Relay timer that controls camera power and camera shutter

I’m basically trying to build this time lapse controller

But for less money and without the ability to use gopro pin interface, and with the potential to be used for any camera.

I would like to create super long time-lapses using battery power with the least possible power consumption. I’ve found that using a camera’s own time-lapse feature requires the camera to be on for the entire duration and uses too much energy.

So what I think I want is something like a relay timer like this to control when the camera has power, but then with a second relay timer that waits a few seconds for the camera to turn on, and then triggers the second relay to press the shutter (this could be wired to a typical shutter control plug for a DSLR.

For example I would be able to tell the device: wait 20 minutes, power camera (relay 1), then wait 5 seconds and trigger shutter (relay 2), then disconnect power (relay 1), and restart loop.

It would of course be best if this could all be done with the fewest number of chips with the least power draw, but I don’t know of a single chip with two time-able relay switches.


I’d start thinking about building such a device from basic modules e.g. Arduino Pro mini, 1602 lcd display, 2 relays and maybe a real time clock module. You’d use sleep mode to save power and the lcd for programming the lapse time. The relays would be on for a maximum of 5 seconds per exposure. What accuracy do you need in lapse time ? Is say 1% enough? Do you need to be able to set it for say every hour on the full hour which would be dependent on having an RTC running with the current time?