Jump to [cameras we have used] [working in the field]
The Kodak DC-290 digital camera with a 128 mb compact flash memory card has been a work horse for our project. Select a time interval of 1 minute or longer. If there is adequate memory available, 1000 pictures can be collected when the camera is plugged into an electrical outlet or a long-lasting lithium battery designed for digital cameras (see below). This camera has been discontinued by Kodak, but you can find used ones for sale on e-Bay. Consider buying the Kodak DC-260, which has the same time lapse features, but with lower resolution pictures.
The Pentax Optio 43WR camera is water resistant, which is ideal for taking time lapse movies in nature. The camera has a good macro lens for close ups of plants. The camera is very efficient in battery use, so you will not need to find an auxiliary power supply to make time lapse movies for 8 to 12 hours. The shortest time interval is 10 seconds. The only drawback is that only 99 frames may be taken at a time.
Pentax Optio W10: water and dust proof, light weight, and can take up to 324 pictures with a time interval as short as 10 seconds.
Keith Lightbody's website provides many useful tips on photography and equipment, plus resources and samples.Example 1 Example 2
We have created the PicturePost as a way to use any camera to take pictures on a daily, weekly, or monthly time interval.
Based on the mechanical time lapse devise designed by students at Parramatta High School, Parramatta, Australia, we are exploring how to create a simple mechanical lever to convert an electric motor and a gear box to turn any digital camera into a time lapse recording device. (Under Development)
For lab experiments, we are exploring the use of firewire web cams connected to a computer and controlled by the BTV Pro software. (Under Development)