$ uname -a Linux entropia 2.4.26-1-686 #1 Tue Aug 24 13:46:05 JST 2004 i686 GNU/LinuxNote that kernel version 2.4.18 or later is required for 'mainstream' USB support.
# apt-get install gphoto2 # dpkg -l | grep gphoto2 ii gphoto2 2.1.6-2.1 The gphoto2 digital camera command-line clie ii libgphoto2-2 2.1.6-6 gphoto2 digital camera library ii libgphoto2-2-dev 2.1.6-6 gphoto2 digital camera library (development ii libgphoto2-port0 2.1.6-6 gphoto2 digital camera port library
usb /proc/bus/usb usbdevfs defaults,user 0 0to file `/etc/fstab'.
GROUP=cameraand replacing string `camera' with the user's group. Alternatively, you can add users to `camera' group by editing file `/etc/group'.
# interrupt in any any command fails set -e # verbose execution set -x # gphoto2 binary executable GPHOTO=gphoto2 # delta time between snapshots in seconds DELTA=15 $GPHOTO --auto-detect $GPHOTO --delete-all-files while [ 1 ] ; do X1=`date +%s` X2=$(($DELTA+$X1)) $GPHOTO --capture-image $GPHOTO --get-all-files $GPHOTO --delete-all-files X1=`date +%s` T=$(($X2-$X1)) if [ $T -gt 0 ] ; then sleep $T else echo "WARNING: DELTA is too small" fi done
% gphoto2 --auto-detect Model Port ---------------------------------------------------------- Nikon CoolPix 880 usb:
$ sh timelapse.shPress CTRL-C anytime to finish the capturing. Sample test run images are here.
It is an easy and straightforward process to setup a time lapse imaging system using GNU/Linux, free software, and any globally available brand digital still camera. The demonstration here was carried out using Nikon Coolpix 880 but you could use also digital SLRs such as Nikon D70 body and optics of your choice, or any of the more than 600 cameras supported by gPhoto2. GPhoto2 is ported also to Mac OS X.
At its simplest, the described system is just a wired remote shutter release. It is not necessary even transfer the files over the USB if you use a memory card large enough. Nowadays you can have compact flash or micro drive cards up to 8GB which can store awfully many 3-megapixel images. For demanding imaging, you probably need to tune all the settings manually at camera side. Most importantly ISO sensitivity, focus, aperture, exposure metering and white balance. Note that some digital cameras, such as the Nikon D200, can perform time-lapse imaging without external control. See your camera manual for details.
19 March 2006,
Updated 4 May, 2006.