Tech Tip #8 -What’s New in Radian 2?

This week I’ll be diving under the hood of Radian 2 a bit to explain exactly what’s different from Radian 1, and what exciting opportunities these new features open up!

Bluetooth Low Energy Connectivity

Radian 2 has Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) electronics that allow it to communicate with pretty much any smartphone on the market today. In addition, the BLE protocol allows users to quickly connect with multiple devices at once from their phone, unlike with standard Bluetooth or Wifi which require a fairly involved pairing process. One of the biggest improvements this will bring for every-day use is that you no longer need a cable between your phone and your Radian and your phone can actually get real-time updates from your Radian to keep track of how your time-lapse is doing. It will also make it easy to adjust settings on the fly, as things change in your frame.

Another handy use for wireless control is that multiple Radians can be programmed and synchronized at once from your phone. With the original Radian, this had to be done by pre-programming your units and then manually starting them at the same time. With the new Radian, you can easily shoot with multiple axes and know that your camera is still during the photo.

USB Camera Control

Although the current Radian can make a USB connection to a computer, it cannot act as a host device meaning it cannot control your camera. Because of this we are moving to a new processor and electronics that will allow us to control your camera through its USB port. This allows Radian 2 to control pretty much all of your camera’s settings (shutter speed, aperture, iso). Radian will also be able to check your camera settings before you start your time lapse and warn you if your shutter speed and interval are incompatible. In addition, Radian can even verify that a photo has been taken when commanded, which is incredibly helpful if your camera starts to slow down due to a nearly-full memory card or a low battery and it can wait and try again if your camera does miss a photo.

Advanced ISO and Shutter Speed Bulb Ramping

The coolest thing about USB control is that now makes Bulb Ramping much more powerful. Previously the shortest shutter speeds were limited to ~1/10 of a second, meaning that by the time a sunset was done, you would often need shutter speeds of 30 seconds or more. With USB control though, we can set shutter speeds down to 1/1000 of a second (depends on your camera) and even adjust your ISO during the time-lapse if your shutter speed starts to get too long (or too short in the case of sunrises).

Bluetooth + USB

While BLE and USB are both great in isolation, the combination allows for some really cool features. You can now control your camera’s image preview screen from your phone to make it easy to check up on your exposure or histogram without shaking your camera. Or you can stay in your seat and use the time-lapse preview mode to move thumbnail images from your camera to your phone!

You can also adjust your camera settings on the fly if your exposure starts to drift a bit (like when it gets cloudy) and you can take full manual control during bulb ramps without having to constantly poke, prod, and shake your camera. As stretch goals, we’re also looking into moving histogram data to your phone and providing a full time lapse preview on your phone so that you can be absolutely sure your shot is going perfectly.


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