How to do a timelapse with a DSLR

When thinking about creating a timelapse with a DSLR, there are a few fundamentals which you should always adhere to when setting up.

  • Choose an interesting subject. Anything which slowly moves over time will make an interesting timelapse.
  • Choose a stable platform for your camera. We recommend you secure your TurnsPro to a tripod. Then attach your camera onto TurnsPro.
  • Take a test photo / video. Always take a few minutes to set up your DSLR to ensure you have the correct focus point and exposure.  You want to take it out of any automatic modes, otherwise you can get camera flickering.

There are two main ways you can do a timelapse with a DSLR.

  • Use your DSLR in video mode
  • Take individual photos using an intervalometer.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods.

Creating a DSLR timelapse in video mode allows you to easily speed up and slow down the footage to create a speed ramping effect.  The disadvantage of shooting a video is that when in full frame in high definition, the file size can be very large and memory is used up very quickly.

If you would like to take individual photos and combine them together in a video editing program to create your DSLR timelapse, then you will need an intervalometer.  This allows you to set the duration between photos and the length of time the shutter is open.  This can be far more efficient for memory use and you can capture night time scenes by getting the right shutter speed.  You need to be sure that you use the right ISO settings, so there is not a jump in brightness between frames, as this becomes very noticeable when combined into a video.  By introducing TurnsPro, you also need to ensure that the rotation speed is slow enough so you do not get blurry images.  For example you could not take a photo every quarter of a second if TurnsPro is set to one rotation every 20 seconds.  You would not get enough photos to do a timelapse and it is likely that the images will be blurry.

A lot of getting a great DSLR timelapse is about experimenting with the different ISO levels, shutter speed, exposure and aperture sizes.  Getting it right will depend on the TurnsPro rotation speed, lighting, the subject of your video and the DSLR settings, so get out and have a play.