Your livelihood depends on digital files, so you’d best be…
by Jerry Weiner, CEO
When photographers carry around multiple bodies or have a second shooter (or third, fourth, or twelfth), the clocks on those cameras often vary drastically from each other. This later makes sorting the images in chronological order impossible, which, in turn, makes editing very difficult.
Here are some options for syncing your cameras’ clocks which, in turn, results in images that can be easily sorted by capture time.
Easy, but not terribly precise, this method requires one person for every camera body you are syncing and can be done on-site. Simply open up each camera’s menu and navigate to the clock setup. Prepare each camera to the same time, but don’t confirm the setting until everyone’s ready. Next, tell everyone to confirm the setting (usually just a push of a button) after you count to three. Then, it’s all up to personal reaction times. “3, 2, 1, now!” Everyone confirms at about the same time, and the clocks start counting (roughly) together.
The Computer Hook-up
Using your computer to set the clocks will give you a very precise sync, but it does require a little more setup time. Most digital cameras come with software which can be used to sync the camera’s clock to the computer clock. Consult your camera’s software documentation to find out how, and then sync each camera to the computer one at a time. With this method, each camera will be ticking along perfectly in sync.
One Per Minute
The idea of this method is to set one camera per minute while looking at a master watch. To start, get a clock that shows seconds. Prepare your first camera to match the time on the master watch plus one minute. Then confirm the camera’s clock right when your master watch reaches the new minute. The first camera is now set, and you have one minute (plenty of time) to prepare the next camera in the same fashion. Again, this is not the most precise method, but it should be more than adequate for event photography.