How to calculate power consumption of time lapse

Jan 12, 2023    4 min read

How to pick the right backup battery

Time lapses are elaborate projects that can last several hours, days, or even months. You'll need a good quality battery with enough power backup to keep your camera running throughout the time lapse.

But the question is, how do you calculate the total consumption for shooting for a long-term time lapse project? 

The power consumption of your time lapse camera is another important factor to look into. Well, let’s help you calculate the power consumption and provide you different power solutions while shooting on ATLI EON time lapse camera.

The capacity and size of the power supply would also depend on the number of outputs you require.

For example:

  • If you’re looking to start a 30-day time lapse project using ATLI EON camera and shooting 24 hours at 10-min interval results in 144 frames of image per day. 
  • You will have 5.76 seconds of video footage per day if you use the default playback rate of 25fp.
  • So the total number of frames recorded in 30 days is 144 x 30 days, which equals 4320 frames.

When the power saving mode on the ATLI EON is set to "Mandatory," the system will sleep even if it connected with any backup power sources. Also, Wi-Fi will be turned off while camera in sleep mode until the second before the next shot. 

System wake-up, auto exposure metering, and file saving to SD card take one second each. When the shot is finished, the camera goes to sleep, and the cycle continues.

  • Power consumption per day frame = 0.00054WH x 144 frames = 0.07776WH
  • Power saving consumption (24 hrs x 60 mins x 60 secs) - (144 frames x 3 secs active time per frame) = 85,968 sec = 23.88 Hrs x 0.05WH = 1.194WH
  • Daily power consumption = 0.07776 + 1.194 = 1.272WH
  • Total 30-day power consumption = 1.272WH x 30 = 38.16WH

There are several options for providing approximately 40WH+ of power.

  • 1. 10X 18650 Li-ion DIY power bank (battery not included) Get rechargeable 18650 battery (2600mAh) 2.6A x 3.7V x 10units = 96.2WH less 50% voltage conversion loss and over rated battery capacity = 96.2WH divided by 2 = 48WH per camera set up
  • 2. 12V 6AH motorcycle lead acid battery (72WH), also available in 9 and 10AH capacities. To convert 12V DC to 5VDC, use a DC to DC step down converter.
  • 3. Add a 10-20W solar panel with BMS and connect to #2 for shooting indefinitely. This will allow you to place a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot near the camera for remote access and downloading footage from anywhere in the world. Of course, the shooting location must have good 4G connectivity.

I hope this power consumption guide has you fired up to choose the right battery supply for shooting time lapse videos. Want more battery supply options? Read our full article about how to select different backup batteries.