New Time-Lapse Photography Equipment Reviewed

If you’ve been following this blog, you might have noticed that I’ve done a few time-lapse videos recently.  After doing some shopping on Amazon, I purchased a new tripod and an intervalometer (picture timer) for my Canon DSLR.  I also got another webcam (which can be a really cost-effective time-lapse setup).  Below is one of my first videos using the tripod and timer:

I’m quite pleased with these results, but read on to see my full initial thoughts on each of these accessories:

Ravelli 61 inch Tripod: At under $20 from Amazon, I wasn’t expecting much out of this tripod, but was pleasantly surprised.  The tripod comes with levels to keep your shot straight, a quick-release mechanism for your camera, and seems to adjust and lock down in nearly any configuration.  It doesn’t feel like it was meant for “industrial use,” but the construction wouldn’t really be called cheap either.  For $20 though, it’s hard to imagine producing something of this (decent if not spectacular) quality.  Add in the case and bonus mini-tripod, and you’ve got a really good deal!

moon-cloudsNeewer Intervalometer:  This little device was quite inexpensive as well at around $15 on Amazon.  It will time your shots as seen in the above video, and has a delay function.  Construction seemed quite good, and the backlight worked excellently.  I’m looking forward to playing with this thing more.

In my opinion, it’s too bad that Canon didn’t build timing functions into its T2i camera.  Maybe they wanted to sell remote triggers, but it seems they are mostly supporting a secondary market.  As for other accessories that I’ve checked out, here’s my review of the Shoot-RS-60E3 remote shutter release and the RC-6 infrared remote.  On the other hand, you could always try to trigger your camera with an air freshener as I did.  It was a fun experiment, but for good results, just spend the $4 or $15 and get something that works correctly!

Microsoft Lifecam Webcam – an inexpensive time-lapse option: I bought one of these from Amazon as well, but honestly wasn’t all that impressed.  Could be something I was doing, but there was a weird tint when using the garage’s lighting.  An LED flashlight worked better, but the improvement over my sub-$10 webcam (for time-lapse photography) was marginal.  Here’s a stop-motion video of me unboxing it, with some footage using the lifecam at the end.

Note the difference between normal lighting (first shot with Lifecam) and an LED flashlight (last shot).  Also, at some point, I increased the resolution, of the taken photos so this isn’t necessarily apples-to-apples.  On the other hand, this webcam is quite compact, has lots of mounting options, and has an autofocus.  So it’s not all bad, and I’ll probably end up using it.  Here’s the program that I use to make webcam time-lapses.  It’s like an intervalometer for your computer that combines the photos into a video for you!

Edit 7/12/2012 – Wow, apparently I had the title of this post as “New Time-Lapse Photography Equipment Reviewd.”  Changed it to be “Reviewed.”


  1. I love time lapse videos, I’ve tried to do time lapse with my camera, but I think it doesn’t have the functionality. I’ll have to stick with stills for now.