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Canon Ixus 430 - Hardware modification for time-lapse work
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Author:  comedyhunter [ Fri Jul 11, 2008 5:51 am ]
Post subject:  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.

Image

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.
Thanks
Andy

Author:  TS-E [ Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon Ixus 430 - Hardware modification for time-lapse work

Excellent work! I really liked the narrow boats and bus station videos in particular.

Nice idea with the camera modification too. It obviously works well! :-)

I think you deserve far more than one reply in five months though!

Author:  Antz [ Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon Ixus 430 - Hardware modification for time-lapse wo

Of course, for any camera that has a continuous drive mode, you could use something like one of these over the shutter button...
http://www.amazon.com/Irwin-Industrial- ... 256&sr=1-6

Author:  Shaneuk [ Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon Ixus 430 - Hardware modification for time-lapse work

Comedy Hunter,

That's a nice idea.

I love your work, especially seeing as I am from Derby as well.

What interval did you use for the Quad construction time lapse?

Author:  comedyhunter [ Fri Aug 13, 2010 3:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon Ixus 430 - Hardware modification for time-lapse work

I have have not used this camera for a while so recently used it to create a driving video. The video has finished processing on Youtube now.
The video is made from 8026 photographs taken with my modified Ixus 430 :



Thanks
Andy

Author:  Jzeke16 [ Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon Ixus 430 - Hardware modification for time-lapse wo

Sorry for the request from a very old post. Can you post a simple schematic for the switch wiring? I assume your using a DPDT switch.

Author:  comedyhunter [ Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon Ixus 430 - Hardware modification for time-lapse wo

Jzeke16 wrote:
Sorry for the request from a very old post. Can you post a simple schematic for the switch wiring? I assume your using a DPDT switch.


Hi, well it was a long time ago I wired this (I still use it today).

The switch is from RS :
RS Stock No 344-710

I do not have a wiring diagram as I just looked at what I needed it to do and wired it on the fly. If you are into electronics then should be easy to replicate. My wiring is encased in epoxy so can't see it.
Andy

Author:  Jzeke16 [ Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon Ixus 430 - Hardware modification for time-lapse wo

Thanks for that. I'll probably figure it out the same as you did.

Author:  comedyhunter [ Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Canon Ixus 430 - Hardware modification for time-lapse wo

Focal wrote:
Hey everybody, I'm knew obviously. I loved how you figured out how you could turn your camera into a time lapse device. I like finding ways to use pieces of equipment different than what they were engineered for. Also, cool time lapse video. 8,000+ photos?!?! That's a lot of data.

Hi, glad you enjoyed my hardware modification.
8000 photos is not a lot really a lot of data, I had plenty of room for more as...

Photographs taken at 1600x1200 pixels
The jpeg files sizes are between 47Kb to 392Kb, image size varies depending on brightness and complexity of the image.
The 8026 Photographs were 1.43Gb in total
Stored onto a Sandisk Ultra III 8Gb SD Card

Cheers
Andy

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