I'm using a Raspberry Pi 2 Model B running Raspian Jesse Lite with the official camera board. When I try and take a timelapse, it runs for about two minutes, then stops.

I'm running raspistill --timelapse 60000 --quality 100 --width 1440 --height 900 --output ./images/image.jpg --exposure auto. The first two images take fine, but as soon as the second image is taken, the app exits.

The documentation tells me there's a timeout, and that it defaults to 5 seconds, but even if I set the timeout to 999999999, it still stops after two minutes.

pi@raspberrypi:~/ $ /opt/vc/bin/raspistill --timelapse 60000 --quality 100 --width 1440 --height 900 --output ./images/image.jpg --exposure auto

pi@raspberrypi:~/ $

EDIT: Here's what happens when I run it with -v:

raspistill Camera App v1.3.8

Width 1440, Height 900, quality 100, filename ./images/image.jpg

Time delay 5000, Raw no

Thumbnail enabled Yes, width 64, height 48, quality 35

Link to latest frame enabled no

Full resolution preview No

Capture method : Capture on timelapse

Preview Yes, Full screen Yes

Preview window 0,0,1024,768

Opacity 255

Sharpness 0, Contrast 0, Brightness 50

Saturation 0, ISO 0, Video Stabilisation No, Exposure compensation 0

Exposure Mode 'auto', AWB Mode 'auto', Image Effect 'none'

Metering Mode 'average', Colour Effect Enabled No with U = 128, V = 128

Rotation 0, hflip No, vflip No

ROI x 0.000000, y 0.000000, w 1.000000 h 1.000000

Camera component done

Encoder component done

Starting component connection stage

Connecting camera preview port to video render.

Connecting camera stills port to encoder input port

Opening output file ./images/image.jpg

Enabling encoder output port

Starting capture 1

Finished capture 1

Opening output file ./images/image.jpg

Enabling encoder output port

Starting capture 2

Finished capture 2

Closing down

Close down completed, all components disconnected, disabled and destroyed

EDIT 2: Someone in another question suggested sudo rpi-update`. Tried that (needed to install it, as it's not part of the lite version of Raspbian) and still had no luck.

Am I doing something wrong here?

  • You need a place holder for the variable file name number. As in "The specific value is the time between shots in milliseconds. Note that you should specify %04d at the point in the filename where you want a frame count number to appear". The second image needs to be written to a different file name.
    – zedman9991
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 16:38

1 Answer 1


Not an answer, just observed behaviour:

Odd... - I just tried your command on my Pi Camera and got the exact same result - 2 images taken then shutdown.

For testing I reduced your timelapse value to 6000 and the same thing happened - 2 images taken then shutdown.

I then added the timeout parameter (set to 30000) and it worked as expected - it took 6 images and then shutdown.

I then set the timeout parameter to 999999999 and it seems to be working (I don't plan to wait till 999999999mS pass to fully test... but it has gone past 2 minutes).

So... I'd set the timeout value. Here was the command I ended up using:

raspistill --timelapse 6000 --quality 100 --width 1440 --height 900 --output .
/images/image%04d.jpg --exposure auto -v -t 999999999
  • 1
    I think the different filename is the key here. As @zedman9991 pointed out in a comment on my question, it might quit when the filename already exists, which would explain the "try to write and then quit" behavior. Because I'm uploading these files to a remote system, I can simply delete the files when they've been uploaded.
    – DrFrankly
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 17:12
  • @DrFrankly @zedman9991 it is not related to the filename - just tested that and I get the same behaviour with ./images/image.jpg as I get with ./images/image%04d.jpg in the command line Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 19:49
  • You're right, it did still happen. Adding the timeout worked. It's odd that it needs one, but oh well, it works now. Thanks!
    – DrFrankly
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 6:13

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