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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old October 25th, 2007, 12:24 PM   #1
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Time Lapse

Hi Guys,
Long time no post!
I am wondering if anyone can help. I have had a request to shoot some time lapse work for some building projects, I understand that I may have to stay onsite as it might be detrimental to the gear if I leave it unattended( if you know what I mean) I will be using a canon xha1 for the job.
Cheers

Darren.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 12:55 PM   #2
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I shoot my HD time lapse work with a Canon DSLR.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 01:09 PM   #3
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I shoot my HD time lapse work with a Canon DSLR.
x2 (Nikon though...) how long and can you get a secure location? this is the question...
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Old October 25th, 2007, 01:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by David W. Jones View Post
I shoot my HD time lapse work with a Canon DSLR.
Can you walk me through this process? I've often heard about shooting time lapse with still cameras but have never tried. I'm curious what steps are involved. Thanks
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Old October 25th, 2007, 06:05 PM   #5
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Check this device out... http://www.pclix.com

I use it with a Nikon D80, import the images into PPro CS3 as an image sequence (which PPro then sees as a video clip). It's actualy 900 still images, taken 4 seconds apart, over a one hour time period. That particular formula yields a 30 sec clip. It's very slick and looks great too.
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Old October 26th, 2007, 10:32 AM   #6
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Time Lapse

Hi guys,
Thanks again for this, as a pro photographer I never thought of taking this route-doh!
The pc clix device looks brilliant, and saves having a laptop tied to the camera.

Thanks again and well done.

Darren.

www.dpix.co.uk
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Old October 26th, 2007, 10:45 AM   #7
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You should also look at the Ricoh GR and Gx100...

Small, great optics, ability to shoot full manual, and down to 5 sec per frame unlimited shooting firmware. It may be perfect to hide!

Again... how long? One of the issues you'll have to deal with is the auto meter vs. full manual mode. Auto metering (app or shutter priority) will inevitably produce 'flicker'... gbdeflicker is a good solution in post but, never as good as full manual to start with... garbage in garbage out!

If you want to be super cool... use a cheap motion control solution:
I explain it here
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Old October 26th, 2007, 11:06 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Travis Binkle View Post
Can you walk me through this process? I've often heard about shooting time lapse with still cameras but have never tried. I'm curious what steps are involved. Thanks
1. Intervolometer or interval timer:
-For most upper end canons (20d and up) it the tc80n3 (external shutter timer) or gbtimelapse (teather to laptop) for just about any canon.
-For nikons the D200 and D2h have a 1000 frame timer built in and any nikon with the 10-pin can use the mc-36 (unlimited frames). Most of the nikon dslrs can be used with capture pro as well (teather to laptop).
-there is the pclix option as mentioned as well.

2. Interval and exposure:
-Interval depends on your term and the rate of change in the scene. One thing I do is count it off while looking through the viewfinder to see if things may look choppy or 'just right'
-Exposure takes some experience and vision. As a rule of thumb MANUAL EVERYTHING: app, exp, and don't forget WB. You'll get the best results but, alas thangs change... If you have to auto meter go for app priority and cross your fingers... matrix metering can be better for some things and spot for others... just think about what 'may happen' and where. I mentioned gbdeflicker before - it's a good thing.

4. Motion control:
Always adds depth and dimension!! Use it!! I mentioned my cheap telescope solution and I'm in the middle of developing software to do anything (pan and tilt) you can dream up. Most importantly smooth starts and stops! It looks soooo cool. OR you can pan and scan aka Ken Burns effect in post if you shoot well above your intended resolution.

3. Post
Most NLEs will accept frame sequences - have fun with it, do some time mapping too... very cool.

4. Sit back and enjoy
Patience and planning can totally pay off with sweet stuuuffff... ;-)
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Old October 26th, 2007, 11:21 AM   #9
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I have done timelapse with Canon DSLRs several times: Camera is connected to a laptop running Canon's camera control program (comes with the camera). With that it is possible to shoot up to 1999 frames with intervals from 5 seconds to 2 hours (if my memory serves).

