A time-lapse of Anchorage, Alaska shot from the top of O'Malley peak.

This is mainly an experimental shot, I was experimenting with two things: Using a Canon WFT-E4IIA to shoot strait to a 500 GB external hard drive instead of a 64 GB CF card. And using car batteries to power the whole set-up.

The WFT-E4IIA worked great with a few hiccups and limitations. The first hiccup was finding a hard drive that is compatible. There is a list of specs the hard drive must meet to work with the WFT-E4IIA, but basically the external hard drive has to work with Windows 98. Most of my external hard drives are Western Digital Passport drives. I found out that this do NOT work with Win98. After a lot of googling I bought a Seagate hard drive, and it worked perfectly.

The main limitation with the WFT-EIIA is the transfer rate. Shooting with a Canon 5D Mark II at full RAW it maxed out at 1 image every 3 seconds. But this was with a USB 2.0 hard drive, maybe with a USB 3.0 it would get faster, I'm not sure.

This is 4,500-ish frames shot over 14 hours. I had an intervalometer set at every 6 seconds, but at night the camera maxed out at 30 sec. exposures. So the day shots are every 6 sec. and the night every 30 or 36 sec.

I was also playing with using car batteries to power the camera in the field. In the past I have used one 33 Amp, 12 Volt to power the 5DMII (shooting to CF card) for about 5,000 shots straight. The problem with the WFT-E4IIA is that it take a separate battery (one LP-E6, same as the camera). And the external drive requires more power too.

So, I doubled my power (using two of the 33amp batteries ran in parallel for 66 amps of 12 volt) and the batteries lasted for about 4,500 shots.

Some interesting numbers about power usage!

Powering 5DMII with CF card, and a 300w inverter:
Camera on waiting in between shots: 0.97 amps
Camera shooting: 1.40 amps
Long exposure open shutter: 1.11 amps

Powering 5DMII with WFT-E4IIA, and a 700w inverter:
Camera on waiting in between shots: 1.00 amps
Camera shooting: 1.40 amps
Long exposure open shutter: 1.13 amps

Powering 5DMII with WFT-E4IIA, 500 GB Seagate Hard Drive, and a 700w inverter:
Camera on waiting in between shots: 1.15 amps
Camera shooting: 1.60 amps
Long exposure open shutter: 1.31 amps

Over all, I really like the Canon WFT-EIIA for time lapse, but it is a power hog. The next time I try it I'm going to switch from car batteries to moterhome batteries and I'll see how that works.

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