Have you looked longingly at a Canon TC-80N3 and thought you’d love to have one but paying £130 is a bit much to swallow? Or have you looked at it and thought ‘if only I had an N3 connected camera rather than an E3 connected one!’ ? If either of these is you, then you really should take a look at Hahnel Giga T Pro.
Sounds like a mouthful, but it’s actually a pocket marvel. This is a bit of a red-letter day as usually you’ll hardly ever hear me recommend a 3rd party product over a Canon equivalent (not for any reason more than I hardly ever find 3rd party products doing as good a job as the Canon ones) but this is an exception. The Hahnel takes the TC-80N3 functions, puts them in a wireless package and does it for much less money. Bonus!
So what is it? Essentially the Giga T Pro consists of a transmitter and a receiver. The receiver has a mini-jack on the side and the whole thing comes with two different cables – one terminating in a N3 connector and one in an E3 connector. Yep, that’s right, all of you with EOS 300D, 350D, 400D, 450D, 500D, 550D and 1000D can now perform complete timelapse functions, not to mention get involved in really long (and accurately timed) Bulb exposures for astrophotography.
The functions included are: long exposure, interval timer, self timer and shot count. Combining one or more of these gives you a huge range of options for setting when, how often and for how long the shutter is tripped.
Even better, being wireless you can trigger the camera from a distance and avoid two issues – where to hang the TC-80N3 when shooting a really long exposure and making sure you don’t pull on the cable accidentally and jolt the camera.
The transmitter is where you make all the settings and to be honest, the manual is not the clearest and it’s not the most intuitive unit to set, but then again, neither is the TC-80N3.
The unit uses a 2.4GHz wireless connection and here it adds another trump over the TC-80N3 and the LC-5 – the range is up to 100m! Nope, you’re not limited to 80cm (like the TC-80N3 cable) nor to line of sight, like the LC-5 infra-red unit. And being wireless, you’re less likely to accidentally follow my favourite mistake…. having the TC-80N3 dangling from the camera when shooting with the tripod over water, only to notice the release merrily bobbing in the water.
And if you don’t need all the fancy functions, you can make use of the unit as a simple remote trigger (although there is a cheaper version without all the timelapse functions available).
Is it all hunky dory? Mostly yes, with one caveat – the connector to N3 connectors on a camera does not feature a locking latch like the Canon TC-80N3 (and other N3 connectors) do. This means it can slip out accidentally, which is somewhat annoying. Also, while having cables that plug in to adapt to different cameras is brilliant and useful, it also means another cable to carry around and lose.
Overall it feels well built (time will tell how much this counts for) but for now, if you’re in the market for a remote release or you want to upgrade your TC-80N3 (there, I said it!) there’s nothing better out there, that I know of, than the Hahnel Giga T Pro.