Decent compact for timelapse - recommendation?

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by Willy Eckerslyke, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. Can anyone recommend a good compact digital camera with an interval
    timer? No other features matter at all, just decent image quality and
    the ability to shoot something like 1 frame every 3 seconds for an hour.

    Plan is to build a strut mounting for a light aircraft, get it CAA
    approved as a "minor modification" and shoot vertically downwards over
    the course of an entire flight. (There are no commercially available
    mounts doing quite what we want.)
    Willy Eckerslyke, Mar 9, 2010
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  2. Willy Eckerslyke

    Richard Guest

    This place might start you on the right track:

    Richard, Mar 9, 2010
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  3. Thanks, I already have a GentLED controller for a Nikon which is another
    useful piece of kit. But as a few compact cameras on the market these
    days have a built in interval timer, I'm trying to go that route,
    avoiding add-ons. The camera will be subject to winds of 70-100mph so
    the fewer bits to fly off, the better.
    The modern equivalents are really opening up some possibilities too.
    This fellow uses a pretty low budget "octokopter" with various cameras
    (don't click on that link until you have a few hours to waste!)
    Willy Eckerslyke, Mar 9, 2010
  4. Thanks Richard,
    Initially I was a bit dubious about hacking a camera to do the job, but
    it's making more sense the more I think about it. It certainly gives us
    a lot of extra choice of cameras too.
    Willy Eckerslyke, Mar 9, 2010
  5. Willy Eckerslyke

    Richard Guest

    YW. If I were buying a compact, I'd go this route.

    Richard, Mar 9, 2010
  6. You may find this interesting:-

    Michael J Davis

    Photography takes an instant out of time,
    altering life by holding it still. - Dorothea Lange
    Michael J Davis, Mar 10, 2010
  7. All the Ricoh compacts have interval timers. Range is usually 5 secs to 3
    hours. Useful extra feature that may be relevant to your application is
    that most also have a manual focussing option, also infinity setting, which
    is probably better than autofocus if you're aiming at the same thing the
    whole time.

    For the windy conditions you describe you probably want a camera with
    internal zoom to stop the lens being knocked about. I don't know if any
    Ricoh's have this but the GX200 has an optional filter adaptor which
    completely encloses the zoom once you've stuck a UV filter on the end.

    I have an old Nikon S10 compact which has both internal zoom and an
    interval timer, though optically it's a bit soft and from an ease of use
    POV it scores about 1/10. But anyhow maybe some other Nikon compacts have
    timers too?
    Gordon Freeman, Mar 16, 2010
  8. Whoops, that should be prefixed by a "AFAIK" since I've not looked at their
    more recent models. But the R-series and GX-series have always had them.
    Gordon Freeman, Mar 16, 2010
  9. Thanks everyone for your replies, and apologies for not responding
    sooner, I did my back in and was stuck at home with no access to newsgroups.
    You've given me some useful pointers. Will let you know what's decided.
    Willy Eckerslyke, Mar 22, 2010
  10. Update on this:

    I couldn't find any cheap Canons to test out CHDK so bought a
    refurbished SX200IS (reasonable specced 12 megapixel compact) and loaded
    up the hacking kit with some trepidation. I needn't have worried as it
    works a treat!
    Fastest it can manage at full resolution is one shot every 5 seconds,
    but it can keep that up for nearly an hour on one charge which is long
    enough for aerial use, especially as delayed starts can be programmed in
    so it doesn't need to be shooting while we're still sitting on the tarmac.
    I'd be happier with a 3 second or shorter interval to allow some overlap
    between shots, but won't know how much of a problem this is until I've
    built a mount to hold it to the wing strut.

    I tried one test with it bolted to my Land Rover to see how it coped
    with vibration, and it faired well.
    So I'm very impressed. Even it turns out to be useless for aerial work,
    as a general timelapse setup it's excellent, self contained and easy to
    use. Until it wears out, of course.
    Willy Eckerslyke, Apr 27, 2010
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