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 Canon S90 Users with CHDK. 
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Post Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
Hello folks, I figured I would start the Canon S90 thread for finding out the best settings for attempting timelapse.

I just made my first attempt yesterday using my Canon S90 with CHDK during the evening and the results were not what I expected. The problem I experienced when trying to capture the CN Tower in Toronto and a full moon with decent lighting is that I had to keep the shutter open for 15 seconds with 2 second intervals in order to keep the noise levels down.....obviously at ISO 1600 it would create I think too much noise but I haven't tried it yet. What I discovered was that the moon was moving too rapidly at 15 second exposure and 2 second intervals and the timelapse was not smooth. Pictures at ISO 400-800 at night came out too dark with not enough light in the picture to make it a decent timelapse.

So how do I solve this problem? Do I perhaps have the wrong tools for the job for a night scene timelapse...perhaps the Canon S90 is not capable. Any suggestions appreciated.

Cheers,
John


Thu May 27, 2010 12:40 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
It's been my experience to get any decent night shots you need a large sensor, the larger the better.
Can't beat a full frame sensor.
I've had some great results from pocket cameras for daylight shots.

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Thu May 27, 2010 1:40 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
Antz, thanks for the response and you're absolutely right. I thought I would be able to get something decent since the Canon S90 is known for good low light pictures but I think what I'm trying to do is beyond its capabilities.

I'm going to try shooting ISO 1600-3200 and use a noise reduction plug in and see what kind of results I get. Too bad because I went and purchased the power adapter so I have direct power and a wide angle lens with an adapter hoping to pull off some good stuff only too be holding the bag at the end of the night....empty with my beer slowly slipping out of my hands. :shock: No one said it would be easy.

The day to sunset timelapse should be better I hope, I'm going to try that in the next few days.

Thanks for your comments.

Cheers.


Thu May 27, 2010 1:51 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
I decided to take off my wide angle lens with the adapter and just shoot stock camera. That seemed to have worked much better for the night scenes, I'm guessing it's allowing more light to reach the sensor. One thing I did notice is even though I had a tripod (actually using two legs) resting up against a patio bar there still seemed to be a bit of movement caused by vibrations which I wasn't expecting. But at least I'm on the right track.

Is there anyway to get the detail out the moons surface without it looking like a halo in my night timelapse or is this just limited by quality of the optics of my S90?

Thanks for any info.

Cheers.


Fri May 28, 2010 10:32 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
Getting detail of the moon and still being able to see anything else in the picture on any camera is almost impossible, except for maybe moonrise around full moon when there is still a lot of light in the sky. The dynamic range is huge.
Artificial lighting of foreground objects is about the only reliable way around it.

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Fri May 28, 2010 11:27 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
Thanks for the response Antz it will save me time in the future not trying to figure out how to capture the detail in the moon. I'll post my sample test of my night scene timelapse with the S90 in a few days.

Cheers.
John


Sat May 29, 2010 11:02 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
Here is some test sample footage with my S90 and CHDK timelapse during the night.

There are a few mistakes I did, as you can see the corners tend to shake, I first thought it was the tripod moving but then realized it was the camera trying to focus on each shot that is causing the lens to move. Next time I will use manual focus to eliminate that issue. As well, I had the camera elevated and pointed at about 45 degrees and this caused some extreme verticals with some of the buildings, I could have corrected this in post but this is just some test footage and just wanted to see how the night scene timelapse came out.

For a point and shoot the footage is usable.

I shot using 4MP(2272x1704) 4:3 but next time I will shoot wide (3648x2048). I tried to resize the images to a wide aspect then use quicktime pro to create the timelapse but unfortunately it came out very jittery and not smooth. The footage would only play smooth using the original aspect ratio and size of the pictures....I don't know why. I may have to use a more advanced video editor like Sony Vegas 9 in the future.

What resolution should I be using in the future so I know how much resolution I will lose when compressing with a video editor? I used 1756 photos with the footage below at f/2.5 shutter and exposure time at 1/1s with an ISO 400, and interval of 1 sec between shots, I encoded at 30fps instead of 24fps...which fps would be better?

Any comments?

Cheers.



Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:59 am
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
Okay here is another test using my S90. I wanted to capture the lights streaking from the cars with more effect and capture smooth cloud movement. I used 1 sec exposure and 0 sec intervals at f/2 and ISO 100.

