Time-lapse photography

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Time-lapse photography
Nizzies Cameras.jpg
Participants Dennis
Skills Unknown
Status Planning
Niche Video artsy stuff
Purpose Fun
Tool No
Tool category

Time-lapse photography

Nizzies_Cameras.jpg {{#if:No | [[Tool Owner::{{{ProjectParticipants}}} | }} {{#if:No | [[Tool Cost::{{{Cost}}} | }}


I would like to make some time-lapses because they look cool and can be very interesting, showing slow movements that you won't see normally. Some ideas:

  • Show the seasons having their effect on my garden
  • Show the germination of seeds

We could use a Raspberry Pi with a Pi cam or a webcam, but where's the fun in that? So for now this page will focus on digital cameras and more specifically compacts.

Triggering the camera

How can we have the camera take pictures at certain intervals?

From firmware

There are alternative firmwares for certain cameras that support scheduled shots. Probably one of the most known is CHDK (Canon Hack Development Kit). As the name suggests, this is for certain types of Canon cameras, mainly compacts. Actually it is not a firmware, but a program that will be executed from SD card. Another is Magic Lantern, for Canon EOS DSLR cameras.


Some cameras can be triggered over USB. One example of software is this.

Other ways

Some other ways I can think of are:

  • Have something physically push the button, for instance an arduino with a servo
  • Remove the button and directly attach something like an arduino for control
  • Use the trigger port that some cameras have

Info and progress per camera

Canon PowerShot

This info is the same for all listed models.

Powering the PowerShots


  • 2x AA


Seems like powering with USB does not work :(

External power

There is a DC in port. All listed models can be powered with Canon ACK800 adapter. It looks like this is 3.15V with center positive. I found plugs that fit, and will now try and find a suitable power source. For now I have no idea about amperage or tolerance for slightly difference voltages

Canon PowerShot A470


Camera user guide


Cam is supported: [1] It runs following firmware:

  • GM1.02C
  • Year 2008

Canon PowerShot A550


Advanced Guide


Cam is supported: [2] It runs following firmware:

  • GM1.00C
  • Year 2006

Canon PowerShot A590 IS


Camera user guide


Cam is supported: https://chdk.fandom.com/wiki/A590IS It runs following firmware:

  • GM1.01B
  • Year 2008


HP Photosmart 735


  • 2X AA batteries. It is quite picky, I have good experiences with Energizer Lithium
  • DC in port, rated 3.15V center positive
  • Looks like it can not be powered from USB
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