A couple of days ago, I showed that the S1iS is capable of thousands of continuous shots, each 0.75 seconds apart -- the actual numbers depending on the speed and capacity of the memory card. That's a winner, and could even be used as a form of timelapse photography -- the catch being that my finger needs to keep pushing down the shutter button the entire time.
(To take continuous photos: (1) press the Continuous/Selftimer button (found next to the Flash button), and then (2) hold down the shutter button.)
So, why is the S1iS such a loser at its real timelapse mode, which Canon gives the unpronounceable name of "Intervalometer." The specs are painful for me to list:
* A maximum of 100 photos; this limitation can be overcome by hooking the camera to a computer, and running timelapse software that controls the camera.
* A minimum time of 1 minute between photos; maximum 1 hour.
(To take intervalometer photos: (1) press the Menu button; (2) select the Rec menu tab; (3) scroll down to Intervalometer; (4) select settings; (5) exit the menu; and then (6) press the shutter button.)
My 5-year-old Epson digital camera is more impressive. Check out these specs:
* A maximum of whatever number photos fit on the memory card -- thousands! Takes about 950 photos on a set of batteries.
* A minimum time of 10 seconds; maximum of 1 day!
There's two reasons I can think of why Canon doesn't meet (or exceed) the Epson specs:
1. They don't think timelapse photography is important. That could explain the limited range of time-between-shots.
2. The folder structure Canon uses. I wonder if the limit of 100 photos is because Canon digital cameras store 100 photos per folder.
I don't understand the need for a new folder every 100 photos, unless that's a limitation of the operating system Canon uses. The Epson stores all photos in a single folder. Another thing I like about the Epson is its filenaming convention. Here is an example:
It's a date code followed by a 4-digit sequence number, as follows:
0 - the year, in this case 2000; 1 = 2001, 2 = 20002, etc.
9 - the month, in this case September. X = October, Y = November, and Z = December.
15 - the date.
0005 - the sequence number, in this case the 5th photo taken on Sept 15, 2000. This is sufficient for 10,000 photos per day.
By coding the filename with the date and sequence, the photos can always be sorted by date, no matter if the date-and-time stamp later changes due to editing.
Interested in building your own intervalometer? Check out the instructions here.