EOS R time lapse questions

Kit Lens Jockey

EOS R
CR Pro
Nov 12, 2016
889
606
Is there any setting within the time lapse function of the EOS R that would allow me to capture an outdoor scene that goes from day to night? I set the time lapse to re-evaluate the exposure for each frame, but there still seems to be a limit to how much the camera can (or will) adjust exposure during a time lapse. Initially I just set the time lapse video mode to smart auto, thinking it could adjust shutter speed, aperture, and ISO as much as it needed to maintain a good exposure. However, the shutter in auto mode seems to max out at what the camera feels would be a safe shutter speed for hand-held shooting. Is there a way to adjust this? Obviously pretty much any time lapse will be taken with a camera being held totally stationary, so it's frustrating that the camera cannot seem to allow me to set it to use shutter speeds slower than a hand held shutter speed. I even tried setting it to shutter speed priority mode and forcing it to use a 1 second shutter at all times. I figured I could put an ND filter in front of the camera during the day, and then remove it at night. However for some reason I don't think the camera varies the aperture in time lapse mode when the camera is set to shutter priority setting.

Also, I tried to run a two day long time lapse yesterday, but for some reason the camera seems to have stopped recording overnight last night. Again, I have no idea why. I'm running it off of a third party AC adapter, so batteries are not an issue. Oddly, the battery meter on the camera sometimes shows only two bars, and if left on for a while, it flashes red, even on this wall adapter. What is the deal with that? Maybe this caused my timelapse to be cut short? However, the time lapse was saved up to the point it cut out, leading me to believe that it wasn't a power failure, otherwise I would have expected to lose the whole time lapse.
 

CanonFanBoy

Purple
CR Pro
Jan 28, 2015
5,681
4,115
Irving, Texas
Is there any setting within the time lapse function of the EOS R that would allow me to capture an outdoor scene that goes from day to night? I set the time lapse to re-evaluate the exposure for each frame, but there still seems to be a limit to how much the camera can (or will) adjust exposure during a time lapse. Initially I just set the time lapse video mode to smart auto, thinking it could adjust shutter speed, aperture, and ISO as much as it needed to maintain a good exposure. However, the shutter in auto mode seems to max out at what the camera feels would be a safe shutter speed for hand-held shooting. Is there a way to adjust this? Obviously pretty much any time lapse will be taken with a camera being held totally stationary, so it's frustrating that the camera cannot seem to allow me to set it to use shutter speeds slower than a hand held shutter speed. I even tried setting it to shutter speed priority mode and forcing it to use a 1 second shutter at all times. I figured I could put an ND filter in front of the camera during the day, and then remove it at night. However for some reason I don't think the camera varies the aperture in time lapse mode when the camera is set to shutter priority setting.

Also, I tried to run a two day long time lapse yesterday, but for some reason the camera seems to have stopped recording overnight last night. Again, I have no idea why. I'm running it off of a third party AC adapter, so batteries are not an issue. Oddly, the battery meter on the camera sometimes shows only two bars, and if left on for a while, it flashes red, even on this wall adapter. What is the deal with that? Maybe this caused my timelapse to be cut short? However, the time lapse was saved up to the point it cut out, leading me to believe that it wasn't a power failure, otherwise I would have expected to lose the whole time lapse.
I'll have to check out the time lapse feature. I didn't even know it has it.

Isn't the time lapse recorded to the SD card? If so, why would you lose it when it cut out?
 

Kit Lens Jockey

EOS R
CR Pro
Nov 12, 2016
889
606
Yes, the time lapse is recorded to the SD card, but if there is a sudden power failure of the camera, it may not be able to finalize the recording, and this might lead to losing the whole recording. I have a suspicion about why the camera is doing this now. I don't have time to post it all right now, but will in about an hour.
 
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Kit Lens Jockey

EOS R
CR Pro
Nov 12, 2016
889
606
What I've discovered from my own experience and an online review of a third party AC adapter is that cameras don't seem to recognize third party AC adapters as an AC adapter, but rather a normal battery. And to go along with that, for some reason they interpret them as a slowly draining battery. It seems like even with an AC adapter, the camera may still power down at some point as if the battery has gone dead.

