Help me make a miniaturized time lapse rig
November 30, 2010 7:32 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to build a really minimalistic time lapse rig

I have a canon powershot A250, which is in the line of canons which can be controlled via USB and a computer. I've used time lapse software with it, to generate time lapse movies.

This requires a computer though... I'm kind of interested in some applications where carrying a computer isn't much of an option (mostly, while riding a bike)

What's the most minimal setup I could use to take time lapse pictures? it's OK if I have to store the images on the camera until I get home.

I have an android phone - I can't find any applications that can control the camera via USB, but it seems like it should be possible. I'm a software developer but I sooooo don't have time for it. It would be really awesome if that was possible because the phone is small and I take it with me anyway.

Barring that, perhaps there's some specialized hardware that can trigger the camera remotely (via USB I guess, or possibly infrared? I don't know if hte camera supports infrared remotes, probably not)
posted by RustyBrooks to Technology (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Do you mean a Powershot A520?
posted by fake at 7:38 PM on November 30, 2010

Best answer: If you had a slightly more modern Powershot, you could use CHDK with a time lapse script on a memory card and that would be everything. Doesn't get more minimal than that.
posted by fake at 7:39 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Whoops, A520, yes.
posted by RustyBrooks at 7:52 PM on November 30, 2010

Response by poster: Son of a bitch. I might need to just get a slightly newer camera then.
posted by RustyBrooks at 7:53 PM on November 30, 2010

Best answer: If you're looking for a new camera with the aim of using it with CHDK firmware, the CHDK wiki lists supported cameras.
posted by JiBB at 8:02 PM on November 30, 2010

Watch Craigslist/eBay. You can pick up a compatible Powershot for less than $50, and it will be your lovely time-lapse slave with the help of CHDK. It really is the best solution for what you describe.
posted by fake at 8:14 PM on November 30, 2010

Response by poster: So the wiki lists a lot of supported cameras - can anyone sort of pick out for me the ones that tend to be cheaper? Looks like I can get an A450 on amazon (used) for like $60 or so, that's not too bad. Is there any logic to the ordering of the model numbers?

Anyone have one they want to dump or swap with a A520 ;)
posted by RustyBrooks at 8:28 PM on November 30, 2010

The A series is the cheapest. The older the A series camera, the cheaper it gets. A450 for 60 is a great deal, just read on the CHDK wiki to see if all features of the cameras are supported or if there are any weird issues.
posted by fake at 8:40 PM on November 30, 2010

An old Kodak DC290 has timelapse built right into it. Might cost you as little
as 15 bucks on ebay if you hit it right now. Fastest timelapse it'll do is once per
minute. Works really well on 4 lithium AA batteries.
posted by the Real Dan at 9:45 PM on November 30, 2010

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