How to shoot a time-lapse with your dslr or mirrorless camera

Time Lapse videos allow a moviemaker to alter reality in a fun and creative way. Time Lapse means that you shoot a single frame of video at a certain time interval that you choose, such as one frame per second or one frame per minute. Then, when you play it back, it looks like you’ve sped up time so that events go by faster.

There are a couple of ways to shoot Time Lapse with select Nikon DSLRs.

One is to use the camera’s Time Lapse Photography function, which will create a silent movie at the specifications you have set in the Movie Settings.

Quick Tips

Make sure that you’re using a solid tripod so that the camera doesn’t move while shooting.

Manually adjust the exposure settings and manually set the focus so that nothing changes from shot to shot.

Using the Time Lapse Photography Setting

Navigate to the Time Lapse Photography setting, where you first choose the interval, the rate at which you want the camera to record each individual frame. You can select any interval from 1 frame per second all the way up to 1 frame every 10 minutes.

Next, set the shooting time, how long you want the camera to automatically shoot individual frames. This can be set for just a few minutes, or several hours.

If you don’t want to do the math, just look at the information screen, which lets you know how long the video will be.

Press OK to get it started, and the camera will automatically shoot away for the specified time.

Using the Interval Timer

If you want to do an interval longer than 10 minutes every second, use the Interval Time Shooting setting. Instead of ending up with a finished movie right out of the camera, the Interval Time Shooting setting will take a series of still images, which need to be combined using optional third party software to create a Time Lapse movie.

The advantage here is that the interval can be set for anything from 1 frame every second, all the way up to 1 frame nearly every 24 hours. And instead of setting a shooting time, you choose the amount of total frames you want shot and the camera will continue shooting up to that number. This is perfect for long duration Time Lapse movies shot over many hours or even days, as long as you’ve considered the power requirements and protection of your camera in these long Time Lapse set-ups.

A benefit of using the Interval Timer is that because you’re capturing very high-resolution still images, you can create Time Lapse movies that are 4K resolution or higher. And if you’re working in Full HD Video, you can also take advantage of the higher resolution images by using optional third party software to add motion such as pans and zooms to your final Time Lapse movie.

Master the art of timelapse photography with this step-by-step video tutorial. Whether you’re a budding filmmaker or a keen enthusiast looking for new ways to make your videos more dynamic, this is everything you need to know about shooting timelapse movies.

What Exactly is a Timelapse?

A timelapse movie is essentially a series of photographs that have been stitched together to create a video where time appears to pass more quickly. Timelapses may be made up of hundreds or even thousands of individual images—the more photos there are in the sequence, the longer the timelapse video will be.

The ‘When and Why’ of Timelapses

‘Normal’ video footage is typically created by shooting at 24 frames per second (or 24 fps), which plays back in a way that resembles what we normally see in real-time with our own eyes. With timelapse videos however, we can manipulate the passing of time by shooting each frame at a much slower frequency, such as one photo every few seconds, minutes or even hours. When we put these photos together and play the footage back at normal speed, it appears as though time is ‘lapsing’ much faster.

This allows us to capture events that usually take hours, days, weeks or even months and play them back in mere seconds or minutes, as if we have pressed fast-forward on reality itself.

Examples of timelapse videos could be a flower that appears to blossom in a matter of seconds instead of a whole day. Or a dramatic sunset that seems to start and finish in a single minute instead of a whole evening.

“There are no limits to the ways in which you can use timelapse sequences, making this technique an invaluable tool for creative visual storytellers.”

How to Set Up Your Camera to Shoot in Timelapse Movie Mode

1. Switch your camera to Timelapse Movie mode by hitting the Menu button and and finding Timelapse Movie mode in the red menu.

2. Hit the Info button while you are in the Timelapse Movie mode menu to access the settings for your Interval time and Number of Shots.

3. Select an Interval number to determine the frequency that you want your camera to take each shot, e.g. once every second or minute. Your interval times will vary depending on your subject. For slower moving subjects, such as drifting clouds or blossoming flowers, you will need more time between shots (e.g. one shot every 20 or 30 seconds). For faster moving subjects, such as fast moving traffic and busy cityscapes, you will need a shorter interval (e.g. one shot every 2 or 3 seconds).

4. Dial in your No. of Shots to tell your camera how many shots you would like in total. Based on the Interval number and No. of Shots you dial in, your camera will then automatically tell you how much footage you will end up with and how long you will need to shoot in order to get it.

