It can be used to capture multiple images one after the other with the knowledge that you will simply pick your favourite image later on. Or the most likely the reason you would use this feature is to create a time-lapse movie like this little Lego guy doing a dance (rather badly I might add!), or perhaps a flower bud opening up, or even the sun setting behind the horizon – the possibilities are truly endless.
In this tutorial I want to give you a basic idea of how to use the Interval Timer function to create timelapse movies. For in-depth advice on timelapse movie creation and some of the more detailed do’s and don’t’s I would strongly recommend searching ‘How do I get great timelapse results from my camera?‘ as there are so many good tutorials already out there.
The option for timelapse is found in the main menu of the X series cameras under the title ‘INTERVAL TIMER SHOOTING‘, choose this option with the menu/ok button.
From this, select the interval (the time between each shot) using the navigation buttons (up, down, left and right). Once you are happy with the intervals, you will need to choose how many shots you want in total – this is found under the title ‘NUMBER OF TIMES‘. To help with how many shots you want see the tip below:
TIP! In Europe and Canada we normally use 25fps (frames per second) also known as PAL for our movies. Below you can see examples of how many photographs you would need to take to achieve the required length of movie.
Examples for 25fps:
1 second of footage = 25 photographs
2 seconds of footage = 50 photographs
10 seconds of footage = 250 photographs
1 minute of footage = 1500 photographs
Another way to think of this is Video length = Number of pictures ÷ Frame rate
The last step is to choose when the camera actually starts taking pictures, this could be immediately, in which case you would select 0h 00m or for example 20 minutes time (0h 20m). When you are ready to shoot simply press the menu/ok button and this will start the timer.
At the end of the sequence of shots you will then need to put them into a movie making program such as Adobe Premiere Pro or similar to create the timelapse itself – for that part I’d recommend looking up a software specific tutorial, so if you use Premiere Pro try a search like ‘Create a timelapse video in Premiere Pro‘ in your favourite search engine.
TIP! I normally use YouTube for this part to see exactly what buttons the teacher is clicking / using to create the timelapse video – that should stop you getting lost along the way!
TIPS, TIPS, TIPS!
Here are some bonus tips to think about when creating a timelapse video:
- Use a tripod – Otherwise your timelapse video will look like an earthquake is taking place!
- Set the camera to 16:9 ratio – This will be the correct image ratio for a 1080p Full HD movie file, so you will not need to crop hundreds of images!
- Plan ahead – If you are shooting a sunrise or sunset, know exactly where the sun is going to end up. Apps like The Photographer’s Ephemeris can really help you achieve this.
- Think very carefully about composition – This kind of goes without saying, but I’m saying it anyway.. ;-) Take your time framing the shot, after all you are going to take hundreds of pictures of your landscape and it would be a real shame to get 300 images of the horizon all wonky!
- Shoot Raw & Jpeg – Although Jpegs are preferable for many users, if the lighting changes dramatically whilst shooting you will find editing & correcting a RAW file much more flexible as it retains all the detail from an image rather than a compressed version.
- Shoot manually – To ensure consistently good results always shoot fully manual – set the shutter speed, the aperture, ISO and focus yourself rather than allowing the camera to do this for you.
Below is an example of a timelapse movie shot on the X-T1 and played back at 25FPS. The movie consists of 150 shots.
I hope this has inspired you to go out and give it a go! It can be truly rewarding and really fun too!
Happy Snapping! :-)
*The Interval Timer feature is available for the FUJIFILM X-T1, X-T10, X100T and X30.