Can Open Camera Do Time Lapse Photography With A Digital

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Time-lapse photography is a technique that makes fourth dimension appear to speed upward. This method lets you lot shrink hours or days worth of footage into merely a few seconds.

In this article, we’ll show you lot what yous need to become started with time-lapse photography.

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What Is Time-lapse Photography Used for?

Fourth dimension-lapse is perfect for capturing moments that happen for an extended flow of fourth dimension. A few examples include cars passing by and flowers blooming.

Fourth dimension-lapse photography involves recording events at
regular intervals. You and so combine the images into a video file that lasts a few seconds to a few minutes.

Basic Time-lapse Equipment You’ll Need

You don’t have to buy expensive equipment to starting time with time-lapse photography. Yous can begin past using what you lot already have in paw.

The basic requirements include a
camera, an
intervalometer, and a

You lot may demand
post-processing software
to edit your time-lapse footage equally well.

Now permit’s swoop deep into the other tools you lot’ll demand:


This device triggers the camera to take photos at regular intervals for an extended flow of time.

You’ll find this useful if your photographic camera doesn’t have a congenital-in time-lapse feature.

Most Nikon DSLRs have internal intervalometers. Just a lot of Canon cameras don’t have this feature at all.

Canon camera with a separate intervalometer accessory on white background.

If your camera doesn’t accept a built-in intervalometer, consider buying an external option.

You tin can program an intervalometer to shoot photos at certain intervals. It will and so transport commands to your camera to offset taking pictures.

The intervalometer is merely a timing mechanism. You still accept to edit the pictures in post to complete your fourth dimension-lapse photography.


Controlling the position of the camera is crucial to achieving consequent results. A sturdy tripod is fundamental to attain better time-lapse footage.

To ensure stability, you may have to fit a
geared head
on a standard tripod. The best option on the marketplace is the Manfrotto XPRO 3-Manner Geared Head.

You can also apply smaller options such as a Joby Gorillapod or Manfrotto PIXI.

Camera on a tripod on the background of the lake.

For creating hyper-lapse, use a tripod to line upwards each shot as y’all motility. It stabilizes the camera and helps you achieve polish results.

ND Filters

Remember of ND filters equally the sunglasses for your lens that limit the calorie-free coming into the camera. In plow, they let you use irksome shutter speed fifty-fifty in daylight. You should utilise them if you desire to accomplish long exposure shots easily.

These filters come up in various sizes and formats. So look at your lens and find its diameter marker on the barrel. If the measurement is 52mm, then brand certain you go one that’due south the same size.

What Is the Best Camera for Fourth dimension-Lapse Photography?

You don’t need to buy any special camera for time-lapses at all. Y’all tin can use almost whatever device you have. Even smartphones now accept this feature through apps.

However, the type of camera yous use can touch on how you do shoot pictures. The most important factors are the
of the sensor and
ISO operation
when buying a time-lapse photographic camera. In addition, while some have a time-lapse feature born, others don’t take it at all.

At present let’s look at different cameras you tin can utilize for time-lapses.


Some DSLRs don’t accept a time-lapse photo function. But many of them tin can record
ultra-high-definition video
which you can apply for shooting time-lapse.

But what if you have an old Canon 50D that doesn’t take video at all? Then consider getting Magic Lantern. Information technology’southward open-source software that you can use to add new features to erstwhile cameras. Yous can use it to record movies on cameras like the 50D. It as well includes an intervalometer for shooting time-lapses. You can find out more here.

A Canon camera with Magic Lantern installed on white background.

You can install Magic Lantern on your photographic camera’s retention carte du jour. In one case in the system, the app lets you select its menu instead of the Canon’s default version. You can then cull the intervalometer and start recording time-lapses.

Point and Shoot

Nearly people have ‘point-and-shoot’ cameras instead of DSLRs. They’re not but cheaper, but they are besides easier to utilize. The downside is that you tin only use them in fully automatic style. And in almost cases, they don’t have a time-lapse feature at all.

However, some high-end models provide features you might only look on DSLRs. Some even let you lot change the aperture and the shutter speed seamlessly!

The Sony RX100 MK VII is a perfect example. Its 5472 x 3648-pixel resolution alone rivals well-nigh DSLRs. Like most high-stop cameras, information technology has a manual way and 4K recording! But nearly of all, it features an intervalometer for seamless time-lapses.

The Sony RX100 MK VII

The merely downside is that the RX100 costs more than a thousand dollars.

If you want a cheaper alternative, consider the Canon G5 10 Mk II. It has similar specs every bit the RX100, including a 4K timelapse characteristic. But it only costs most $800, which is much less than its Sony analogue.

We take a mail service on the best time-lapse apps to bank check out here.


GoPros were initially for immature sporty types. But with new features, they now concenter serious photographers as well.

Despite the modest size, the GoPro can record time-lapse for a long period of time. It converts the images into
4k fourth dimension-lapse
movies. Such a characteristic was only previously available in high-cease cameras.

A GoPro cameraThe best feature of GoPro is that information technology lets yous change the frame rate. For example, you can employ 12 frames per second to slow down the action in loftier-speed shots. So even if you reduce the speed four times, the result will still look smooth.

GoPro Hero 8 is also waterproof to a depth of 10m. That ways you can take time-lapse photos underwater if you lot want!


