We are organising some outdoor volunteer works, and looking for a solution how to shoot the "construction site" time-lapse over the day from the "bird's eye" view - e.g. from the approx. 5m high (sturdy) pole.

My time-lapse needs/calculations:

  • HD resolution shots (1920 or 1280)
  • with rate approx. 1min footage from 1 hour real time at 24fps = 1 shoot every 2.5 secs.
  • shooting time typically 6-8 hours but sometimes up to 12-16 hours ;)
  • if one HD resolution JPEG takes 1MB space, for 12hour/2sec need capture 17000 images = 17GB SD card size (far bellow of current high capacity SD cards)

Because it is volunteer works looking for an cheapest possible solution, what allows solve the next problems:

  • Power. This is for outdoor, so probably need some high capacity batteries what allows all day shooting session
  • weatherproof - typically not needed but the solution should withstand occasional rain.
  • easiest possible setup (this is probably the hardest part)
    • how to setup the right "view" (position) of the camera? I can manually rotate the pole (left/right) but still need "somewhat" setup the up/down angle. Because this setup is only once a day, can do it with trial/error but still need a sort of remote view. Now exists some cameras what allows remote viewfinder via the smart phone, but haven't idea about their time-lapse capability.

I'm open to any nonstandard solution too, e.g. with Raspberry Pi, or anything like, but the final solution should be as simple to use as possible. e.g. my (probably unrealistic) hope:

  • mount the "shooting box" to the pole
  • raise the pole
  • check the camera view
  • press "start"
  • forget it all day long ... ;) :)


After browsing other questions here, probably found the solution: GoPro Hero3+ /not a very cheap 450€, but somewhat acceptable ;(/.

It can (based on what i learn on web)

  • can timelapse 0.5, 1, 2 ,5, ... seconds
  • remote view for framing via iPhone/Android App so i can setup the pole to the right direction
  • start shooting remotely from the phone (i hope, time-lapse too)
  • it is weatherproof
  • up to 64GB SD card

The only thing what about I'm still not sure is the power. I don't found any informations about power consumption when shooting time-lapse. Know anyone more?

  • \$\begingroup\$ photo.stackexchange.com/questions/41710/… \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Commented May 31, 2014 at 22:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @dpollitt thanx. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – clt60
    Commented Jun 1, 2014 at 0:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ you could probably also use CamRanger? \$\endgroup\$
    – Tomas
    Commented May 23, 2016 at 11:27

3 Answers 3


Yes, you could use a GoPro Hero for this. The cheapest current model would be the Hero3 White. Or the older HD Hero or HD Hero 2, with the wifi bacpac, you might be able to find these cheap second hand.

Any of these have a timelapse mode. And they can be connected to an iPhone or Android device, which allows remote view, or controlling the camera, including starting a timelapse.

The main issue would be power. It depends on the exact model, but the battery will probably only last for about 2 or 3 hours of timelapse. You can get a "battery bacpac", which attaches to the back and gives about double battery life. Or they can be powered from USB supply, so you could use a separate USB battery pack. With the standard waterproof housing, the USB port is covered, so you can't plug anything in. You can get a "skeleton housing" which has holes for the plugs, though it is not entirely waterproof. You could tape over the holes, which would probably withstand a bit of rain.


If you are happy with the GoPro solution, CamDo makes a time lapse controller and solar panel for construction time lapse. https://cam-do.com

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, I also use the Cam-Do solution on my time-lapse needs from my project. These guys have a long-term solution for GoPro time-lapse that adds solar and weatherproofing. cam-do.com/blogs/camdo-blog/…. \$\endgroup\$
    – ManusDei
    Commented Sep 9, 2023 at 2:36

One thing you can use is "Xtreme Tether", its a wireless remote control for DSLR, you can wirelessly change your camera settings, get a live view of your cameras view finder remotely, upload pictures remotely from the camera, wireless pan and tilt, wireless trigger, and it even has a wireless interval-o-meter, and motion sensor, all built into one unit.


  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, here are more solutions like this, e.g. here are many cameras what allows "remote viewfinder" via iPhone or Android phone, and allows change many settings too, via WiFi. For this solution need an DSLR camera /not cheap :)/ and the xtreme-tether device. Yes, it can change pan/tilt too what is really great bonus. Checked it, it is a professional solution - so, not for me - I want easy and cheap as it is possible. Thank you for answer anyway - good to know. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – clt60
    Commented Jun 9, 2014 at 18:32

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