Intervalometerator: Open Source Code for a Remote Timelapse DSLR

Want to set up a remote DSLR for shooting a time-lapse? The Intervalometerator (AKA ‘intvlm8r’) is an open-source intervalometer that can help you do so at minimal hardware cost (as long as you’re comfortable tinkering with hardware and software).

Created by Sydney-based coder Greig Sheridan and his photographer partner Rocky over the course of a year, the Intervalometerator is designed to be both cheap and easy to build with familiar tools and using Raspberry Pi and Arduino microcontrollers.

“My partner and I have been working for over twelve months now on an intervalometer in order to shoot a DSLR-based time-lapse of the construction of our friends’ home in NZ,” Sheridan tells PetaPixel. “It was at the time a seemingly clever idea for a house-warming present, but it grew like tribbles to consume an incredible amount of effort).

“We’re a Canon household, so it’s been designed around the 6D, 60D, and 600D, and we hope that over time other models and brands will be tested and found compatible too — it relies on gPhoto to talk to the camera.”

A solar-powered DSLR rig running the Intervalometerator.

Features of the Intervalometerator include flexible configurations (you can choose the capture rate on specific hours of specific days), remote control (if the installation has Web connectivity), low power usage (it consumes less than 1mA, allowing you to run it on a battery and solar panel), a battery-backed clock, a common 12V power supply, and auto-recovery after power loss.

You can check out the Intervalometerator’s browser-based interface through this online demo.

The open source code can be found in this GitHub repository. You can find a shopping list for all the parts you’ll need here.

Sheridan calculated that the electronics cost $159 and the power components cost $83 for a grand total (not counting the cost of the camera and box/mount) of $242.

Once you have all the necessary components, you can follow Sheridan’s instructions for putting everything together here.

“The whole thing’s open-source, and anyone’s welcome to help grow and refine it,” Sheridan says. “It has the features of commercial devices costing many thousands of dollars, and yet with a good second-hand body and lens from eBay you should be able to make your own Intervalometerator with plenty of change from $1,000.”