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Author: Subject: Arduino Intervalometer
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[*] posted on 1-3-2015 at 10:27
Arduino Intervalometer

I have a nikon d3300, and it is a great camera. However, it lacks a few features I would like it to have such as time lapse capabilities and HDR auto bracketing. Would it be possible to control the camera with an arduino based device to open up these possibilities? Any input would be appreciated!

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[*] posted on 1-3-2015 at 11:22

If you don't mind hacking the camera, you can probably easily couple an arduino to the shutter release button for time lapse. If you can track down the correct traces, you could even use the arduino to turn the camera on, wait a little bit, 'half press' shutter button, full press, wait a bit, turn camera off. You'd obviously have a timer or cascaded timer(s) running continuously. You may need a level converter to interface arduino signals to camera.

If I understand 'auto bracketing' correctly, isn't this best done in software on the host computer? Trying to modify the camera hardware to do this would be a nightmare IMO. Maybe you could modify the firmware somehow. That'd be a chore unto itself if it can even be done without bricking the camera.

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[*] posted on 2-3-2015 at 04:48

I would not risk my camera by hacking it. You need to open up the camera, find the electronics and find the correct points where to insert signals from the Arduino. Forget about that without documentation.

If you want timelapse videos, then use a Raspberry PI with its camera module. The camera module does not compare to your nice D3300, but hey, you can't expect that for $25 or so. The camera module, however, is amazingly good for its money, and it is even possible to convert it to a macro-device by prying away the glue, which prevents the lens from turning around and changing its focus.

The software on the Raspberry PI allows easy timelapse photography, you can start a picture-taking daemon and trigger it by sending a UNIX-signal to it (e.g. by means of a script, which uses the kill command to send signals to the daemon). By using a shell-script with a loop containing a timed sleep and a kill command you have your timelapse solution. It works till the SD-card is full.

Timelapse video quality also is less critical than still-picture quality. The only thing which really is important with timelapse is that the lighting conditions are constant and that the camera is absolutely motion-free during the entire period in which you make the timelapse pictures.

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