Good (affordable) time-lapse DV camera?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by seenew, Jun 2, 2006.

  1. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #1
    I've got about $400 I'm willing to put towards a DV camera. I don't need anything fancy, and I know I can't get fancy with just $400, but I was wondering if there were any cameras in the $300-400 range that had time-lapse capabilities, like, I could tell them to take frames at 1/sec, or 3/sec, or 1/min, etc...

    I've never bought a video camera before, so I have no idea what to look for. My area is still photos.
     
  2. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #2
    I think most cheap DV cameras can do that - check the reviews at something like http://www.camcorderinfo.com/ .

    The Canon Optura models are nice in your price range - I have one myself and am happy with it. I don't know if they do time lapse but i think so.

    A cheaper option might be to use a webcam - there are programs that will take time-lapse footage through a webcam.

    I also think many digital still cameras can do time-lapse - my Canon Powershot A70 can and with a large memory card (or connected to a laptop / desktop), it'll take a while to fill up, at the same image quality as a video camera.

    Hope that gives you some ideas.

    xoxo ..RedTomato..
     
  3. seenew thread starter macrumors 68000

    seenew

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #3
    My digital still cam can do them, but only as slow as one frame every 30s..
    I wanted something a bit more versatile..

    Bump?
     
  4. zim macrumors 65816

    zim

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    #4
    I don't think you are going to find many, if any, DV cameras with time laps as an option. I have a Canon Eulura and a Panasonic PV GS500, the GS500 being the newer and better of the two yet neither have time laps as an option. The site that was referenced, camcorderinfo.com, would be one of the best places to research this topic further. The Eulura does have a lot of "effects" but less control features because it is a low end camera while the GS500 has more control features and no effects because it is seen as a "pro-summer" level camera. The only cameras that I have seen with built in time laps are higher end models.

    You may also be able to do a software combo. Using a DV cam along with your computer and a specific piece of software that triggers the record option on the camera.
     
  5. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #5
    I have had Sony camcorders that do time lapse (the TRV-25 is an example) but I never used the feature. It's hard on the heads to constantly be starting and stopping, and it records a pretty large chunk at a time (1/5 of a second, I think?), so it tends to look pretty choppy.

    Whenever I needed a time lapse effect, I would record the event in normal time, and use editing or capture software to either do a time-lapse capture (capture 1 frame out of every X frames) or capture it all and then speed it up by 1000% or whatever. However, this limits you to events that take place over a span of 60-90 minutes.
     
  6. jaysmith macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2005
    #6
    speeding up footage is never as good as interval recording. when you speed up footage it will randomly cut frames out, whereas interval is perfectly smooth and uniform. the end result will look more natural (and you're not wasting a full tape on one shot, important if you're experimenting and screw up).

    search for different models that might have interval recording. i think the panasonic pv-gs series and maybe the sony trv series has it, but i'm not sure. from what i know its more common in higher end 3chip camera. my vx2000 has many different options but i know you're not looking to spend too much.
     
  7. bokdol macrumors 6502a

    bokdol

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    VA
    #7
    do you have a laptop? and if you do. the cheapest way to do it is buy this software called istop motion. and any firewire camera. it will time lapse with many options like frames per second. it's great software. only issue would be you need the laptop and camera together.
     
  8. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #8
    Ooh, I didn't realize that (or maybe I'd forgotten). I'll have to check that out on mine when I get home :)

    Again, though, I'd be hesitant to put so much wear on my heads, especially for any extended period of time.
     
  9. jaysmith macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2005
    #9
    so long as you take care of the heads elsewhere (buy a cheap camera for captiuring) then interval recording won't do too much damage/wear. think about how many times you start/stop recording on a normal day of shooting, and of course its inevitable.
     
  10. aricher macrumors 68020

    aricher

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Location:
    Chi-il
    #10
    I use my Canon still camera or iSight and a copy of Boinx Software's iStopMotion. Great program.
     

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