Time Lapse with Canon A650 IS

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by mmem700, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. mmem700

    mmem700 TPF Noob!

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    I'm a hobbyist attempting to do time-lapse sky photography with a Canon A650 IS on a tripod.

    This camera has no automatic continuous shutter capability, so I was trying to find out if it is somehow possible to do time lapse with this camera.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. dcclark

    dcclark TPF Noob!

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    According to dpreview.com, your A650 should indeed have a "Shutter Priority" mode and even a manual mode. Try setting your camera to Shutter Priority, and choose a very long shutter speed.

    Alternately, go to manual mode and do the same thing. I don't know how to choose these modes, but they are almost certainly options on the Big Wheel on the back or top of the camera. Check your manual for details...
     
  3. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    No way would you be able to do long exposures on your camera, my D70 has problems with long exposures, my D700 is ok, but for a point and shoot? Yeah right. You're better off getting a film camera and a cable release.
     
  4. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think the OP may mean have the camera take a photo in a time interval. Such as take a photo every 1 min for the next 60 mins.

    I know my Canon DSLR can do that if I buy a remote shutter with electronic Timer.
     
  5. dcclark

    dcclark TPF Noob!

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    Ah, I think Dao may have it right. We do need to hear from the OP about this though...

    What kinds of problems does your D70 have? I have no problems taking long exposures on my D40. There is some purple clouding above about 5 minutes, but there's no problem at all in the 10-60 second range, which is probably a good range to use.
     
  6. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    You have problems with the D40, you just don't know it. the purple, that's it. That's the problem, and that's a HUGE PROBLEM. That "purple clouding" is amp noise, heat from the surrounding electronics creaing noise on the sensor. Not to mention, the long exposure NR, albeit removes the clouding, completely wipes out detail.

    I'd much rather do a 1 hour long exposure at ISO 100 over a shot at 3 or so minutes at 1600.

    I can do hour long exposures without NR on the D700 and it looks OK (for 1 hour). It's a little noisy, but no amp noise. An hour on the D70/50/40, just looks like dog **** because it would be completely void of detail except for maybe the general edges of things. 10 minutes looks muddy on the D70/50/40!
     
  7. dcclark

    dcclark TPF Noob!

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    Right, it's a matter of scale that we're talking about. I rarely take an exposure above 5 minutes, but if you want to go for an hour at a time, I see how the amp noise is a problem.

    I suppose that the NR does remove the problem, but then it also doubles your exposure length, which can be a problem.
     
  8. mmem700

    mmem700 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies.

    My original goal was to do time lapse. I would take a bunch of pics at an even interval and then tie them together into a video clip with ffmpeg.

    I just spent some time studying the Canon manual and found that the best the A650 can do is a custom shutter drive setting. This allows you to set the interval to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, 20, or 30 seconds, and set the total number of pictures between 2 and 10.

    Of course, my goal was to shoot 1 shot every 60 seconds for several hours, so it seems that the camera is limited by it's own software.

    I'm a software programmer so I was wondering if there is a way to connect the camera to the computer through it's USB cable and then control it through the cable with software. This way, I could write a nice, simple little app to take care of all the timing.

    If anyone knows about any available tools that enable you to control the camera via USB, I would greatly appreciate it (DLLs or C libraries, etc.).

    Thanks!
     
  9. rfosness88

    rfosness88 TPF Noob!

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    "Capture One" i think is a program that you can tether your camera via usb, not sure if it works on all cameras or if it has time lapse though.

    side question, What would you take a picture of with an exposer of over an hour? Stars?
     
  10. mmem700

    mmem700 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the info. I'll look up "Capture One" and see if I can make it work.

    I'm not really interested in long exposures. I'm interested in time lapse, meaning that I want to take 1 picture every minute and then join the pictures into an mpeg or flv video.

    This way, I'll have a time lapse of several hours, using a large flash card.

    Thanks again.
     
  11. mmem700

    mmem700 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks to the suggestion by rfosness88, I eventually found a program called PS Remote:

    PSRemote - Software Features Canon PowerShot Remote Control Program

    which allows me to do exactly what I want.

    Unfortunately, after researching the program, I found that it does not work with certain PowerShot cameras, including mine (Canon A650 IS).

    I may look for a used A70 or something else that is on the list of cameras that work with the program. Here's the list:

    Pro series
    Pro90IS, Pro1

    G-series
    G1, G2, G3, G5, G6, G7, G9, G10

    S-series
    S30, S40, S45, S50, S60, S70, S80, S1 IS, S2 IS, S3 IS, S5 IS, SX100 IS, SX110 IS

    A-series
    A30, A40, A60, A70, A75, A80, A85, A95, A300, A310, A400, A510, A520, A620, A640

    Digital IXUS
    SD100 (Digital IXUS II), SD110 (Digital IXUS IIs), S230 (Digital IXUS 330), S400 (Digital IXUS 400), S410 (Digital IXUS 430), S500 (Digital IXUS 500)


    I may also look for some other camera that just supports automated long-term timed shutter operation. The A650 does, but only allows a maximum of 10 pictures timed a maximum of 30 seconds apart.

    If only they had these maximums raised to 60 seconds between pictures, and unlimited number of pictures (limited only by memory) then it would do exactly what I need it to.

    If anyone knows of a camera model that does this, please feel free to let me know. I may be in the market.

    Thanks.
     
  12. mmem700

    mmem700 TPF Noob!

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    I've been researching ways to do time lapse for hours and have discovered CHDK. It's an operating system add-one for Canon cameras that enables you to add additional capabilities to your camera, or even to write programs yourself.

    Since my A650 is limited to a total of 10 pictures at an interval of 30 seconds, this won't work for the long-term time-lapse that I wish to do, however, there are already some "intervalometer" programs written for CHDK that enable virtually unlimited numbers of shots at any interval.

    I'm going to give this a try and report back.

    Getting it working this way would be awesome because it would eliminate the need for me to purchase a new camera and timelapse software.

    I found timelapse software that works with certain cameras (GBTimelapse) but because Canon only makes software development kits (SDKs) available for certain cameras, it does not work with the A650.
     

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