A Beginner's Guide to Shooting DSLR Timelapse with Preston Kanak: Part 1
I have seen plenty of moving and powerful timelapse videos, but with any technique, it’s all about the artist behind the camera who has to know what they’re trying to capture before they even start shooting. Timelapse videos tend to be synonymous with Vimeo (along with shallow depth of field), and because of that, they seem to be routinely criticized and labeled as amateur. If you’ve ever tried to capture one with physical movement, you know that this is anything but an amateur technique, and it takes a great amount of skill to pull off dynamic movements. Preston Kanak, a contributor to Philip Bloom’s site, gives a quick overview in the video below of everything you need to get started shooting your own DSLR timelapse videos.
Even though Preston is using and talking about Canon gear, timelapses can be done with basically any brand of DSLR (or mirrorless) in existence. Since Canon and Nikon tend to be the most popular DSLRs, it’s much more likely you’ll find third party hardware solutions for those brands that might save a few dollars. That can be especially helpful if you’re just starting out and it’s simply something you’d just like to do for fun.
In terms of third party hardware, the only piece of the camera puzzle that I would not buy from a third party are the internal batteries. Not that they won’t work, but batteries are a very specific product to manufacture, and there are so many things that can go wrong with batteries that are already manufactured correctly, that you’re better off not spending your time on one that might be prone to failure right off the bat inside your camera. Batteries right from the manufacturer aren’t much more expensive, and they will usually last longer when you really start using your camera. On the other hand, I’ve had very good luck with third party hand grips, so some hardware solutions might just come down to your own personal mileage.
Capturing an interesting location with a static timelapse is already difficult enough, but adding camera movement creates quite a few more points of failure. One could certainly argue that going through the trouble of adding movement can give a tremendous amount of character to the shot. Just as camera movement in a film affects the viewer in a particular way, so too can camera movement in a timelapse. If you’re just getting started, however, you might be better off practicing with static shots to get the feel for the way the scene changes over time and how you must visualize what you want the final product to look like before you even begin shooting.
For more information about the hardware used in the video, check out Preston’s post from the link below.
[via Philip Bloom]
- Shooting Dark Prophecy on the Canon 5D Confirms the Pros and Cons of DSLR Shooting
- Canon Announces World's First 4K Video Shooting DSLR: the ($15k) EOS-1D C
- DSLR Guide update: Choosing a DSLR