Pclix LT

Pclix LT Product ShotPclix LT
The Photographer’s Swiss Army Knife

Manufacturer: 1017 Visual Effects Inc.
Website:  www.pclix.com
MSRP:  USD $150.00

The Pclix LT has long been one of those items that is always in my camera bag.  Small, efficient, and versatile, it’s the must-have tool for photographing star trails, timelapse sequences, and long-exposure work.  It’s field programmable, runs forever on two AAA batteries, and is virtually indestructible.  There’s nothing not to love about it.

With two lights, two dials, and a bright red trigger button, the interface couldn’t get more minimal.  This is the reason for its ruggedness and incredible battery life:  with no fancy screens or menu systems, there’s nothing to break or consume power.  I’ve been running mine for two years now, on the original set of batteries that the unit shipped with, and haven’t had a single problem.  If you need it, an optional 3v AC power adapter is available.

The minimalist interface, however, can take some getting used to.  It’s old-school, but that’s part of the Pclix’s charm, and once used a couple of times becomes second nature.  Holding down the red fire button and turning the unit on enters programming mode, where the left dial indicates the function you want to program and the right dial allows you to set various parameters.  For example, to enable a time delay before photographing a timelapse sequence you set the left dial to 5, the right dial to 1, hold down the fire button and turn the unit on.  To disable the delay, set the left dial to 5 and the right dial to 0, and turn the unit on (again holding down the red fire button).  5 for the delay, 1 for on, 0 for off, simple, but it does take some getting used to.  Fortunately the Pclix LT ships with a handy laminated quick reference card, so you always have the numbers with you.

STS-133 final launch of space shuttle Discovery panoramaBustard Islands lighthouse star trails, Bustard Islands, Georgian BayToronto Island spring pike underwaterSunrise twilight over pier, Centre Island, Toronto IslandsAbove, clockwise from top:  the final launch of space shuttle Discovery, sunrise over Toronto’s Centre Island pier, a northern pike in its natural habitat and star trails over the remote Bustard Islands lighthouse and ranges in Georgian Bay, all photographed with the help of a Pclix LT.

The Pclix LT is so versatile, that a discussion of some imagery is necessary in order to understand what it can do.  A brief summary of each image seen above:

  1. STS-133 launch panorama.  Photographing the final launch of space shuttle Discovery, I had my hands full with a massive 800mm lens.  With a prefocused and framed camera on a tripod, the Pclix LT triggered the camera every second, freeing my hands up for the ‘live’ photography.
  2. Sunrise over Toronto’s Centre Island pier.  Most cameras have a maximum exposure time of 30 seconds, and anything beyond that requires a dedicated attachment.  The Pclix LT fills the role nicely, and eliminates one more thing in your camera bag.  Here in bulb mode the Pclix LT took a 4-minute exposure.
  3. Underwater northern pike.  Fixed in a custom underwater enclosure, a Pclix LT triggered this camera every five seconds, patiently waiting for the fish to swim by.
  4. Bustard Island star trails.  Mixing intervalometer and bulb modes, the Pclix LT here triggered a series of long exposures, later blended into one seamless composition.  Adding in a start delay would let you set up the entire shot before the sun even set, making framing and focusing that much easier.

Of course, the Pclix LT can also shoot straight-forward timelapse sequences as well:

Above: the Rotating Service Structure is rolled back to reveal space shuttle Atlantis on launch pad 39A, before her ‘first final flight’ as STS-132.

Unlike some other camera peripherals, the Pclix LT ships with top-notch gear, like DuraCell ProCell batteries and (for Canon cameras) cables with top-quality N3 connectors.  Designer Paul Cormack has paid attention to all the details.

If you’re looking to photograph star trails or timelapse sequences, the Pclix LT can’t be beat.  Highly recommended.

Product:  Pclix LT
Best uses:  star trail and timelapse photography
Strengths:  indestructible, versatile, field programmable, runs forever
Weaknesses:  interface takes some getting used to
Final verdict:  highly recommended

Note:  images photographed with a PClix LT on this site have all been tagged, and can be viewed en masse here.

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