Sometimes you just need a second opinion. Of course we could tell you everything you need to know about the Unleashed. But to make the decision whether to get one, you probably also want to hear about the experiences of Unleashed users. That’s why we compiled a list of Unleashed reviews and videos that feature the Unleashed. We will update this list as more reviews are released.
One of the Unleashed’s greatest features is timelapse. In this article we want to introduce the concept of timelapses and how to create a timelapse with the Unleashed. Let us try to define the word timelapse in a few sentences:
“A timelapse is a sequence of photos taken over time. The photos are mostly taken at a certain frequency with a set interval time in between each photo. In the final result, the photo sequence is shown at a normal video frame rate (24-30 fps: frames per second), so time seems to move faster than usual, thus the word time lapse.”
Of course, you can also film something and then speed up the scene in post to have a similar effect. However, when creating a timelapse by taking interval shots, you have the freedom to choose the final frames per second rate. Additionally, you have every frame as a high quality photo so you can even create 8k time-lapse videos. And probably one of the biggest advantages – you don’t have to shoot an actual multi-hour long video with your camera.
To shoot a timelapse you can either take a photo every couple of seconds by hand (which we don’t recommend ;) ) or use an intervalometer. An intervalometer is basically a programmable camera trigger that takes the photos for you. There are different solutions out there serving this purpose, starting at under 100 EUR up to a couple of hundred Euros/Dollars. In the end, it depends on what you want to achieve.
With the intervalometer you can set the interval (after how many seconds the next photo should be taken) and how long you want to be shooting. As an example:
You want to take a timelapse of clouds passing by a mountain top. So you set up your camera with the intervalometer on a tripod and take a photo every 10 seconds for the next 3 hours. At the end you will have around 1080 photos. Combined in a video with a frame rate of 30 frames per seconds, you will have a video clip length of 36 seconds (1080/30 = 36). As you can see, there’s a little bit of math involved if you have a certain idea of how long the clip should be at the end.
Creating time lapses with the Unleashed
We think timelapses are fantastic things to capture and can add great value to your b-roll and videos. So we’re especially proud of the well-designed timelapse feature in the Unleashed. Apart from automatically showing you the expected clip length and amount of photos you will take (especially useful to see if your SD card still has enough space), the Unleashed app also gives you the option to do auto-ramped timelapses to capture day-to-night or night-to-day transitions where the camera settings change over time. This means you don’t have to manually adjust the exposure to match the changing light conditions. Check out our support video on the Holy Grail timelapse feature.
If you want to start with a simple timelapse, you can also check our FAQ and video on that feature. Nevertheless, we’d like to give a brief overview here, as well.
When you open the app it is set to Photo mode. Click the 3 yellow lines in the bottom left corner to get to the menu and select Timelapse.
The top area of the screen shows a summary of the camera’s current settings. You can change those settings by tapping on that area to see the detailed camera settings.
In the center area you can set the interval i.e. in what frequency a photo should be taken, and the duration i.e. for how long the camera should take photos.
Below that, the app calculates how many photos will be taken and what the expected clip length will be at 30 frames per second.
In the top right corner of the screen, the app shows tips, warnings and errors. While you’ll be able to start a timelapse with tips and warnings, errors will grey out the start button. For example, the app will warn you when your SD card doesn’t have enough space for all the photos to be taken during the timelapse.
To start, just tap the button at the bottom center. Once it’s started, the smartphone does not need to remain connected or in range for the Unleashed to finish the timelapse.
Once all photos are captured, you can either directly import them into a video editing software to create the video, give them a quick brush in lightroom, or get the most out of the timelapse by using a software like LRTimelapse to smooth the pictures transitions perfectly.
Feel free to share this blog post or comment below if you’ve found it helpful. Stay tuned as we’re going to give you more professional insights on timelapses with the help of one of our brand ambassadors and expert timelapse photographer.
