Video Creation School/Recording/Best Way To Record A Time-Lapse

Best Way To Record A Time-Lapse

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

How To Record A Time-Lapse

So you want to implement some time-lapses either as standalone videos or as part of a video but want to know if you should figure out how to do it on your pro camera or just set up your cell phone?

Luckily I just did a side-by-side comparison to see the differences and if it's worth the extra work to use your camera.

What I used for this test:
Iphone
Tripod with iphone mount
charging cable for iphone
Sony a73 Camera
USB-C cable & Charging Cube to charge while shooting

I make sure to plug in a charger so I make sure a dead battery doesn't end my time-lapse early.

There are a couple ways to do a time-lapse

In this example we were putting up my parents christmas tree which takes us quite a long time due tot he type of tree we have so I couldn't just hit record on my regular camera.

Instead I put it in a mode that takes a photo every few seconds. I then have to put all of those photos into a video editing software so each photo is back-to-back taking up 1 frame.

It sounds complicated, but it's not.

If you are doing a timelapse of something that doesn't take long (under 30 minutes) and you want to use your regular camera, you could consider just pressing record and speeding up the video clip in your editor.

For the cell phone, I simply switched it over to time-lapse mode, put it in the wide camera view, and pressed record.

Let's look at the pro's and con's of each one of these methods

Let's Look At The Cell Phone Time-Lapse Workflow First

The big PRO for using a cell phone to record your time-lapse is that the process is really really easy. Open the camera app and swipe from left to right until you get to the time-lapse mode. Press record.

you can put it into an editor like capcut or premiere pro and add music and do any other editing you want but the time-lapse is already there.

The con is all of the control that you lose. You can't just tell it to take more photos to make the video longer. It is a simple time-lapse.

Now Let's Look At Using a DSLR Time-Lapse.

Pro's with using the DSLR are things like having ultimate control over the final product. You can tell the camera to take a photo every x amount of seconds so the more photos you have, the longer of a time-lapse you can make.

You can have a better quality time-lapse using your DSLR just because your DSLR is going to take high res photos that you then turn into a video.

For the con's, it is more work and if you mess up it can be annoying.

So which option should you go with?

If you want a super easy solution, use your cell phone time-lapse. Especially if you are just using the time-lapse as one shot in a larger video and it doesn't need to be longer.

If you are doing something a little more complicated like a time-lapse at night, or want to make a full time-lapse video showing the transformation of something like putting up a Christmas tree then it may be best to figure out a DSLR option.

me smug jpg

Hi, I Am
Matt Peet

VCS Creator/Host

I travel around the country shooting videos for entrepreneurs and conferences to help them sell more stuff. I am taking that knowledge and passing it on to you so you can sell more!