Capturing Time with the Best Time Lapse Cameras Complete Guide

Are you looking to capture precious moments in life? Now you can with the best time-lapse cameras on the market!

With this guide, you will have the knowledge and confidence to find the right camera for your needs. Don’t miss out on capturing special memories and time-saving features – invest in a time lapse camera today!


Time lapse photography is the art of capturing a given timeframe in a single image. It allows you to capture the passage of time, whether you want to document a sunrise or sunset, document traffic patterns, create a smooth-panning video of an event, or speed up the movement of clouds, stars and other natural phenomena. This guide provides an overview on selecting the best time lapse cameras and how to use them.

It’s important that you understand what features you need from your time lapse camera and your purpose for using it. Whether you are shooting for documentation purposes or are looking to create dynamic content for social media sites like Instagram or YouTube, the choice of camera will depend on what kind of results you want to see and what equipment you have available. In this guide we’ll look at some key points when considering which camera is right for you – such as resolution & sensor size , type & quality of lenses , low light capability & battery life.

Finally, we’ll show some examples & give tips on how to get the most out of your chosen camera.

Explanation of time lapse photography

Time lapse photography is a technique that captures a scene over a long span of time as a sequence of images and then compresses that time to make it appear as if the events within were playing out in faster than normal speed. The technique is often used for recording the movement of celestial bodies, such as the sun and stars, or when recording plant growth from seedling stage to full maturity. When these sequences are combined with fast-moving images at slower speeds it gives an overall stunning cinematic effect.

Traditional photography generally requires a large investment in both equipment and even more so, experience. Time lapse photography is an easier way for anyone to create professional looking videos with less expense and effort–especially if you’re an amateur photographer looking to experiment or explore this genre further.

Essentially, all time lapse entails are intervals of time between each frame captured by your camera’s shutter. For example, if you choose to take one photo per hour over one day at 8-hour intervals, then those photos are compiled into a movie clip that will be sped up accordingly when played back so that the total length of the video would measure just eight seconds on screen. Changing up these intervals result in different lengths of video clips you can use for nearly any project you may have in mind—and with today’s technology increasingly affordable cameras make capturing the perfect time lapse easier than ever!

Importance of choosing the right camera

When choosing the best time lapse camera, it is important to pay attention to the specs of the camera. This will include resolution, frames per second (fps), filming modes, stabilization tools, and more. These factors can help determine the quality and type of time lapses you can produce, so understanding them is key to making informed decisions. Additionally, think about what kind of budget you have and where you’ll be shooting your time lapses; many cameras have specialized mounts designed for different activities like skiing or mountaineering.

The resolution of a camera determines how sharp and rich in detail your time lapses will look when viewed on a larger display. High-resolution options are great for producing an image with extreme clarity and focus on a single object or scene. Lower resolution options are more portable which makes it easier to take them on location but aren’t ideal if you are planning to produce an extremely detailed time lapse.

Another factor to consider is the frames per second (fps). This setting captures images at a certain rate depending on how many frames per second you choose. A faster rate will capture more frames at once resulting in smooth video footage while a slow rate will capture fewer images with longer gaps between each shot resulting in choppy video footage that might not look as fluid or natural when viewed back as a time lapse or video sequence. Finally, some cameras come with specialized mounts or stabilizing tools that can help ensure steady filming and operate in tough outdoor conditions like extreme temperatures or high winds- so be sure to take note of these as well before buying!

Overview of the guide

This guide will provide you with detailed information about the basics of motion picture photography by taking a comprehensive look at the different types of time lapse cameras available, their features and specifications. You can use this guide to help you decide on the best time lapse camera for your project.

By reading through this guide, you’ll gain an understanding of how to choose the right camera and accessories according to your needs and budget. In addition, we’ll also provide you with practical tips on how to make your time lapse projects successful. We’ll discuss the components of a time lapse sequence, such as frame rate, shutter speed and field of view; and provide direction on post-production workflow so that you can make the most out of your footage.

Lastly, we’ll touch upon some emerging trends in time lapse photography as well as various ideas for using time lapse footage creatively.

How to Make a Day to Night Time-lapse Video - Nature TTL

Key Considerations for Choosing the Best Time Lapse Camera

Before buying a time lapse camera, think about what type of final product you’re aiming to create. When it comes to time lapse photography, its success relies heavily on the quality of the camera utilized. To ensure that you are choosing the right one for your interests, consider the following key factors.

