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Old January 22nd, 2006, 10:21 AM   #1
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Time Lapse with digital still camera

I'm looking to shoot some time lapse footage using a digital still camera. I know some of the Nikon Coolpix cameras will let you do this, but I can't tell if you can choose the resolution. I'm wondering if anyone has experience with this.

Questions:

-can you recomend specific cameras in the $200 to $600 range that can be set to snap pictures at preset intervals

-if battery life is a problem are there external adapters?

-can you set exposure manually? should you? I want to show a parking lot filling up as evening falls.

-will I need an external drive for memory? Or should I just buy a big memory card?

-any other gotchas or resources you can recomend?


thanks for your time.

Marion
www.madmotion.com
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 10:42 AM   #2
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This works great with Canon cameras : http://www.granitebaysoftware.com/
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 01:18 AM   #3
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Harbortronics

Have a look at this little box...

http://www.harbortronics.com/index.htm

I have used this very successfully with a retrofitted Nikon D70 to give more than HD resolution timelapse

-can you recomend specific cameras- depends on what resolution you need and a rake of other factors but you can buy a descent DSLR for $600

-if battery life is a problem- depends on the camera and the external controller

-can you set exposure manually? should you? Yes you can and yes you should- auto exp TL looks terrible as the camera constantly readjusts to the changing light. You may need to use ND's to allow for your final exposure... this you must calculate but remember that TL is a stylised look and thus you can get away with some unnatural exposure looks (heavily NDed sunsets etc)

-external drive for memory or big memory card? This is question of resolution and maths....

On my D70 I can capture 600 fine JPEGs (excellent quality) on a 2GB compact flash card. Depending on what you want to shoot this may be enough frames and quality . Take the example of a parking lot filling up as evening falls.

Actual event duration is (for example) 3 hours; 180 mins= 10800 seconds
10800/600 =18 secs so every 18 seconds you could shoot a "frame" and have enough memory to shoot the entire seq on one card. This in my mind would be overkill for this seq and you could get away with every 30.
Thus you have 600 "frames" which you can then crop to your chosen aspect ratio and lay in you timeline. If your line is at 25FPS then you have...
600/25= 24 seconds of footage which is way too much for any single shot. You can of course speed it up and play with it ad nauseum. I hope that I am not pointing out the obvious and that my maths has worked here (as it never was my strong point)

-any other gotchas or resources you can recomend? Manual exposure all the way...watch your ccds when filming sunrise/sunset...

Good luck

J
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Old February 9th, 2006, 05:52 AM   #4
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A while ago I used CamController from Pine Tree Software (something like that). Anyway, the software works with most all Olympus cameras. I happened to use a 3020Z.

You can also have multiple instances running for more than one camera.

Very nice.

Good luck!

PS: This works with a PC, btw! I have also used it remotely with a laptop, no problems. You just have the camera connected via USB. You can control all camera functions from the software application. And set parameters for time lapse.
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