NEW! PHOTOSENTINEL TEMPO, OUR MOST POWERFUL SYSTEM EVER!

Frequently Asked Questions

Check our FAQs for quick answers. Got a question that’s not covered below?

Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your project.

Payment & Shipping

What will shipping cost?

Nothing! Shipping costs are included in the retail price of all photoSentinel cameras.

What will customs, duties and taxes cost?

Customs, duties and taxes vary by country.

To estimate customs, duties and taxes in your country, use this calculator, or contact your local customs office for more detailed information.

How long will it take to receive my order?

Please allow two weeks from payment for production and dispatch of your equipment.

If you communicate with us and let us know that a job is likely, we can plan to have your unit ready in advance, and the dispatch time will often be much shorter.

Once shipped, our couriers will generally deliver within 3-5 business days. We can take no responsibility over how long it may take for photoSentinel equipment to pass through local customs, so please contact your local customs office for further information.

Product Information

What is included when purchasing a Tempo?

Included hardware with a Tempo purchase:

  • 4G controller and camera cables (camera interfacing intervalometer)
  • Choice of 64GB or 500GB industrial-SSD storage
  • Weatherproof housing with visor, IP66 rated
  • Housing mounting plate (pan, tilt & yaw)
  • Pole mounting brackets, clamps and bolts
  • 20W solar panel

Included software:

  • Cloud services plans (to remotely configure, monitor, and manage your photoSentinel units, and upload, store and display your photos). Charges apply; see our Cloud Services page.

Optional hardware add-ons:

  • Canon and Nikon cameras (enquire for pricing)
  • Canon, Nikon, Sigma and Tokina lenses (enquire for pricing)
  • Indoor AC power supply
  • Outdoor weatherproof AC power supply
  • External battery box (battery not included)
  • Additional 20W solar panel w/ dual panel cable
  • Wi-fi adaptor kit (assembly required)
  • AT&T SIM card and data plan (US customers only)

Optional software add-ons:

  • Secure Custom Domain service (to host a photo gallery on your own domain)
  • Additional photo forwarding locations (we provide uploads to one location of your choice, free of charge)
  • AI Timelapse Composer (includes advanced photo filtering and editing, with on-demand and scheduled video generation)

What is included when purchasing a Mini?

All-in-one package hardware:

  • Fujifilm XA-3 camera
  • 3G controller (camera interfacing intervalometer)
  • 4GB microSD storage
  • Weatherproof housing, IP66 rated
  • 10W solar panel OR indoor AC power supply

Standard Software:

  • Cloud services plans (to remotely configure, monitor, and manage your photoSentinel units, and upload, store and display your photos). Charges apply; see our Cloud Services page.

Optional hardware add-ons:

Optional software add-ons:

  • Secure Custom Domain service (to host a photo gallery on your own domain)
  • Additional photo forwarding locations (we provide uploads to one location of your choice, free of charge)
  • AI Timelapse Composer (includes advanced photo filtering and editing, with on-demand and scheduled video generation)

What is the ongoing cost of running a unit?

Each photoSentinel system needs a Cloud Services subscription to operate. For information about plans and pricing, view the Cloud Services page.

You will also need a mobile data plan for the photoSentinel camera to connect to the internet to upload photos and status updates. For US customers we offer an AT&T SIM card and data plan; users from all other countries will need to source your own mobile data plan from a local provider.

We offer optional extras which may incur additional costs:

  • Forwarding of photos to one third-party storage service (e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, et al) is included in your base Cloud Services plan. Purchase data blocks to forward photos to additional locations. See the Cloud Services page.

What technical support is available?

With offices in Australia and Dubai, our technical support team is ready to to help across timezones.

photoSentinel can be configured to alert you by email and/or SMS when your camera behaves irregularly or reaches a threshold (e.g. your storage space is almost full, or the voltage to your unit has dropped unexpectedly). You can use these alerts to troubleshoot or submit a ticket to our Support team.

We also have a Knowledge Base that is updated regularly.

Cloud Services

What are the Cloud Services plans?

The Cloud Services plans give you powerful cloud feature-sets that will help you get the most out of your project.

You will select your Cloud Services plan when you first activate your equipment inside the photoSentinel online portal, Control Hub.

You don’t need to have decided on a Cloud Service plan prior to purchasing your equipment.

Visit our Cloud Services page for more information.

Can I use photoSentinel without a Cloud Services subscription?

