We have a Canon 550d and have purchased a turntable to create spinnable products on our website. However, we are having an issue.

The turntable takes exactly 60 seconds to perform a full rotation, however on continous shooting the camera only goes for around 15 seconds then stops. We downloaded magic lantern and it goes longer now, but still doesnt continue until the end of the rotation.

We cannot use video, it must be multiple images which we will stitch together in an external program.

Can anyone advise on what we're doing wrong or what we need to do?

  • I'm confused. Object panoramas are typically created from a series of still images, not a video. Can you clarify why you're worried about video recording length, if you can't use video and need multiple still images? Can't you just use the intervalometer in Magic Lantern?
    – inkista
    Jul 9 '15 at 15:35
  • 1
    Thanks for your reply, we arent using video, we're using continuous shooting (images) but it wont carry on for as long as the turntable rotates. Jul 9 '15 at 15:39
  • Does the turntable stop at the end or can it perform several turns?
    – null
    Jul 9 '15 at 17:32

Reduce the image size. You surely don't want your customers to download dozens of 18 megapixel images just to see spinning products. That won't be the kind of user experience that makes people reach for their wallets. And if you don't need all that resolution, you don't need to record it all in the first place. Try smaller images.

Use an intervalometer to reduce the rate at which the camera takes photos. You don't need 204 frames (3.4frames/sec * 60sec) to produce a useful animation. Figure out the angular distance you need between frames to get the effect you want -- many sites use 15 or 20° between frames, but even if you go down to 5° you'll cut the number of frames from 204 to 72. Then calculate the interval you need between shots (60 sec/72 frames = 0.833 sec), and set the intervalometer to that rate. Slowing the rate down this way will give your camera time to write the images out to the memory card.

Get a faster memory card. If you're using a card that's slower than your camera's max write speed, using a faster card is an easy way to speed up the write process.

  • 1
    For a 550D one should use a UHS-I card with at least 59 MBytes/s or any UHS-II card in order to fully utilize its max write speed Jul 17 '15 at 11:19

Sounds to me like the camera is shooting RAW and hitting the buffer limit. Try setting the image quality option to JPEG fine instead and see if that fixes it.

  • The buffer limit of the T2i/550D, when shooting full size JPEG, is around 35 frames. At 3.7 fps that will get you about 10 seconds and is considerably less than the 60 seconds needed to capture one revolution of the turntable.
    – Michael C
    Jun 27 '16 at 19:00

Check if you shoot in JPG or RAW mode. This is important as RAW files usually are bugger than JPEG and it take more time processor in camera to write them to storage card. So switch to JPEG

Check if you shoot in burst mode. If you shoot in this more the buffer (very fast memory in camera) will be filled fast and processor will try to write the files to storage card and free the buffer. But as storage card is much slower than internal buffer in one moment you will have full buffer and camera will stop to take photos. So disable burst mode and check below for invervalometer

Try with faster SD (and bigger) card. Slow storage card can be the reason to stop shooting (see above paragraph). So its is recommended to use fast card which will be able to handle the speed camera write the photos on it. Buy at least 40MB/s and 4GB card. And be aware this number (40MB/s) is the speed of reading, and operation which cause problems is writing. The average writing speed of 40MB/s card is 30MB/s

Use intervalometer and set the interval depend of number of pictures. This will help you to make on defined interval consecutive photos of the product. To calculate which interval to set delete 60 on the number of shoots you need to have

Also is good (at least to try) to shoot photos with small size and instead of 18 Mpix to have 7.5 Mpix or 4.2 Mpix. Please consult your software to decide is this is applicable and which size is OK. This can help a lot as images with lower resolution usually are smaller

One more thing, you can try tethering (connect camera to computer). The images are downloaded directly to the computer (can be also stored in SD card on the same time). If you use EOS utility you will have free of charge intervalometer to set repeat shots


i realise this post is very old. but i have a solution to this which the Orginal poster may not have thought of, and maybe someone will find it useful.

the orginal poster of this issue said, they need pictures. not video. but they need it in a complete circle around the object as a turntable moves, so they can stitch it all together.

but the real answer to this problem is video, believe it or not. all you need to do, is extract the video frames, as pictures using a video frame extractor software, there are free ones online. you will have not only enough frames, to stitch in your product page, but because you have magic lantern, you can capture them as raw 14-bit ;)

  • This is a good suggestion, if the OP is willing to accept the lower resolution that comes from video frames. The 550D only records 1080p. But its photo resolution is ‎5,184 × 3,456.
    – scottbb
    Sep 18 '17 at 12:10

I'm going to argue for video (even though you explicitly say you can't use it).

With a video, there is plenty of software that allows you to pull a single frame from the video and turn it into a JPEG. I believe Windows Movie Maker allows you to do it and VLC should as well.

First, let's talk about the problems with this method and then we'll talk about the positives.

1) Quality Lost. This will be the biggest problem. Suppose your record in HD. That's only 2MP and if it is at 30fps then you'll have missing data.

2) It will be a pain in the butt. You're taking a video and turning it a series of stills and then turning that into a panorama.

The positives:

1) It's easy. Push the button and problem solved. You don't have to worry about timing or anything like that.

2) You can run the turntable multiple times to get the missing data (if your camera only does 30fps).

Although, I want to know how you got a turntable to run at 60 rpm. Standard is 45 rpm and 33 and 1/3.

  • 3
    Turntable runs at 1 rpm. 60 seconds per revolution.
    – Wirewrap
    Jul 9 '15 at 22:14

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