An adjustable timer that will continually focus and shoot images on a digital camera.
This system will focus and shoot a photo at some repeating interval
This project will extend the "Hacked Camera Trigger" project, allowing a timer to control both the focus and shutter release functions on a digital camera at an adjustable rate. This method of repeating time delayed image taking is also referred to as a "time lapse photography", and can be used to speed up time by piecing together hundreds of photos taken over the span of hours or even days. By first focusing the camera before the shot, the camera will be able to acquire moving targets with far fewer missed or blurry exposures. In this project, a timer feeds a 10 stage counter, allowing up to 10 individual control points, although only two are needed in order to control the camera relay interface.
By using the other eight digital output pins on the decade counter, several more cameras can be controlled, or more relays can be added to allow the controlling of various other electrical devices such as solenoids, alarms, lights, or even AC operated appliances. The rate of photo taking can be controlled by a variable resistor, and by altering the value of the timer capacitor, rates of several photos per second all the way down to single photos every hour can be set. This project assumes that you have previously built the "Hacked Camera Trigger" project, although you could certainly interface it to some other hardware as well.
Figure 1 - This is the relay interface that controls the camera shutter switch
The small board shown in Figure 1 is a previous project called "Camera Trigger Hack", and it allows any electronic device to issue a focus and shoot command to the camera. I call this a hack because it requires removal of the original switch from the camera in order to hack into the two functions that control the focus and shoot signals on the cameras circuit board. You "may" be able to build this project without the previous project as long as your camera board will accept the 5 volt digital signals from the 4017 decade counter into the cameras board, but to be safe, this previous project adds a level of safety to ensure your camera will not be damaged by any external device or voltages.