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Old July 30th, 2012, 09:43 AM   #1
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Best timelapse interval for party

Hey guys,

Sorry if this is the wrong place for this question.. I'm going to shoot a timelapse on my 550D this weekend of a party. Was just wondering if anyone could recommend an interval to use? Memory card space isn't a problem, although i'd like to conserve battery life. 1 second.. 5.. 10?

I'm quite new to timelapse photography so forgive the newbie question.

Any tips appreciated.
Cheers.
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Old July 30th, 2012, 12:45 PM   #2
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Re: Best timelapse interval for party

I'd go with 1 to 4 seconds, depending on the duration of the party and the duration that you want in the end.

The big question is whether you want a fast shutter speed or a slow speed. When fast, it's very jerky. When slow, moving people become ghost-like blurs. I prefer the slow shutter look, personally. To do show shutter, you generally need an ND filter.
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Old July 30th, 2012, 01:08 PM   #3
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Re: Best timelapse interval for party

I personally quite like the jerky look (for this time of time lapse anyway)... could you give an example of a shutter speed that might achieve this?
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Old July 30th, 2012, 04:26 PM   #4
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Re: Best timelapse interval for party

A really smooth timelapse would be anything near 180 degrees or 50 percent of the framerate, so if you use a 4 second interval, a 2 second shutter would give the totally smooth look. Once you get down to 10 percent or so, things will be jerky. 10% would be 0.4 seconds; however, that's still a long shutter time, so I would recommend staying away from the middle ground - in the middle, you don't get smoothness, nor do you get crispness as small movements will still produce blur. As you get closer to 1/60, you get into normal video territory, which will keep things pretty crisp. If you go to 1/250, each frame will be frozen in time with almost no blur, unless people are moving extremely fast. At 1/1000, only Superman and hummingbird wings have any blur. :)

In summary...
* 1/30 sec or faster will keep things crisp and the faster, the better to keep each image super sharp.
* 20% to 50% of the framerate is ideal for the smooth look. You lose sharpness, but gain continuity.
* From 1/15 sec to 10% of the framerate is less than ideal as you don't get continuity, nor do you get crispness. Motion can be both jerky and blurry in this middle ground. Then again, if it's a great scene and you need this much shutter due to low light and still want some stutter, then go for it!

It's interesting. Smoothness and continuity depend on the frame interval time. But crispness depends on the speed of the object motion within the frame.
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Old July 31st, 2012, 02:50 AM   #5
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Re: Best timelapse interval for party

That's great, thanks very much for the input! Will report back on how it goes.
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Old August 2nd, 2012, 05:23 AM   #6
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Re: Best timelapse interval for party

For a lot of time-lapse stuff that previously I would have mucked around shooting hundreds of stills nowadays I find that it's often easier to just shoot video & then speed it up in post e.g. those cool cloudscapes whizzing past
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Old August 2nd, 2012, 11:57 AM   #7
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Re: Best timelapse interval for party

True. You can just speed up the video. Some things to consider:
* Video recording times are limited, so it's best for short sequences. Otherwise, you need to keep re-starting the recording.
* Video is 8-bit, h.264. The quality won't be as high as with photos. But it might be good enough and match your other content well.
* You will get stuttering. You can't shoot longer than 1/30 or so in video mode.

For short timelapses for quick establishing shots, this might be the best solution. Just set up and shoot!
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Old August 5th, 2012, 05:59 AM   #8
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Re: Best timelapse interval for party

A bit late.

But I would load Magic Lantern. Has loads of settings for time laps. Even has restart after the 12 minute stop allbeit with a dropout of a couple of seconds.
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