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Time-lapse camera

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Offline reyalp

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Re: Time-lapse camera
« Reply #10 on: 23 / December / 2012, 17:23:10 »
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I guess I should really consider battery life.  CMOS seems to be better on battery life than CCD, but the question is, is the difference that big?
Keep in mind Canon uses different battery technolgies too, AA vs proprietary lithium ion packs of various sizes. So a CCD camera might be less efficient, but Canon might have equipped it with a battery that more than makes up for it.

The available power saving and display modes in the canon firmware can also have a significant effect. In general, cameras with an optical viewfinder let you shoot with the display turned off, which also turns off the sensor hardware between shots.

Before you worry about battery life much, you should decide is if the battery you life you need is plausible. E.g. if you plan to take 24 hour time lapses, internal battery isn't going do it so you should focus on the ones that are easiest to use with an external power supply.
Don't forget what the H stands for.

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Offline lapser

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Re: Time-lapse camera
« Reply #11 on: 24 / December / 2012, 13:19:20 »
The available power saving and display modes in the canon firmware can also have a significant effect. In general, cameras with an optical viewfinder let you shoot with the display turned off, which also turns off the sensor hardware between shots.
Unfortunately, the G1X loses manual focus and focus lock when you close the door or turn off the display with the display button. It then starts auto-focusing again, which isn't good for time lapse. It doesn't do this when the display goes off from a time out (power save on). So I wonder if it would be possible to set the power save timeout to 0, so when the camera turns the display on every shot, it would immediately turn itself off?
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Before you worry about battery life much, you should decide is if the battery you life you need is plausible. E.g. if you plan to take 24 hour time lapses, internal battery isn't going do it so you should focus on the ones that are easiest to use with an external power supply.
I agree that an external power supply is a must for time lapse. Here, the G1X is much better too. Power supplies with a dummy battery are around $15 on Amazon. The one for the G1X has a cable that comes out the side, so you can still use a tripod. The SX260 has a hole in the battery door that you plug the cable into, which blocks the tripod mount.

I also found an 8.4 volt lithium battery that works with the G1X by splicing the cable from a 2nd power supply to a cable that plugs into the 8.4V battery. I should get 7 hours this way without A/C power.

The SX260 has a 4.7 volt battery, so I did the same trick with a standard USB external battery for charging phones and iPods. I got around 7 hours on the SX260 that way. Without external batteries, both cameras get around 2 hours. Here's a video taken with both cameras. I had 3 internal batteries for the G1X, which I used for sunset the first night. I didn't even make it long enough to see many stars, which the sx260 went for 5 hours after it got totally dark.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkLBPlY6DRE#ws
EOS-M3_120f / SX50_100b / SX260_101a / G1X_100g / D20_100b
https://www.youtube.com/user/DrLapser/videos

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Offline reyalp

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Re: Time-lapse camera
« Reply #12 on: 24 / December / 2012, 16:09:24 »
Unfortunately, the G1X loses manual focus and focus lock when you close the door or turn off the display with the display button.
Some cameras have a 'focus at infinity' mode, which is not lost when the display is turned off.
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So I wonder if it would be possible to set the power save timeout to 0, so when the camera turns the display on every shot, it would immediately turn itself off?
Not currently. Finding a way to trigger the power save timeout from code might be a worthwhile reverse engineering project.
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I agree that an external power supply is a must for time lapse.
I didn't say it's a must. It depends on what you are trying to do. The point is that the specific goals will determine whether battery power is viable at all, or external power is a requirement. That in turn will affect camera choice.
Don't forget what the H stands for.

Re: Time-lapse camera
« Reply #13 on: 25 / December / 2012, 13:31:55 »
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So I wonder if it would be possible to set the power save timeout to 0, so when the camera turns the display on every shot, it would immediately turn itself off?
Not currently. Finding a way to trigger the power save timeout from code might be a worthwhile reverse engineering project.
Curiously,  in my tests ( http://chdk.setepontos.com/index.php?topic=9049 ) I found that setting the timeout to minimum (10 sec) with a 60 sec shooting interval got me quite a few less shots than 5/6th of the shots that using a true "display off" gave me. 

So the timeout seems to not save as much power as actually having the display off ?

And putting the camera in playback mode was more effective than waiting for a display timeout as well.

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