Tiny hardware-based DSLR intervalometer

diy_dslr_intervalometer

Most DSLR cameras have the ability to take pictures at set intervals, but sometimes the menu system can be clunky, and the options are often less than ideal. [Achim] is a big fan of time lapse photography and has been hard at work creating a hardware-based intervalometer to suit his needs. He has just finished the second revision of the controller which is just about small enough to fit inside the housing of a 2.5mm stereo plug. The timer is not 100% universal, but so far he has confirmed it works on Nikon, Canon, and Pentax cameras.

Based on a PIC10F222, the circuit’s operation is quite simple. Once the dongle is connected to your camera, you simply need to take two pictures anywhere from 0.4 seconds to 18 minutes apart. The intervalometer “watches” to see how long you waited between pictures, and proceeds to take shots at that interval until the battery dies or your memory card fills up.

As you can see in the video on his site, the timer works a treat. If you want to make one of your own, swing by his site to grab schematics and code – it’s all available for free.

*Whoops, it looks like we’ve actually covered this before. Our apologies.

Comments

  1. yetihehe says:
  2. biozz says:

    lol whats the deal with tiny ints? im happy with my digital one and nevet felt the need to have a smaller one … maybe occasionally because of the issues i get with batteries (effing hate remembering to recharge batteries)

  3. critic says:

    “Hardware-based” as opposed to virtual?

  4. cyborgasm says:

    I am guessing it means hardware based rather than software based judging by the knock against in-built camera interval features.

    Its pretty cool but I guarantee I would lose the damn thing!

  5. patman2700 says:

    How does one even go about programming a SMD uC that small?

  6. biozz says:

    @patman2700
    you need a squirrel, car keys for a 1991 honda, a bluetooth enabled cellphone and an ordinary AVR programmer with SMD IC leads

  7. biozz says:

    @@patman2700
    you can use a ferret instead of a squirrel but thats not ROHS complaint and may not pass EPA regulations

  8. macona says:

    I got the pcb files from Achim a couple months ago and made up some of these for myself and others. They do work great and are cheap to build. I ended up programming them with needle style pogo pins mounted to a piece of protoboard. Not all slrs have a built in intervalometer, like my Canon 60D and Pentax K10D.

    Here is a pic of my completed boards:

    Intervalometer Boards

  9. Bob says:

    This is cool – even if it is a reprint :)

    I’m new to microprocessors (so please forgive my newbieness), but I have a new Arduino 2009 and would like to hack around with my Canon. Can I just connect the shutter and autofocus pins to pins on the arduino (and ground to ground on the arduino), and pull them low to activate – like this project does – or do I need optoisolators/transistors in between?

    The reason I ask – every schematic I have seen of intervaleometers or shutter trippers on the interwebs have an optoisolator or transistor connecting the arduino to camera.

  10. TheCreator says:

    looking at his schematics this should also work with non-dslr cannon cameras as well. At least the one I have (cannon s5 IS)

  11. Renee says:

    @ Bob

    You need some sort of switch to make it work. I’m pretty sure this project isn’t doing what you said it was. There’s a dual diode acting as a switch that allows current to run from shutter to ground.

    Personally, I use opto’s when working with my Canon.

  12. Renee says:

    Hmm, my bad, looking back on the project that is what he did.

    I have no idea if it’s safe or not. I don’t like the idea of mixing voltages between my camera and micro.

  13. Olivier says:

    @Bob: I don’t know what you use with your camera.
    Personally, I’ve a cheap Canon camera with a CHDK firmware. I wire one pin of the microcontroller to the plus of the camera USB port, and the ground is wired to the ground of everything else. Works perfectly well.

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