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How can I automatically trigger a fixed vehicle-mounted still camera to take a photo every (say) 30 minutes? Answered

Is there some system that can automatically trigger a fixed vehicle-mounted still camera to take a photo every (say) 30 minutes so as to produce a sort of travelog of photos?
Maybe a crazy idea for an inventor. I would certainly like to try it.Perhaps a refinement would be to be able to adjust the frequency and also to pause the timer if the vehicle is stopped.?


Many cameras can take a remote release, which lets them be triggered remotely. Time-lapse devices are available for most of them which use this to do exactly what you've described. But homebrew has also been done fairly frequently.

In film cameras the remote release may be electric or mechanical; in digital cameras it's always electric. Electric is usually just a matter of closing a switch; it usually isn't hard to get specs for that, and then you can use whatever timing logic you want to close a relay at appropriate intervals. Mechanical would require triggering a solenoid (an electromagnet) to push the cable release, or to push the shutter button directly, but that too could be controlled from the relay.

Hit a library and check photo-hobbyist magazines, and you may find more detail of how folks have rigged complex triggering devices for time-lapse, photo-trap, and so on.  But the above gives you the basic description of what you need to do.

(An eccentric cam might work as an alternative to a solenoid, of course. Also, note that for a film camera this doesn't work unless you have, or construct, a powered film advance mechanism; otherwise hitting the shutter repeatedly isn't useful.)

The feature you're looking for is an Intervalometer.  Like others say - it can be accomplished many ways - some cameras have it built in.  A canon point and shoot camera can be set to use the chdk firmware which includes an intervalometer...or you can often interface a hardware trigger to a higher end camera which supports an external trigger (usually DSLR).

A laptop and a web cam can be used.  Most web cams come with software that will allow intervale photos.  I would suggest takeing photos more often maybe every 10 mins.  That way of you get a boring one you can delete it and use the next.

My digital slr can do it with an interval timer.  I didn't it at a party once.


8 years ago

 The new ipod nano has this capability built in.