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What software is available that will let me control a camera from a computer, so I can shoot a lime lapse sequence?

The camera is a Nikon D60. I am looking for freely available software.

I am aware of the DIYPhotobits.com Camera Control software, which I have used once. The problem with this program was that I was shooting a time lapse during sunset. Because of the auto-adjustment, the shutter speed went up to 8 seconds after it got dark. This pushed up the time difference between frames from 10 seconds in the start to 18 seconds in the end. In the result video everything seems to speed up in the end. I am looking for software that allows compensating for this.

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Two questions: 1) do you require computer control, or is the idea just to be able to shoot timelapses? 2) Is the auto-adjustment you speak of because you didn't plan for the correct length for the exposures? –  Dan Wolfgang Jun 11 '12 at 12:25
    
@Dan I simply want to shoot time lapses. The camera has no built-in support for this (possibly because of the finite shutter life), so I used a computer to make a shot every 10 seconds. The problem with the software I used for this was that it didn't compensate for the increasing shutter speed (so in the end I had a frame every 18 seconds). I'm looking for a solution that avoids this problem. I don't see any other way than using a computer to control the camera or standing there myself with a stopwatch and pressing the button every 10 seconds. –  Szabolcs Jun 11 '12 at 12:28
    
@Dan To answer question 2: the camera automatically increased exposure time to 8 seconds because I started to shoot in sunshine and finished in darkness (it gets dark very quickly here). I don't see any way to avoid getting the exposure time in the 1+ second range, but again: suggestions welcome! I used fixed aperture and let the camera adjust the speed. If I used a fixed speed, I'm afraid adjusting the aperture wouldn't be enough to avoid underexposure after it gets dark (or overexposure during sunshine). AFAIK this camera can't adjust the ISO in A or S mode. –  Szabolcs Jun 11 '12 at 12:33
    
Ok, I see: the D60 doesn't have any sort of port that a more traditional remote can control; the computer is the only way to control the camera. –  Dan Wolfgang Jun 11 '12 at 14:28

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

There is a freeware opensource software NCC (disclaimer: I am the author), it has almost the features of Nikon Camera Control Pro, and you can submit any new feature request any time.

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I know the program http://www.controlmynikon.com/cmn.html has a timelapse feature that you can incorporate with bracketing, so I was wondering if that would help? There is also a forum on http://timescapes.org/ where someone might know the answer. ControlMyNikon has multiple tutorials and a free 15 day trial.

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I'm looking for free solutions if there are any, but for a little experimenting a trial version will do as well (I didn't think of this option before). Thanks for the pointer! –  Szabolcs Jun 11 '12 at 13:46
    
The program costs about $20, so would not leave a big whole in your budget, if you found you liked it. –  Gillie Bengough Jun 11 '12 at 13:52

As you state in a comment above, that all you want to do is shoot timelapses, rather than relying on a software solution you could always try something like the gentLED-Auto. Their website claims D60 compatibility and I also found this video where the poster says they used a trial of Nikon's Camera Control Pro 2 software, but have since purchased the gentLED-Auto controller to save them lugging their laptop around (and also the gentLED-Auto is a fraction of the cost of the Nikon software).

Hope that helps...

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Thanks for the pointers. This would be a good solution if I were doing this often. But since I'd just like to experiment a little bit, a hardware solution is too expensive. The one you linked to is 50 eur + shipping. I am looking for free solutions (this is why I wanted to use software), if any are available (other than DIYPhotoBits Camera Control) –  Szabolcs Jun 11 '12 at 13:45
    
OK - I don't know about the software then. But as the guy says - the Nikon software has a 30 day free trial -- you could try it out at least? :) –  Mike Jun 11 '12 at 13:50
    
Of course, it didn't occur to me to use a trial version. It should be good for playing a bit –  Szabolcs Jun 11 '12 at 13:54

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