Time-Lapse in Action [Just-A-Tip]

Shooting photos and videos with our iPhones is great and something we do, collectively, millions of times a day. When iOS 8 was released, Apple gave us the ability to shoot time-lapse videos in the native Camera app. Shooting a time-lapse video is fairly simple, but you’ll find it works best when you capture something in a state of constant movement or change.

For example, everyone has seen the sun shine through a window on the floor. As the day progresses, the spot on the floor illuminated by the sun slowly moves. If you were to setup your iPhone to capture this progression throughout the day, you’d have yourself a really cool time-lapse video showing how sunlight makes its way through a room in your house.

In my opinion, the longer the video is, the better your time-lapse video will be at capturing progression. There’s math behind how your time-lapse video is created and Apple has done all the work for you to ensure your video turns out amazing. They’ve crunched all the numbers and photos are snapped at “dynamically selected intervals” in Time-lapse mode on iOS 8. Studio Neat, makers of the frameographer app and some really cool products, did some research to see just how dynamic these selected photo intervals really are.

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Your time-lapse video length should be somewhere between 20-40 seconds. If you don’t capture a long enough time-lapse video, your creation doesn’t turn out very good at all. In these cases, watching them looks like you’re fast forwarding through a video you just took. Those videos leave you wondering what the hell this new iOS 8 feature is even for and how to properly use it.

This is why I mentioned before you should capture longer videos in order to get the best results. Another tip for best time-lapse video results is to use something that’ll hold your iPhone steady while you’re recording. There are numerous options out there, but a few of my favorites are the GripTight GorillaPod Stand, and Universal Smartphone Holder and Flexible Mini Tripod. If you already own a tripod you can use it too, simply purchase the GripTight Mount to hold your iPhone tightly and it quickly and easily mounts to your existing tripod.

Those of you wanting to take your time-lapse videos to the next level can add motion to them, which adds some drama. In this case, you will want to purchase the Motrr Galileo (Compatible with iPhone 5s, 5c, 5, 4s, & iPod 5, running iOS 7 or greater). With the Motrr Galileo, you’re able to setup your iPhone to capture the world around you like never before. You can set everything up and control it with an app.

If you’re wanting to capture a time-lapse video while moving, you should let Hyperlapse do the work for you. We’ve discussed this application before on iOS Etc and we’re big fans. Actually one of my favorite time-lapse videos came from using Hyperlapse while in Disney World making an iMovie for our daughters first trip. I was able to record a time-lapse video using Hyperlapse while we rode the boat from Magic Kingdom to the Ticket and Transportation Center when the Monorail was temporarily shutdown. At the very end of the video, the Monorail starts running again and leaves the station, which steals the spotlight. It was a really great unplanned shot, which added a bit of motion and drama to the tail end of the video.

The great thing about Hyperlapse is its ability to stabilize your video much better than the Time-lapse mode in the Camera app. I’m not saying it completely takes away any jumpiness in your video, but it definitely improves it quite a bit.

There is a downside to Hyperlapse though in my opinion. Hyperlapse can only go up to 12x the speed relative to real time. If you read the table above, you noticed Time-lapse mode was able to go up to 240x the speed relative to real time. Hyperlapse captures and creates great videos, but if you were shoot the exact same video using Time-lapse mode on your camera, it will be more dramatic. Time-lapse mode will speed things up and finish your video in 20-40 seconds. Hyperlapse won’t be able to complete your video in the same amount of time as Time-lapse mode.

Now with this being said, you’d have to be taking a long video for Time-lapse mode to out shine Hyperlapse. However, Hyperlapse is better at capturing shorter or more casual time lapse videos while helping you keep a steady hand.

With the holidays around the corner, I’m always looking for ways to capture the moments. Now armed with some new awesome features in the native Camera app, I’m able to shoot some cool time-lapse videos to add to our family collection. I know some of them will turn out great, whereas others will be a bust. It’s a matter of trial and error to create that cool shot to pass around and share with the family. With a little practice and patience, you can create something special for your family to enjoy this year.

Original Time-Lapse Video

Edited Using 8mm Vintage Camera App

About Author

Jeremy McGinty

Jeremy McGinty is an iOS expert and has written over 350 articles relating to Apple and their products over the past two years. Writing about iPhones, iPads, and anything relating to Apple is what Jeremy does in his free time and you’re going to love reading how he’s a normal guy just like you. Jeremy is the most approachable person you’ll ever meet and you should try it out for yourself, send him a message here!

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