Resolution: While cameras with lower megapixel ratings might be great for quick and simple projects, if you’re looking for something higher quality, opt for a higher resolution.. The majority of consumer-grade cameras tend to offer up to 18 megapixels, with some high-end models going up to 24.

Frame Rate: This aspect describes how many images or frames can be captured each second before being pieced together into video clips. The higher the frame rate, the smoother the resulting clip will look – aim for at least 24 frames per second (FPS) when filming in high definition (HD).

Storage Space: Many cameras come with enough built-in storage to get started; however more elaborate projects may require additional space. Investing in memory cards is a great idea if you are taking photographs quickly and need a place where they can easily be stored until needed. Additionally, consider buying extra batteries or an AC adapter – especially if you plan on capturing multiple time lapses over an extended period of time.

Image Quality and Consistency: One of the most important factors to consider when making your selection is image quality and consistency across different shooting conditions – meaning that even when light levels change drastically or temperatures fluctuate during your shoot sessions, your images are still sharp and clear as if they were taken using a professional-level camera system . To guarantee consistency from start to finish make sure that your chosen model has features like auto focus (AF), white balance (WB) and exposure control (EC).

Camera type and features

Choosing the right time lapse camera is critical, as you’ll need to meet your project requirements. The key elements of selecting a camera are lens type, sensor size and dynamic range. Additionally, time lapse cameras have specific characteristics such as shutter speed, ISO rating and exposure compensation that help you find the right camera for your application.

Lens type and focal length is generally determined by the scene you are capturing and the style of the video you’re looking to create. Wide-angle lenses are great for sweeping shots or large scenes while zoom lenses provide refined control over your footage.

Sensor size affects image quality as well as low light performance, so it’s important to consider larger sensors such as APS-C or full-frame when selecting your camera. Along with sensor size comes dynamic range – this measures how much detail will be captured within an image’s shadows and highlights up to what is known as a “stop of light” (EV)which is determined by its ISO rating. To avoid blown out highlights in an image or video clip or too dark shadows , aim for cameras with higher ISO ratings spanning from 100 ISO all the way up to 12800 ISO.

When it comes to select the best shutter speed setting for a time lapse sequence , it depends on whether you need quick paced action or gradually moving clouds across sky transitions . Shortening shutter speeds result in slower yet more precise frames whereas increased speeds provide faster action sequences with less fine details in between each frame.

Shoot in manual mode according to exposure settings that best suit your desired effects from frame rate , iso setting , aperture etc . If possible , always shoot using RAW files which enable more flexibility when editing . Time lapse cameras should offer several manual control features in order for photographers adjust settings quickly without stopping shooting mid-way.

Lastly , another important specification often overlooked is shooting resolution—many time lapse cinematographers prefer high resolutions settings whenever possible.

Interval and duration settings

Interval and duration settings refer to the time interval, or how often each image will be taken and the length of any given sequence. This is one of the more important settings as it has a major impact on the overall look and feel of your time-lapse videos.

Interval can be set to record anywhere from a fraction of a second to several hours, depending on your desired outcome for the video sequence. Longer intervals (for example 10 minutes) can be used when you want to capture the passage of time over a period of hours or days, while faster intervals (such as 1 second) can be used when you wish to capture events with more detail or events that take place quickly.

Duration refers to how long an individual recording should last, which can range from just a few seconds long (in very fast sequences) up to several days. Generally speaking, longer durations are best used for capturing events with slower movements such as sunsets or stars in the night sky, while shorter durations are commonly used when wanting to capture fast-moving events such as cars driving by or people walking.

Top 10 Best Time Lapse Cameras 2020 | Make a Video Hub

Battery life and power source

When capturing a time lapse, having good battery life and power sources are crucial. The best time lapse cameras are equipped with long lasting batteries to last for the duration of your sequence. Additionally, many cameras come with an external power source such as an AC adapter which enables you to plug in and never have to worry about battery life.

Connectivity is also important for a reliable and smooth workflow. All of the top rated cameras will feature USB Type-C ports for easy data transfer and WiFi options so that you can stream from your device directly online or onto a mobile app.

Top Time Lapse Cameras on the Market

Now that you know the features to look out for when buying a time lapse camera, let’s review some of the top models on the market. This overview should make it easier for you to choose what’s right for you and your shooting style.

