MX2 Users Guide Part 2: Configuring Camera Control

The MX2 controller provides direct control of a camera through a cable connected to the remote release port of your camera.  On most cameras, there are two primary functions provided: Control Shutter and Control Auto Focus.  Here we’ll describe how to set up the MX2 to handle different shooting requirements.

Remember that for the camera to be controlled by the MX2, the camera must be connected through its remote shutter port to the MX2 Camera port using an appropriate cable.  For some cameras, it may be required to put the camera in Remote Control mode to recognize the signals from the remote shutter port.

All parameters indicated below are saved when the power is removed from the MX2, and only need to be modified when you want to change them.

Setting the Exposure Interval

The exposure interval is the time between each exposure.  This value is displayed on the Main Screen, and may be set in tenths of seconds (e.g. 0.2″, 1.1″, and so forth).  It can be edited directly on the main screen, or through the Camera Menu.

Note that the exposure interval is the time between triggering each exposure, and not necessarily the time between completing one exposure and starting the next.  The different camera delays you configure, for focus tapping, exposure delay, etc. will impact your actual exposure interval time, should they be longer than the interval when summed.  In the case where your parameters have caused the interval time to be exceeded, the main screen will always display the actual interval time, and not the time you configured.  It will not be possible to reduce the interval without first decreasing one of the other camera delays you have configured.

If you change the exposure interval while the program is running, it will take effect on the next exposure cycle.

Like most values in the MX2 controller, the Exposure Interval value is retained after power-off.

Setting the Exposure Interval via the Main Screen:

  1. [Right] or [Left] to select the displayed interval time
  2. [Up] or [Down] to modify the value

Setting the Exposure Interval via the Camera Menu:

  1. [Enter] to enter the main menu
  2. [Down] to selectCameraand press [Enter]
  3. [Down] to select Interval and press [Enter]
  4. [Up] or [Down] to alter the value
  5. [Enter] to save or [Right] to abort

Controlling Exposure Time with the MX2

The MX2 controller is capable of doing bulb exposure control.  The shutter line will be kept engaged for as long as the exposure time parameter is configured for.   The exposure time is entered in milliseconds, and may be set for as low as your camera will recognize, or up to about 50 days.  Remember that there are one thousand milliseconds in a second, so if you want a one second exposure, it would be entered as 1000.

Please note that different cameras have different exposure time requirements for bulb mode, both minimum and maximum time.  If you need a controlled exposure for a shorter period of time than your camera will allow in bulb mode, you must use the camera to control the exposure in using its manual mode.  You may need to experiment to discover the correct minimums and maximums for your particular camera.


  1. Set camera to bulb (B) mode
  2. [Enter] to enter the main menu
  3. [Down] to select Cameraand press [Enter]
  4. [Down] to select Exp. Time and press [Enter]
  5. [Up] or [Down] to alter the value
  6. [Enter] to save or [Right] to abort
  7. [Down] to select Exp. Delay and press [Enter]
  8. [Up] or [Down] to set the value to 0
  9. [Enter] to save or [Right] to abort

Controlling Exposure Time on the Camera

For most cases, you’ll find it best to control the exposure on the camera, using manual, or some other mode to dial in the appropriate exposure time.  Under certain conditions it will be important to tell the MX2 the actual exposure time you’ve dialed in on the camera, so that it does not attempt to trigger an exposure at the wrong time.  The amount of time to wait after triggering an exposure is configured via the exposure delay value.  This value is input in milliseconds, so one second would be entered as 1000.

To disable any delay after triggering an exposure, set the exposure delay value to zero.

For continuous motion control, it is generally not necessary to set an exact exposure delay in the MX2 unless it exceeds your configured interval time.  However, for interleaved, or shoot-move-shoot, motion control, it is essential to dial in the correct exposure time to prevent motor movement during the exposure.  In many cases, it is advantageous to exceed the actual exposure time configured on the camera in the exposure delay parameter.

Additionally, you should configure the exposure time to its minimal value to prevent unnecessary delays.  Each camera may have a different minimum exposure time required to honor the request to trip the shutter.  For many cameras 100mS is a safe bet.

Exposure time must always be greater than zero to trigger the camera.

  1. Set camera to manual (M) mode
  2. Dial in the correct exposure on the camera
  3. [Enter] to enter the main menu
  4. [Down] to select Cameraand press [Enter]
  5. [Down] to select Exp. Time and press [Enter]
  6. [Up] or [Down] to set the value to the minimum time for your camera
  7. [Enter] to save or [Right] to abort
  8. [Down] to select Exp. Delay and press [Enter]
  9. [Up] or [Down] to set the value
  10. [Enter] to save or [Right] to abort

Limiting the Number of Frames Taken

The MX2 can automatically stop running when a certain number of frames have been exposed.  Simply set the max shots parameter for the camera.

Note that when ramping/feathering moves, setting the max shots parameter tells the MX2 when to start ramping down.

Like most values in the MX2 controller, the Max Shots value is retained after power-off.


  1. [Enter] to enter the main menu
  2. [Down] to select Cameraand press [Enter]
  3. [Down] to select Max Shots and press [Enter]
  4. [Up] or [Down] to alter the value
  5. [Enter] to save or [Right] to abort

Auto-Focus, Waking the Camera from Sleep, and Shooting in Live View

For certain conditions, the focus control line can be used to control other aspects of the camera:

  • Trip auto-focus before firing
  • On long interval times, put the camera into auto-sleep mode and use the focus line to wake it up before firing
  • For some live-view cameras, the camera may not respond to the first time the exposure is tripped unless the focus line is tripped first

The focus tap parameter allows you to define how long the focus line should be triggered before the exposure line is triggered.  This time is input in milliseconds, and there will always be an additional 1/10th second (100mS) delay after disengaging the focus line before the exposure line will engage to prevent a bouncing effect being perceived by the camera.

It is important to set this value to the right amount required for your particular camera configuration.  Some cameras focus slower than others, or require more time to wake up than others, and will require that the focus tap value be much higher.  Experiment with your camera and shooting conditions to determine which works best for you.

To disable the focus tap functionality, set the time to zero (0) milliseconds.

Like most values in the MX2 controller, the Focus Tap Time value is retained after power-off.


  1. [Enter] to enter the main menu
  2. [Down] to select Cameraand press [Enter]
  3. [Down] to select Focus Tap and press [Enter]
  4. [Up] or [Down] to alter the value
  5. [Enter] to save or [Right] to abort

Cameras that Require Focus with Shutter (many Nikons)

The MX2 is capable of controlling cameras that require that the focus line be triggered along with the shutter line to trigger an exposure.  Many Nikon cameras require this, and some Canon users also report that their cameras respond more reliably when the two lines are triggered together.  The shutter-focus parameter allows you to control this behavior.


  1. [Enter] to enter the main menu
  2. [Down] to select Cameraand press [Enter]
  3. [Down] to select Shutter+Focus and press [Enter]
  4. [Up] or [Down] to set the value to on or off
  5. [Enter] to save or [Right] to abort
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