Step 6: Activate the Camera Shutter with a 555 timer

Picture of Activate the Camera Shutter with a 555 timer

You can also use a simple 555 timer IC to activate your camera. This works great for taking pictures at a regular interval such as for a time lapse.

This circuit is a little different from regular 555 timer circuits. Pin 3 is used to charge and discharge the capacitor and pin 7 is the output. I chose this layout because during the discharge cycle pin 7 is shorted to ground through an internal transistor. This is the ideal way to activate the shutter of the camera.

You can power the circuit with anything from 4.5V to 18V. The timing is controlled by the resistor and the capacitor according to the formula:

Time interval (secs) = 1.386 * R * C

I used a 680µF capacitor and a 100k variable resistor. This let me adjust the picture interval from every few seconds to every 94 seconds.

To connect it to your camera, connect the ground line to the ground on the camera. Then connect pin 7 to the shutter function.

5imx1 year ago
hi, i followed your plan here, and my output is holding "short circuit" for a long time at every interval and sometimes will trigger twice. any ideas?
DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  5imx1 year ago
Your camera probably keeps taking pictures as long as the shutter switch is pressed. You could use a smaller resistor to shorten the interval time.