How can timelapse sequences be shot without having in-camera support for it?

Which third-party tools are recommended?

  • 2
    I would recommend adding the type of camera that you need it for. Not all camera's have the ability to be remotely controlled. Jul 18 '10 at 8:48
  • 1
    If your camera supports it, you could try using Magic Lantern. From what I understand, the firmware uses the same software controls that an external Intervalometer would. Apr 6 '14 at 20:57
  • Magic Lantern's intervalometer feature is a blast.
    – pspahn
    Nov 14 '14 at 3:24

I have a Canon TC80N3, which works as a remote shutter, can do hundred of exposures at a timed interval (aka time lapse), a long delay before taking a shot, and very long exposures (ie, greater than 30 seconds that the camera can do).

They seem to be quite difficult to get new nowadays - but they do have them on eBay.

  • +1: If you're using a Canon the TC80N3 is a great tool. I used it extensively for multiple timed exposures for astrophotography.
    – Marc
    Jul 17 '10 at 10:06
  • I find Pclix (pclix.com/pages/pclix_main.html) an interesting option, but have never used it myself. It's also compatible with many camera types.
    – Karel
    Jul 21 '10 at 20:09
  • 1
    If you have a Canon DSLR, it most likely came with software that allows you to shoot timelapse photos. The downside is that you need a computer with you, the upside is that the software is free. Sep 30 '11 at 21:29

Even though most cameras don't support it by themselves, many times it's possible when you connect them to a computer and use vendor-supplied software. For example Canon EOS utility should be able to do time lapse.


There are a number of remote shutter release devices with time lapse capabilities. I cannot recommend any specific, partly because I never used one of them myself, and also because I do not know what camera you have.


For Nikon SLRs, have a look at this blog post:


These tools do however require you to have a PC available nearby... I'm still looking for an Android app!

It seems there's a slew of free and commercial software available that will capture images on a timelapse basis. I've used Apple's Quicktime Pro on Windows to successfully create videos from image sequences.


gPhoto is capable of this, and supports a huge variety of cameras.

For one exposure every minute, this command will do the trick:

gphoto2 --capture-image --interval 60

Command documentation.

Granted, not everyone has a Linux or BSD machine sitting around to run this, but it's a perfect option for those who do.


I've started using TriggerTrap Mobile, an iOS app, which provides basic and complex intervalometer settings as well as a variety of other trigger types, and it works with a variety of cameras just by using the correct cable.

I haven't tried their TriggerTrap v1 product, but it also looks pretty slick, and is again compatible with a variety of cameras just by using the correct cable.


You can find pretty cheap intervalometers here : http://www.linkdelight.com/camera-remote-controls.html Also if you have a compatible Canon reflex, you caqn install Magic Lantern on it : http://magiclantern.wikia.com


Adding an updated answer for Canons, I am going to suggest the answer of How to programme EOS utility to take n number of shots?

modified for this answer:

An Android App Called DSLR Controller (Beta) works really well with my Canon Gear. ... The app lets you program lots of settings like number of pictures, at how many seconds apart, aperture, shutter speed, iso, change settings by brightness after each photo, etc.

I used it for a time lapse of completing the patio in my backyard a few years back and it worked pretty well, to make a time laps of my buddies wedding head table, to get self photos where 10 seconds isn't enough time to get behind the camera, review my RAW images while I'm on the road some where and want to see it on a larger screen.

I would really recommend looking into it and see if it might work for your Canon Camera.

DSLR Controller (BETA) - it costs about $7.99 (CAD or USD, i forget)

Remote Release - A Test app before purchasing the DSLR Controller

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