I'd like to do multi-day time lapses to show the growth of some of my plants. My question is this: how do I deal with camera power for a time lapse lasting multiple days?

Naturally, the camera only needs to be on for the actual taking of the photo. Ideally, I wouldn't need to disturb the camera to turn it on, as then I would be photographing the scene from a slightly different perspective. Are there intervalometers capable of powering the camera on and off as needed? I've read around and hadn't seen anything on that.

I have a Canon EOS Rebel T3i, and I know about external hardware and Magic Lantern as options. I read that Magic Lantern can keep the camera in a low power state between photos, which should help. I'm not sure whether any external intervalometers do the same.

What are the ideal strategies for consistent camera position in long-term time-lapse photos? Do you have your camera continuously charging, or are you just very careful when repositioning it after picking it up to power it on? If the latter, what are your strategies for ensuring it's in the same place as before?

It was proposed that this question was a duplicate of one on how to provide continuous power. While that is one possible solution to my problem, there were other aspect of my question not included in that. For example, I also asked if there are intervalometers capable of controlling camera power, and asked for other ideas that can reduce wasted electricity between shots.


1 Answer 1

  1. This could not be necessary, since my experience with a Rebel XSi is that it goes to sleep automatically and doesn't draw much power in this state, I once awoke it after at least two weeks of sleep and the battery was still full. So if you can make the go-to-sleep delay as short as possible (and possibly reduce other consumption such as the rear screen and use manual focus), you could be able to take you whole time lapse on a single battery (in the limits of roughly 400 according to the specs, but likely much more).
  2. You can double that with a battery grip (holds two batteries)
  3. There are DC couplers such as this that can power your camera using an external battery pack or an USB charger.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for the information and for the link to the DC coupler - I hadn't known about those. It sounds like I ought to experiment with how long my camera will last if I explore and judiciously adjust power-adjusting settings. I'd like to see if anyone else contributes suggestions, so for now I'd like to wait before accepting your answer so the question will still be displayed as open. If that's improper etiquette or or if I forget to mark it as accepted, please let me know! Thank you again for the information! \$\endgroup\$
    – BGreen
    Dec 21, 2018 at 1:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.