Often used for shooting plant growth, nature videos or the hustle and bustle of city centres, time lapse imaging is an increasingly popular form of both cinematography and art.
The process involves filming or continually photographing one subject or area over a long period of time, and then stitching it all together and speeding it up until you’re left with an amazing video.
As well as speeding things up, time lapse videos can be slowed down to capture fast moving objects in order to see them more clearly, and is often more effective than using slow motion to achieve this.
Time lapse videos are a great way to document the speed and rate of how certain things occur, especially if they are usually quite slow processes.
Point your time lapse camera at the sky on a clear night and you’ll see the constellations move across their black canvass, or set it up in your greenhouse and watch your seeds spring into life before your eyes.
Time lapse videos are also played back at a much higher speed than normal video, and can even be sped up to 30x the normal playback in order to produce fascinating videos that you’d never be able to achieve with an ordinary camera.
If you’re thinking about giving time lapse photography a go, then it’s imperative that you find a camera with the appropriate features and functionality that will allow you to shoot these incredible videos and edit them to speed the frame up.
However, as with all technology, reading through all of the specifications and features can be overwhelming and you could soon find yourself lost in a sea of technical jargon.
So, to help make things a bit clearer we’ve put together a collection of some amazing time lapse cameras, along with a buying guide on what to keep in mind before settling on your final decision.
Settle in, put your feet up and join us on our journey through the best cameras for time lapse, and pretty soon you’ll be creating some awesome videos of your own!
If you’re in a hurry and want a fantastic camera that will help you take some amazing time lapse videos, check out our top pick below.
Upgrade Series of Campark ACT74: This ACT74-Upgrade action camera records video in 4K/30fps and takes photo at 20MP, capture and share your world in a fantastic resolution.
EIS Anti-shaking Function: Equipped with built-in Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) , this sports camera delivers stable and clear video even in fast speed movements.
Remote Control and WIFI: This action cam comes with a wireless 2.4G remote, making it easy to start/stop recording while doing sports. The Wifi and APP connection help download and share your videos or photos on social media instantly.
External Microphone: This upgrade helmet camera supports external microphone (included), which can capture sound from all directions, giving you excellent sound experience. (The external mic and waterproof case can't be used together, because the case is totally sealed.)
Waterproof Camera with Accessories Kits: With the improved waterproof case, this underwater camera can dive below 40 meters (131ft). It also comes with 2 batteries, remote control, external microphone and other multifunctional accessories (most are compatible with gopro cameras).
Perfect for work and play, the ACT74 Action Camera from Campark captures high quality, super-sharp 4K images and videos and is packed full of features that any photography enthusiast will love.
The time lapse function allows you to capture a series of shots or video stills over a set period of time so you can create a series of amazing images, and it also has a slow motion mode and loop recording. You can then view your footage back on the large 2inch LCD screen.
A 170° wide angle lens which can be adjusted into multiple positions gives you the opportunity to capture epic shots without losing any detail, and you can also connect the camera to your cell phone with it’s built-in BlueTooth, allowing you to upload your pictures and videos straight to your social media pages.
This amazing camera is also totally waterproof up to 30m, so you can get some amazing underwater shots without any risk of it breaking, making it ideal for snorkeling or diving holidays.
The included accessory kit comes complete with two rechargeable batteries and a mount, allowing you to securely attach the camera to your helmet, bicycle or body and get some awesome handsfree footage.
Captures super clear 4K images and video
Has a time lapse function, as well as slow motion and video looping modes
The 170° wide angle lens is fully position-adjustable so you can get the perfect shot
Built-in BlueTooth allows you to connect the camera to your phone for easy social media sharing
Waterproof up to 30m, so ideal for underwater photography
Comes complete with two rechargeable batteries and an action mount
Although it includes two rechargeable batteries, some customers noted that one battery would only last for a full day’s use before needing to be recharged
Featuring multiple functions that will help you take your photography game to the next level, the Vision 3 Action Camera from Dragon Touch is a must have for anybody looking for a camera that can be used in a variety of ways.
4K Ultra HD video and 16MP photo resolution lets you take super clear photos that will pick up even the finest details, and the 4x zoom delivers high quality images from far away. The time lapse feature also gives you the ability to take a series of photos and stills over a period of time, then stitch them together into one amazing video.
The 2” LCD screen lets you view your images and videos clearly, and a WiFi function gives you the ability to immediately upload your precious moments straight to your social media pages.
There’s even an included remote control that you can strap to your wrist, allowing you to take perfect group shots and take photos from more awkward positions without needing to touch the camera.
On top of all of these amazing features, this camera is also waterproof up to 100ft, so is perfect for action packed holidays and day trips, and comes with a range of accessories including two rechargeable batteries, a carry case and an action mount.