There is some jittery in the clouds I wanted to avoid but I figured I was shooting pretty quick but I guess not quick enough. Is there a way to shoot fairly fast moving clouds and capture long streaks of cars at the same time smoothly.

Thanks for any info. I need to get the kinks out before I put together my first timelapse video.

Cheers.



Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:21 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
Here is another test from my S90. The upload to youtube didn't come out as smooth as I wanted even though my footage is fairly smooth.

But this gives you more of an idea of what it looks like on the S90. I found out when using Quicktime Pro, that I should be exporting the footage and selecting H.264, which flattens the image and makes it smoother for viewing. Before, I was just saving it when I should have been exporting which was causing some hick ups in the video.

I'm off to Vegas for 12 days to play in 3 wsop events, I hope to capture some decent footage of the city and the event itself and if I'm a little bit lucky a bracelet. :D

Cheers.



Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:49 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
Very nice!
Where is that point of view from btw ?

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Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:33 am
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
I shot the last video on top of a roof of a condominium building facing south, there is another tall building I can get rooftop access to that I hope I can shoot from in the future.

I just got back from a trip so I hope to put something together soon in terms of my first timelapse movie sequence with the S90. I have a pretty good idea now of what it can do and what it can't. One thing that certainly surprised me was that I can shoot over 800 pics on a single battery charge which really exceeded my expectations and opened up possibilities where an A/C adapter is not required.

Cheers.

EDIT: Sorry I forgot to mention I am facing south looking at the view of the CN Tower with the clouds.


Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:17 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
Can anyone help with this question....what is the best F-stop aperture setting for a sharp picture?

I've read that for landscapes you should use the maximum so for my camera it would be F 8.0.

But I've read on other sites to get the sharpest picture to use an f-stop a little bit past the center so for my camera it would be around f 5.x.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Cheers.


Sat Jul 24, 2010 3:56 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
Usually go 2-3 stops down from your max aperture to hit the sweet spot.

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Sat Jul 24, 2010 4:11 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
Yes, it varies with every camera and lens, but is generally somewhere around the middle it is sharpest.
For most SLR lenses it is around f8.
Best thing to try is pick a revealing scene, try out the different ranges and see what looks best.
Mostly obvious, things tend to get softer with bigger numbers / smaller hole, and tend towards distortion on the sides of the picture wide open.

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Sat Jul 24, 2010 4:40 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
Thanks guys for the response, I appreciate the help.

Cheers.


Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:51 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
I picked up an S90 a coupla months back. Only had one decent go at using CHDK for time-lapse. It didn't turn out too good because I was in England and it's summer and the sun was asetting around 9.30 with twilight lasting forever. Hopefully I'll get a chance to get out around here.

What script are you using? I used a really simple one that picked up the settings from the camera. The downside was that if I left ISO at Auto, it would default to 1600. Not cool. So I used P mode and ISO 400. I expect I'll be happy with that as that should expose fine with it gets to nighttime. At least if I'm shooting a cityscape it will be fine.

There's another script I have seen that automatically steps the exposure or something but I haven't had a crack yet. I still want to work out how I can turn off the LCD backlighting on the camera.


Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:31 am
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
Redav wrote:
I still want to work out how I can turn off the LCD backlighting on the camera.

Stick a dummy into the A/V out socket (a 3.5mm stereo jack works, but anything you can put in there to trigger the switch inside the socket will do).

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Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:06 am
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
Hi Redav, welcome to the thread.

I usually set my camera to custom mode.

This allows me to pretty much adjust everything including the "default" sharpness and saturation to save time in post work. I find the default sharpness setting to be a bit "soft". Changing it within the camera saves me post work and I like the results much better, the images are much crisper. Mind you, changing the defaults only work in "Custom" mode, its a feature not too many users know about but it's well worth it. I shoot everything in "Wide" format resolution for a 16:9 aspect ratio. The CHDK script that I use is the "Ultra Intervalometer"

I have begun now to set the WB manually as this helps to reduce flicker, I found this tip(s) helpful on the two threads from Tom and Milapse amongst others.

viewtopic.php?f=40&t=5
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1871

flyvholm wrote:
Redav wrote:
I still want to work out how I can turn off the LCD backlighting on the camera.

Stick a dummy into the A/V out socket (a 3.5mm stereo jack works, but anything you can put in there to trigger the switch inside the socket will do).


@flyvholm....thanks a MILLION for that tip! I've been trying to figure this out for over a month, I wish I would have just asked. This should help speed up the fps on the S90 and increase battery life even more. Thanks again!