There are no hard and fast rules and each scene or project will call for different settings. However, as a general rule of thumb, it’s worth remembering that most online content plays at around 24 or 25 frames per second (fps), so you’ll need around 25 images for every second of video footage.

Use the following numbers as a rough reference for your shot number and final video length:

• 750 photos = 30 seconds of timelapse footage
• 1,500 photos = 1 minute of timelapse footage
• 4,500 photos = 3 minutes of timelapse footage

5. Compose your shot and hit the shutter button. When shooting timelapses, it’s recommended to place your camera on a tripod to maintain your composition for the duration of the shoot. Once you’re happy with your settings and composition, it’s time to hit the shutter button and let your camera work its magic.

Recommended Camera Gear and Equipment for Shooting Timelapse Videos

Camera – Many Canon DSLR and Mirrorless cameras have a built-in Timelapse Movie mode. However, if your camera does not have a the function built-in then you can still create a timelapse by plugging an external intervalometer into your camera to use as a remote shutter release and adjust your settings.

Tripod – Using a sturdy tripod will ensure your camera and composition remains constant for each and every shot. This is impossible to do when shooting hundreds or even thousands of handheld shots.

Lenses – A wide-angle lens, such as the EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, will allow you to capture more movement in larger scenes such as cityscapes. To record the tiny movements of a blossoming flower, you may prefer to use a macro lens to get up close. Prime lenses with large apertures, such as the EF 35mm f1.4L II, can also be advantageous when working in low light conditions like sunrises and sunsets, or when shooting the night’s sky.

Quick Timelapse Tips

Use Slower Shutter Speeds – A slower shutter speed such as 1/50 or 1/60 will give you smoother timelapses and help you capture motion in a more fluid way.

Be Patient – To create a short 30-second timelapse sequence you would need to take roughly 720 images, which would take almost an hour to record at an interval setting of one shot every five seconds. Keep this in mind and be sure to take warm clothes, a flask of coffee and something to keep you entertained while you wait for your timelapse to complete.

Monitor Your Your Battery Power – Timelapses take significantly longer to create than ‘normal’ videos, so it’s important to be sure your camera has enough battery power to last the duration of your shoot.

Keep an Eye on Your ‘Card-Time Left’ Number – In your camera’s Timelapse Movie mode menu you will be able to see a ‘Card-Time Left’ number, which shows how much space your memory card has in terms of time. This is important to monitor as you don’t want to set up an hour-long timelapse shoot only to find your memory card runs out of space halfway through.

Shoot in Manual Mode – Shooting in automatic or semi-automatic modes (such as aperture priority or shutter speed priority) can help speed things up when you’re starting out. However, even the tiniest of adjustments to your exposure when you’re shooting hundreds of even thousands of frames can result in flicker when playing back your timelapses. By shooting in Manual mode you can dial in the perfect setting and maintain it throughout the sequence, eliminating flicker in the process.

Here’s his video (there’s another one at the bottom of the post) with his tutorial following:

How He Made It

1) Set-up your shot. Use a tripod or sturdy location to place your camera. I put mine in front of the TV in the entertainment center.

2) Take a test shot. Take a test shot of the area to calculate your exposure and to set the focus. I knew I wanted about a 2 second exposure, so I took my test shot in Shutter Priority mode.

3) Adjust the camera settings. Switch the camera into manual mode. Use your test shots exposure information to set the aperture. Set the shutter speed to what you used in step 2. Turn off auto white balance. Set it to a preset or custom. Basically make sure any auto features are not on auto, otherwise you’ll get a nasty flickering (like I did).

4) Take another test shot. Only do this if you have easy access to the viewfinder, and use a remote to avoid camera shake. This shot is just to make sure the images are properly exposed using the manual settings.

5) Setup your intervalometer. I used a TI-83 calculator as my intervalometer. See the links below for the instructable. I set mine to fire in 10,000 TI-83 cycles, which worked out to be around every 26 seconds.

6) Hook em up together. Hook up your calculator (or intervalometer) to your camera and press start.

7) Wait. For me, waiting wasn’t that bad since I was playing Mario Kart. But doing a nature time lapse will require a significant time commitment. For my example the time was just about 3 hours.

