Canon A2000is Time Lapse using CHDK

May 21 2010

I don’t know what it is about them, but time lapse videos captivate me. It might be the fact that you can live hours in minutes? Maybe in a strange way it is gratifying to watch life pass by without consequences? Whatever it is, they are a lot of fun to watch… and now create!

When I found out I could use my Canon A2000is point and shoot to create a time lapse, i was floored. I owe it all to the Canon Hack Development Kit (CHDK). With this nifty piece of software, your Canon camera can boot a whole new feature set from an SD card. Most importantly, run Ultra Intervalometer script.

One gotcha with CHDK is that it will only boot from a FAT16 partition. So if you have a 4gig+ SD card, you will need to jump through some hoops to create a bootable FAT16 (32mb will do) and a larger FAT32 partition for storage. MacOS and Linux read the partitions no problem, if you are using Windows… SDM Installer will help you create and switch between partitions.

The next thing you need is power, after all your wimpy lithium-ion or in my case NiMH’s won’t last all day. This is where an AC Adapter comes in. Mine didn’t come with one, so I found a HQRP AC Replacement Adapter for my camera. Get the one with the transformer in the middle, it has a longer cord.

Once you get all your images together, you need to make the video. For this I used Quicktime 7 Pro. It was super easy and imported directly to iMovie for transitions, audio and text. When creating the video, I used the default 15fps photo sequence.

It’s hard to believe that my sub $200 Canon A2000IS camera is capable of such amazing things. Many more to follow, stay tuned.

Just remember… time is relative.