timelapse

Discussion in 'Video Cameras' started by Tx2, May 15, 2007.

  1. Tx2

    Tx2 Guest

    we have a massive new building development going into our college, and i
    would like to film it in timelapse.

    I am thus looking for a MiniDV camera that will allow me to achieve this
    with simplicity and at relatively low cost (sub £1000)

    Any ideas?
     
    Tx2, May 15, 2007
    #1
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  2. Tx2

    G Hardy Guest

    You can't with MiniDV - not easily, at least. They don't have single-frame
    record & advance.

    Your best bet is to find a cheap* Nikon** DSC and a cheap* PC, and control
    the former using the latter (running Krinnikam) and a USB cable. Depending
    on the selected image resolution, you can set the timelapse as low as 1.5
    seconds.

    Then you bring your list of frames into your favourite mid-range editor
    (Windows Movie Maker won't quite hack it, here) and equate one image to one
    frame.

    If you bring the frames in at their native size (as opposed to automatically
    resizing them to fit the video frame) it allows you to do some cool effects
    like panning and zooming around the stop motion

    Take a look at:
    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/gareth.hardy1/Clouds.wmv (1.7MB)
    It's just a concept test, but it should give you the idea. It was done using
    a £100 eBay laptop and a Nikon CoolPix 5700 - bought new, but they currently
    appear to be going for about £100-135 on eBay.
    So you can get a better result than DV for a quarter of your budget.

    Note - you'll get a better result if you save to media card rather than PC,
    so work out your resolution, shooting rate and card size appropriately so
    you 75% fill the card with a day's shooting, then download all the images at
    the end of the day.
    Note also - if you plan to shoot a frame every two minutes or more, you can
    get an electronic remote shutter that will bypass the need for a PC/laptop
    to be running alongside the camera. That's for the 5700 - you might be able
    to get a higher shooting frequency if there's an electronic remote for your
    own camera.

    * Cheap - means that you're less distraught when they get nicked during
    timelapse photography.
    ** Any make will do, but you'll have to search for the appropriate control
    software and use the appropriate cabling. For example, the Fuji S2 Pro and
    up come with all the cables and software you need for this very task - you
    just need a firewire port available.




    we have a massive new building development going into our college, and i
    would like to film it in timelapse.

    I am thus looking for a MiniDV camera that will allow me to achieve this
    with simplicity and at relatively low cost (sub £1000)

    Any ideas?
     
    G Hardy, May 15, 2007
    #2
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  3. Tx2

    Tx2 Guest

    On Tue, 15 May 2007 21:00:00 GMT G Hardy
    from the village of
    felt we might be interested in the following...

    What's a "DSC" camera please? Where can i find "Krinnikam" also?

    So - if i can try to understand what you are saying - is to shoot using
    stills (I have a Panasonic FZ20 FWIW) and simply add the stills together
    to make a continuous 'film' rather than actual video?

    I have the right software to do this (patch all the stills together), in
    fact i have a selection, from Avid Xpress down to Premiere Elements, so
    that won't be an issue.

    I've got to get this sorted fairly soon as the diggers move in on the
    12th July.

    Thanks for the advice, if you can add to it, or offer anything in the
    way of suggestions etc, then i'd certainly appreciate it.

    :)
     
    Tx2, May 15, 2007
    #3
  4. Tx2

    Trev Guest

    Trev, May 15, 2007
    #4
  5. Tx2

    G Hardy Guest

    Digital Stills Camera.

    I forgot to say - you _can_ just record an hour or 90mins of DV and then
    speed it up in your editing software, but that will rewuire you to change
    the tapes 6-8 times in your camera - and not move it while the change is
    taking place! With 130GB of HDD free you can record 10 hours direct to PC
    and speed it up the same way. You'll probably have to speed up to your
    timelapse file, then delete the capture, on a daily basis.

    via http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/krinnicam/ but bear in mind - it's
    for Nikon cameras only. You'll need to find an equivalent for Panasonic
    FZ20.
    Exactly right. It looks like your camera has timelapse capabilites built-in,
    but I can only find the dutch manual so I'm not sure how you do it.

