Friday, March 6, 2015

Timelapse Experiments #1

I've been playing with timelapses the past few days. It is something I had been meaning to do for several years, but just never really got the impetus until I decided I wanted to bring a little spring during the dismal extra dose of winter we just got. Turns out the easiest timelapses I did were of the snowstorm on March 5th. :-P

I've been experimenting with timelapses in two fashions... With my dSLRs and with my iPhone. I'll start by noting that timelapses with the integrated timelapse feature in iOS 8 is very easy but not very controllable. You cannot control anything beyond the focus/exposure and the period the timelapse cannot control how often an image is taken or the total duration of the recording, since it the interval is progressively reduced as you record longer and longer, resulting in a faster paced timelapse of roughly the same 20-30 second length no matter what. I also noticed a tendency for the iPhone 5 to pick up pulsation in the lighting, even when under incandescent lighting. The iPhone 6 did not exhibit this issue and only seems to display it while in slo-motion mode.

Here are some examples:

I've also been experimenting with several methods of using my dSLRs for timelapses. One camera was set up on umbilical power with a Canon remote release that has an integrated intervalometer. This is the best dSLR option and was my ideal camera, but the shots with it kept running into trouble because I had it trained on some daffodils that kept moving. I'm not used to plants that move quite so much as daffodils. Another camera was running on batteries and used Magic Lantern for an intervalometer. Finally, the third camera was running on batteries and was using Canon's EOS Utility as an intervalometer. Of these options, the EOS Utility seemed to work better, but only slightly. Running on battery power was the main disadvantage both cameras had, as they kept needing fresh batteries...and one camera I only have one battery for so it meant gaps in recording.

Here is a decent dSLR example:
My experiments led me to buy a GoPro Hero 4 Black to use for timelapses, because my two primary dSLRs would take too much shutter usage if I used them for timelapses, and my other dSLR would require additional accessories and would still run into the shutter issue. I'll continue to use the dSLR for macro timelapses and things that the GoPro is not suited for recording, but I think it will be tasked with timelapse duty a lot.

No comments: