A Simple Time Lapse CHDK Script for Canon SD300

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CHDK (Canon Hack Development Kit) has done wonders for Canon Powershot cameras, by developing an awesome firmware for the Canon point and shoot series of cameras. I have been fiddling with it since I got an old used SD300 last year. You ought to try it if you have an old Canon lying around. I would get on with the details of installation and usage later.

However, if you already have it installed on your Canon SD300 or any other DIGIC II sensor based Canon Powershot camera, then you can start shooting time lapse videos with this simple script. I downloaded it from the CHDK website but it was not working natively on SD300, because SD300 shoots in two steps, shoot_half and shoot_full, so I hacked the script a bit and it works! Here is the time lapse script for all you SD300 users out there.

rem Time Lapse Photography
rem Step 1: Mount camera on bike
rem Step 2: Click “shoot” button
rem Step 3: Profit!
@title Time Lapse Photos
@param a Interval (secs)
@default a 1
@param b Interval (1/10 sec)
@default b 0
i=a*1000 + b*100
if i<100 then let i=100
t=get_tick_count
rem Shot counter
n=1
print “Time Lapse Photos”
sleep 1000
goto “shot”
:shot
t=get_tick_count
print “Shot”, n
press “shoot_half”
click “shoot_full”
n=n+1
rem Wait i msecs, including the
rem time it takes to shoot.
rem Shoots as fast as possible if
rem each shot takes longer than
rem i msecs.
d= i – get_tick_count + t
if d<0 then let d=0
sleep d
goto “shot”
Save the above text as timelapse.bas and move it to your scripts folder, load it using the ALT menu, set the time interval and run the script by pressing ALT+shoot. You can stop it anytime by pressing shoot again.
PS: Don’t forget to put your camera on “Manual” mode, using the function key.

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About the Author

has written 346 posts on this blog.

Meditating towards his "nerdvana", lifehacker is a teacher by the day and a nerdy blogger by the night. He lives to learn and yearns to learn living.

2 Comments on “A Simple Time Lapse CHDK Script for Canon SD300”

  • Mike-ENDOtactical wrote on 2 June, 2010, 1:15

    I was excited to find your script, but I’m having problems running it. When I start it up, a few seconds later the screen goes black and I assume the camera turned off. That happens every time.. any suggestions?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    [Reply]

  • lifehacker wrote on 2 June, 2010, 7:30

    @Mike-ENDOtactical
    Which Canon powershot model are you using? Try running the script in manual mode with flash turned off and with test it in a setting with sufficient light condition.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    [Reply]

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