8) Compile the video. After the sequence is done and you’ve downloaded your images its time to make the video. I used QuickTime Pro as it was the easiest method and gave me the best results. I tried a few free applications, which worked, but I liked the flexibility QT Pro gave me. In QT Pro simply go to “File -> Open Image Sequence…” and then chose the first picture. Be sure to set your Frame Rate at something between 10 and 30. I used 15 for mine. If your files are numbered sequentially QT will be able to figure out which pictures to add. From there you can “File -> Save As…” a QuickTime .MOV or you can “File -> Export” to a number of different formats. If your video is long enough you can add music and the like. See the links for some sites to get free creative commons licensed music.

9) Post your video. I put mine on Flickr, but you can put yours on YouTube or any other video sharing site.

The shots for this time lapse were taken with my 18-55mm kit lens at 18mm, f/8.0, 2 second shutter speed and 26 seconds between shots. I accidentally left on auto white balance, which is what gives it that flicker.

Other Notes:

  • Sutter Speeds: Be sure to pick a shutter speed that will give you a good time lapse effect (ie- movement). If you have a shutter speed that is too fast you’ll end up with a choppy looking video.
  • Interval Times: The interval times (time between shots) should also be set for your subject. For slow moving subjects you can have more time between shots. For fast moving subjects you’d want less of an interval. For example, for clouds you’d want to take a shot ever second or so.
  • Battery Power: Make sure you have enough battery power in both your camera and your intervalometer. If you’re expecting things to take a while plug into AC power (if its near), use a power inverter, or a battery grip.
  • Image Settings: Set your camera to use JPG (you won’t need RAW for this) and at a size that you think is reasonable. If you don’t it will make your post processing more difficult as you’ll have to convert all your RAW images to JPG and then re-size them. I started in RAW not knowing any better and alot time was spent converting and re-sizing. Save yourself the trouble and do it in the camera.


As promised – here’s another of the Time Lapse videos from Chrismar.

Taken a picture or carried out a digital photography project that you want to share? Head over to the ‘How I Took It‘ section of our forum and tell us about it.

How to shoot a time-lapse with your dslr or mirrorless camera

Time-lapse is a creative technique that enables you to show how a subject or scene changes over time. You can compress minutes, hours and even days into just a few seconds, and reveal a world of movement and motion that might otherwise be too slow to see in real-time. The concept is easy to grasp – take photos at regular intervals and then combine them in a video clip – but there are a few tricks to setting up your camera so that you end up with professional-looking results.

You can, of course, go back to basics and take the time-lapse images yourself, manually timing the interval between each shot. This obviously only suits a subject where the change you want to record in the time-lapse occurs over a short time period. It’s a tedious way of doing it, but it does at least give you control over the process, allowing you to alter the image settings while you shoot, and or increase or decrease the number of frames you take in order to selectively slow down or speed up the action at points in your final film.

Fortunately, newer EOS cameras now feature a built-in Interval timer or a Time-lapse Movie shooting mode that can automate the whole process for you – including the EOS Rebel SL3, EOS 250D, EOS 850D, EOS 80D and EOS 5D Mark IV. There are also a number of wired and wireless intervalometers available, which allow you to set the number of shots and the interval between them without touching the camera. Canon even has one of its own, the TC-80N3 Remote Control , designed to work with older EOS bodies.

1. Interval timer vs Time-lapse movie

While the EOS 250D and EOS M50 just have a Time-lapse Movie mode, a number of other EOS cameras also have an additional Intervalometer option for shooting stills. Both of these functions work in basically the same way, allowing you to choose how many pictures to take and the gap you want between each one. The main difference is that the camera automatically creates a video clip for you in Time-lapse Movie mode, with the Intervalometer saves each individual picture to the memory card – you create the movie in software later.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each option. You get more flexibility with the Intervalometer, as you can choose to turn the images into a time-lapse film or do something creative with the stills – such as combining a few of them in a single image to illustrate the passage of time. You can also choose to shoot Raw files, use flash, playback your images and make adjustments between each picture, such as tweaking the focus, exposure, white balance and Picture Style. But you will be sit in front of a computer for a lot longer…

Time-lapse Movie mode keeps it simple. The image is automatically cropped to the standard aspect ratio for video playback and you end up with a movie you can share instantly. The downside is that you don’t get as much flexibility when it comes to shooting. You can’t use flash for example, and you can’t change your mind about the camera settings once you’ve started recording.

