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Problem when Sony camera goes into power saving mode

#1 ramigrafx
Hi Gunther and Hans,
I have several PTFs running LRTimelapse_Pro_Timer_Free_093/3. I have the focus and shutter controlled separately using optoisolators. Everything was working ok until this latest project where I wanted the camera to sleep between exposures to conserve the battery. I have set up the software with prefocus, camera wake up on, cam wake up >15sec. However with my Sony camera when the camera is asleep the prefocus trigger wakes up the camera but the shutter is not released. This is with all of my builds and cameras.
To test I have a remote cable with the switch removed, ie 3 wires and the usb connection to the camera. When the camera is sleeping and I connect the ground to the focus wire the camera wakes up. I then have to connect the shutter wire to the other two still connected to get the shutter to release. Perhaps this may help as there appears to be some something not connecting correctly in the software.
#2 niko_at
maybe you made a mistake in wireing your components.
Need more details to be able to help you.
#3 ramigrafx
As I said it is only when the camera is in sleep mode. I have five of these devices and four Sony cameras, and all behave the same
#4 Sheeba
Hi Richard,
Sony cameras behave in my experience a little differently than others. If I understand correctly, you have no problems with short interval times. According to your description, the triggering of the camera works after it is in sleep mode and if you connect via a connected cable, first the focus with Gnd and then additionally the shutter pin with Gnd.
Maybe the pre focus time of 1 second is to short for your camera !!
Try to increase the time by increasing the prefocustime in the script!
Search the script for "// check and set pre focus time
And change the value for prefocustime to e.g. to 1500
     if ((CamWakeUptime> 0) and (interval> CamWakeUptime))
       prefocustime = 1000; // focus time = 1 sec !! wake up camera !!
Which Sony Camera do you use?
Please give feedback if it worked
Regards, Hans
#5 ramigrafx
Hi Hans,
I am using Sony cameras A5000, A6000, A6300 and A7R2
I have been using the following sketch successfully, with the camera in continuous autofocus mode., for taking a series of image in sequence

camera sketch
takes 20 pictures with a digital camera
using pin 4 to trigger focus
pin 3 to trigger the shutter

int focus = 4; //optocoupler attached to focus
int shutter = 3; //optocoupler attached to shutter
long exposure =350; //exposure time in milliseconds
long interval = 15000; //time between shots, in milliseconds

int time = 100;
int incomingByte = 0;

void setup()
pinMode(focus, OUTPUT);
pinMode(shutter, OUTPUT);
for (int i=0; i<20; i++) //camera will take 20 pictures
takePicture(exposure); //takes picture
delay(interval); //wait to take the next picture

void loop()

void takePicture(long exposureTime)
int wakeup =2000; //camera will take some time to wake up and focus adjust to suit

digitalWrite(focus, HIGH); //wake the camera and focus
delay(wakeup); //wait for it to wake up and focus
digitalWrite(shutter, HIGH); //open the shutter
delay(exposureTime); //wait for the exposure time
digitalWrite(shutter, LOW); //release shutter
digitalWrite(focus, LOW); //release the focus

There are several focusing modes on the Sony camera and I find that the best is continuous autofocus. If it is in single shot autofocus or manual focus the shutter is not released until the focus is locked and that might take longer than the allocated time period to achieve focus. What happens with the focusing is a bit erratic. Even when the camera is in manual mode with cable attached it tries to auto focus with a Sony autofocus lens. However with a manual lens there is no such problem
If you look at this sketch the focus stays high until after the shutter has been released.
As I told you before I use optoisolators instead of transistors and I have a leds which shows when the pins are high .This gives me a visual indication of when the pins are high or low, so I can compare that with the action of the camera.
Hope that this helps.
Incidentally the modification that you suggested to line 2030 does work most of the time as long as focus lock is achieved with the autofocus lens whatever focusing mode the camera is in. With no lens or a manual lens no problem.
Can I make the same mods to LRTimelapse_Pro_Timer_SMC_Free_EXT?
#6 Sheeba
Hi Richard,
this looks like Sony cameras with autofocus lenses have a problem with manual focus. How does this work if you just take the camera on manual focus and triggers?
In your script, you're actually doing the same sequence as me. First focus high then additionally shutter high and at the end of the exposure both low again.
Has the change in line 2030 changed anything? If so, what time did you have to set so that the Sony Camera works?
I have not yet installed focus control in the Pro_Timer_SMC_Free_EXT. (that's on my to-do list).
But you can implement it like this:
Line 2212: digitalWrite (shoot, HIGH);
                   digitalWrite (focus, HIGH);
change in:
     digitalWrite (focus, HIGH);
     delay (2000);
     digitalWrite (shoot, HIGH);
and the same from line 2235!

Regards, Hans
#7 ramigrafx
Hi Hans,
I changed the line to prefocustime = 2000; and it is now ok
The camera with autofocus lens behaves as it should when there is no remote cable connected. It is just when the remote cable is attached to the camera that an autofocus lens switched to manual starts autofocusing. Very strange!
One of the lenses I have has an electronic zoom. If I set the zoom where I want it and the camera goes to sleep, I loose the settings when the camera awakens so that lens is no good for long intervals where the camera sleeps.
I just want to point out there is no problem with the original program as long as the camera does not go to sleep
Thanks for your help,

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