Gives you the ability to take super sharp images and videos with 4K Ultra HD video & 16MP photo resolution
The 4x zoom also lets you take high quality photos from a good distance
A WiFi function means you can upload all of your photos and videos directly to your social media
Includes a remote control wrist strap that triggers the camera and is perfect for taking group shots and operating from difficult angles
Waterproof up to 100ft, and includes two rechargeable batteries and an action mount
This camera doesn’t have any image stabilization, but does include an action mount so keeping the camera steady is fairly easy
With 4K video and 20MP photo resolution, the A79 Action Camera from APEMAN is not only perfect for capturing super clear time lapse images, but is ideal for getting amazing photographs and videos in a variety of situations.
As well as the time lapse function, this camera also allows you to shoot slow motion videos, loop recordings and in bursts, making it perfect for multiple projects. You can also take amazing underwater photos thanks to it’s waterproof capabilities up to 131ft!
Built-in EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) helps to image shake and controls stability, even when you’re taking your camera out on action packed adventures, which you can do with ease thanks to the included multiple mounting kits.
You can also use the WiFi features to download photos and video from the camera to your phone, allowing you to easily upload your shots to your social media pages.
The accessory pack also includes an external microphone, so you can get the best possible sound quality whilst your recording, and it even comes with a remote control that will let you take shots from up to 10 meters away without having to touch the camera.
Has a time lapse function as well as slow motion video recording, loop recording and burst photography
Records 4K Ultra HD video and has a 20MP photo resolution
Built in image stabilization controls image shake and stability, and the WiFi function allows you to download your photos and videos to your phone
Perfect for action shots and is waterproof up to 131ft
Also includes an external microphone and a remote control that can operate the camera from up to 10 meters away
Some customers that purchased this camera noted that they had a problem figuring out the app that enables WiFi transfer from the camera to your phone
Offering you the ability to capture sharp, clear video and images using 4K recording and 20MP photo resolution, the SPC06 Action Camera from COOAU has all the features you need to take amazing time lapse videos and more.
The time lapse function works in unison with the camera’s image stabilization to ensure the image remains steady throughout and, once you’ve finished recording, you’re able to speed your time lapse video up by up to 30x to turn them into one amazing finished video.
This action camera also has a burst photo feature that takes three shots in quick succession for shorter time lapse projects, and is also waterproof up to 40 meters so you can safely get underwater stills and videos without worrying about any damage to the camera.
The accessory pack includes two rechargeable batteries, an external microphone and a wrist remote control that will allow you to take pictures from up to 10 meters away from the camera.
There’s also a WiFi function that gives you the ability to download your shots from the camera straight to your phone.
Records video in 4K Ultra HD and has 20MP photo resolution
The time lapse function captures high quality video and allows you to speed the finished video up by 30x
Built-in image stabilization reduces image shake and controls steadiness, even on extreme adventures
Is waterproof up to 40 meters so ideal for getting that perfect underwater shot
Has a WiFi function that allows you to download images and videos straight to your phone, and comes complete with a range of accessories including spare batteries and a wrist remote control
The batteries need to be kept inside the camera when charging, meaning you can’t have one on charge whilst using the other one
The 170° ultra wide angle of the Moment 3 Action Camera from VanTop allows you to take images that would not ordinarily fit into the scope of a standard camera, whilst 4K video recording and 16MP photo resolution gives you the clear shots you’re looking for.
A time lapse movie function gives you the opportunity to shoot a sequence over a long period of time, then speed it up for a truly remarkable finished video.
There’s also a drama shot feature that takes a sequence of photos over a period of seconds, allowing you to create fantastic shorter time lapse images.
The included remote control gives you ultimate freedom when using your camera and lets you operate it from your wrist for a hands free experience.
It’s also waterproof up to 100ft, meaning you can safely take it on snorkeling trips and other water-based adventures and get some epic shots without fear of it breaking.
An instant share feature also gives you the ability to transfer your videos and photographs from the camera straight to your phone with ease so you can upload them to your social media pages without having to connect to a computer for file transferring.
Complete with 21 GoPro compatible accessories, and a handy carrying case to safely transport and store your camera when you’re not using it, this camera also offers your excellent value for money.
Records super clear 4K Ultra HD video and has 16MP photo resolution
The time lapse function allows you to shoot a sequence over a long period of time and then speed it up
Also includes a drama shot feature for photo bursts and shorter time lapse images
Waterproof up to 130ft so is ideal for getting images and videos underwater, and has a WiFi sharing function for easy file transfer from camera to phone
Accessories include a carry case, wrist remote control and 21 GoPro compatible accessories
Doesn’t come with an SD card or have any internal memory, so you’d need to purchase a memory card along with the camera
Shooting time lapse videos is much more technical than the ‘point and shoot’ method that can be used for standard photography and videography, and requires a camera that can help you create some amazing videos in high resolution.