2. How many shots for your time-lapse?

Recording time and playback time are two crucial aspects to consider when you’re setting up your camera to shoot a time-lapse. The speed of the movement you want to capture will determine the interval you should use between each picture. If you’re photographing a slow-moving subject, such as a flower blooming or wilting, then you’ll need to leave a gap of multiple minutes between each shot. But if you’re shooting a landscape on a windy day, then you may need to work in much smaller increments of just a few seconds so that the motion of fast-moving clouds plays back smoothly in the final movie.

The interval you choose will also have an impact on how long the time-lapse will take to record. When you enable Time-lapse Movie shooting in the camera’s menu, you can see the recording time change when you adjust the interval.

The number of shots you choose to record will affect both the recording time and the playback time. Again, you can monitor this when you set up the Time-lapse Movie mode in the camera’s menu. As you increase both the interval and the number of shots, the recording time can jump.

The playback time is based on how many frames it takes to fill one second of footage at standard playback speed. If your camera is set to PAL video system in the yellow Set-up menu, then it’s 25 frames per second, and if it’s set to NTSC it’s 30 frames per second. So to create a ten second time-lapse movie, you’ll need to shoot 250 or 300 frames!

3. Subjects that show the passing of time

The world really is your time-lapse oyster, and there are a host of diverse subjects that suit this technique. Something simple like ice cubes or ice cream melting, the comings and goings of your family and pets around your kitchen, or a plastic model being built are good starting points.

Regardless of the subject, it’s a good idea to try and envisage the start and end points for your time-lapse sequence, as this will determine how you frame the shot initially. If you’re shooting a flower coming into bloom, for instance, then try and picture where the petals will be positioned when they are fully open, so that you can leave enough room in the image. The same goes for sunrise or moonrise – where will the sun or moon end up at end of the film? It can help to start and stop filming beyond the point at which you want the time-lapse to start and finish, as this gives you a little headroom if you want to edit your video in software later.

Whether you shoot indoors or outdoors, the quality and quantity of lighting is just as important as it is when you shoot a regular photo. If the lighting changes from shot to shot, then you’ll end up with some flickering in the final movie. While this might look natural in an outdoor shoot, it can be distracting if you’re shooting a still-life set up. You may want to consider setting up in a darkened room and using artificial light to provide more consistent illumination.

PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine is the world’s only monthly newsstand title that’s 100% devoted to Canon, so you can be sure the magazine is completely relevant to your system.

Time-lapse videos are simple to shoot and the results are impressive, but how do you get started?

How to shoot a time-lapse with your dslr or mirrorless camera

Time-lapse photography is the art of taking single images and combining them to create a video that shows the movement of the environment around you.

This could be the movement of clouds, stars or even the hustle and bustle of a busy city. The results can show how a scene can change dramatically over time, perhaps between different types of weather or from one season to the next. I find that time-lapse photography can tell a different story about the landscapes around us that a single image may not be able to tell.

Making videos from stills

To understand how time-lapse photography works we need to understand how videos are made.

In the world of cinema and television, when we see motion, what we’re actually seeing is single images shown one after another at a certain frame rate. Generally, this frame rate is anywhere between 24-30 frames per second, so if we watch 10 seconds of footage, what we’re actually seeing is 240-300 single images being shown very quickly to create motion.

Now, if we apply the same way of thinking to photography, all we have to do is take a certain number of images, one after the other, over a period of time. When played at, say, 25 frames per second, we will have just created a time-lapse video.

When planning your shoot you need to consider the movement of the subject before anything else.

Are you going to see much of a difference over time or will everything stay the same? Planning your shot and picking a subject in a scene that changes over time will make for a more interesting result. This could be anything like the sun setting, traffic moving in a city or a change in weather.

Remember that photographic rules still apply to time-lapse photography, so make sure you don’t overlook composition. Consider framing your shot using the rule of thirds and try to look for interesting leading lines – and always make sure there are no distracting elements in your shot.

You need to plan your shoot just like you would for any stills photography shoot. Once you’ve settled on your location, check the weather and make a note of when the sun sets and rises. I use an iPhone app called Photo Pills, which shows me the path of the sun and also where the Milky Way will be during the night. I will always know in my head the shot that I’m after before I reach the location, and this enables me to concentrate on the shot instead of running around not knowing what to shoot. When shooting a time-lapse video, the shots can take a long time to make due to the number of images needed, so planning is crucial if you’re to get your shots you need in the limited time you may have.


DSLR or CSC camera

Any camera will do as long as it can shoot in Manual mode.


Any lens will be fine, but it really depends on what you’re shooting. I tend to work with lenses from 14mm to 200mm.