    You can do it with all sorts of freeware. I'm sure you can concatenate
    images together using VirtualDub (although I don't know the syntax).

    When I was doing it (using MediaStudio Pro) I created a colour clip the same
    dimensions as my still image, then stretched it on the timeline and saved it
    as a image sequence to match the number of frames shot by the camera. Then,
    I just replaced the JPEGs created by the editor with the ones I'd shot with
    the camera. Took about 30 seconds to turn a long list of stills into a
    "video file".


    other advice:
    Get the camera on a tripod and don't touch it while it's shooting.
    By all means change position at lunchtime or from one day to the next, to
    make the edit more interesting. Note that an eight-hour day with a picture
    shot every two seconds will last 9m36s (PAL)
    Don't bother trying to fix a constant manual exposure unless you're
    shooting more than once every five seconds - the conditions during the day
    will change enough to make it "flicker" anyway, you might as well let the
    camera decide what's best.
     
    G Hardy, May 15, 2007
    #5
  6. Tx2

    Ivan Guest

    G Hardy wrote:
    || You can't with MiniDV - not easily, at least. They don't have
    || single-frame record & advance.
    ||
    || Your best bet is to find a cheap* Nikon** DSC and a cheap* PC, and
    || control the former using the latter (running Krinnikam) and a USB
    || cable. Depending on the selected image resolution, you can set the
    || timelapse as low as 1.5 seconds.
    ||
    || Then you bring your list of frames into your favourite mid-range
    || editor (Windows Movie Maker won't quite hack it, here) and equate
    || one image to one frame.
    ||
    || If you bring the frames in at their native size (as opposed to
    || automatically resizing them to fit the video frame) it allows you to
    || do some cool effects like panning and zooming around the stop motion
    ||
    || Take a look at:
    || http://homepage.ntlworld.com/gareth.hardy1/Clouds.wmv (1.7MB)
    || It's just a concept test, but it should give you the idea. It was
    || done using a £100 eBay laptop and a Nikon CoolPix 5700 - bought new,
    || but they currently appear to be going for about £100-135 on eBay.
    || So you can get a better result than DV for a quarter of your budget.
    ||

    I hope you don't mind me asking some questions in a similar vein, but a
    really interesting topic, with what looks like some useful advice.
    I've got a cheap security camera (composite video output ) modulated on to a
    spare channel through a distribution amplifier feeding several TVs.
    At one time I had the idea of using a PVR detector to switch a VCR on/off in
    EP mode for a set time period.

    Unfortunately due to illness I never got around to it, but now that
    computers with quite powerful processors are being dumped in landfills, and
    even 500 gigabyte hard drives are ridiculously cheap, it would appear to be
    a much better option than using a VCR.

    Is there any simple software available whereby a camera with composite
    video output combined with a TV card can be made to capture individual
    frames onto a hard drive with a reasonable image resolution, and for user
    predetermined time intervals?.

    Also I've wondered about flash memory, as I see that a four gigabyte SD card
    can be purchased for as little as £20, how many medium- resolution images
    could be stored on one of those?

    If any of these options were feasible it would give me something to play
    around with, as nowadays I have a bit more spare time on my hand :eek:) TIA
    Ivan





    |||| My reply address is valid, but incoming mail is set to 'auto-delete'
    || so will not be seen. Please post replies to the group.
    || XPS M1710 / 2.16 GHz dual core / 2Gb DDR2 / nVidia GeForce 7950GTX
     
    Ivan, May 16, 2007
    #6
  7. Tx2

    Trev Guest


    Snag it, Cam studio at screen res Thay are screen capture software
    at 640 x 480 my Fuji s9600 says 60 mins at 25 fps
    or in stills at 9mp aprox 4.5 MB per image 900 images
     
    Trev, May 16, 2007
    #7
  8. Tx2

    Ivan Guest

    Trev wrote:
    || ||| G Hardy wrote:
    ||||| You can't with MiniDV - not easily, at least. They don't have
    ||||| single-frame record & advance.
    |||||
    ||||| Your best bet is to find a cheap* Nikon** DSC and a cheap* PC, and
    ||||| control the former using the latter (running Krinnikam) and a USB
    ||||| cable. Depending on the selected image resolution, you can set the
    ||||| timelapse as low as 1.5 seconds.
    |||||
    ||||| Then you bring your list of frames into your favourite mid-range
    ||||| editor (Windows Movie Maker won't quite hack it, here) and equate
    ||||| one image to one frame.
    |||||
    ||||| If you bring the frames in at their native size (as opposed to
    ||||| automatically resizing them to fit the video frame) it allows you
    ||||| to do some cool effects like panning and zooming around the stop
    ||||| motion
    |||||
    ||||| Take a look at:
    ||||| http://homepage.ntlworld.com/gareth.hardy1/Clouds.wmv (1.7MB)
    ||||| It's just a concept test, but it should give you the idea. It was
    ||||| done using a £100 eBay laptop and a Nikon CoolPix 5700 - bought
    ||||| new, but they currently appear to be going for about £100-135 on
    ||||| eBay. So you can get a better result than DV for a quarter of
    ||||| your budget.
    |||||
    |||
    ||| I hope you don't mind me asking some questions in a similar vein,
    ||| but a really interesting topic, with what looks like some useful
    ||| advice.
    ||| I've got a cheap security camera (composite video output )
    ||| modulated on to a
    ||| spare channel through a distribution amplifier feeding several TVs.
    ||| At one time I had the idea of using a PVR detector to switch a VCR
    ||| on/off in
    ||| EP mode for a set time period.
    |||
    ||| Unfortunately due to illness I never got around to it, but now that
    ||| computers with quite powerful processors are being dumped in
    ||| landfills, and
    ||| even 500 gigabyte hard drives are ridiculously cheap, it would
    ||| appear to be
    ||| a much better option than using a VCR.
    |||
    ||| Is there any simple software available whereby a camera with
    ||| composite video output combined with a TV card can be made to
    ||| capture individual frames onto a hard drive with a reasonable image
    ||| resolution, and for user predetermined time intervals?.
    ||
    ||
    || Snag it, Cam studio at screen res Thay are screen capture software
    |||

    Thanks, I'll read through its many features, but at first glance it looks a
    little bit like overkill for the kind of thing I had in mind.



    ||| Also I've wondered about flash memory, as I see that a four
    ||| gigabyte SD card
    ||| can be purchased for as little as £20, how many medium- resolution
    ||| images could be stored on one of those?
    ||
    || at 640 x 480 my Fuji s9600 says 60 mins at 25 fps
    || or in stills at 9mp aprox 4.5 MB per image 900 images
    ||


    Again a 4.5 MB image appears to be way above the sort of resolution I would
    be looking at for a basic security set up.
    I have an old Olympus 1.3 mega pixel camera and even some of the lower
    resolution pictures of around 300K are pin-sharp on a 15 inch monitor, and
    can even be blown up to a level which I 'assume' would be adequate for my
    intended basic domestic security purposes.

    |||
    ||| If any of these options were feasible it would give me something to
    ||| play around with, as nowadays I have a bit more spare time on my
    ||| hand :eek:) TIA Ivan
    |||
    |||
    |||
    |||
    |||
    ||||||| My reply address is valid, but incoming mail is set to
    ||||||| 'auto-delete'
    ||||| so will not be seen. Please post replies to the group.
    ||||| XPS M1710 / 2.16 GHz dual core / 2Gb DDR2 / nVidia GeForce 7950GTX
     
    Ivan, May 16, 2007
    #8
  9. Tx2

    Tx2 Guest

    On Wed, 16 May 2007 11:02:22 +0200 Asle Bjerva
    from the village of
    felt we might be interested in the following...


    What software can i use to control the capture and set the intervals?

    My Logitech Quickcam Pro 5000 has good enough qaulity for what i want to
    do, but not a time lapse facility.

    TIA
     
    Tx2, May 16, 2007
    #9
  10. Tx2

    Ivan Guest

    Tx2 wrote:
    || On Wed, 16 May 2007 11:02:22 +0200 Asle Bjerva
    || from the village of
    || felt we might be interested in the following...
    ||
    ||
    ||
    ||| The cheapest and easy solution is to use a webcam, and save the
    ||| images (jpg format), for example once per hour
    ||
    || What software can i use to control the capture and set the intervals?
    ||
    || My Logitech Quickcam Pro 5000 has good enough qaulity for what i
    || want to do, but not a time lapse facility.


    I found little free programme which seems to work more quite well for both
    timed still and movie capture, the only problem appears to be no choice
    (only .bmp) of file types for saving the image.

    http://www.tucows.com/preview/504585


    ||
    || TIA
    ||
    ||
    || --
    || My reply address is valid, but incoming mail is set to 'auto-delete'
    || so will not be seen. Please post replies to the group.
    || XPS M1710 / 2.16 GHz dual core / 2Gb DDR2 / nVidia GeForce 7950GTX
     
    Ivan, May 16, 2007
    #10
  11. Tx2

    Trev Guest

    Well thats to dmonstrat the capicity of the card lower res such as 640 x
    480 at 130k will hold over 500 images on it
     
    Trev, May 16, 2007
    #11
  12. Tx2

    Ivan Guest

    Ivan wrote:
    || Tx2 wrote:
    |||| On Wed, 16 May 2007 11:02:22 +0200 Asle Bjerva
    |||| from the village of
    |||| felt we might be interested in the following...
    ||||
    ||||
    ||||
    ||||| The cheapest and easy solution is to use a webcam, and save the
    ||||| images (jpg format), for example once per hour
    ||||
    |||| What software can i use to control the capture and set the
    |||| intervals?
    ||||
    |||| My Logitech Quickcam Pro 5000 has good enough qaulity for what i
    |||| want to do, but not a time lapse facility.
    ||
    ||
    || I found little free programme which seems to work more quite well
    || for both timed still and movie capture, the only problem appears to
    || be no choice (only .bmp) of file types for saving the image.
    ||
    || http://www.tucows.com/preview/504585
    ||
    ||

    More info @ http://www.astraimagevideo.com/gallery.htm



    ||||
    |||| TIA
    ||||
    ||||
    |||| --
    |||| My reply address is valid, but incoming mail is set to
    |||| 'auto-delete' so will not be seen. Please post replies to the
    |||| group.
    |||| XPS M1710 / 2.16 GHz dual core / 2Gb DDR2 / nVidia GeForce 7950GTX
     
    Ivan, May 16, 2007
    #12
  13. Tx2

    Rob Guest

    There's a lot of webcam software intended for home security -
    some even has motion detection and will email you a pic when a
    pre-determined amount of movement is detected.
    A google for "webcam security" will come up with stuff like this:
    http://www.digi-watcher.com/review.htm
    Also, astronomers use webcams and have to use timed intervals
    (I'm one!) so you could use something like QCfocus, but you'd
    be better off with the webcam security software.
    HTH
     
    Rob, May 17, 2007
    #13
  14. Tx2

    Ivan Guest

    Rob wrote:
    || ||| On Wed, 16 May 2007 11:02:22 +0200 Asle Bjerva
    ||| from the village of
    ||| felt we might be interested in the following...
    |||
    |||
    |||
    |||| The cheapest and easy solution is to use a webcam, and save the
    |||| images (jpg
    |||| format), for example once per hour
    |||
    ||| What software can i use to control the capture and set the
    ||| intervals?
    |||
    ||| My Logitech Quickcam Pro 5000 has good enough qaulity for what i
    ||| want to do, but not a time lapse facility.
    ||
    || There's a lot of webcam software intended for home security -
    || some even has motion detection and will email you a pic when a
    || pre-determined amount of movement is detected.
    || A google for "webcam security" will come up with stuff like this:
    || http://www.digi-watcher.com/review.htm
    || Also, astronomers use webcams and have to use timed intervals
    || (I'm one!) so you could use something like QCfocus, but you'd
    || be better off with the webcam security software.
    || HTH


