Trigger precision: how to achieve the perfect camera shutter synchronization in a bullet-time shot

How to trigger all cameras at the same moment?

  1. Continuous lights
    1. Make sure you put the cameras on Stand-by mode at least half a second before taking the shot. To do so, fully press on the trigger button (or any triggering device you're using), wait half a second, then release to take the shot.
    2. (DSLRs) Use mirror lockup when possible
    3. If you're using a distributed architecture using Raspberry Pis or Windows clients, make sure you are using a very fast network architecture (1000Mbps minimum) with few or no daisy chaining of the network switches
    4. Make sure you are not using flickering lights. These are highly likely to get you random triggering patterns. Look for non-flickering constant lights. Fluorescent lights are highly likely to cause you some flickering issues that would look like trigger glitches
    5. Make sure that your shutter speed is not too fast. Above a certain shutter speed, depending on the camera model, you’re going to start seeing timing differences. 1/250s is usually a safe shutter speed, but you might have to go to 1/160s (blurrier, but looks more accurate)
    6. With older cameras, you are going to have a harder time to get perfect timing. There's a way to trick this by finding the sweet spot with the maximum perceptible delay. To do so, go in interval mode, start from 1ms interval and experiment with this. You'll get a slight movement ramping up in your shot, but it's going to look way better than a shaky video. Who likes shaky feet?
    7. (DSLRs) Make sure that no cameras are on live view
    8. Please note that the closer your cameras are, the more you're going to see minor triggering inconsistencies.
    9. Some cameras are less accurate, especially those that don't have mirror lockup (T6, T7, 2000d, 4000d). If you're using one of those models, you can experiment with the "accuracy compensation" slider in Trigger Mode / Freeze / Continuous light. That is going to smooth out by distributing the triggering by a few milliseconds. Check out the full document about this feature here:
  1. External strobes, speedlights and popup flashes
    1. The key is to use a 1/60s shutter speed. (see full tutorial here: 4 ways to combine flashes and bullet-time photography)
    2. If you get black or half black frames, use the Strobe Accuracy Compensation function from the Trigger Mode / Freeze module (see full details on 3.2 here:
How to trigger at the right moment?
Having the cameras trigger at the same moment is one thing, but freezing your subject at the exact time you want is something else. Don't you want to capture your subject at the top of a jump? Here's how I do it: Using my favorite wireless trigger, I hold down the button which puts all cameras in stand-by mode, then I release at the right moment to freeze the action. That works well as you can see here: . In some cases, you might notice a small delay after you release the shutter. Check out the value of the "trigger warmup delay" in Settings / Advanced. Set it to 1ms  to get instant triggering (this might reduce the trigger precision in some cases)
Mirror lockup
If you're using Mirror lockup, here's the right way to get perfect precision:
  1. lock the cameras (full press & release)
  1. arm the cameras (press down for at least 1/2s)
  1. release the button at the exact moment