What you want is a strong tripod that isn’t going to blow away.


You need an intervalometer so that your camera can take shots continuously without you touching it. Many cameras now have these built into them.

Setting up the shot

When setting up your shot there are a number of things to remember so that you don’t have a ruined shoot.

First, you need to consider how long you want the camera to be running for. Depending on the frame rate of your final video, always remember that 24-25 shots equates to a single second of video. So, if you want a 20-second video, you’ll need to take around 500 images.

You also need to think about the interval between each frame, which is the gap between every shot taken. I judge the interval time based on how quickly subjects are moving in the scene. If I’m photographing fast-moving clouds, for example, I will usually have an interval of around 2-3 seconds. If I’m photographing the night sky, however, it could be around 30 seconds.

It’s really up to you, but through experimentation you should be able to understand what works best for a particular scene or subject. I generally have an interval of anywhere between 2-30 seconds depending on what I’m shooting.

Click below to see how to shoot and edit your time-lapse images.

How to shoot a time-lapse video: Step-by-step guide

Here’s a step-by-step guide of how to shoot time-lapse images.

Step 1
Put your camera on a secure tripod and lock everything down. The camera shouldn’t move at all while it’s taking images unless you’re using a motorized slider.

Step 2
Attach an intervalometer to your camera (some cameras have an intervalometer built into them) and dial in your interval settings. The interval can be whatever you want and should on the scene and what lens you’re using. I tend to set it between 1 and 5 seconds.

Step 3
Put your camera in Manual mode as you don’t want it to judge the exposure for you. If you shot in Aperture Priority mode there’s a high risk there will be flickering in your video.

Step 4
Check your exposure and make sure there are no blown highlights. Also make sure to manually focus the lens to make sure the final image will be sharp.

Step 5
If you’re using a DSLR, make sure to cover the viewfinder as stray light leaking through could change the exposure between frames (and would result in flickering).

Step 6
Take a test shot to see if you’re 100% happy with exposure, composition and focus.

Step 7
Think about how many shots you want to take. In the UK the standard frame rate is 25fps, so to get 10 seconds of footage you will need to take 250 images. I tend to take around 400-600 as this gives me more room for editing.

Step 8
Once you’re happy, click ‘Start’ on the intervalometer (or the equivalent option on your camera) and leave it well alone for the duration of the shots.

Top tips

  • Shoot in Raw as this will give you an image with a larger dynamic range and more possibilities when editing.

How to shoot a time-lapse with your dslr or mirrorless camera

Astrophotography time-lapses are beautifully vibrant videos that allow people to astrological phenomena. Well-done astrophotography time-lapses have the power to leave people speechless.

If you want to shoot your own astrophotography timelapse, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll walk you through the basics of astrophotography, the process of making a timelapse and what you need to shoot an astrophotography time-lapse.

Let’s start with defining what we mean by astrophotography and time-lapses.

What is astrophotography?

Astrophotography is defined as the use of videography and photography to capture astronomical objects, celestial events and areas of the night sky. Essentially, it’s the images and videos you take of objects—stars, moons, asteroids, etc.—and events—eclipses, meteor showers, comets—in space.

Astrophotography was first used in the science community. It was specifically used by scientists and ultimately revolutionized the field of astronomy research. However, today, astrophotography has branched out into the public. Now, many videographers and photographers use astrophotography to practice amateur astronomy. This practice is less concerned with capturing scientific data and is more focused on capturing something that’s aesthetically pleasing.

What is a time-lapse?

Now, let’s talk about time-lapses. Time-lapse videography is the technique where the frequency film’s frame rate is more spread out than the frequency used to view the sequence. The result creates an effect in which it appears that time moves faster. So, say you shot a scene at 1 frame per second. You then playback that scene at 30 frames per second. This will cause the scene to appear 30 times faster. This allows videographers to show the passage of time in the video in just a few minutes. Also, they’re used to capture processes that would usually appear slow to the human eye. For instance, time-lapses are used to capture the change in light over the course of a single day and the ocean’s tide rising.

What you need to know before shooting an astrophotography timelapse

Camera settings

Ultimately, the settings you set on your camera depends on what you’re planning to shoot. For starters, set your camera’s ISO to either 2000, 3200 or 6400. If your camera isn’t capable of those ISO settings, using an ISO 800 or 1600 is acceptable. However, the quality of the time-lapse won’t be as clear as it would be with the higher ISO settings. Additionally, shoot at least 250 photos per sequence. This allows you to capture 10 seconds of video footage at 25 frames per second.

