Want Time-lapse? Better Get an Intervalometer
When it comes to shooting time-lapse videos, there is a real need to consistently and repeatedly fire off multiple exposures. While you “could” sit next to your camera and constantly press the shutter button, this would get old really fast.
The standard tool needed for regulating the amount of exposures during a time-lapse shoot is an intervalometer. When you turn it on, you can program the camera to shoot stills. An intervalometer allows you to easily set a timer for when you want the camera to begin recording, set the interval between exposures, and determine how many frames you want to shoot.
Typically, an intervalometer is a tethered device that connects to your camera via a port. Some cameras may have a built-in intervalometer. This allows you to shoot time-lapse shots without carrying extra gear. However, the external models make it easier to tweak adjustments as the camera is rolling. Just be sure to always keep spare batteries with you for the intervalometer or it becomes dead weight.
Once connected, do not leave the intervalometer dangling from the camera. When plugging it in and beginning your operation, make sure you have a good solid place to leave the intervalometer. If the cable is too short to reach the ground, don’t just let it dangle in the wind. Tape it to one of your tripod legs with the face showing, or even better, run an extension cable to the camera. The remote switch function is very useful because it prevents you from coming in contact with the camera while it’s running. If you need to turn off the operation during some break in the action, or change the interval, you want to avoid touching the camera or tripod. A subtle bump can appear as a jolting frame change in the final clip.
For shoots that will last over a period of days or weeks, it might be a good idea to invest in an intervalometer that includes a light-sensing switch or programmable timer. You can then avoid recording at night (if you don’t want to). Check out the Time Machine from Mumford Micro Systems at www.bmumford.com/photo/camctlr.html.