a falling drop is as follows:

  • Open camera shutter in your camera (in bulb).
  • Release a drop
  • Optical sensor detects a drop (UPT_OS1)
  • Create a delay with the timer as needed (for example it takes approximately 0.45sec for an object to fall 3ft)
  • After the delay the Timer activates the flash to make the exposure
  • Close the shutter

In order to use the timer for time-lapse photography (using infrared interface), all you need to do is the following:

  • Setup the timer to create multiple exposures. You can configure the interval and number of exposures up to 9999. Practical limit on the interval between exposures is 30 minutes, depending on the camera.
  • Setup your camera in a tripod. Enable the infrared receiver in your camera. Point the Timer at the infrared receiver of the camera and activate the Timer.
  • The Timer take pictures at regular intervals.

Universal Photo Timer Selection

There are two options when buying Universal Photo Timer:

  • UPT_KIT1B. This timer provides you with full programmable photographic timer functions (with built-in infrared camera control), flash and camera trigger, flash slave unit and strobe controller.
  • UPT_KIT1C. This kit offers most of the features of UPT_KIT1B plus solenoid and valve controller functions. The timer has been optimized to provide two completely independent outputs. You can control time delay and duration of each the outputs

Flash Cable

Most high speed photography is done in a dark room with a flash. You can connect one or two flashes to the timer.

We currently sell an ISO hot shoe adapter. The adapter connects to the timer through a 3.5mm plug. Common flashes used for high speed photography are Canon Speedlite 430EX (II) / 580EX (II) or Nikon SB-400/SB-600/SB-800/SB-900/SB-910. Note that the flash needs to be set for manual mode with center pin triggering.

Camera Cables

If you camera your camera does not support infrared interface you have an option of using wired interface instead.

You need the shutter interface cable (UPT_CAB_INT1) and a PocketWizard style shutter cable. We stock shutter cables that are commonly used by Nikon and Canon cameras. Other camera connector types are available upon request. Please contact us for availability and pricing.


Visit our sensor page for more information.