Upon popular demand, we introduced the Long Exposure feature last summer. The Unleashed offers many technical possibilities, so it was a logical step to implement this. Thus the Unleashed replaces another essential part of a classic intervalometer – in addition to interval photography, it also enables bulb photography without touching the camera. In addition, the Unleashed also offers the possibility to define the length of the photo as desired – just press the shutter once and the rest happens automatically. More on this below. This replaced the Unleashed’s flash compensation feature, which we noticed most users weren’t using much, and made room for the Long Exposure feature. Here’s an overview of how to take stellar long exposures with your Unleashed!
Definition of long exposure photography
In case you’re new to the topic, here is a quick definition: a long exposure is any photo taken with a shutter speed much longer than usual, about 1 second and longer. This allows you to photograph very dark subjects like night skies and capture intentional motion blur in photos. The long exposure time smooths out the movement of water, clouds, cars, etc. creating very smooth, flowing effects.
Using the Unleashed App for long exposures
The first thing you need to know about long exposures are the three ways you can create one. For the first one you simply need to set your exposure time to bulb, making sure you are in manual (M) mode, and hold down the shutter button for as long as you want the exposure to be. This works well up until a certain point, but imagine holding it down for minutes, let alone hours.
Here is where the Long Exposure Duration setting comes in: it allows you to select a precise time in 1/3rd stop increments for up to 4.6 hours. Or choose time mode where you press once to open and once more to close the shutter. In both modes the Unleashed will keep the trigger pressed, so you no longer have to hold it manually. Of course you can also cancel at an earlier time. As usual, the Unleashed keeps shooting even when you close the app, or go out of range with your phone – no need to stay connected or keep the app on!
The long exposure feature is perfect for night photography, star trails, light painting and working with ND filters. For more inspiration and in-depth information on long exposures, check out our blog article about it here.
We hope this helps you better understand and use the Long Exposure function of your Unleashed. Make sure to tag us if you use it – we look forward to your shots!
Just before Christmas we finally received the custom made USB-C cables from our supplier. This means that now the Nikon Z7 and Nikon Z6 are officially and fully supported by the Unleashed N2!
Even though the Unleashed N2 was already mostly compatible with the Nikon Z6 and Z7, the optional USB cable gives you access to a few more features, such as photo review. We already had 3 different USB cable types for the various Nikon cameras, but unfortunately, Nikon added yet another USB socket when they released the Z series: both the Z6 and Z7 have USB-C sockets. And while it was possible to use the Micro USB cable with a USB-C adapter, that setup would protrude significantly from the side of the Z series camera. So of course we went and designed another custom cable with a beautiful, tiny, right-angled plugs – one end with our custom plug that fits the Unleashed, and the other end a USB-C plug that fits the Nikon cameras perfectly, without the need for any adapters. Now, it’s finally here!
This means you can now use the entire Unleashed feature-set on Nikons Z6 and Z7! In addition to geotagging, shooting time lapses, remotely changing settings, and starting and stopping video, and all that was already possible without the cable, you can now also get thumbnails transferred to you phone, see a few more setting details, and try out the LRTimelapse-based auto-ramping algorithms for smooth day to night “holy-grail” time lapses! See this FAQ for the exact details.
So now is the perfect time to get your Unleashed for your Nikon Z6 or Z7!
A few weeks ago, we released app and firmware updates that enable a handful of external GPS receivers to be paired directly with the Unleashed, to provide GPS location data for geotagging without the need of a smartphone.
This is great news for those customers that were unhappy with their smartphone’s location precision, or simply prefer a more independent geotagging solution. This might be to extend battery life of the smartphone, or to enjoy longer battery life of external GPS receivers, especially on long trips off the grid.
The compatible GPS Receivers are:
Holux M-241 Plus
QStarz BL-818GT *new*
After pairing one of these GPS receivers with your Unleashed through the app (Menu->Your Unleasheds->Edit Unleashed->Accessories), you will see new GPS Modes in the first picker of the GPS settings. In addition to “OFF” and “Smartphone”, you will now also have the options “External GPS only” as well as “External GPS with smartphone fallback” (We hope the new icons make it clear which is which). The first new option will exclusively use GPS data from the external GPS, and not of the smartphone, whereas the second option will use the external GPS while it’s available and providing valid data, but will automatically fall back to using the smartphone location otherwise.