  1. Canon EOS 5D Mark III: Boasting 22 megapixels of resolution, this is considered one of the best time lapse cameras around due to its incredible image quality and wide range of features including built-in image stabilization.
  2. Sony Alpha 7S II – This camera offers excellent performance in low light settings and can shoot video at up to 120 frames per second which should satisfy most timelapse shooters looking for a more cinematic touch with their recordings. It can record in full HD and its 14-bit color analysis helps produce beautiful footage with accurate colors.
  3. Nikon D810A – This 24-megapixel camera was made specifically with time lapse photography in mind as it boasts longer exposures that are particularly useful during dawn or dusk hours (for example when capturing a star trail or Milky Way). Plus, it offers both an intervalometer and multiple exposure options which allow photographers to create stunning time lapse sequences.
  4. Olympus OM-D EM5 – Small but powerful, this micro four thirds camera provides superb performance in a compact design perfect for travelers on the go who don’t want to risk hauling around large equipment every day but want professional results nonetheless. It also has some impressive features such as Wi-Fi connectivity and remote shutter release ability that makes setting up shots much faster and easier than ever before!

Review of top time lapse cameras on the market

When it comes to creating beautiful time lapse videos, having the right equipment can make all the difference. There are several excellent and reasonably priced cameras available that are suitable for creating mesmerizing time lapse videos. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced professional looking to upgrade your equipment, this comprehensive guide will help you choose the best time lapse camera for your needs.

We have reviewed a selection of the leading models from renowned manufactures so you can find the perfect camera to suit your budget and experience level. Each review covers product overviews, key technical specs, and our own personal observations about each device. For more detailed information about each model please refer to their respective product page and user manuals before committing to an order.

A brief overview of our top picks include:

  • GoPro Hero 8 Black: This versatile Vlogging camera has an impressive 12MP sensor with 4K resolution video recording at 60 frames per second – making it an ideal choice for capturing breathtaking timeslapses in even the most challenging lighting conditions.
  • Canon EOS R Mirrorless Camera Body: This flagship full-frame mirrorless camera is equipped with an impressive 32MP CMOS sensor with 4K recording capabilities and a highly efficient autofocus system – ideal for professional grade quality time lapse footage.
  • Sony Alpha a7R IV: This powerful full frame mirrorless camera offers users unbeatable image quality thanks to its 61MP sensor and 15 stops of dynamic range – making it perfect for capturing dazzling time lapses with unparalleled clarity and color rendition.

Comparison of features and pricing

When it comes to knowing which time lapse camera is right for you, the important thing is finding the right balance between features, versatility and pricing. With cameras ranging from models with bare bones features at entry level prices to those with bells and whistles that come with hefty price tags, there’s something out there for every kind of budget.

The table below outlines key features available as well as general pricing ranges that can be found across various time lapse cameras. These ranges are meant to be a general guide only, and actual costs may vary depending on vendor or discounts applied. The table is sorted by the camera price range in each category from lowest to highest cost:

Camera Name | Recording Resolution | Wi-Fi Connectivity | Price Range
GoPro Hero7 Black| 4K Time Lapse Video | Yes| Up to $348
Xiaomi Mijia 4K Action Camera| 4K Timelapse Video | Yes | Up to $101
Eken H9R Action Camera|4K Time Lapse Video + 2K Slow Motion Video| Yes |Up to $90
Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 Action Camera | 4k/30fps & 1080p/120fps Videos + 8MP Photo Stills |No | Up to $299
 Nikon KeyMission 80& 170 Cameras     ||Yes Up to $199 & 299 respectively

The best timelapse cameras in 2023 | Digital Camera World


The perfect time-lapse camera should be able to easily configure operations and settings, meet your budget, and have the features you need to capture creative, quality footage. Many of these cameras provide professional grade results for a wide variety of time-lapse setups.

Remember to plan or test your setup if at all possible before shooting with a new camera. Thankfully the learning curve isn’t too steep when it comes to using time-lapse cameras, but checking the available software, testing out different settings, and reading through helpful guides can expedite your progress.

With a good understanding of what’s available in terms of processing power, sensor size and frame rate performance and some practice shooting time lapse video with different equipment can yield magnificent results. Finding the best time-lapse camera for your desired shot won’t be easy but we hope that this guide has helped point you in the right direction. Happy shooting!

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