No. In order to upload and share your photos you will need to configure your hardware with our online portal, Control Hub, included as part of every Cloud Services plan.

 

What is included in the basic Cloud Services plan subscription?

  • Access to our expert technical support team, based in Australia and Dubai.
  • Access to Control Hub, your administration and configuration portal.
  • Access to your own Project Homepage and Photo Gallery, where you can showcase your photos to stakeholders and clients.

For a comprehensive look at all the great features included with our plans, head to our Cloud Services page.

How does uploading work?

  1. You can setup and configure your photoSentinel camera via our web application.
  2. Your photoSentinel camera captures the photos.
  3. The photoSentinel controller connects into our server to upload photos and status logs. It downloads any new configuration settings.
  4. The photos uploaded to our server are then displayed on your photo gallery.
  5. The photos are forwarded to any photo forwarding locations (e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, et al.) you have set up.

How powerful is Scheduling?

With Scheduling, you get huge flexibility in planning your job’s shooting timetable; schedule changes to camera settings to optimize for different lighting conditions, or set custom shooting regimes weeks in advance to capture site events.

For more information, visit our Scheduling page.

When will I be billed for Cloud Services?

Cloud Services is a pre-paid subscription service, requiring registration with a credit card.

For the first part-month of your subscription for an installation you will be billed pro-rata, after which charges are debited from your credit card at the start of each month until the job is concluded.

 

Will I be billed when I'm not using the system?

No! photoSentinel gives you full control over when you are billed for Cloud Services. You can conclude an installation at any time, which will also conclude your Cloud Services plan billing at the end of your current cycle.

When you've finished shooting, you can stop your Cloud Services subscription by concluding an installation.

Then, when you're ready to deploy the equipment on another job, you can can activate a new Cloud Services subscription by creating a new installation.

US CUSTOMERS ONLY: AT&T data plans must be deactivated separately. If you would like to deactivate an AT&T data plan, please contact Support.

 

Can I change Cloud Services plan mid-job?

The Cloud Service plans are designed to be used across a whole job. For this reason, you can upgrade your plan at any time, but you cannot downgrade.

If you want to create a one-off timelapse video, you can use the on-demand AI Timelapse Composer; there is no need to upgrade your plan to do so.

 

What total photo upload limit will I need for my job?

For most jobs, the included total photo upload limits will be more than enough.

However, you should do your own calculations, based on your unique job requirements, so you can budget accurately.

You can use our Data Calculator to estimate your monthly and total data uploads.

 

How good are the videos produced by the AI Timelapse Composer?

We're glad you asked, because we love showing off the power of our AI-driven timelapse generator!

Check out the 'Man vs Machine' video on our AI Timelapse Composer page, and see if you can tell the difference between the manually edited sequence, and the one produced by the AI.

 

System Capabilities

What is the fastest shooting and uploading frequency?

photoSentinel Mini

Every 10 minutes, over the 3G network. 

photoSentinel Tempo

With good cellular reception, the photoSentinel Tempo can shoot and upload photos as fast as every minute, though this will be limited by power supply and data costs.

Using Low Power Mode*, the Tempo can shoot and save as fast as every 10 seconds with batch photo upload sessions through out the day, or every 1 minute with immediate photo upload.

*Low Power Mode is not available with all DSLRs. Some DSLRs may allow for faster than ten second intervals. If you wish to frequently shoot fast intervals, chat with our team to discuss your options.

At the end of the fast-shoot, you can either collect the images from the unit manually, or set the system to upload them in batches.

Maximum speeds are only possible provided:

  • Photo uploads are performed after a shooting session (for 10 second intervals).
  • The unit has sufficient on-board storage space (if batch uploading photos).
  • The unit has a sufficient data plan and time to upload the large volume of photos per day.
  • The unit has a stable power supply for continuous activity, whether solar or AC.

As a general guide, for a long-term timelapse lasting more than 6 months, one photo every 10-30 minutes will provide more than enough images to produce a final video of reasonable length.

For a more in-depth discussion on intervals, see our article on the topic.

 

Can I run the photoSentinel 24/7?

Yes, provided the system has a stable power supply to allow it to take and upload photos during the night. If your intervals are fast, a solar panel alone may not provide enough power to shoot 24/7 continuously. 

Can I get a 'Live View' from the photoSentinel over the internet?

photoSentinel cameras do not have a ‘Live View’ function.

What is the difference between CCTV and timelapse cameras?