We’ve also added a few new LED colors/sequences to make using the Unleashed without the app a little easier:
Lightblue: when an Accessory (such as a GPS receiver) is connected, but the app is not connected, the led will slowly pulse lightblue instead of turqoise.
Red blink: alternating with the normal sequences, the Unleashed will blink red to show that there is an error, until now mostly GPS related errors. You can then start the app to see details about the error, or simply check that the the external GPS receiver has a Fix and is connected. Some of these errors are:
External GPS receiver not connected (even if it then uses Smartphone fallback)
GPS data not valid (even if using last known position)
GPS accuracy too low
Comparing the receivers
The Holux has the Unique feature that it uses a single AA battery, for which you can buy replacements anywhere in the world. At the same time battery life is not as good as with the rechargeable Li-Ion batteries of the other options. The QStarz devices provide a little more data than the other two receivers [update: Transystem caught up], and we’ve implemented a neat little feature where you can use the POI button on the Receiver to trigger the camera. But they are also the most expensive. We recommend the BL-1000ST rather than the BL-1000GT, since the Unleashed will not make use of the 10Hz update rate, so it is not worth the extra cost. The BL-818GT doesn’t support the triggering functionality, as it lacks logging, and thus the button is not for POI saving. The Transystem device is more affordable than Qstarz, while providing just as precise position data, but has a quirk that it uses a non-standard USB-A to USB-A charging/data cable. So don’t lose that!
Right from the start, we had planned to make the Unleashed directly compatible with external GPS receivers, but technical challenges forced us to decide against pursuing backwards compatibility to GPS receivers using Bluetooth Classic. Unfortunately, at the time of Launch that basically left us with no options, since virtually all GPS receivers used Bluetooth Classic. However, in the past few years, the above devices were released, so we put a lot of effort into making the Unleashed compatible with external accessories in general, and added support for each of the GPS receivers one after the other.
While we had to reverse engineer Holux’s Bluetooth Protocol (and we got the Date portion wrong for a while), QStarz was kind enough to provide documentation that allowed us to implement support for their devices much more quickly. Transystem went one step further: They used a standard protocol defined by the Bluetooth SIG, and when we found a small issue with their implementation and had additional wishes, they swiftly made changes and added support for those in a firmware update. So a big thank you to both QStarz and Transystem for your support!
So, finally, the Unleashed now enables direct geotagging with external GPS receivers for Nikon as well as Canon DSLRs!
A couple of weeks ago we published a new app update for iOS and Android. Not only does it fix many bugs and improves overall performance and stability, it also includes a first firmware update for your Unleashed. This firmware update will fix all known bugs and issues that were caused by, or had something to do with the firmware on the Unleashed. Check out our forum entry “What are UNLEASHED’s 1.0 known issues?” to get detailed infos on what’s exactly been fixed.
In case you haven’t done the update yet, here’s a quick explanation. To get the firmware update you need to update the app first. Once you did this, the update will be available in your Unleashed profile in the app. To install the firmware update, make sure the Unleashed is plugged in, the camera is turned on and the app is connected. Tap “Install Update” and the magic happens. Updating will take about two minutes and once it’s done, a big checkmark will appear. For all Canon users: Please keep your camera “awake” by half-pressing the shutter button of the camera every ten seconds. This is necessary so the Unleashed gets power.
We are continuously working on the Unleashed and are planning to provide app and firmware updates on a regularly basis. The next update will probably include new features that we will announce at some point in the future.
If you have any feedback, please let us know. You can either have a look at our forum or write us an email to our info@ address. Thanks for your on-going support. Let’s continue to make a great product even greater! :-)
When you order the Unleashed, it comes in a beautifully designed box. In order to get started, all you need to do is to install the free Foolography Unleashed app, plug the Unleashed into your camera and start the app to connect. We designed and developed everything with the goal that you won’t need a manual. However, we did get some feedback that a couple of explanations would be helpful. That’s why we shot several How-To-Videos that you can find on our support page. So if you’re still wondering how some of the modes work, check out the videos that explain all features in detail. The tutorials come with English and German subtitles as well as text transcripts so you can get the most out of your Unleashed.