Time-lapse With Any Camera, Using Arduino





Introduction: Time-lapse With Any Camera, Using Arduino

Sometimes you find yourself in a situation where you want to capture situations where filming would be entirely impractical, or even impossible. For those moments time-lapse photography is a god-send, until you realize that your camera did not ship with that feature and there seems to be no way around it.

Fret not instructaloid, salvation is here, in the form of a small Arduino sketch which will make your incapable camera capable again! Grab a seat, make some popcorn, and watch the video for how to get it done!

For this instructable you'll need:

1 Arduino (UNO or other board)
1 Micro servo, any brand will work
1 Thin aluminium strip
3 Jumper wires
1 Camera + tripod

For the extended project described towards the end of the video you'll also need:

1 Prototyping board, I used the Perma-Proto Half-sized Breadboard PCB by Adafruit
1 Arduino Pro Mini (instead of the bigger Arduino previously)
2 Kingbright SC56/11HWA 7 segment character displays
2 74HC595N shift registers
1 Toggle switch
1 Pushbutton
1 Rotary encoder
1 10kOhm potentiometer
2 Knobs
1 Enclosure
, whatever will fit all the stuff

So get started on your next time-lapse project already, don't let lack of features stop you. What doesn't exist we build or hack together!

For a closer look at the schematics for this project, find the PDF here: http://switchandlever.com/plans/timedFinger_schematics.pdf

The link for the Arduino sketches used in this instructable can be downloaded at the following link: http://www.switchandlever.com/plans/timedFinger.zip

Stay tuned for more videos from Switch & Lever, and check out the rest of the material here on Instructables and YouTube for previous uploads!

Thanks for watching!



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Did it (version 1) and works perfectly. Many thanks from good old Germany.

I've hacked into a camera and triggered the switches (focus, then shoot) with a couple 555 timers. Smaller and cheaper than your arduino version, but harder.

It's definitely an option, but it will no doubt void your warranty. I personally wouldn't do it as I would prefer there not to be cables running out of my camera when I'm using it normally. If you have a dedicated camera for this, then go for it!

And the first step is to disassemble the poor thing and trace the circuit out, and write out the circuit so you can figure it out.

It worked for me. It was a drone application and I needed to keep the weight down. But it was a job getting into the camera, figuring out the schematic of the switches, wiring into them, and making a transistor driver circuit. Then getting it all back together! Seems like it would be so easy to put this capability into a camera and leave out some of the doodads you never use.

Hello, jimvandamme!
I'm interested in your solutions since I have a dedicated low-cost camera for this.
Would You share some directions and advises, please?
Thanks in advance!
Best regards
Nikolay Nikiforov

Well, like I wrote, it's harder. You have to tear into the camera and figure out how the switches work, so that requires electronics knowledge. Draw a schematic, then figure out how to replace the switches with electronic equivalents. Since they're usually just button switches with one side ground or to the + power, you can use a transistor to pull the floating side of the switch down. Drive it with a 555 or whatever trigger you need, then trigger the second 555 off the output of that, giving it some time to focus, and trigger the shot.

There are probably cameras that have programming ports that don't require hacking into. I have an older HP 4 MP camera that has a "sharing" plug on the bottom, but I haven't found a pinout for it. Supposedly it outputs video, too.

It's been 8-10 years since I did this; it was for a small drone before drones were all the rage.

Thank You VERY MUCH!!! I appreciate You take your time to answer!!!
It is really useful to me, especially the part with the programming ports - I didn't know that !!! No matter if I succeed or not - it's good to know that there is someone willing to help!!! Thanks again and good luck with your initiatives!!

Great solution.
I failed to do the exact same idea 3 years ago, just becouse I didn't know about Arduino. Now, I'm learning it and this tutorial is a great inspiration.

I have an error with the code. Encoder does not name a type. What does this mean?