I've been thinking about getting a budget motor head two axis with a 497 controller to give some motion to the stills but that is still a thought for now.
Here is a good video from Milapse on that topic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ni89TBOT ... FVNfWwoJjA

Even for a point and shoot this stuff is really challenging, my swearing vocabulary has expanded a thousand percent after getting back and looking at my footage. Tom was right make a list and check settings twice. :)

Cheers.


Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:55 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
flyvholm wrote:
Stick a dummy into the A/V out socket (a 3.5mm stereo jack works, but anything you can put in there to trigger the switch inside the socket will do).


John7 wrote:
@flyvholm....thanks a MILLION for that tip! I've been trying to figure this out for over a month, I wish I would have just asked. This should help speed up the fps on the S90 and increase battery life even more. Thanks again!

Agreed. That's frighfully simple! I had tried the USB as I'd read that it does the trick but it didn't. Shall give it a go and see how many photos I can get. First time around as a test I hit about 4 hours which was longer than using my S45 and S80.

John7 wrote:
I usually set my camera to custom mode.

This allows me to pretty much adjust everything including the "default" sharpness and saturation to save time in post work. I find the default sharpness setting to be a bit "soft". Changing it within the camera saves me post work and I like the results much better, the images are much crisper. Mind you, changing the defaults only work in "Custom" mode, its a feature not too many users know about but it's well worth it. I shoot everything in "Wide" format resolution for a 16:9 aspect ratio. The CHDK script that I use is the "Ultra Intervalometer"

I have begun now to set the WB manually as this helps to reduce flicker, I found this tip(s) helpful on the two threads from Tom and Milapse amongst others.

Fair enough. Okay, I think I have downloaded that one but I've only used the unlimited interval on so far, I need to give the better one a go. I still need to get a decent sized memory card because I have been using a 2g. I have an 8gig but it's dedicated to regular photography (kinda overkill but that's just me :) )


Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:05 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
flyvholm wrote:
Stick a dummy into the A/V out socket (a 3.5mm stereo jack works, but anything you can put in there to trigger the switch inside the socket will do).

Ah, unless I have missed something pretty obvious, the S90 doesn't have a 3.5mm socket. There's only a mini USB socket. I think one of the reasons for the S90 LCD doesn't have an off option is because the camera doesn't have a viewfinder like the earlier models so therefore you 'need' to have the screen on and backlit. There's some coding to get the backlighting to turn off but I haven't got it working yet. Mind you, I only gave it a very quick go.


Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:35 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
Redav wrote:
flyvholm wrote:
Stick a dummy into the A/V out socket (a 3.5mm stereo jack works, but anything you can put in there to trigger the switch inside the socket will do).

Ah, unless I have missed something pretty obvious, the S90 doesn't have a 3.5mm socket. There's only a mini USB socket. I think one of the reasons for the S90 LCD doesn't have an off option is because the camera doesn't have a viewfinder like the earlier models so therefore you 'need' to have the screen on and backlit. There's some coding to get the backlighting to turn off but I haven't got it working yet. Mind you, I only gave it a very quick go.[/qu

Just insert the A/V USB cable that came with your camera into the USB camera port and the LCD screen will turn off....it did for me.

Cheers.


Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:59 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
Ah, I saw on the specs it had A/V out but did not know that could be done via the USB port. We're lucky that the trick still works using the supplied cable then. :-)

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Fri Jul 30, 2010 6:09 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
I see says theblind man (and the man who didn't look)

I had just assumed that there was only one cable with the camera being the typical USB cable so I used another one of mine when I tried it. I'll use the AV one that's still in the plastic bag. Thanks for pointing that out :)


Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:15 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
John7 wrote:
The CHDK script that I use is the "Ultra Intervalometer".

Any chance you can flick me a link to the version that you use? I wanted to try it yesterday but it errors. So does some other script that I tried too :?


Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:59 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
Here is the script copy it into a notepad and save as .txt then change and rename the extension to .bas then load into scripts menu of CHDK and you are good to go. The script is called "ult_intervl.bas"

Cheers.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

rem Author - Keoeeit
rem Written for S-Series
rem Should be okay on others
rem Use Endless mode with caution
rem See documentation for important info
rem first version
@title Ultra Intervalometer
@param a Delay 1st Shot (Mins)
@default a 0
@param b Delay 1st Shot (Secs)
@default b 0
@param c Number of Shots
@default c 5
@param d Interval (Minutes)
@default d 0
@param e Interval (Seconds)
@default e 0
@param f Interval (10th Seconds)
@default f 5
@param g Endless? No=0 Yes=1
@default g 0
p=a*60000+b*1000
t=d*60000+e*1000+f*100
if c<1 then let c=5
if t<100 then let t=100
if g<0 then let g=0
if g>1 then let g=1
if p<0 then let p=0
z=t*c
y=p+z
print "1 Cycle Time:", y/60000; "min", y%60000/1000; "sec"
goto "interval"
:interval
if p>0 then gosub "pause"
print "Shot 1 of", c
shoot
if c=1 then end
for n=2 to c
sleep t
print "Shot", n, "of", c
shoot
next n
if g=1 then goto "interval" else end
:pause
n=(a*60)+b
for m=1 to n
q=n-m
print "Intvl Begins:", q/60; "min", q%60; "sec"
sleep 930
next m
return


Sun Aug 01, 2010 6:07 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
Ta, I'll see how I go with it. It looks familiar. There's another one I tried called Sunset_F16 or something like that. It errored too :(


Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:38 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
All the scripts you tried had errors? That is a bit strange maybe its a card or CHDK version issue, I think there are 3 different ones for the S90.

Cheers.


Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:01 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
No, not all. Just the trickier scripts. The simple one I use runs however sometimes it gives an error about the shutter needing to be closed. I haven't had a chance to try the script you listed. Didn't realise there was three versions of CHDK either


Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:24 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
Well, there you go. The issue was that the extension was BAS. The code was almost identical (there was a little indenting) but it seems to work fine (tested 5 shots). One thing I noticed us that the interval is between the whole shooting process and not between the shots. So, a 5 second interval = ~ 7 second interval. The other one I had (which falls over so I'll try renaming it's extension) is bang on the interval.


Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:04 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
Redav wrote:
One thing I noticed us that the interval is between the whole shooting process and not between the shots. So, a 5 second interval = ~ 7 second interval. The other one I had (which falls over so I'll try renaming it's extension) is bang on the interval.

That comes in handy when you want the camera to shoot as fast as possible (around 2 sec between shots, set the interval to zero).

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Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:09 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
Thanks for this info, its helpful.

What is the fastest interval that anyone has achieved for the S90? Has anyone tried if possible 1 fps in continuous mode?

Cheers.


Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:35 am
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
I saw this on Tom's tweeter page. What a sick toy to have..I want one! Scroll to bottom of the page to view the videos of how it works. They're all sold out too.

http://www.kesslercrane.com/index.php?o ... Itemid=111

My little S90 is getting fixed due to a blown out LCD screen. Has anyone had a chance to make any time-lapse sequences yet?

Cheers,
John


Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:37 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
Anybody successfully using CHDK to do timelapse with the S90?
I'm having trouble with the interval. The best I get is 7 seconds, and that is with all the parameters set to 0. I'm using the last script shown on this page:
http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/UBASIC/Scripts:_Ultra_Intervalometer
Is there a better script out there?


Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:57 am
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
I haven't had a problem with this script. There are a few versions of chdk for the S90 I think 3-4 so make sure you have the right one. Check your S90 firmware version and pick the correct chdk for it.

I've upgraded to the Canon S95 and script works fine for me.

Cheers.


Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:27 pm
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
Thanks for the reply.
That was the first thing I did - I have firmware 1.01 A. I might try the others just to see if there is any difference. The script works fine otherwise; it just adds about 7 seconds to the interval. So if I set the interval to 3 seconds, it actually takes photos every 10 seconds.
Another issue I'm having is one mentioned earlier in this thread- turning off the LCD to conserve battery life. I've tried putting a dummy mini-USB cable in the port, but it makes no difference.


Fri Jun 17, 2011 4:21 am
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
There is no 3.5 jack for S90. Use the mini/micro USB A/V cord and that should work to keep the viewfinder off to preserve battery. Worked for me perfectly and extends battery life. Hope this method works for you.

Cheers.
John


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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
Hi JohnK!
I'm a new member, read all of your posts and wonder how are you doing with your timelapse works now with your s95!
After watching all of your test clips, I want to follow your steps, doing time lapsing.
Too bad, I've just bought a S100 which is not ported yet, so I have to wait for the upcoming ChDSK...
Would you please post your current S95 settings when you use for your time lape, and more of your works-if you don't mind- please!
Luke


Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:19 am
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Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
Hi Luke and welcome to the forum.