How to shoot a time-lapse with your dslr or mirrorless camera

One of the hardest aspects of setting up an astrophotography timelapse is focusing correctly. When you’re focusing the camera, focus it on a very bright star with its autofocus on. If your camera doesn’t have autofocus or you’d rather focus manually, turn on the camera’s live view and zoom in 10x with the magnify button. From there you can manually focus the lens on the stars. Once you feel you’ve focused on the scene, take a few sample pictures to ensure everything is sharp.

Also, be sure to check on your camera throughout the shoot. You don’t necessarily have to check everything. Just make sure that the camera is still recording. Be sure to bring an external battery source to ensure the camera will stay on the entire time. You will likely be shooting for hours, so don’t rely on your camera’s internal battery. You don’t want it shutting off in the middle of a shoot.

What kind of lens should you use?

The type of lens you use in astrophotography timelapse always needs to have a wide aperture. When you shoot with a wide aperture lens, your camera is able to receive more light than it would if you were using a more closed aperture lens. You want to shoot at the largest aperture possible so your camera can capture the most amount of light it can. A 34mm is a good aperture range for these kinds of projects. Additionally, you need to have a lens that’s fast. Look for a lens that is f/2.8 or faster.

What you need to consider when scouting for a location

While you will be shooting at night, it’s best to scout for your shooting location during the day. It will be a lot easier for you to find a safe, stable place for your camera. Now, setting up your shot before the sun sets makes it harder to get your composition the way you want it to be. However, there are smartphone apps out there that can simulate the night sky, helping you plan your composition ahead of time.

When you’re initially looking for potential shooting spots, you should look for areas that have the least amount of artificial light. Take a look at satellite images so you can get a general sense of where there is the most light in what area. You can also use the Blue Marble Navigator tool. This tool overlays satellite images of all the lights on Earth and places it over a map of the world from Google Earth. Use it to scout areas around you. However, keep in mind that it’s best used to get a general idea of where light is. You will want to look at other maps to plan the specifics.

How to shoot a time-lapse with your dslr or mirrorless camera

Additionally, plan your shoot at the end of the month when there’s no moon. The moon brightens the night sky, so it will mess with your exposure. Shoot when there’s just a small waning moon or no moon at all.

Check before you begin shooting

Before you hit record, always double-check your setup and all your gears’ settings. You have to set most of your camera’s settings manually, so there are a few opportunities for human error. Check your camera, its focus and exposure. Also, if you’re using something like a slider, you want to make sure that you don’t have the slider on lock. It’s better to be safe than waste hours of shooting.

Create your own astrophotography time-lapse

Astrophotography time-lapses are a spectacular form of videography. It is capable of recording what’s invisible to the human eye. Let’s recap the steps you need to take to record a successful one. You need gear capable of shooting astrophotography time-lapses. The camera you use needs to have the ability to shoot at a high ISO and can focus on the night sky correctly. As for lenses, you want to use a lens that’s fast and capable of opening its aperture to 24mm. Also, be sure to bring an external battery and a steady tripod to ensure the camera stays in place when it’s recording.

When it comes down to it, good astrophotography time-lapses take capable gear, careful planning and patience. Be ready to wait a few hours for the shoot to finish. So, if you have the gear and the time, get out there and start shooting.

How to shoot a time-lapse with your dslr or mirrorless camera

No matter what type of photography or film your making, if you’re on a long shoot power is going to be an issue. Consistent camera up-time is critical in video, time-lapse, or on a long photo shoot. A pause to swap out batteries can mean a missed shot and wasted time on set. A first of its kind, the Case Relay provides uninterruptible power for a DSLR or mirrorless camera using any standard 5V USB external battery pack.