If you don’t accept a regular camera, y’all tin can employ your smartphone instead.

It doesn’t matter if yous accept an iPhone or an Android Phone. It’due south all a matter of getting the proper app for information technology.

In that location are enough of time-lapse apps out there. Y’all tin use Microsoft Hyperlapse Mobile or Instagram Hyperlapse for free.

If you want more professional results, then buy a dedicated timelapse app. The all-time option includes the Lapse It Pro. It lets you shoot in 4K and fifty-fifty offers HDR!

What Blazon of Workflow Should I Expect?

There are ii main time-lapse workflows you tin try.

The get-go one involves the camera shooting video at a lower frame rate. The second requires taking a photo sequence and combines them into a video for you.

The video method is the simplest. Simply information technology can take up a lot of space on your memory cards. If you don’t take an intervalometer, this is the quick and dirty way to do fourth dimension-lapse. Only this is non by whatsoever means the best option.

The second method is shooting a photograph sequence in raw or jpeg format. This method is the best choice in achieving professional results. The individual images take big frame sizes. So the resulting video often has ameliorate quality than 4K.

A DSLRon tripod shooting an icy landscape time-lapse
Photo by Christian Holzinger on Unsplash

Furthermore, y’all can change the shutter speed when shooting photos. That means that you go precipitous results if you cull to shoot fast. Or even achieve movement blur past using long exposures.

How to Shoot Time-Lapse Photography

Now let’s get into the details of shooting timelapse.

For video, simply activate video mode and first recording.

And then how many frames per second is right for timelapse? 24 or 25 work fine in near cases. Just make sure you lot don’t plough on 4K considering it volition fill your memory card quickly. The issue is non going to be as high-quality equally the still photos. Merely it’southward a great culling if you don’t take an intervalometer.

For withal photos, make certain to set your camera to transmission first. And then you can choose the settings you lot want. Yous’ll need a wide aperture to accomplish sharp results. Anything between f/xi to f/22 is excellent. For the shutter speed, you can either choose a fast or slow exposure.

Streaming light trails on a highway at night
Photo by Frankie Lopez on Unsplash

Next, turn on the Timelapse feature and select the number of photos you want. Next, specify the intervals between the images.

The interval depends on the state of affairs you want to shoot. For fast activeness such as moving cars, you can set the interval to 1 second. For slow events such as blooming flowers, y’all can cull xxx minutes or even an hour.

Install an external intervalometer if your camera doesn’t have a time-lapse feature. Employ it to set the number of images and the intervals you want.

One time you fix everything, printing the shutter and wait. The camera will end recording as shortly every bit it reaches the number of images you specified.

Include Movements in Your Time-Lapse to Add Interest

It’s easy to fix the camera in ane static position for time-lapses. Merely a steady point of view can become monotonous for long sequences.

Several devices produce some wearisome and controlled movement during the shoot. Options range from
electronically controlled slider runway
to inexpensive
clockwork-driven pan heads.

Do you want to produce panning 4K timelapse photography without any post-production? Then consider this setup below. Information technology’s a GoPro attached to a Flowmotion Pan on a Joby Gorillapod. Information technology’southward elementary, and information technology produces excellent results.

Photo of a Joby Gorillapod, a clockwork 2-hour Flow-Motion auto panning head and a GoPro Hero 6 camera.

For a more robust setup, install your panning head to your tripod. That way, y’all tin easily control the superlative and position.

While shooting fourth dimension-lapse, make sure you don’t move your equipment at all. Otherwise, the transition wouldn’t look smooth.

Best Fourth dimension-Lapse Software to Use

Some cameras can shoot fourth dimension-lapse photos and automatically plow them into videos. Unfortunately, some of these devices reduce the quality to HD 1080p.

It is best to process the images on your figurer to produce a high-quality time-lapse video. Editing software can as well rail and stabilise motion for hyper-lapses. If your photographic camera didn’t alter its betoken of view during the shoot, yous could add furnishings such as panning and zooming.

The all-time editing softwares for time-lapses include Lightroom and Photoshop.

Use Lightroom to organise your images and apply edits to all the photos. You tin even ingather the video to the correct aspect ratio). Then, export the files to a folder ready for Photoshop or Adobe Premiere.

For Photoshop, you’ll demand to load the photos into the timeline. You and so select all of them and change the time. Start with 0.1 seconds and go along adjusting until you hitting the proper speed.

For Adobe Premiere, you’ll load the photos into the timeline as well. Select all of them and alter the speed elapsing. Merely similar in Photoshop, continue adjusting until the frame rate looks correct.

If you don’t accept a total Adobe subscription and you lot’re working on a Mac, then Final Cut Pro is an excellent editor. Yous can also cheque our article on creating a time-lapse with Lightroom’south LRTimelapse for more information.


Creating time-lapse isn’t as intimidating as you lot think. If your camera has this feature, go ahead and attempt information technology. For the virtually role, all it takes is pressing the shutter and existence patient.

You can start with simple ones such every bit capturing skylines. As y’all go more comfy, you lot can start experimenting with flower blooms!

Time-lapse photography is ane of the topics we cover in our creative photography course, Wow Factor Photography. If y’all’d like to learn more, check out the course here.


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