I haven't put anything serious together just yet. I'm waiting for some new motion control dolly products to come out this year, then I will put something together after my purchase. I'm currently looking at the dynamic perception dolly, it is the least expensive compared to other models plus it provides good track length and is expandable. I'm hoping they release a portable version soon in order to transport in urban areas and set up.

I ended up starting something last year actually then quickly realized that I wanted to add motion to the footage to give it that extra life and after seeing everyone adding motion I knew that was the direction I wanted to go in. So I decided to wait until I got a dolly to give it another go. I figured if I'm going to put in the time, effort and expense I want to do it just right, so I plan on putting something together this year it's one of my goals for the year. I've picked out a kick ass soundtrack that took me 2 months of research to find something I really liked (luckily no one has used it yet in a timelapse that I know of, for originality) and I've got about 7-10 locations picked out so far with one location being Niagara Falls. More locations will be added later to hopefully fill up almost 2:20 minutes.

Over the past year other than doing my own thing I've been watching/studying a lot of timelapses and trying to learn as much from them as possible...sometimes I would watch the same timelapse 10-20 times in a row and really try get into the head of why this photographer shot a particular scene in a certain way (light, shadows, clouds etc playing major roles). Learning curve is very,very steep you definitely picked something that will challenge you but once you get started it's a pretty cool/fun hobby plus it's gets you outdoors which is great and you can create timelapses' at any age, so like a glass of wine I hope to get better with age. :) I live in Canada and most of our skies are gray for like 6 months out of the year and not really much timelapse photography opportunities during the winter months this past year was an exception surprisingly. So I hope this spring/summer/fall will be a good year for it.

For advice, I suggest you learn to love your manual mode because you will be using it a lot! For the best outcome manually lock your focus, ISO settings and set the aperture for somewhere above the middle to find the sweet spot for specific scenes so that your pictures look consistent with not too much flicker and turn image stabilizer to OFF on a tripod.

I suggest you open a twitter account if you don't already have one and follow guys like Tom Low, Vincent Laforet, Philip Bloom Andrew Walker and many others and see what they post on Vimeo and what other works they like to give you a path of creativity to discover on your own.

These point and shoot cameras are getting pretty powerful these days, they may not offer great bokeh due to sensor size but you don't really need bokeh for most timelapse anyway as mostly everything in the picture is sharp. I'm happy with my S95 and the use of CHDK as I'm sure you will be happy with your S100 and the 24mm wide angle, you could actually go wider with a wide angle lens with wide angle adapter to 15mm...for a point and shoot that's amazing!

I have a Canon wide angle lens and adapter on my S95 and it takes me from 28mm to 17.5mm. I plan on buying a full frame dslr in the future sometime but for now I'm concentrating on a motion control dolly because if I can't get good results with an S95 or S100 it's not going to matter if I have a top end dslr. It's the technique I want to learn most and I should get satisfactory to good results with a point and shoot. Then I have to learn more of Adobe Premiere to put it all together and that's another hurdle that I will eventually get past from watching online tutorials.

If you don't want to wait for the port to come out for the S100 you can always try this method to get you started and up and running, it works really well and it's a great tutorial for you to get your feet wet.
http://vimeo.com/18413652

Hope I've answered some of your questions sorry I don't have much new stuff to post but when I do I will post it in this thread or maybe a new one for the S95 or perhaps S100. :D In the meantime, I've been reading a few books called DSLR Cinema, Master Shots and National Geographic-Ultimate Field Guide to Photography.

Cheers and good luck!
John


Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:07 pm
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Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:05 pm
Posts: 2
Post Re: Canon S90 Users with CHDK.
Hi John!
Thank you for your quick reponse and useful advices.
It look like that you're really a serious player. The way you're thinking and willing to do your time lapses video, I think you 'll be a real pro with your works!
For me, I'd like to go simple on my drive lapse like this:
http://briandefrees.com/featured/usa-dr ... e-project/
and time lapse video quality just like what you have done so far with your S90 is my goal!
That's why I only want a good P&S with built-in intervalometer capable to shoots photos of my drive and use either Quicktime Pro or Proshow Producer to render the movies...
I have a old Canon SXI to use for this purpose but I'm pretty old now (71+) so I'd like everything simple and light now with my trip! That's why during the last 18 months I bought 2 P&S cameras: a Panasonic Lumix LX5 and a Canon S100 to use when I travel!.
John, please keep us up to date with your works and thank you for your advices again!
Luke.
Denver, Colorado


Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:52 pm
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