CCTV cameras are used for security purposes as surveillance equipment. They are placed in strategic positions to cover high risk areas, entry points and corridors. The cameras are used to capture unplanned activity and are often a low picture quality video feed that runs 24/7 or is triggered by activity.

Timelapse cameras are used for monitoring of planned construction activity, project management reporting, progress tracking, and marketing material. They are designed to capture high quality images at regular intervals over the period of activity. These are used to create high resolution timelapse videos, marketing assets, or to allow users to zoom in and view construction activity for project management purposes.

 

Photo Storage & Project Management Integration

Where are my images stored?

  • Images taken with the photoSentinel Mini are stored locally on the controller’s microSD card.
  • Images taken with the photoSentinel Tempo are stored locally on the SSD.
  • Images are uploaded and stored on our servers to display on your photo gallery.
  • If configured, photos are forwarded to additional locations, e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, your own FTP server, etc.

How do I access the photos taken by the photoSentinel?

  • Images can be viewed at online using the web gallery.
  • Users can download images from the gallery, if configured to allow high resolution downloads.
  • Images can be forwarded to a photo forwarding location, such as Dropbox. From there you can easily download your photos or transfer them to other devices.
  • For units with limited internet connectivity, photos can be saved to the on-board SSD. An on-site visit is then required to copy and delete the photos from the drive before they reach their storage limit.
  • For units shooting in RAW format or fast intervals, photos can be saved to the on-board SSD. An on-site visit is then required to copy and delete the photos from the drive before they reach their storage limit.

What back-up/photo forwarding services are supported?

In addition to the photoSentinel FTP server, our current supported photo forwarding services include:

  • Dropbox
  • Google Drive
  • Amazon S3
  • FTP

Can I use my own FTP server instead of the photoSentinel server?

To make the magic work behind the scenes of our web gallery and web application, we require files to be uploaded to the photoSentinel servers. We can then display information regarding your photoSentinel’s performance and serve your files to display on the photo gallery; or they can be used with one of our web application services, such as the AI Timelapse Composer.

There is no way to bypass the photoSentinel server, however we can forward photos to your FTP server in addition to the photoSentinel server.

 

What project management software does photoSentinel integrate with?

Our current supported integrations include:

Is there a photoSentinel API?

Yes. Contact us for more information about our API and integrating with your software.

 

Network Connectivity

Can I run the photoSentinel offline?

The Tempo has been optimised to work with connectivity and does not have offline functionality. The Tempo has an optional add-on ethernet port for LAN if mobile network connectivity is not an option.

The Mini system can be run offline, however it is not recommended. You will not be able to remotely view the units status, alerts, or make configuration changes. For more information about running a Mini offline, contact Support.

If your job requires offline functionality, we recommend the Cyclapse Pro from our partner brand, Harbortronics.

 

Can I use the photoSentinel on 3G?

The Tempo can run on 3G when 4G is not available.

3G is currently the only network option for the Mini.

If you are planning to use 3G, we recommend checking with your network provider for their 3G network shut down dates.

 

Can I use the photoSentinel on 4G?

The Tempo runs on 4G and is fully supported.

3G is currently the only network option for the Mini.

 

Can I use the photoSentinel on WiFi?

The Tempo does not support WiFi out-of-the-box; however, we can supply a WiFi modification kit. Contact us to discuss your requirements if you would like to use WiFi.

3G is currently the only network option for the Mini.

 

Can I use the photoSentinel with an ethernet connection?

The Tempo has an optional add-on ethernet port for LAN if mobile network connectivity is not an option.

The Mini does not support ethernet.

 

What mobile networks is the photoSentinel compatible with?

The modems used in photoSentinel equipment are international standard and are supported on most networks that use SIM cards. If you have concerns about your local network, contact us to assess the compatibility.

Camera Information

Does the system come with a camera (and lens)?

The Mini comes with a Fujifilm X-A3 integrated with our housing and controller.

When purchasing a Tempo, we can provide a camera and lens or you can supply your own. Check our camera compatibility list below to see if your camera is supported.

 

What cameras are supported with the Tempo?

As of January 2021, our currently supported cameras are listed below. This list is subject to change as older models stop being actively supported and newer models are released.

List of supported Nikon cameras:

  • D3500*
  • D5600

List of supported Canon cameras:

  • 200D (Rebel SL2)
  • 200D MK II (Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D)
  • 1500D / 2000D (Rebel T7)
  • 5D Mark IV

*Incompatible with Low Power Mode.

