Self-Timer Modes on the Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Canon’s EOS 5D Mark II is sure built for speed, but Self-timer modes capture great still images, too. The 5D Mark II has two self-timer modes: 2 seconds and 10 seconds. In these modes, the shutter delays firing by 2 or 10 seconds after pressing the Shutter button or when using a remote trigger.

The time stays true to its setting even when using mirror lockup set with C.Fn III-06. The Self-timer lamp on the front of the camera blinks, a beep is slowly emitted — depending on the setting — for 1 or 9 seconds, and then the speed of the beep and the lamp blinking increases for the final second before the shutter fires.

The camera also displays the countdown to firing on the LCD panel. Ten seconds should be plenty of time to run around and get into the picture; and when using one of the remote triggers, 2 seconds allows you to time to inconspicuously move down the hand that’s holding the remote.

These Self-timer modes are useful in nature, landscape, and close-up shooting, and they can be combined with mirror lockup to prevent vibration from the reflex mirror action by manually pressing the Shutter button. If you use this combination, you have to press the Shutter button once to lock the mirror and then press it again to make the exposure.

To use a Self-timer mode with the camera securely fastened to a tripod, focus on the subject, press the Shutter button completely, and then take your place in the picture or wait for the timer to fire the shutter. Be sure that you’re not standing in front of the camera when you press the Shutter button because that causes inaccurate focus.

The 5D Mark II is set to Single Shot mode by default. To switch the Drive mode, just follow these steps:

  1. Press the AF/Drive mode button above the LCD panel. The camera activates Drive mode selection in the LCD panel.
  2. Turn the Quick Control dial clockwise one click to select Continuous Shooting or two clicks to select Self-timer. A single rectangle icon denotes Single Shot mode, a tiled, rectangular icon denotes Continuous mode, and a stopwatch icon denotes Self-timer mode. The Drive mode you set remains in effect until you change it.

Sharpen your digital photography skills by picking a copy of Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital Field Guide by Brian McLernon.

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