Tuesday, April 10, 2012

NEX-5n Intervalometer for time-lapse photography

Before I got my Sony NEX-5n I was aware that it lacked a method of doing time-lapse built in. The remote was also lacking this feature and there were few third party devices that could do this. I had seen some methods of doing this by adapting the remote to include an intervalometer. So after purchasing the NEX-5n I set about making my own but with an improvement, I wanted to be able to remove the intervalometer from the remote so that I could still use them independently.

Note: this can also be used for Sony NEX-3, NEX-C3, NEX-5 and Alpha series

What I needed:
Opteka RC-3 Wireless Remote Control for Sony
NEEWER® Timer Remote Control RS-60E3
2.5mm Female to 3.5mm Male Headset Adaptor

First I had to open the remote. While it looks like the plastic splits apart, it does not and the face peels of like a sticker. It's easy to push it up from slit that the battery came out of.

Slowly peel off.

Remove screws from circuit board and pull it all apart.

  I cut off the male connector of the headset adapter and exposed the wires.

Drilled a hole in the back cover of the remote.

Using a multimeter I found the two connections on the intervalometer that would trigger the switch. I then found that the two colored wires on the headset adapter corresponded to the right connections on the intervalometer. I traced the connections from the shutter switch on the remote to the back of the board then threaded the wire through the hole and soldered it on to the circuit board.

Carefully reassemble and add a dab of glue to prevent the wire being ripped out.

And that's it. Now just plug in the Neewer timer remote and have fun!


  1. This is super awesome I just purchased an IR Emitter to work with my NEX5n to no avail. I going to try this hack, but instead of using the intervalometer have you tried using an iOS device running NEXRemote? That is what I want to do. Will this setup still work?



    1. Hey Hoosiers, I'm not sure about that. This setup requires that two of the points on the stereo jack are shorted, triggering the closing of the circuit like the button would. I'm not sure if the iOS app just sends a signal that the camera should interpret rather than closing the circuit.

    2. I tried ti , all connections are OK, but it won't trigger the IR remote.
      I soldered the remote wires to the switch contacts on the IR.
      The remote apparently doesn't close the circuit (like a button) but sends some signal to it.
      I measured the intervalometer voltage and there is a 1.3v when is NOT triggered, and the voltage disappears when the shutter command is transmitted (wired).
      To what contacts did you solder the wires exactly? The shutter contacts or something else?
      (Mine is not identical)

  2. Thanks for the guide! I've built your setup, and the intervalometer triggers the NEX5N, however sometimes it takes more than one photo at the required time ( when the countdown finishes), meaning that the sequence is going to have some rogues in there. Any idea why this is happening?

    1. Hmmm, I've not seen that issue before. I'll try and replicate the situation and get back to you.

    2. Honestly, how does it take 2 photos? Don't set the camera on burst mode. It takes a second to write to the SD card any way. For night time lapses, its not even possible to take two photos because the first exposure has to end. I guess I'll see when my opteka arrives...

    3. @Evan: Entirely possible. If its a high shutter speed , you can easily take two photos in quick succession with the remote.

      @Jaffry: I'd suggest it's a dodgy connection. This cable is incredibly unreliable (evident from the reviews) and would take multiple photos at once or even none at all. I've since bought one of these and have yet to encounter a problem. Although my soldering is shoddy at best, so it's only a matter of time!

      @OmoBeanz: Thanks for the great tutorial. Worked a treat!

    4. I find it funny that i made that comment above ^ and then ended up having that exact same problem. Still haven't figured out a solution to this day : (

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  4. This is really cool!
    However i am unsure on where to connect the wires? Do you have any suggestions?

  5. This design is wicked! You most certainly know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost...HaHa!) Great job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool! all of craigslist

  6. howdy, your websites are really good. I appreciate your work. Time-Lapse Photography