Getting Started with Motion Control Timelapse Photography: What Equipment Do You Need?

Motion Control Timelapse Photography Tutorial
Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Sure, timelapse photography may have enjoyed a massive resurgence – or maybe fad is a better word – in years past, with seemingly every corner of the internet rife with gorgeous, yet completely predictable and eerily similar timelapse videos. However, much like the super shallow depth of field that was prevalent in the early DSLR years, people have slowed down with their timelapsing and started using those techniques in creative new ways, and even to make political/environmental statements. Like all of the cool technology available to us these days, timelapse is a tool, and there are legitimate times to use it for both narrative and aesthetic purposes. So let's learn how to do it right.

In a recent episode of Adorama TV, Corey Rich answers the question of how we can get started with motion control timelapse, detailing some of the equipment necessary for smooth shots.

Of course, this Kessler setup is on the higher end of motion control tools. There are loads of options on the market these days, even some more affordable ones, ranging from the Cinetics Axis 360, Emotimo TB3, and even the brand new motion control system from Rhino, which I've been testing out for the past week and thoroughly enjoying (review coming soon).

In the next lesson, Corey's going to get into the nitty gritty of how to set up motion controlled timelapse shots, so stick around.     

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Your Comment


This setup up looks sick. Good job eric!

May 4, 2015 at 9:15AM

Kyle Lamar
Director Producer DP

Keep in mind that some of these motion control systems are only made for time-lapse as the motors aren't powerful enough to move the camera quickly for live-action shots.

Also, some systems can be too noisy to record live-audio while you shoot.

May 4, 2015 at 3:44PM, Edited May 4, 3:45PM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

Don't forget about camBLOCK!

Stew - inventor of camBLOCK.

May 5, 2015 at 1:54PM

Stewart Mayer
Motion Control System Developer, Documentarian, DP

Nice, but which equipment do i need? Great Ad for Kessler so...Alternatives? Pros and Cons?

May 5, 2015 at 11:42PM

hannes mair
photographer - moviemaker

Check out they have different levels of systems. The Emotimo can be used with their systems.

May 6, 2015 at 3:14PM