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Camera Triggering

This page describes how to set up a camera to repeatedly/continuously take pictures during [balloon or kite mapping](/wiki/balloon-mapping). **Lead image by @mathew depicting the recommended method: [holding the shutter button down with a knotted string under rubber bands](**. For timing two cameras together, see [dual camera triggering](/wiki/dual-camera-trigger) ## How do you keep the camera continuously shooting photos during flight? Many cameras can be set in "**continuous shooting mode**", which generally allows you to hold down the trigger button to take many continuous photos. This means you can use the simple "Knot and rubber band" method, [listed below](#Activities). Note that continuous mode is different for each camera, and not all cameras have it. [Check the camera selection page](/wiki/camera-selection). We recommend Canon cameras for reliability; some cameras will shut off after a few minutes. See below for details. Taking lots of photos is generally easier than controlling when a photo is taken. Once you find a camera with continuous shot, test the battery to see how long it will shoot. Put in a memory card with 4gb+. Consider getting a second battery. Some cameras can be set programmatically, such as Canons using the [Canon Hack Development Kit (CHDK)](, and CDHK can be triggered via the camera's [USB port](/wiki/dual-camera-trigger). Some Canons can also also be triggered by infrared remote control codes, useful for stereo or near infrared camera pairs, along with [Stereo DataMaker]( [Dave Mitchell wrote easy Javascript programs for installing CDHK and Stereo DataMaker](/notes/mathew/1-31-2013/programs-simple-chdk-and-stereo-datamaker-installation) [Cris Benton and others use motors to trigger cameras that can't be programmed]( A more drastic option is to hack a timer directly into the camera's shutter button circuit, [like this 555 timer]( **** ## Activities Although the ["knot and rubber band" technique]( is easiest, here is a collection of guides to different ways to trigger a camera. Add your own! [activities:camera-triggering] **** ## Timelapse Apps There are also many smartphone apps for taking timelapse (including [Sky Camera](, by Public Lab contributor @mercyorangi). Let's collect notes and guides on using these on a unique page, and using the #timelapse-apps tag: ...

Author Comment Last activity Moderation
mathew "done! " | Read more » almost 7 years ago
warren "Hi, Mathew, mind if I retitle this "Use a rubber band and knotted string to trigger a camera"? " | Read more » almost 7 years ago
sarasage "Fantastic post! Would love to replicate this! " | Read more » almost 7 years ago
mercyorangi "@amysoyka, thats a very good suggestion right there! Will definitely incorporate the feature within the next 2 updates, much appreciated! @xvidun,..." | Read more » over 9 years ago
warren "Vidun - that would be excellent, that's the idea to link up the two. I did some tests here:" | Read more » over 9 years ago
xvidun "This looks exciting!! did you do any actual field test? I'm going to test this against my work. thanks! " | Read more » over 9 years ago
warren "Thanks, Mercy, this is great. You should link to this page from here: so people can find it! Also feel free to..." | Read more » over 9 years ago
amysoyka "Are you going to add a locate my phone feature, like Google Latitude, so that people can ping their phones if the wind carries it off...? " | Read more » over 9 years ago
cfastie "Field testing of this device is described in this note: " | Read more » over 9 years ago
nicholas "Thanks for further information and some clarification. Looking forward to using the SX160 though feels a bit heavy compared to the A495. Will rep..." | Read more » almost 10 years ago
cfastie "Congrats Nicholas. That effort getting familiar with CHDK can greatly improve your aerial photos. Two notes on your procedure: Your Powershot was..." | Read more » almost 10 years ago
mathew "cool. if it's a problem, grab a few 1N4001 (or 1N4002,3,4...) diodes from radioshack or any electronics store, they're handy to have around for ju..." | Read more » over 11 years ago
cfastie "Yes, I must be right at the limit for voltage that the cameras can tolerate. One of the diodes on the MK111 (D3) apparently drops the voltage from..." | Read more » over 11 years ago
mathew "cool! the 6v signal isn't a problem for the cameras? USB is usually 5v or lower. if there's a problem, you could put a few diodes in the line to d..." | Read more » over 11 years ago
cfastie "Update: This was delivered today in Vermont. It took eight days to arrive from Xiukanglu, Shanghai. It looks exactly as advertised, except that i..." | Read more » over 11 years ago