Chris Thompson’s Time Lapse Intervalometer for SLR Cameras

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Chris Thompson rigged up this time lapse intervalometer for SLRs made from a cell phone headset, a 555 timer, and “a bunch of electronics bits.” He threw up his HOWTO on Instructables.

While Chris’s hack makes the time lapse gear much more portable, many DSLRs have software available from the factory that let you do time lapse if you keep the camera tethered to your computer. Also, many video programs like Apple’s iMovie (at least the old version) allow you to shoot time lapse from an attached video camera or the built-in webcam. For obvious reasons, those won’t look as nice as shots from a DSLR, but it’s a good option for web video.

Below, a video of time lapse shots Chris took with his rig of some fireworks.

Time Lapse Intervalometer for SLRs with 555 timer IC [Instructables]

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3 Responses to Chris Thompson’s Time Lapse Intervalometer for SLR Cameras

  1. strider_mt2k says:

    There’s also the Webcam Timershot powertoy for WinXP if you want to use a PC/webcam, but I’m not sure if it’s comparable.
    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx

  2. David Cake says:

    Ever better, for most Canon cameras you can load the CHDK firmware, and add features like scripts to do time lapse that run entirely from the camera with no tethered device needed. Its great fun, and time lapse is just one of the many things hacked into this great firmware, including motion detection, RAW, and high speed modes. And despite being ‘firmware’, its loaded from the card, so you can easily revert to the cameras original firmware simply by removing the card.

    Anyone with a hacker spirit who owns a Canon camera should look into it.

    Seriously the CHDK firmware is worth a BB Gadgets post on its own.

  3. gquann says:

    This is a cool gadget, but be careful with timelapse and DSLR cameras. Due to their more mechanical nature, they do have a higher wear than compact cameras and therefore can take less pictures in the long run.

    Usually this is not a problem, because even highly addicted photgraphy behaviour won’t kill you camera easily. I heard rumors that consumer DSLRs are specified to last about 30’000 shots.

    With timelapse, however you usually do a hell of a lot more shots, even for digital standards. Therefore, your camera might wear out earlier.

    This is probably the reason, why there is not official interval for example for Canon consumer DSLRs (at least last time I checked). There is one for the professional versions, which last longer.

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