I was recently looking for a camera that had a built in intervalometer. For those of you that aren’t sure what that is it’s the feature that lets you automatically take a picture at a specified interval. You can use this for time lapse photography or in my case sending a camera up in a balloon.
During my research I found a limited number of cameras that offered this and several external units that were both expensive and added a lot of extra weight. Finally I stumbled on CHDK.
How this brilliant project slipped past me is a mystery. They have developed software to run on Canon PowerShot cameras that adds tons of features that you would only ever see in a full featured DSLR. The beautiful part is it loads into temporary memory not changing anything on your camera. Getting started took me several hours so I thought I would make it easier for you.
Assuming you will read the wiki here are some steps that will save you some time…….
Once you find one that will fit your needs click this link to see if the model is on the compatibility list.
Here’s the rub. The text in Red is the model and the text inGreen is the firmware version. It won’t list this in the eBay listing and the seller won’t be able to easily get it for you. Here you have two choices.
- Ask the seller to send you a picture taken with the camera
- Roll the dice like I did and check the firmware version when you get it
Next for those of you with a PowerShot already or after you have chosen step 1 or 2 above
Download ACID a program made by the CHDK community especially for identifying your firmware and downloading the files. If it can’t download the correct build it will still tell you the firmware version. If this happens don’t panic yet. In my case it was still a beta version. It was the testing on my used eBay camera that got the version approved for the rest of the community. (If Acid doesn’t work click here and follow the instructions for finding firmware ver)
Once you have Identified the firmware version you should read the Forum thread and the wiki page for your camera model. For the wiki page click on the red link with your camera name from the compatibility page. For the forum page which has the most up to date information you will have to use the search box in the forum.
This is where I will leave you….well OK one more tip.
You need to prepare your SD card. There is a program named WICKS that should help you with this. It did not work for me but it may for you. I used another program called Card Tricks to finally get it to work.
I realize this is a lot of information but the benefit of CHDK is amazing. Trust me this is the condensed version and you won’t find it in one place anywhere else. If you have trouble don’t get discouraged. The people on the forum are some of the nicest I have met. If you have an older camera you will need two partitions. With windows this gets complicated but is worth it when done. If you need help ask the community. If I can help leave a comment and I’ll see what I can do or try and point you in the right direction.