I have used the smallest resolution and lowest quality JPG setting on the camera, as even that is better than any HD... Exposure has been on fixed aperture, automatic exposure time to keep DOF constant.

There has been a problem of slightly non-constant exposure as the aperture does not close exactly accurately with electronically controlled lenses. Others have noticed the same.

After getting the shots I have put them thru a batch in PS to resize them for Premiere Pro. As the frames have conscutive numbering PP can take them in as a numbered sequence and turn it automatically into a video.

This system requires AC power to both camera and laptop. For security the system must be placed in a both inconspicious pace and hidden/locked away.

What comes to setting a price for this kind of thing you almost must ask the client to pay for the system, as it is tied up for a long time (months? years?).

It is not practical to use a video camera for this kind ot thing, at least not running tape, which you have to chance every hour, and load tens or hundreds of hours to NLE... Better way is to use DVRack or similar program, which can do interval shooting with a video camera to computer without tape. All speeds from 30 fps down to 1 fph or something, all without moving parts. The problem would be exposure, which can not be waried as much with a video cam and it is impractical to swithch ND filters on and off. This system yields ready video material either in DV or Quicktime.
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Old October 26th, 2007, 11:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petri Kaipiainen View Post
There has been a problem of slightly non-constant exposure as the aperture does not close exactly accurately with electronically controlled lenses. Others have noticed the same.
True, the only way to completely eliminate that is to break off/remove the aperture tab that the body controls and manually set the aperture... Usually requires 'old glass'... but hey you wouldn't want to do that to your new lens anyway!!

gbdeflicker will totally eliminate that level of flicker created by slight variations in aperture... no problem. Its the auto exposure variations that are tough to get rid of...
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Old October 26th, 2007, 01:30 PM   #11
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Using the A1 still camera?

If your project is widescreen, then using the still camera would reduce the need to resize in post. Is there anyway to use the still for time lapse? Also, Lightroom has a very usable slide show feature.
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Old October 27th, 2007, 12:39 AM   #12
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A couple of months ago I did several hours of time lapse with a Canon Powershot camera using the Granite Bay software:
http://www.granitebaysoftware.com/Product_gbt.aspx

The software that came from Canon was limited to the number of exposures. The Granite Bay software worked very well for me, allowing me to control all settings on the camera as well as the exposure interval and length of time (or let it run until clicked off).

I used the Powershot (I have a 620) instead of a DSLR, someone told me I would be wearing out my shutter on the DSLR. I believe a lot of the DSLR shutters are rated for about 100,000 cycles.This can get used up quickly with time lapse.

The Powershot cameras take great pictures for video.

Of course, the camera and software approach requires a laptop. I needed a lightweight setup for travel. I bought a refurbished Gateway ultalightweight for about $600. It has worked well for travel and for time lapse.

I also bought an AC power adapter for the camera.

In my case, I didn't have to worry about security, as I was at the location the entire time I did the time lapse.

(The Granite Bay software has a complete trial that runs for 15 days.)

I have also used DV rack in the past to record time lapse with a video camera.
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Old October 27th, 2007, 12:59 PM   #13
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Depending on the project, sometimes I will tether a laptop computer.
But most of the time I use an inexpensive Aputure brand controller, which is a knock-off of the more expensive Canon unit.
I use a Meade dual-axis telescope controller for motion time lapse work.
And my old Zeiss lenses perform double duty. They work great on my Brevis teamed with the XH-A1, as well as my Canon DSLR.
Attached Thumbnails
Time Lapse-meade-01.jpg   Time Lapse-meade-02.jpg  

Time Lapse-zeiss-01.jpg  
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Old October 27th, 2007, 02:16 PM   #14
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I have a Nikon D200 and would like to try out a Time Lapse using stills rather than video from my A1. How'ss the best way to go about this, should I set everything to manual (shutter, aperture, focus, white balance ect).

Any advice would be appreciated.

Mark.
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Old October 27th, 2007, 02:38 PM   #15
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Yes, set everything to manual.
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