    I wonder why most of this software only allows the image to be saved as a
    ..bmp without a choice of saving as a .jpg.

    I have to admit that I'm not too up on these things technically, but the
    resulting image I get from an image compressed down to even 50k on my
    ancient 1.3mp Olympus digital camera is infinitely better than what I'm
    capturing as a 300k .bmp using a cheap webcam or security camera... all very
    disappointing.




    || --
    || Rob
     
    Ivan, May 17, 2007
    #14
  15. Tx2

    Rob Guest

    It's all down to the software and quality of sensor in the webcam.
    Most webcam security software will allow the native .bmp to be
    compressed to the lossy jpeg format for transmission by email,
    ftp'ing to a 'live' window on a website etc.

    The Sony CCDs are the best for low-light, but most webcams only
    have CMOS sensors. Unfortunately the OP's QC5000 can come with
    either CMOS or CCD sensors, but probably CMOS in the UK.
    The resolution of the sensor is the other thing - most are 640x480
    pixels, so images will never look as good as from a digital camera.

    The current webcam of choice for low-light is the Philips SPC-900,
    which uses the excellent Sony ICX098BQ CCD sensor.

    HTH,
     
    Rob, May 17, 2007
    #15
  16. Tx2

    Ivan Guest

    Rob wrote:
    || |||
    |||
    ||| Rob wrote:
    ||||| |||||| On Wed, 16 May 2007 11:02:22 +0200 Asle Bjerva
    |||||| from the village of
    |||||| felt we might be interested in the following...
    ||||||
    ||||||
    ||||||
    ||||||| The cheapest and easy solution is to use a webcam, and save the
    ||||||| images (jpg
    ||||||| format), for example once per hour
    ||||||
    |||||| What software can i use to control the capture and set the
    |||||| intervals?
    ||||||
    |||||| My Logitech Quickcam Pro 5000 has good enough qaulity for what i
    |||||| want to do, but not a time lapse facility.
    |||||
    ||||| There's a lot of webcam software intended for home security -
    ||||| some even has motion detection and will email you a pic when a
    ||||| pre-determined amount of movement is detected.
    ||||| A google for "webcam security" will come up with stuff like this:
    ||||| http://www.digi-watcher.com/review.htm
    ||||| Also, astronomers use webcams and have to use timed intervals
    ||||| (I'm one!) so you could use something like QCfocus, but you'd
    ||||| be better off with the webcam security software.
    ||||| HTH
    |||
    |||
    ||| I wonder why most of this software only allows the image to be
    ||| saved as a .bmp without a choice of saving as a .jpg.
    |||
    ||| I have to admit that I'm not too up on these things technically,
    ||| but the resulting image I get from an image compressed down to even
    ||| 50k on my ancient 1.3mp Olympus digital camera is infinitely better
    ||| than what I'm capturing as a 300k .bmp using a cheap webcam or
    ||| security camera... all very
    ||| disappointing.
    ||
    || It's all down to the software and quality of sensor in the webcam.
    || Most webcam security software will allow the native .bmp to be
    || compressed to the lossy jpeg format for transmission by email,
    || ftp'ing to a 'live' window on a website etc.
    ||
    || The Sony CCDs are the best for low-light, but most webcams only
    || have CMOS sensors. Unfortunately the OP's QC5000 can come with
    || either CMOS or CCD sensors, but probably CMOS in the UK.
    || The resolution of the sensor is the other thing - most are 640x480
    || pixels, so images will never look as good as from a digital camera.
    ||
    || The current webcam of choice for low-light is the Philips SPC-900,
    || which uses the excellent Sony ICX098BQ CCD sensor.
    ||

    I'm using a Philips SPC 300 camera, however its performance pales into
    insignificance in comparison to my old Philips PCA645, which unfortunately I
    can find absolutely no drivers for Windows 2000.

