How to Take Time Lapse Photo's (CHDK)




About: Field Guide for the Millennial Man

In this video I'll show you how to take time lapse photo's, with a Canon Power Shot camera using an intervalometer script. It is only possible to do this after installing the CHDK hack on your camera. You will learn how to download the "counter.bas" script file, how to load it on your camera and how to run it. If you need to learn more about installing CHDK a link is provided in the video.

You Will Need...
Canon Power Shot Camera
CHDK Installed
SD Memroy Card
Mac or PC
SD Memory Card Reader

Step 1: Download The Intervalometer Script Zip File
A. Go to thsi web site
B. Scroll down until you see the zip file ""

Step 2: Un-Zip The Folder
A. Un-zip the folder on Mac using Stuffit Expander or on a PC using the default extraction tool
B. Notice the helpful text file that offers further explination on using the script

Step 3: Drag & Drop The Script File Onto Your Memory Card
A. The name of the actual scirpt file is "counter.bas"
B. Place the counter.bas file in the "Scripts" folder which is located in the "CHDK" folder

Step 4: Safely Eject The Memory Card
A. Place the memory card in the camera

Step 5: Turn On The Camera & CHDK
A. Use the "card lock boot" method or the "firmware update" method

Step 6: Press The Shortcut/Alt Button
A. This will toggle to CHDK mode

Step7: Press The Function Set Button
A. This will pull up the script loading menu

Step 8: Select Load Script From File
A. Select "counter.bas"

Step 9: Choose Your Parameters
A. Set the interval between shots which is measured in seconds
B. Set the total number of pictures to be taken in this time lapse sequence

Step 10: Exit The CHDK Menu By Pressing The Menu Button
A. Notice the text "coundown intervalometer" blining in the bottom left corner of the display
B. Mount the camera on a tripod
C. Dial in your desired settings
D. Press the shutter button

The script will run until the total number of shots has been taken, or until the battery dies, or until the memory card runs out of memory, which ever comes first.

You can save 10 parameter presets. This will save you time if you plan on using the same script parameters repeatedly.

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    21 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Ok, this one took me some time but I got it in the end. Only waiting for the weather to clear and start recording my painting in the garden! Thanks!


    2 years ago

    How do I playback timelaps video?


    2 years ago

    can i set focus manually on timalapse, and can i shut down monitor wile shutting?


    3 years ago

    To do time lapse, I guess you need a lot of memory on an SD drive. My understanding is CHDK saves a bunch of stills and you put them together in post processing. Correct? How many GB is recommended if I, say, want a 5 minute film taken over an hour or 2, snapping a pic every second or so? 5 minutes at 24 frames/sec requires 7200 pictures. If I have 4 GB, that's 5K bytes/picture. That's not so hi-res for each still, but I guess for a movie it would probably be pretty good.

    Does this sound about right? Are there limitations on these Powershot cameras on the capacity of the SD cards they can handle (Too general a question, probably!)

    Also: is shooting a timelapse sequence dependent on the camera's normal interval-between shots? or does CHDK keep the shutter open, as in taking a video? ('Don't know if I am expressing this right)




    3 years ago

    Hi, If I buy a used camera that's on the list, what if I buy it and the firmware version isn't compatible with CHDK? Can I always upgrade the firmware version via some download from Canon?



    I have what appears to be a bit of a mission impossible:
    1. Take a picture a day for three years with a camera mounted onto a wall on the outside of a building (i.e. without an operator plus the building doesn't belong to me so I can't be in it)
    2. Provide the camera with power to keep it going for 3 years
    3. Download the picture a day from a remote location (without accessing the camera or memory card).
    Can it be done and if so - can you recommend a camera/system?
    Looking forward to your thoughts!

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Hi, I have a similar requirement to yours - did you find a good solution for this? I have some ideas, but if there is some existing solution to the problem that will save me a lot of time!


    hi,i have a Canon ELPH 100HS but i cant install the CHDK for my camera, i try to see the firmware with the vers.req file but it doesnt work, i turning on my camera with the playback button but i cant see the firmware with the buttons SET + DISP

    i will apreciate if you make a little and faster tutorial for my camera model

    thanks for the other videos.

    Greetings from Santiago, Chile

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    is there a way i can continuosly power my canon sx230hs while taking a time lapse? need to know soon


    6 years ago on Introduction

    is there a way i can continuosly power my canon sx230hs while taking a time lapse?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the instructions. I am thinking of using this method for aerial photography so my question is... Will this intervalometer focus each time it takes a photo or is the focussing done during the very first depression of the shutter button?

    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I believe that you can still toggle between manual focus and auto focus. As long as your camera has that functionality the script should not interfere. I have an SX30is and that camera allows me to choose the focus option.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks, I have installed CHDK with the help of your instructable and it works perfectly with autofocus. Cheers.