Time-lapse Photography on the Quick & Dirty [tech]

_How many seconds of time-lapse video can be produced in two hours?
_How do you set up your camera for time lapse?
_What kind of gear do you need?
_What kind of results can you get with a $200 camera vs a $5,000 camera?

I sat at the top of Signal Hill in Capetown, South Africa a few weeks ago to shoot some timelapse for a video project I’m working on. In the process, I thought we’d bust out a video to demonstrate the possibilities. I explain in the video above. We shot a Nikon D3s, a Nikon D7000 and two GoProHero2’s to create four different angles. Enjoy!

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riordan says:

Could you talk about your process, developing, and how you assembled everything? What sort of B/W process you use and compression for export?

Oh Danny Boy says:

Not brown nosing, but thanks alot for taking the time to do this – your explanations of the process involved are both helpful + inspiring to newcomers like me. The GoPros time lapse were a triumph!

The GoPros were stunning! Love the final timelapse -especially the GoPro hero 2 shot with the water off to the left. Thanks for the BHTS video, Chase!

ham says:

I’d like to see these in color. That is where you’d see the dramatic difference between the vibrance of the DSLRs vs. the GPs.

faisal says:

Are any of the images worked upon or edited?

tom says:

hate to say it but the Nikon footage looks crap compared to the GoPro.

JIve says:

What’s the issue with having the case on the GoPro that Chase referenced when he showed the first one gaffed up?

tom says:

@Jive, The GoPro housings are notorious for fogging up. Even when you have a moisture muncher in them the tend to fog up after a few minutes of operation. This is often due to the camera heating up the housing on the inside. I found this to be a really problem when using the housing for shooting water sports videos in cold water but humid climate. It’s mainly due to the humidity of the air inside the housing. It can help to keep the housing near an air con outlet in the car with the air con at full blast just before you close up the housing. It seems to sufficiently dry out the inside.

Wolf says:

I think the GoPro timelapse parts look better because the scenes shot were more interesting and had more tonal variety.

Anonymous says:

wider shot, in this case = tonal variety.

but i do love the go pros for sure. that’s part of what makes a time lapse cool… variety, movement, etc. perfect in this case for lots of cameras, but the go pros rocked it.

I disagree, I thought the tone and clarity on the D7000 took the cake. The GoPro’s were awesome, but there’s something about a D7000 timelapse that just looks better when done right.

Timo says:

I agree. It’s not due to the cameras though. The scenery as chosen just doesn’t work for long focal lengths. A DSLR with a wide angle lens shooting the same angle the GoPros did would most likely give you footage with more headroom in the highlights.
Still a nice result for the GoPros though!

Anonymous says:

no question there’s a better sensor in the bigger cameras – room in the exposure / files.

that said, the “scenery chosen” was actually more dramatic in real life than thru the long lens due to the density of some of the clouds moving in front of the peak and the 10 second intervals we chose. had we chose a shorter interval you would not have been making this comment… the small clouds were rallying off that peak like crazy!

WillG says:

Were the Nikon’s set on Manual or Aperture Priority? The GoPro2’s were obviously on auto.
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Timo says:

I suppose at least the D3s was on manual. Lots of underexposed footage there..

Anonymous says:

both were on manual. picking an exposure has the upside of “feeling” when it gets dark” and the downside of not knowing how dark it can get…

auto is simple – great for go pro. since we had 4 cameras we were able to throw caution to the wind on non-auto exposure cameras, which we did.

Jingcheng says:

Strangely enough, the GoPros were the best ones, IMHO.

I totally agree. The D7000 is nice too but the D3s is blown away by the GoPros!

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