Case Relay Camera Power System

The Case Relay Camera Power system works in sync with the Relay Camera Coupler, designed specifically for your camera. A Relay Camera Coupler is inserted directly into the camera battery port, then connected to the Case Relay CPS. The Case Relay connects directly to any standard 5V external battery, commonly known as a portable USB charger, widely available at most stores or via With Case Relay’s own secondary, internal 1200 mAh battery, if the photographer’s external battery pack runs low it’s easy to hot swap the external battery and not lose power to the camera. With the Rock Solid External Battery Pack (10,000 mAh) from Tether Tools, photographers will be able to shoot considerably longer than with a standard camera battery. A 10,000 mAh external battery will provide 3-10 times the power of most camera batteries, depending on the camera. That means that when you’re out on vacating, you won’t have to worry about carrying extra batteries with you or heading back to the hotel to charge a battery. How to shoot a time-lapse with your dslr or mirrorless camera The Case Relay Camera Power System is also more cost-effective than purchasing multiple proprietary camera batteries and is compatible with many Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, Fujifilm, Olympus, and Black Magic cameras and can be powered by any 5V USB power bank any 2.1+A USB Wall Adapter or any Dtap (VMount) battery system. It can also power any monitors and accessories that use the Sony NPFL Series batteries. Best of all, the external battery pack you bring along to power your camera is non-proprietary. You can power your camera with the same 5V external battery pack you use to charge your phone or tablet.


  • Continually power your camera with USB battery packs
  • Hot-swap batteries mid-shooting with no downtime
  • No need to purchase multiple camera batteries
  • More cost effective than purchasing multiple proprietary camera batteries
  • Power sources are non-proprietary, so you can power your camera with the same 5V battery you use to charge phones or tablets
  • Never need to charge camera batteries again

See the Case Relay in Action

Filmmaker Ben Yeatman recently took the Case Relay to Iceland to create this incredible timelapse. Case Relay is very popular with night photographers, including the experts at National Parks at Night. utilizes the Case Relay as part of their panoramic selfie solutions for events and tourists attractions, as highlighted in this recent blog on How to shoot a time-lapse with your dslr or mirrorless camera Photo Courtesy of Ben Yeatman How to shoot a time-lapse with your dslr or mirrorless camera Photo Courtesy of National Parks at Night How to shoot a time-lapse with your dslr or mirrorless camera installation in Paris. Three cameras on a Rock Solid Cross Bar, cameras powered by the Case Relay.

Construction site projects are one of those that need to be closely monitored to ensure that work progress goes smoothly. When issues arise with these kinds of projects, the timeline gets extended, and a prolonged time leads to over-expense of funds. Stakeholders and the rest of the team don’t want this to happen. This is why a consistent update and presentation of the development must be made, so project management will be monitored efficiently. Time-lapse is one of the best tools that can help you with this.

Choosing a time-lapse camera to record the development of long-term projects may be challenging. Most cameras can only record for a few hours. With housing or construction projects, you must have a specialized camera that continually works for months to years. This is where a “stand-alone camera” enters the picture. The term itself explains that it can stand on its own.

How to shoot a time-lapse with your dslr or mirrorless camera

What is a Stand-alone Camera

A stand-alone camera is a customized camera often used for construction projects. It works like a security camera that monitors and records photos of the construction site. Because of the advancement of technology, many stand-alone cameras are now especially encrypted with time-lapse mode and give us the ability to create videos from the pictures taken on a dedicated software.

Compile photos of your project and present it as a creative time-lapse film. It will enable you to show the whole progress of your long-term project in just a few seconds or minutes. Time-lapse technique is a great way to showcase what you and your team have worked hard on all throughout the project. It is like telling the whole story of the project from beginning to end.

What Features Your Stand-alone Time Lapse Camera Must Have

There are lots of stand-alone cameras out in the market nowadays. All of them offer the main purpose : to capture photos of your construction site. But some of it offers more than just that, so it is crucial that you look into the features and consider the ones that can help produce high-quality time-lapse content. Listed below are the features you might want to consider.

High-Resolution Footage Quality

Cameras that produce a high-quality image are a big plus. Viewing an HD image or video is of course more appealing to the eye, compared to the one with a lower quality. Aside from this, it is also better if you choose a camera that can upload a JPEG and DNG file type so that you also have an option to save RAW files of your images and videos.

Panoramic View and Low-Light Sensor

One with a wide lens that can capture a panoramic view is better to ensure that the site is inside the whole frame. A low light sensor is also a must-have because it enables the camera to shoot well by adjusting the brightness when it is dark, especially at nighttime.


This is a very important feature to consider because most stand-alone cameras are set up outdoors, so they must be able to withstand weather changes, such as rain or strong winds. If you want more protection, you may also choose to put it inside a weather resistant housing case.

How to shoot a time-lapse with your dslr or mirrorless camera

Self-sufficient and Long Lasting Battery

Stand-alone cameras usually have a long battery life that lasts for up to 2 months. Choosing the one with the longest battery life may be your best option, or one that saves great power usage. But if you are looking for a stand-alone camera without a battery, you may consider going for one with a built-in solar panel.