That’s why it’s important to make sure you get a camera that can do much more than just take photos and shoot video.
Before setting off on your camera-buying journey, however, there are a few points you need to give some thought to when you’re researching. To help make the buying process easier, we’ve outlined some of these points below, so you can find the correct camera for your needs and ensure you get one that will help you make some amazing time lapse videos.
The first thing to give some thought to is the image quality that your camera will give you. When you’re shooting a time lapse video, you’ll want to capture each and every minute detail so it’s really important that the image is clear and sharp.
Look for a camera that records video with 4K Ultra HD, as this will give you super clear results and will easily pick up every small movement and detail of your time lapse video. If you’re choosing to use imaging rather than videography in your time lapse video, then a camera that has photo resolution somewhere between 16MP and 20MP will pick up the finer details you’re looking to capture.
It goes without saying that if you’re looking for a camera to use for making time lapse videos, then one of the features you need to make sure it has is a time lapse function. However, some cameras have a few extra features that are fantastic for capturing moving images over a period of time.
One of these features is photo burst, sometimes known as drama shot, which takes a single photograph at one second intervals over a set period of time. This is particularly useful when you’re opting for photography rather than video for creating your time lapse.
It’s also an amazing tool for slowing down fast moving images, such as a skateboard trick or a bird taking off, and gives you the opportunity to see the small details that you wouldn’t normally get to see.
Slow motion is another fantastic way to capture time lapse videos, and is another great tool to use if you’re trying to slow down a fast moving image.
File transferring from camera to computer is also a pretty prehistoric way of getting your images and videos onto social media. However, most cameras now come with a clever WiFi function that allows you to transfer your media straight to your phone, cutting out the need for a computer altogether and allowing you to upload your amazing shots and videos with ease and speed!
As we know, time lapse videos are ordinarily created to capture slow moving objects and then sped up. This means that your camera can often be running for several hours or even days at a time, so it’s a good idea to look for a camera that has a long battery life.
Most cameras will come with lithium batteries which are renowned for long life, but will also give you a spare battery in the accessory pack so you can change it if your camera starts to run low on juice.
Bear in mind, however, that some cameras require the battery to be charged within the camera itself, which means you’ll be unable to use it for a while. In this case, try to find a camera that offers external battery charging.
Image stabilization, which you may also see abbreviated to EIS, is a feature that helps keep the images you’re shooting through the lens stable and steady.
This is a good thing to look for in a camera that you’ll be using for time lapse photography, as a shift in the image could ruin the entire effect of the finished piece. EIS is also great if you intend to use your camera on activities such as biking or hiking, and will help keep an image clear and steady on unstable ground.
A lot of cameras are waterproof up to a certain depth as well, which is a good feature to look for too. This means that if you’d like to shoot a time lapse video of a coral reef or see the underwater activity in your garden pond, you’ll be able to capture it all without any risk of the camera fogging up or breaking.
Waterproof capabilities also mean that if you’re out on a shoot and it starts raining heavily, you can be certain that your camera is safe. It’s also a really fun feature to use on family holidays, and the kids will love taking shots underwater in the pool or in the sea.
It’s always worth seeing what you can get for your budget when you’re shopping for a camera, and most now come with an assortment of accessories that make taking both time lapse and regular photos or videos even easier.
One great accessory to look out for is a wrist remote control. This will allow you to trigger the camera’s lens and capture images from as far as 10 meters away, which is ideal for taking group shots with family and friends easier, as well as making it easier to set your camera up in a more awkward position and then start recording without disturbing the delicate balance you’ve set up.
Another accessory that is useful is an action mount. This clever piece of kit will not only help you mount your camera and keep it steady when you’re shooting time lapse videos, but can also be strapped to your body or a helmet and lets you take action videos with ease as well.
Finally, a carry case that can keep your camera safe and secure during transportation is another good accessory to keep an eye out for. This won’t just make taking it from place to place easier, but also offers you somewhere to store it when you’re not using it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is time lapse photography?
Time lapse is a form of photography or videography that is used to capture a series of images that would not normally be visible to the naked eye, or through a standard camera. These images are then either sped up or slowed down to create a video that allows you to see the process.
For example, a growing seedling could be shot and then sped up to create one amazing video. Or a skateboard trick could be slowed down to show the technical moves being performed.
What’s the best camera for time lapse?
The best camera for taking time lapse videos will have a time lapse feature that will allow you to easily shoot them. However, there are other features that can make your time lapse videos even more impressive. These include photo burst, slow motion and video looping.
Take a look at our buying guide above to find out all the best things to look out for in a time lapse camera.
Last Updated on 2021-03-20 //Source: Affiliate Affiliates
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