Wired timelapse / interval remote
for Sony A7 & A7r / Updated with photos of the circuit board

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The Sony A7r is a very nice camera for stills photography. I even wrote an article about how well it works together with manual focus lenses.

The biggest reason I bought this camera was for the possibility to do high resolution and low light timelapses. When I bought this camera there was no way to do this. However Sony made it’s timelapse software available for this camera, which was pretty nice until I figured out a couple of flaws. The 999 frame limit was the biggest let down. 999 frames are not even a minute of footage played back in 25 fps. The second let down was the fiddly menu which could take ages to setup.

Since I sold my Panasonic GH3 and bought the Sony A7r, I’ve not shot a single timelapse. Until this week.

I saw some DIY videos on youtube about how to build an IR timelapse / interval remote which gave me an idea. The problem with the IR remotes are the lack of wires. They might work well for a average timelapse, let’s say some clouds moving over a landscape shot over a time span of an hour. But what if I wanted to shoot longer time spans, lika a plant growing in a studio? Or what if I wanted to shoot long exposure northern lights with my camera on a slider?
The best, safest and sometimes the only way has been to use a wired connection.

My idea was to just solder two existing pieces together. And it worked!

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I used the Sony RM-VPR1 remote controller and a chepo Commlite timer remote controller, the S1 cabled one.

Then I went to my local technician expert guy who cut of the S1 cable and opened the RM-VPR1 and soldered the S1 cable directly to it’s circuit board. He then built a new connector for the RM-VPR1 so I could use other controllers as well.
The RM-VPR1 works still perfectly as it should with all the rec button and zooms, but now only have one more connector.

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Not maybe the most beautiful DIY gadget but it’s working.

I’m still waiting for a new cable which I will modify so that I can use it together with the Ditogear slider.

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Update:
Some photos of the circuit board. Sorry it took so long.

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13 thoughts on “Wired timelapse / interval remote
for Sony A7 & A7r / Updated with photos of the circuit board

  1. Will this work with Bulb for exposures longer than the A7/A7R’s max. of 30 seconds?

    Do you have a wiring diagram, i.e.: solder what to what?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Yes, I just tried out the Bulb function. I set my camera to Bulb and locked down the shutter button first on the RM-VPR1 which worked as it should. I then tried it as well with the Ommlite remote and it worked as well. I even liked it more on the later one because of it showing how long the Bulb has been pressed in that tiny display.
      For your second question, I Don’t have a wiring diagram, but I could take a photo of the circuit board if that would help?
      You might be familiar with this youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucpqyQrW0iM
      It’s basically made in the same way as how my remote was done but instead of converting the Ommlite remote to IR it now converts it to USB instead.
      Cheers!

      1. Can you please take a picture of the circuit board? That would be extremely helpful! Thanks!

    1. I can’t promise anything. If the A7s has the same multi terminal usb connection as the A7r, it should work… But you never now without trying. One way could be to check if the A7s is compatible with the Sony RM-VPR1 controller. If it is, then the chance that this modification works is high.

  2. Hi. Had tried but failed. Do you take commision to do this? Going to norway this october. But still struggling to find one for sony a7. Wish someone start a kicksarter or something.

    1. Hi, I’m sad to hear it didn’t work for you. I suggest that you take both your camera and the remotes to your local electrician and ask him to look through it. It’s a pretty simple procedure to solder both pieces together, but finding out where to solder them might be a bit more problematic. That’s why I went to an electrician as well. He figured it out in just a couple of minutes. I have never taken a commission for this kind of work. Mostly because it’s outside my expertise and secondly because the remotes are quite expensive, which in the end would be an economical risk for me.

      If you still insist on commissioning me, send me an e-mail at: hello@attehenriksson.com and we can try to figure out a smart way to do it.

      BTW. Did the RM-VPR1 controller originally work with the A7? If not, then that would surely be the problem.

      Please let me know how it went if you decide to go to the electrician. =)
      Cheers!

    1. ooh, you’re right. I didn’t realize there’s a C before the O in that logo. But yes, it’s the Commlite controller. Thx for correcting me.

  3. hi Atte, thanks a lot for sharing this trick!
    will be very very helpful for me to have some images of the circuit board to se where the contacts are solded, please when you can post it!
    thanks a lot!!!

    1. Hi Paolo,
      Thanks for taking time reading my article, I have now updated this post with photos of the circuit board. I hope it helps.
      Cheers!

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