    It delivers crystal clear pictures with drivers downloaded from Microsoft,
    but unfortunately in daylight the resulting image is bright blue, due to the
    fact that none of the set up menus for brightness, contrast, background or
    gama are included along with the drivers.



    || HTH,
    || --
    || Rob
     
    Ivan, May 17, 2007
    #16
  17. Tx2

    David Morris Guest

    Funnily enough, I've been working on just such a project for capturing
    metal melting in a furnace.

    I set up a Linux system with a Hauppauge PVR150 TV capture card and took
    a composite video feed from a cheap camcorder. I captured one jpeg frame
    every 30 seconds using ffmpeg with a sequential file name.

    Every so often, I used mencoder (part of the mplayer suite) to recombine
    the jpg images into an mpeg.

    I've also done the same on Linux using a DLink DCS900 network webcam and
    a little script using wget to drag the jpg images off the camera run via
    a cron (scheduled batch) job. The same mencoder run would combine these
    into an mpeg.

    This is all standard Linux distribution stuff and there's loads of
    information on google.

    For what you want, I'd be tempted to go down the DSC900 route for around
    £100 or so, simply because being network based, the camera is much more
    stable over a longer period of time (I was getting memory leaks with
    ffmpeg after a couple of days).

    Other than that, both methods work a treat and it doesn't cost a lot to
    do.
     
    David Morris, May 17, 2007
    #17
  18. Tx2

    Asle Bjerva Guest

    This program can use any videosurce available on the computer.
    http://www.tincam.com/
     
    Asle Bjerva, May 18, 2007
    #18
  19. Tx2

    Tx2 Guest

    On Tue, 15 May 2007 20:38:58 +0100 Tx2
    from the village of
    felt we might be interested in the following...


    Moving on then....

    It has been 'approved' by those who control the cashflow in this case,
    that i can get some equipment in to do this time lapse project.

    It seems a digital stills camera is the way forward on this one, as it
    will take high quality pictures, against a web cam that will do the job,
    but not as well as i would like it to, i.e. one problem i have had is
    that my web cam doesn't like direct daylight very much.

    Thus, i am now desperately looking to find a camera that has a time
    lapse facility on it, one that can be either set each day, or one that
    is just told to take a picture every 2 hours (for example) until told to
    stop.

    I have spotted the Canon PowerShot S5 IS on 'dpreview.com' and it is
    listed as having time lapse.

    However, a camera with mains would be pretty useful also, i feel.

    Can anyone confirm that this camera, or any other current camera, has
    time lapse which will do the job with mains being a bonus?

    I do want to avoid eBay and such like for 2nd user equipment, as i am
    spending someone else's money and can't drop a clanger on this one.

    TIA
     
    Tx2, May 20, 2007
    #19
  20. Tx2

    G Hardy Guest

    Moving on then....

    Don't just look for a DSC with a built-in timelapse. You might also be able
    to get one with an electronic cable release that does the same thing. My
    Coolpix E5700 doesn't have the facility built-in, but adding a MC-E1U remote
    release means you can take an unattended picture every two minutes.

    Work backward from how long the projects is likely to take (to build) and
    how long you want your film to last. Then divide them up so that you know
    how many images you need to take per working day. Then shoot at least twice
    as often, more if you can (it gives you the flexibility to slow down
    sections where a lot changes in one day). Then work out how big your media
    cards need to be.

    Don't be afraid to move or zoom the camera periodically, just for an
    alternate camera angle - just make sure that the resulting cut is going to
    last longer than a split second!
     
    G Hardy, May 20, 2007
    #20
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