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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General Operations

- What is the shutter cable and do I need it?

The shutter cable is an optional cable that connects the Promote Control to the Remote Shutter port (Remote Shutter/GPS port in Nikon) of your camera. It allows pre-focusing your camera before executing sequences, enables long exposures in Bulb mode (>30 seconds exposures require shutter cable) and Mirror Lock-Up (M-Up). Also, in most cases it significantly accelerates the sequence compared to USB-only mode by reducing intervals between the shots. The shutter cable along with the Bulb Ramping Assistant Kit is required for Bulb Ramping.

- I connected my shutter cable but nothing changed. Why is that?

Please remember to enable your shutter cable in the Promote Setup menu, which you can access by simultaneously pressing Left and Right buttons. Then, navigate to page #2 and select "Yes". Now your Promote Control knows that the shutter cable is connected. Also, once you unplug the cable, you should disable it in the Promote Setup menu as well.

- I connected and enabled my shutter cable but now I cannot access the menu on my camera!

Make sure to push your cable into its port firmly until it is snapped in place. If the problem persists, please contact our Support.

- What is Mirror Lock-Up (M-Up) and when I should use it?

Normally, if Live View mode is not enabled, the mirror is raised before each shutter release. After the frame is taken, it goes back down so you can see the scene in the viewfinder. Mirror movement generates vibrations (especially when the camera is mounted on a tripod) that can ruin a long-exposed frame. To avoid that, the mirror can be raised a few seconds before the shutter actuation to quench the vibrations and take an exposure with a perfectly still camera. Promote Control allows Mirror Lock-Up functionality with adjustable delay between mirror-up and shutter release (please note that a shutter cable is required).

Important! Standard Mirror Lock-up mode assumes that the mirror is raised before each shot in the sequence. Hence, if you have 7 frames in your HDR bracket, the mirror will go up and down 7 times. However, Canon cameras equipped with Live View allow raising the mirror only once per sequence - please see the instructions here. Unfortunately, this does not apply to Nikon cameras with Live View.

- How do I update the firmware? The .zip archive contains a strange .bin file and I don't know what to do next.

You should download and install the Firmware Update Application (we have both PC and Mac versions) first and then use it to open the unzipped firmware (.bin file). Please note that the Promote Control should stay powered off by holding the Mode button while connecting the device to your computer via the white USB cable. Once you connect the Promote Control to your Mac/PC you can release the Mode button. Please visit our Support page www.promote-control.com/support to download latest firmware versions and Firmware Update Applications. You will also find a video tutorial that will guide you through the update process.

- How do I contact Support?

If you have searched for and not found the answer to your question in the online manual the quickest way to contact support is by completing a support ticket.

Important! Please make sure to include cust_support@promotesystems.com to the safe-sender list. If you have not received a response from us within 48 hours, please check your spam folder or log in to the Ticket system and check if your ticket was updated.


- I programmed my Promote to take a 9-frame bracket but I am getting only 4 or 5 frames in each bracket. What is wrong?

Looks like your camera does not have enough time to process images. You can try to increase USB Frame Delay (or Shutter Cable Frame Delay if you are using a shutter cable) in the Promote Setup menu (Left+Right buttons simultaneously) to increase the interval between frames and thus give your camera more time to process and write images. Also, please make sure that the AutoFocus is disabled - occasional focus hunting before each shot can interfere with the sequence and often results in skipped frames. Alternatively, you can decrease quality of images in your camera (JPEG only, no RAW) or get a faster memory card. Finally, make sure the Bulb Ramp Assist Cable is disconnected in any modes except Bulb Ramping or Bulb HDR - it can interfere with proper sequence completion in other modes.

- I see you support mostly Canon and Nikon DSLRs. Why is my [Olympus, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Canon G-series, etc] camera not in the list?

The camera has to be able to perform tethered shooting via USB. That is, if you connect your camera to the computer via USB, you should be able to change camera parameters and trigger exposures from your computer. If the camera lacks this ability, the Promote also won't be able to control it.

- Why can I only shoot Bulb HDRs on my Sony A-series camera? It can do tethered shooting!

That's right. Unfortunately, when Sony cameras see an active USB connection, they try to send the pictures back via USB cord without storing it on the memory card. Therefore, you can program your bracket and ask the camera to shoot it but those images will never appear on the memory card. In Bulb HDR, however, the exposures are timed via a shutter cable (without USB) so this limitation is not applicable.

- Why isn't the Sony NEX or A7 line compatible?

As stated above, Sony cameras simply do not write images to their memory card during tethered shooting over USB. This rules out the use of USB. And Bulb HDR/Bulb Ramping is not possible because NEX cameras have no shutter cable port.

Time Lapse

- I would like to use my pano head to shoot moving HDR Time Lapses or panoramas with the Promote Control. Is it possible?

Yes, absolutely. The Promote Control has an AUX (Remote Sensor) port which has the same format as Canon Rebel's shutter port (2.5mm TRS). Simply connect your Promote Control to your pano head using an appopriate cable for Canon Rebel, hook your camera up to the Promote via shutter cable and/or USB cable and fire away!

Focus Stacking

- Why there is limited Focus Stacking support for Nikon?

In regular Focus Stacking, the focal planes are controlled via the back LCD screen in Live View. It works perfectly well for Canons but Nikon cameras shut off Live View when USB is active. Instead, they try to send the Live View image back via USB to the imaginary computer with a big LCD screen. Therefore, the start and end focal points cannot be set using the Promote and instead have to be controlled using focus scale on the lens (with Promote firmware version 2.91 and higher).