Sony a55 - Power supply info? Time-lapse kills battery after 200 shots! :(

Started Aug 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
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moeburn1
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Sony a55 - Power supply info? Time-lapse kills battery after 200 shots! :(
Aug 9, 2012

(if you don't feel like reading everything I wrote, I summarized my question at the end)

Just bought a very cheap intervalometer for my Sony A55v ($20 off ebay, including shipping) so I can start doing time-lapse photography (for anyone else interested in getting an intervalometer for their A55, I believe all the Sony A-series cameras use the same type of remote connector. The intervalometer I bought was advertised as working on the a300 and a700, but it works great on my a55).

And the intervalometer works great, but the camera, not so much. On a fully charged battery, I might be able to get up to 200 shots before the battery is 100% drained. This is with GPS and steady-shot turned OFF, viewing set to EVF, and power-save set to 10s (although that "Power-save mode" seems to do absolutely nothing; after 10s the EVF and everything are still on...).

This is contrary to my old Minolta Dimage A1, which has an intervalometer built into the firmware. Every interval, it takes a picture, then shuts the entire camera down into standby mode where the only things that are powered are the LCD display (not the color one, the little wristwatch-LCD one on the top), the internet clock and memory. Just enough power to tell the camera when to turn on to take the next picture in the time lapse, and it means that I can get about 1000 pics in before I have to change batteries. Unfortunately, the camera's firmware limits you to 240 pictures per time-lapse, regardless of the interval or the size of the card, so you have to go back and restart every 240 shots. Also, the camera is only 5mp, and the Sony a55 is 16mp with a much bigger CCD and a much nicer lens, so I would like to use the Sony if I can.

So I need to make a DC power-supply for it. Its no trouble to me, I have 10 years of soldering experience and I've made lots of my own DC power supplies before, but I can't figure out if the a55 can even take one. I can't find anything in the manual, for starters. There is no jack labelled "DC-in 5v", as I would expect, but the microphone input is also labelled "plug in power", as though an external power supply uses a 1/4" mono jack. But I can't find any info on the voltage or current, or if it actually means "external power supply goes here".

The best I can find on the internet is that external power supplies for the a55 plug into the camera's battery slot. But those are very expensive (at least $80), and I couldn't solder one myself without having a pre-made connector/jack, which would involve taking apart a battery, which are about $80 anyway.

Anyone have any information on external power supplies for this dang Sony a55 for long time-lapse shots? Maybe some advice on how to get the power-save feature to work like how the Minolta Dimage's time-lapse works (turn off the camera in-between shots)? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

-moeburn

Sony Alpha DSLR-A300 Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 Sony SLT-A55
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