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Long Term Timelapse

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Renny McCauley
Long Term Timelapse
on Jul 23, 2009 at 11:00:24 pm

We are looking to do a long term time lapse in Golden Gate Park. We'd like to shoot for weeks or even months. The limitations are that this is being done in a public place and there is no power tap available. The camera will be hidden in a tree, so I'm not so much worried about theft.

The best route I've come up with so far is to have a Canon 20D connected to a timer remote controller. I will use as big of a card as possible (32GB?) and set the camera to one of the lower rez settings.

But this still limits me to the life of the battery which is probably hardly a day. There's no way we can swap the batteries daily. This seems far-fetched but is there any kind of solar power adapter that a camera could plug into? Or does anybody have any other idea?

And also, the camera will need to be protected in some kind of housing. Any ideas here?

Am I even on the right track here? I wonder if anybody's pulled off something like this?


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Mark Suszko
Re: Long Term Timelapse
on Jul 24, 2009 at 6:57:25 pm

There are Pelco housings to protect the cam from vandals and weather. There are time lapse cameras that run off of solar panels and use a cellphone link (modified Motorola startac) to forward their grabs to a web server somewhere. I think the brand name was "Colorado" or something like that. These are used in remote construction areas or at little-used private airstrips, so the pilots can check runway conditions at the destination runway by internet before they take off.

Axis makes a great webcam with the server built in, just needs power and a phone line; you can program it via a web interface and it stores and forwards folders full of sequential stills taken at any interval you like. We used those to get the time lapse of the creation of the Butter Cow at the Illinois State Fair. Not in HD though.

To make the rig small, hidden, impervious and self-powered, AND HD or HDRI for long duration... THAT makes it expensive to do. If it was my personal Canon, I wouldn't risk it, I'd make a more dedicated setup from catalog suppliers like supercircuits or whatever, using bullet cams.

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