Posts Tagged ‘Test’

Canon 450D Time Lapse Demo

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

***EDIT*** See how I made this time lapse video here ***END EDIT***

A while ago I attempted to make a time lapse video using the S5700 (sorry there is no post for that) but I hit quite a few road blocks in terms of the cameras speed and performance. In the end I had to abandon the experiment as it seemed impossible to get the effect I wanted.

But things have changed and I have a Canon 450D now which is a very powerful DSLR.

The basic idea of time lapse is this, you take a series of images of a scene thats moving and put them together to make an animation or video. You can do this by using the continuous shooting mode which when you hold your shutter release button it will not stop taking photos until you let go.

You will find it better to use a remote of some kind if you are using a Canon or Nikon. You can also get them with timers on them so you can take an image every 20 seconds or every 2 hours. In the Fuji S5700’s case there is no remote at all available for it so a trick I have learned is to get a rubber band and some paper and used the band over the shutter release button so it pushed the paper into the button.

Unfortunately to get a really good time lapse you need a fast camera that can take 3 or more frames in a second. If you imagine taking a time lapse of a street crossing. When a person starts to cross the road you would start shooting. But with a camera thats slow, by the time you have taken the second image the person will be either out of the frame or at least a great distance to where they started. This is not smooth and can cause an effect called “blip”. Where people or objects are only seen for a frame or two when in motion. This was the core issue with the Fuji S5700 as it takes 1.4 frames per second and if something was fast moving it would blip. In the other hand the Canon 450D can take 3.5 frames per second which is perfect.

The next thing to remember is too “drag your shutter”. This was at first a difficult concept for me to understand so I hope I can explain it.

To obtain a perfect exposure you must configure three settings in the camera: ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture. Your photo is a product of a balance of the 3 values. To drag your shutter you need to slow the shutter speed down and use the aperture and ISO to compensate for the large amount of light that would come through (assuming your taking a time lapse during the day). So if you where to take an image with a F3.5, Shutter of 1/250 and ISO 200 you would need to lower the shutter speed, close the aperture and lower the ISO. I would then use F22.8, 1/3 shutter and ISO 100.

The effect is that anything that moves into or across the frame will have a motion blur effect and when you make your final time lapse the motion will look smooth and effective.

One final thing before I show you the demo I made. Using the Canon 450D as an example – If you set the camera to the highest quality you will get about 10 shots before you have filled the buffer and then the camera will slow down the picture taking process. Lower the quality and you wont have that issue and the camera will continue to take images uninterpreted.

Canon 450D Time Lapse Test from The Laddie on Vimeo.

This was taken at f22.8, 1/3 sec. and ISO 100 – 64 frames

In my next post I will look into how I make this into a video.