I suspect there is some electronic wizardry in the official Canon "DC coupler" (the dummy battery) that tells the camera that it's actually running on AC power, and it can run indefinitely. I suspect this is inside the dummy battery that goes in the camera itself, as opposed to the box outside the camera that steps down the 110V wall voltage to the voltage the camera can use. After all, this box is just stepping down voltage and supplying it into the dummy battery. There is only a positive and negative wire going between the box and the dummy battery. Whatever happens between the camera and the power source to tell it if it's a battery or an AC adapter is happening right inside the dummy battery, I suspect. So, I think I can probably get away with buying the $50 official Canon "DC coupler" that goes in the camera, but not the $90 AC adapter itself, as long as I can splice in an aftermarket AC adapter into the official Canon "DC coupler" that goes in the camera.
 
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koenkooi

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Feb 25, 2015
1,919
1,860
You could also use a USB-C PD charger to power the camera for those long timelapses.
Then the camera is always drawing power from a fully charged battery.
You can pick up a PD charger for $30 so much cheaper than the AC adaptor.

The current Canon cameras that support charging over USB-PD will only do that when turned off. Powering the fake battery over USB-PD is an option, I forget it it was on this forum or on dpreview where someone tried that succesfully.
 

Kit Lens Jockey

EOS R
CR Pro
Nov 12, 2016
889
606
How do you power the dummy battery over USB PD when it doesn't have a USB connector?

Canon_3352B001_DR_E6_DC_Coupler_590425.jpg
 

koenkooi

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Feb 25, 2015
1,919
1,860
How do you power the dummy battery over USB PD when it doesn't have a USB connector?

View attachment 189863
If I remember correctly, that person was using something like this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Andoer-Adpater-Coupler-Decoded-Replacement/dp/B07B921B5R

That looks to me like there's a booster circuit in the dummy battery which means you can hook it up to any 5V, 4A supply you have. That's not USB-PD, though.
I need something like this for LP-E17, so I'm going to do some research later today :)
 

Kit Lens Jockey

EOS R
CR Pro
Nov 12, 2016
889
606
Ok, but I worry that something like that would go back to my original concern, that 3rd party dummy batteries seem to be recognized by the camera as a battery and not an AC adapter, causing the camera to shut off after an extended period of use.

Also does anyone know what sellers mean when they use the term "fully decoded" in listings like this?

 

SumanV

EOS M6 Mark II
Sep 25, 2016
53
18
@Kit Lens Jockey Did you consider getting Canon's ACK-E6 AC adapter kit? I think it will be better to get an OEM one to avoid any issues with generic kits.

PS: I don't have any experience in this but I have read horror stories online about third party batteries/power solutions.

Regards
Suman
 

Kit Lens Jockey

EOS R
CR Pro
Nov 12, 2016
889
606
I'm thinking about getting the ACK-E6, but it's hard to get anything right now with the current situation. Shipping times are long, and for some reason most places are out of stock on the ACK-E6 right now.

Like I said though, I have a suspicion that the real electronic magic is happening within the DR-E6 "DC coupler" (the dummy battery.) If you really break it down, it appears that all the ACK-E6 is is an AC to DC power adapter. I think you could use any power adapter that supplies the proper voltage and enough amperage into the dummy battery, and as long as you're using the Canon genuine dummy battery (the DR-E6), the camera would recognize it as an AC power source, not a battery.

To confirm this, I cracked open the case of my third party dummy battery, and there is a small circuit board inside with several resistors and maybe a small chip on it. So there is something happening within that dummy battery electronically. I suspect that the third party ones are not sophisticated enough to let the camera know that they are actually an AC power source. Instead, they just imitate a battery, which causes the camera to shut off after a long time.
 
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SumanV

EOS M6 Mark II
Sep 25, 2016
53
18
I'm thinking about getting the ACK-E6, but it's hard to get anything right now with the current situation. Shipping times are long, and for some reason most places are out of stock on the ACK-E6 right now.
I understand the current situation. Hope things return to normalcy soon.
Like I said though, I have a suspicion that the real electronic magic is happening within the DR-E6 "DC coupler" (the dummy battery.) If you really break it down, it appears that all the ACK-E6 is is an AC to DC power adapter. I think you could use any power adapter that supplies the proper voltage and enough amperage into the dummy battery, and as long as you're using the Canon genuine dummy battery (the DR-E6), the camera would recognize it as an AC power source, not a battery.

