Timelapse Circuit For Point And Shoot Cameras

[Andyk75] has done some fantastic work documenting his timelapse addition to his digital camera.  Most of the more expensive models of cameras have a remote shutter release, but the point and shoot jobs usually don’t. He decided to add the ability to turn the camera on, then shoot a picture, then turn it back off. Pretty smart, since these things tend to eat batteries pretty quickly if left on.  He is using an ATtiny24 for the brains, but the circuit should be pretty adaptable to others. The final piece has several features, like the ability to change the length of time between shots and automatically shut down when it gets too dark outside to continue. He has posted the schematics as well as the board layouts if you can find them amongst the ads in instructibles. You can check out a video of a sunset taken with this camera after the break.


15 thoughts on “Timelapse Circuit For Point And Shoot Cameras

  1. Cool. I thought of making a similar setup that doesn’t involve modifying the camera itself: a servo (or two) could be used to press the buttons. This contraption is of course more efficient. It’s too bad I will never see it in detail because I’m not clicking an instructables link.

    People, seriously. Stop posting your projects on instructables. Do not support evil.

  2. Ads? What are we? IE users?

    But nonetheless it’s true instructables started so nice and then went mad trying to force people to sign in, it’s annoying and lacks any kind of class, and I did sign up so long ago, but the forcing just makes it all sour and I end up not logging in out of annoyance and visiting a hundred times less, so that was a nice achievement of them.
    They still have handy features though like downloading the entire article in a pdf with the option on what to include, assuming you are logged in of course and that’s one function I forgive them for making logging in enforced to use it.

  3. external power supply:
    my camera has a 5v input for charging, which also works to hook-up an external power supply. since it has an internal charger for a liion it tolerates 4.5 (maybe lower) to 6v.
    all i had to do is put 4 aa batteries in a case and add a matching plug.
    an external power, that’s portable and great as a backup for places where you don’t have power. total cost: 25c (battery case came from a patriotic led light on sale after 4th of july.)

  4. I’m not a photographer, but I enjoy a good time-lapse. It’s too bad the point-and-shoot makers can’t even expose the power and shutter button inputs on some kind of connector for simple automation hacks. Seriously, how much does a 3.5mm phono jack cost in quantities of 10,000?

    Off-topic rant:

    @Anti-‘Ible Nuts:

    We all know Instructibles has problems. We know you don’t like it, and we don’t really care. I could just as loudly and repetitively complain about people who post their videos on YouTube (the sporadic and slow bandwidth from their overloaded servers makes me pause to buffer EVERY TIME. I don’t even have to pause Hulu shows), but that’s not going to stop people from doing it.

    If you want to “change the world”, start your own competing website and use ‘Ibles (and HaD) to advertise it. Even better would be a one-click service that automatically transfers an ‘ible to your own site.

  5. The downside I suppose is, that you can’t leave it at a certain zoom or other settings, because the cameras tend to reset after being powered up.

    A cheap Canon could be scripted via CHDK to take the shot every time it is powered on, though, so all you would have to do is connect the power, wait a bit, then run a clean shutdown and wait for the next go.

  6. Why not just use a Cannon, running CHDK, you can control every aspect of the exposure.
    If you want cable release, it’s as easy as putting 3V across the USB data lines.
    For external power there is a battery blank, with matching hole in the battery door.
    Much easier, more flexible!

    but seeing is believing, so…..


    And if you don’t have a Cannon, go to the local pawn shop with the list of supported features from CHDK and get one!
    I’ve seen them as cheap as AUS$40 2nd hand.

  7. re: CHDK, it actually has a built in timelapse feature, under the ‘intervalometer’ name. It’d require continuous operating power, but it’d work out of the box, so to speak.

  8. @BiOzZ

    DSLR quality for a timelapse? My 8 year old point and shoot generates a higher resolution image than 2megapixels of a 1080p high-definition. So really it’s all about the lens. And unless you’re going for a narrow depth of field you’ll be hard pressed telling one of your Nikon goldring lenses from modern point and shoot given the final picture is 1/5th of the recorded resolution.

    The more you post on HaD the more I realise you have more dollars then sense.

  9. I’m the author of the Instructables to PDF script on userscripts.org yes you still need to be logged in but it’s their choice to mess their visitors around.

    I was equally peeved but instead of b!tching about it, I hacked!

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