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Timelapse Photography


Hardware I use

Camera Type Pros Cons
Canon D20 Zoom lens allows for framing shots in camera The camera only has a shutter life of +- 50,000 frames which I have exceeded in 3 weeks of shooting.
Canon D40 Zoom lenses allows for framing shots in camera The camera only has a shutter life of +- 100,000 frames.
Canon G6 Low cost camera

Built in intervaometer only takes 100 frames at a time.
No way to run CHDK on this camera. I have not been able to get a arduino to run an infra led remote control yet.

Canon Ixus 105 Low cost camera. Uses free CHDK software to run intervaometer Slight movement between frames due to refocusing for each frame. Lower image quality than the D20 or D40.
GoPro Hero 3+ Black

I don't have one yet but it should be a good solution to my D20 camera wearing out.

Costs more than an Ixus 105
No built in display back
No zoom lens.

Tripod Essential needs to be solid enough for the camera you are using.  


Software I use to create Timelapse Photographs

Software Website Comments
VirtualDub http://www.virtualdub.org Excellent free program that I use to create raw AVI footage from the thousands of frames I shot each day.
File Renamer Basic http://www.sherrodcomputers.com Very handy to rename sets of frames if you switched Compact Flash Cards during the day and you have set the camera start at image 0 each time you change cards.
Windows Live Movie Maker http://windows.microsoft.com/en-au/windows-live/movie-maker#t1=overview I use this to convert the AVI files to WMV
Adobe Premiere Pro http://www.adobe.com/au/products/premiere.html I will use this to do the final edit.
Lapse It  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ui.LapseIt I am playing with this on my Samsung Galaxy SIII it looks good but I have not used it much yet.

I have been inspired to start working on timelapse photography due to the construction of a new engine bay at our fire station in Ballarat
The Ballarat Fire Brigade has a fantastic fire tower which gives an excellent view over Ballarat and also the building site. Too good an opportunity to miss.

This has been a steep learning curve for me and as such the quality of some of the footage is a little rough but overall it has been well worth the effort.


For this example I used a Canon Ixus 105 camera and a tripod. A tripod is essential for this type of work.

The following video shows the effect of wind on a lightweight tripod

The Canon Ixus 105 does not have a built in intervalometer.
It is possible to use a firmware hack called the
Canon Hack Development Kit (CHDK)
which has an intervalometer function.

see How To Take Time Lapse Photo's (CHDK) by BigNate84


Once the photos are captured download them to a Windows PC and run a copy of VirtualDub to convert the frames to an AVI file

And then a use Movie maker Live etc to convert the AVI to a a WMV or similar file suitable to upload to YouTube.


The AVI File is 37.1 GB too large to upload to Youtube the WMV file is 115 MB a much more reasonable size.

I have on order a AC Power Adapter ACK-DC40 & DR-40 Battery Coupler for Canon Ixus 105  when it arrives I hope to be able to take longer sequences with the Canon Ixus 105
at present I only get around 1662 shots per battery charge.




This video was created with a Canon 20D using a
Timer Remote Controller Shutter Release (intervalometer) from eBay










Model - Rated Shutter Life
Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS / 1000D  - 100,000
Canon EOS Digital Rebel T1i / 500D  - 100,000
Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi / 450D  - 100,000
Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi / 400D  - 50,000
Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT / 350D  - 50,000
Canon EOS 50D  - 100,000
Canon EOS 40D  - 100,000
Canon EOS 30D  - 100,000
Canon EOS 20D  - 50,000
Canon EOS 5D Mark II  - 150,000
Canon EOS 5D  - 100,000
Canon EOS 1D Mark III  - 300,000
Canon EOS 1D Mark II N  - 200,000
Canon EOS 1DS Mark III  - 300,000
Canon EOS 1DS Mark II  - 200,000

(With a very big Thank You to Bryan Carnathan of The-Digital-Picture .com)





Arduino sketch for simulating a Canon RC-1 IR remote control to do timelapse photography with a compatible Canon DSLR
2010, Martin Koch
Huge thanks go to http://www.doc-diy.net/photo/rc-1_hacked/index.php for figuring out the IR code.

#define irLED 12
#define statusLED 13
#define pushBUTTON 7

int interval = 15; //seconds
int timelapseDuration = 60; //seconds
int numberOfShots = timelapseDuration / interval;

void setup() {
pinMode(irLED, OUTPUT);
pinMode(statusLED, OUTPUT);
pinMode(pushBUTTON, INPUT);
digitalWrite(pushBUTTON, HIGH);


void loop() {
if (digitalRead(pushBUTTON) == LOW) {
digitalWrite(statusLED, HIGH); //Timelapse active
for (int i=0; i <= numberOfShots; i++) {
if (i < numberOfShots) delay(interval * 1000); //ms
digitalWrite(statusLED, LOW);

void sendInfraredSignal() {
for(int i=0; i<16; i++) {
digitalWrite(irLED, HIGH);
digitalWrite(irLED, LOW);
for(int i=0; i<16; i++) {
digitalWrite(irLED, HIGH);
digitalWrite(irLED, LOW);




See also gtimelapse










APA citation:
Russell, R. (2016, July 04, 03:46 pm). Time Lapse Photography.
     Retrieved May 19, 2024, from http://www.rupert.id.au/tutorials/CHDK/index.php

Last refreshed: May 19 2024. 11:29.42 am

rupert dot russell at acu dot edu dot au Support Wikipedia

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