To confirm this, I cracked open the case of my third party dummy battery, and there is a small circuit board inside with several resistors and maybe a small chip on it. So there is something happening within that dummy battery electronically. I suspect that the third party ones are not sophisticated enough to let the camera know that they are actually an AC power source. Instead, they just imitate a battery, which causes the camera to shut off after a long time.
You are right. I have come across some videos where powering accessories were "hacked" to get the job done (there is some electronic chip/circuitry which passes information to the OS in the camera). I think the issue might be due to some hardware failure in your third party accessory. But, I think from a safety perspective (not voiding the warranty) buying OEM equipments are always better. I saw a video couple of months ago wherein a Nikon D850 user sent his camera multiple times to NPS only to be returned stating no fault in the camera. Eventually the user found out that his third party battery grip was causing the problem.

I apologize if you know this information already. Just thought I will share it with you.

Oh and as a RP user, I am looking forward to the information/discussion/suggestions about handling the exposure for a timelapse.

Regards
Suman
 

Kit Lens Jockey

EOS R
CR Pro
Nov 12, 2016
889
606
I figured out a few more things...

First, regarding the AC power, it is possible to "reset" the camera so it will recognize a third party AC adapter as a new battery even after it has been running on it for a while.

If you're using the AC adapter that the camera recognizes as a battery, you can go into the battery info screen, and "register" this dummy battery as one of the batteries the camera remembers. Then shut off the camera, insert a normal battery, turn the camera back on, go back into the battery info screen, and delete the battery information for the AC adapter. (You need to shut off the camera and restart it using a normal battery because the battery info screen will not let you delete the info of the battery currently in the camera.)

After deleting the info, turn off the camera, put the dummy battery connected to AC power back in the camera, turn it on, and it will now be recognized as a fully charged battery, and you will get at least another 8-12 hours of shooting a time lapse on AC power. Also it's worth noting that I unplugged the dummy battery from the AC adapter and plugged it back in, just to be sure everything would reset and the camera would recognize it as a new battery.

Also, regarding the exposure question, even if the camera is set to program mode, it doesn't seem to be capable of varying the aperture in the middle of recording a time lapse. So if you're recording a time lapse that goes from day to night, it's a good idea to use aperture priority mode, set the aperture to whatever is appropriate for the current scene, and then as the scene transitions from day to night or night to day, stop the time lapse, and start up a new one with the aperture set to an appropriate setting for the time that you're transitioning into. You will need to merge the time lapse videos into one later in post. (But, having to stop the time lapse and restart it again also gives me a chance to do the battery trick I described above.)

I think the only way you could conceivably run a time lapse that goes from day to night all in one shot is to run it in aperture priority mode with the lens set to wide open, let the camera vary the shutter and ISO, and then during the day when the scene may become too bright for the camera to compensate, install an ND filter on the lens between frames of the time lapse.
 
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Kit Lens Jockey

EOS R
CR Pro
Nov 12, 2016
889
606
Or do you mean creating a time lapse by taking many separate still photos and then using separate software to combine them together, instead of using the camera's built in time lapse function?
 

koenkooi

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Feb 25, 2015
1,919
1,860
Or do you mean creating a time lapse by taking many separate still photos and then using separate software to combine them together, instead of using the camera's built in time lapse function?

Yes, exactly that! Some Canon cameras have a builtin function for that, others need the fancy remote or some form of computer attached over USB.
 

Frodo

EOS RP
Nov 3, 2012
429
109
Is there any setting within the time lapse function of the EOS R that would allow me to capture an outdoor scene that goes from day to night? I set the time lapse to re-evaluate the exposure for each frame, but there still seems to be a limit to how much the camera can (or will) adjust exposure during a time lapse. Initially I just set the time lapse video mode to smart auto, thinking it could adjust shutter speed, aperture, and ISO as much as it needed to maintain a good exposure. However, the shutter in auto mode seems to max out at what the camera feels would be a safe shutter speed for hand-held shooting. Is there a way to adjust this? Obviously pretty much any time lapse will be taken with a camera being held totally stationary, so it's frustrating that the camera cannot seem to allow me to set it to use shutter speeds slower than a hand held shutter speed. I even tried setting it to shutter speed priority mode and forcing it to use a 1 second shutter at all times. I figured I could put an ND filter in front of the camera during the day, and then remove it at night. However for some reason I don't think the camera varies the aperture in time lapse mode when the camera is set to shutter priority setting.
Go to the ISO speed settings in your menu. By default, the Min shutter speed is set to Auto which is equal to the reciprocal of the focal length, i.e. 1/50th for 50mm. Set it to manual and then you can set a minimum shutter speed as long a one second.
You may also wish to set an upper limit for ISO so the image doesn't get terribly grainy.
Then set it to P. Now the camera will set exposures from midday sun through to 1 second at (say) ISO 12800 at the max aperture of your lens, which is plenty dark.