Getting Familiar With the Workings of An Intervalometer

An intervalometer is an innovative photography device that allows you to control your camera shutter.  An intervalometer saves you from the stress that comes with pressing your shutter button multiple times or at intervals. It saves your camera shutter button from getting worn out early.

But how do you use an intervalometer? We are going to discuss all you need to know about the workings of an intervalometer shortly.



What is an Intervalometer Used For?

Working an intervalometer is actually pretty easy. Every form of this device has two functions : you can either use it as a cable release or control your camera coverage exposure time.

Here is how the cable release functionality works. First, you connect your intervalometer cable to your camera (make sure to check that the connector is compatible with your camera before buying). Afterwards, you press the button on your intervalometer, and it commands your camera to take a picture.

You can press this button once and release it to take just one picture. Or you could press and slide it up to lock it in. Locking it in will keep your shutter shooting for as long as your camera battery can allow. 

However, the exposure control function allows you to program your camera to snap images at preset intervals.

Now that you know the basics, let’s get into more details.


How to Operate an Intervalometer

Most brands of intervalometers have similar settings. Some of the most popular brands include Sony, Canon, Vello shutterboss, and Panasonic. They all have 5 settings. And these settings are usually displayed at the top of the control device. Using a Vello Shutterboss intervalometer as an example, you will see words like “SELF, LONG, INTV, No, and Beep” describing these settings on top of its screen. 

Perhaps you are shooting a time-lapse project at night. There is also typically a light bulb button. This turns on the light on your intervalometer screen and allows you to set it.


an intervalometer


Now, how do you use these settings? There are just a couple buttons to press : let’s now look at how you can use the buttons on your intervalometer.


SELF Setting 

You can switch your intervalometer settings using the left and right arrow buttons on it. This SELF or delay setting allows you to temporarily set seconds, minutes or hours you want your camera to wait before it starts taking pictures. This action delays your cameras for the preset time, then starts taking pictures after the countdown. But make sure you press the “Start” button on your intervalometer after setting the timer.


LONG Setting

Pressing the right arrow button once, you have the LONG setting. This setting allows you to control how long of an exposure you want your camera to go for. In other words, you get to preset how long you want to shoot your time-lapse pictures. Know that you can use this intervalometer to set your camera exposure to go on for hours. The limitations being the capacity of your camera battery.



Click the right arrow button twice and you have the “Interval setting”. This allows you to set your shutter speed at the desired interval. The most popular interval setting while shooting time-lapse is 2 seconds. However, you can set your camera to take a picture after every 1 second, 5 seconds, minutes or even hours. Once your shutter speed is set, you can go ahead and click the start button to start your picture sequence.



This fourth setting allows you to set the number of frames you want your camera to shoot. You can set this at 1, 2, 10, etc., and to as many frames as your battery can take. Use the up and down arrows to adjust these numbers. Simply set your number of frames on dash dash “- - “ (Infinity) if you wish to shoot as many frames as possible.



This Beep setting simply allows you to control the sound of your intervalometer while it works. Normally, your intervalometer will make a beep sound each time it activates your camera shutter. If you find this sound disturbing, tap the right arrow to the extreme right and set it off.