Tiny Hardware-based 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.

13 thoughts on “Tiny Hardware-based DSLR Intervalometer

  1. 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)

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. @ 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.

  5. 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.

  6. @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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