Canon Ixus 430 - Hardware modification for time-lapse work
This is not a software hack but a hardware hack that I used to turn my Ixus 430 camera into a time-lapse unit.
Basicaly the Canon Ixus 430 (and probably other early models) have a continuous shoot mode.
And I discovered that if you keep the shutter button pressed in then it will take photographs until the memory card is full.
The only downside is that the duration between shots is not that great, not more than a couple of seconds max.
The only real way you can control the interval is by setting the size and quality of the image.
In other words if you select 2272x1704 pixels then it take it longer to store the image compared with a 1024x768 image, you can also alter the quality setting to add control.
I use an 8Gb SanDisk Extreme IV Compact Flash card for storing the images. I guess if I used a slower unbranded card (with poor write speeds) then I could get an even bigger intervals. I've not tried it.
For my hardware modification I had to take the camera apart and carefully solder very fine PTFE covered wires to the focus and shutter connections on the exisiting switch. This is not easy as its all surface mount components, the shutter button is actually soldered onto a plastic ribbon so I had to be carefull with the heat of the soldering iron!
I had to use a special toggle switch as I need to be able to simulate pressing and holding the focus button and then the shutter button. So I had to wire it in such a way as to simulate this sequence reliably.
I wanted my modification to still allow me to use the camera fully without any hinderance, All I do to use it as a normal camera is to set the toggle up (off).
When I want to do a time-lapse I set the toggle switch to the centre position to lock the focus and exposure then press it to the 3rd postion which starts taking photographs.
After a few shots it completely fills the internal memory of the card (camera buffer ram) and from then on it keeps taking regular shots at a standard speed as it can't empty the buffer ram. These first few shots will have a shorter interval because they were stored to ram so can be discarded if you really fussy. You can't really tell they are at a different interval.
The Pros :
No other equipment required, just the camera. So no need to carry an intervalometer or laptop.
Exposures tend to be even from on frame to the next frame so no deflicker required.
The cons :
Only short intervals between shots possible.
Here is what my mod looks like on the back of the camera. As you can see the camera still operates as normal.
The toggle switch is securely fixed to the camera with epoxy glue so that the fine wires going inside dont break off.
Here is a video I shot with this setup :http://www.vimeo.com/1121364
Quick one of Narrow Boats :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qisG6VrWpHY
People walking around :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ME0GP4ePCE0
Night time driving :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B81ICDp8kJI
Any quesitons let me know.