 

Can I use an unsupported camera with the Tempo?

We don’t recommend using an unsupported camera as we cannot guarantee its performance with the Tempo controller.

Cameras not listed above might function with the Tempo controller, however they have not been tested or have failed compatibility tests.

Contact sales to discuss your requirements if you would like to use an unsupported camera.

Can I use a full frame camera?

Yes, though for a range of good reasons we recommend using an APS-C camera.

The regular Tempo housing is designed for APS-C cameras and will not accommodate all full-frame camera and lens combinations. If you do wish to use a full frame camera, contact sales for more information about our larger ‘Beast’ housing.

Can I use a camera with a zoom lens?

Yes, though you may need to use our larger ‘Beast’ housing. The regular Tempo housing can accommodate the average APS-C kit zoom lens, but other lenses may be too long.

Contact us to discuss your project requirements.

With any zoom lens, we recommend you tape the zoom ring into position to ensure it doesn’t subtly shift mid-project.

Will the housing window obscure photos from a wide-angle lens?

  • A 10mm wide-angle lens will fit when using an APS-C sensor.
  • A 10mm wide-angle lens will have window edges in view when using a full frame sensor.
  • If using a fisheye lens, there will be significant obstruction.

If you would like to use full frame or a fisheye lens, we recommend using our larger ‘Beast’ housing.

Can I shoot in RAW format?

The Mini does not support RAW format.

The Tempo supports shooting in RAW, however the photo gallery cannot display RAW format images. You can configure your unit to capture both formats simultaneously, allowing clients to view JPEG on the photo gallery and RAW photos are saved for later use. The unit can be set to upload JPEG only, RAW and JPEG, or RAW only.

Before shooting in RAW, consider that RAW files are typically 20MB+ per file, and therefore will be much more expensive to upload on a data plan. We recommend storing the RAW files locally on an SSD that can be manually copied from or swapped out, whilst uploading the JPEG files to display to clients. Alternatively, the optional add-on ethernet cable can be used to transfer via LAN and avoid high 4G data costs.

Can I remotely change non-intervalometer settings? (exposure/focus, etc)

The Mini’s camera settings must be configured during installation.

The Tempo’s camera settings should be configured during installation. However, we have a remote camera control feature available.

Housing, Parts & Mounting

Can I purchase the housing by itself?

No, we do not sell the housing as a stand-alone product.

What is the internal space inside the Tempo housing?

To fit inside a Tempo housing, the camera and lens combination must be no longer the 150mm long. If you would like to use something larger, contact sales for information about our larger “Beast” housing.

What weatherproof rating is the housing?

All our housings are rated to IP66 (NEMA 4X), which is as weatherproof as possible before a full submersion rating.

Can I buy just the controller (intervalometer) by itself?

No, we do not sell the controller as a stand-alone product.

If you wish to purchase just a long-term timelapse controller, we recommend the DigiSnap Pro from our partners at Harbortronics.

Can I use my own components? (solar panel/battery/external storage, etc)

We highly recommend against using your own components as we cannot provide warranty cover for non-photoSentinel parts.

If your unit is returned for warranty and a non-genuine part is determined to be the cause, shipping and repair costs will be charged.

What is the maximum on-board storage capacity?

On-board storage allows photos to be stored on the hardware in the event that there is a connection issue and captured photos cannot be uploaded immediately. It provides a buffer to keep shooting during potential network dropouts or issues with a SIM card.

On the Tempo, it allows fast shooting intervals and RAW format photos to be collected manually to avoid high data fees.

  • The Mini has an on-board storage of 4GB on its microSD card.
  • The Tempo comes with the option of a 64GB or 500GB industrial-SSD.

How do I mount a photoSentinel?

The most common option is to mount the unit to a pole nearby or on-site. Your unit will come with a pole mounting bracket, clamps and bolts. Depending on where you are installing, you may need to rent a scissor lift or other machinery to install in hard to reach areas.

If you do not have a pole or similar available, we recommend Australian suppliers EZYpole, and Surefoot.

For more advice about mounting, contact sales to discuss your job requirements.

 

Do you offer any other mounting options than the pole mounting brackets?

No. You will need to provide your own mounting parts if you have a specific requirement, however we can advise you about different options. Contact sales to discuss your project requirements.

Do you sell poles for mounting?

No. We recommend Australian suppliers EZYpole and Surefoot.

Still Got Questions?

Still got a question that’s not covered above?

Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your project.