4G and Wi-Fi Connected

This feature is a great one because you will be able to check on your images through your mobile phone. This way you do not have to access the SD card directly, but you can just visit the cloud storage encrypted in the camera to get your files from there.

A specialized 4g construction camera must be on your list of options if you want to be able to access your camera remotely. Cameras with 4G systems can be connected to your mobile phone via 4g LTE connectivity. This way, you will be able to control the camera, and access the photos and videos it has stored.

High Memory Card Capacity

The higher the memory card capability it has, the better. A high-capacity memory card allows the shooting of thousands of photos or videos of high-quality content.

Stand-alone Cameras To Consider

How to shoot a time-lapse with your dslr or mirrorless camera

If you want to go for the newer generation of stand-alone timelapse cameras, you may consider going for the Tikee Pro . This product is specially designed to create professional time-lapse contents for construction projects. It produces HD quality images, built with a self-sufficient battery (solar panel), and offers secured cloud storage. It also comes with a software called myTikee, with which you can transform your image series into a video.

Undoubtedly you will have seen some stunning time-lapse videos of the Milky Way rising in the night sky or traffic rushing through a city scene? Maybe you have wondered how these videos were created?
In this short video and guide below you will learn how to get started with time-lapse photography.

Time-lapse is a series of 100s or even 1000s of still images replayed in sequence producing a time-compressed video. Your Canon camera is perfect for shooting time-lapse, read the tips below and before you know it you will be creating your own time-lapse masterpiece

  1. 1. The right equipment – two essential equipment items for shooting time-lapse are a sturdy tripod, to keep you camera in a fixed position, and an intervalometer, also called a timer remote control. This is a device that enables you to set shooting intervals and in the film we have used the TC-80N3 which fits N3 connectors- if you have an E3 type socket you will also need a N3 to E3 converter cable. Some of our latest cameras feature an in-built interval timer, including the Canon EOS 7D Mark II, EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R which makes the process even easier
  2. 2. Decide on your subject – find a scene where there is movement; a landscape scene with clouds, busy roads or a flowing waterfall are great starting subjects for time-lapse photography
  3. 3. Switch the camera to Live View Mode to help you set up the shot as you want
  4. 4. Choose RAW or jpg – RAW gives you more scope to alter the images later, but jpg uses less disk space. You may want to shoot in medium or small format to fit more images on your card, although shooting at a lower resolution may affect the quality of the final video
  5. 5. Exposure settings – Switch shooting mode to Aperture Priority and choose a suitable ISO to deliver the shutter speed you want. This could be anything from 100 to 800 during the day, and as much as 10,000 at night. Depending on your scene you may want a slow shutter to add movement to your subject. In general set your shutter speed under 1/100s for a smoother time-lapse
  6. 6. Evaluative metering will instruct your camera to take in the full scene when deciding on exposure. Selecting full manual exposure control can also be useful for scenes where the light intensity is constant, but if the light changes significantly your video may suffer from a flickering effect
  7. 7. Switch off settings such as Highlight Tone Priority and Peripheral Illumination Correction that may produce variations between images. White balance and picture styles should be manually fixed, if you shoot RAW you can make adjustments later should you need to
  8. 8. Compose your scene – select the right lens, typically wide-angle works best, compose your shot, focus on the subject then switch your lens to manual focus, you don’t want your camera re-focussing each shot
  9. 9. Set your intervalometer – Choose how often your camera takes a shot based on your subject, for fast moving subjects take shots closer together, e.g. for clouds moving past on a windy day try a 2 second interval
  10. 10. Decide how long you want your time-lapse to run for – the longer you leave the camera shooting the longer your final time-lapse will be. Bear in mind that most videos play back at 24 frames a second, therefore for a 30 second time-lapse you will need 720 shots. If you set up the camera to shoot every 2 seconds then the camera will need to keep going for 24 minutes. At longer intervals you may need your camera to be left firing for several hours

Once you have your images back home you will need to prepare your final time-lapse. Any cropping, colour correction to the images should be applied equally to the entire set of images to maintain consistency across the time-lapse.

If you have shot in RAW you will most likely need to export to jpg, choose a suitable file size for the video you want to produce. There is a range of free video software to combine your images into your final piece from brands such as Apple or Microsoft, but on the video above Adobe Creative Cloud was used.

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