How To Make A Time Lapse Video With A DSLR

When you have a DSLR, you must desire to take some beautiful photos and awesome video. Indeed, if you want to make a time lapse video by use of your DSLR, we can tell you how to do. It is easy.

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.
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3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

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.
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8. 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.

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.

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