How to power a time lapse camera

Jan 12, 2023    4 min read

How to pick the right backup battery

When it comes to time lapsing, investing in the best time lapse camera isn’t enough. Time lapses are elaborate projects that can span many hours, days, and sometimes, even months. To ensure your camera sustains throughout the time lapse, you need a good quality battery with sufficient power backup.

But the question is - how should you select a battery for your camera? How do you know which battery type is well-suited for your camera?

Well, let’s help you understand what you need to consider while investing in a backup battery for time lapse cameras:

Type of Camera

Firstly, you need to check the type of camera you have. Every camera is designed for a specific type of battery, so you must ensure that the battery you select is compatible with your camera. 

Size of the Battery and Outputs Required

The size of the battery is another important factor to look into. The capacity and size of the battery would also depend on the number of outputs you require.

For more ideas on how to calculate the power consumption of ATLI EON, read this in-depth guide of ours.

Type of Device

The choice of battery will also be influenced by the device you use to create time lapses.

For example,

  • Smartphone: A smartphone battery will drain quickly and may not sustain through time lapse.
  • DSLRs: On the other hand, it cannot be charged while shooting - so to shoot uninterrupted, you would need to use an adapter to connect the camera to a power supply.
  • Time lapse camera: But if you choose a time lapse camera like ATLI EON, you’d have nothing to worry about - the camera is built to film long-term projects while charging. The camera is also compatible with different backup batteries, making it an excellent pick for shooting long-time lapses.

Now that we’ve had a sneak peek into the essential factors to consider, let’s run you through the different battery types and their pros and cons:

Different Types of Backup Batteries

  • Lithium Camera Battery
  • Disposable AA or AAA Batteries
  • Rechargeable Power Banks
  • Portable Power Station
  • Solar Panels

Lithium Camera Battery

Lithium Camera Battery

Compact and lightweight, lithium camera batteries are perfect for outdoor time lapse shoots.

In addition, these batteries are well suited for short-term time lapse projects, and you can comfortably shoot sunrise and sunset time lapse with the help of a lithium backup battery.

Lithium camera batteries usually offer 1100mAh power and would cost you around $15-20.

The only drawback these batteries come with is that when the camera battery dies, the time lapse process will be interrupted and will continue only when you replace the dead battery with a new one.

 Disposable AA or AAA Batteries 

Disposable AA Batteries

Most time lapse cameras use AAA batteries, as they are well-suited for emergency backup use.

However, these batteries are not eco-friendly, and you’d end up using multiple disposable batteries for a single camera. 

Rechargeable Power Banks

Rechargeable Power Banks

These are other compact battery solutions. Power banks typically offer 10000mAh to 30000mAh power. They’ve priced anything between $30-40. 

As power banks are rechargeable, working with them is way more accessible - and that’s also why power banks are a popular backup tool for beginner time lapses.

Portable Power Station

Portable Power Station

Well-suited for long-term time lapse projects, portable power stations feature multiple proprietary camera batteries.

In addition, they offer fast charging and have various outputs (USB and AC), and for the features they offer, they are priced reasonably at $200-300.

Solar Panels

solar panels power supply

Solar panels capture power during the day to recharge batteries in cameras, thus ensuring your time lapse shoots continue through the day and night without any interruptions.

To pick the right solar panel, you’d first have to check the capacity the panel offers. For example, if your equipment operates on 12 VDC, you can use a 12V battery.

  • Pros: 
  • Solar panels are perfect for shoots in areas where you don’t have access to electricity.
  • These panels are eco-friendly, cost-effective, and require little maintenance. 
  • Solar panels would cost you anything between $20-40.
  • Cons:
  • Solar panels come with drawbacks - they are at their best operational capacity during peak sun hours - so you’d have first to figure out the average peak sun hours your area receives. 
  • You’d also have to come up with hacks to connect the panel with your device, which may pose hindrances in your time lapse shoot process.

Let's create time lapses without any interruptions

The best way is to pick a camera that supports all battery types so that you know nothing can stop you from capturing that perfect time lapse. And when it comes to the best time lapse camera, ATLI EON tops the list!

All you have to do is pair this excellent time lapse camera with a backup battery of your choice. Consider the pros, cons and budget before you zero into the battery that fits your shoot requirements. Also, check out our battery guide to learn how to calculate power consumption when shooting with the ATLI EON camera.

Good luck with creating mesmerizing time lapses - without any unwanted interruptions!