Video Essentials

Create a Timelapse Video with a DSLR Camera: Video 101


The following lesson was created by Vimeo for its Vimeo Video School. It’s used here with permission. Look for a new lesson each week.

Timelapses are one of the most popular things to do with DSLRs because the camera is first and foremost a stills camera. This means the resolution of your still images is much higher, which allows you to get some really beautiful timelapses.

A timelapse is a period of time that is captured and played back at a much faster rate.

For your timelapse, you’ll need a timer remote, or an intervalometer. You can specify how often your intervalometer tells the camera to take a photograph so you don’t have to stand around the hit the button each time. Believe me, I’ve done that before and it’s super boring.

Be sure to check the settings and read the manual so you know the timer-remote is set up correctly — timelapses take a lot of time, and that means a lot of time potentially wasted if you aren’t careful! So make sure to double check your settings before that eight-hour timelapse you have planned or you may return to a giant disappointment! Also, keep safety in mind when choosing your location. You’ll want to shoot in a place that’s safe to be shooting with your fancy schmancy DSLR camera for a long period of time. For instance, the middle of a freeway man not be the best place for your first timelapse.

Pro Tip: Use a crane or a dolly to get some truly epic timelapses. Watch this video example by our friend Tom Lowe who uses a Kessler Crane in this timelapse.

Ready for more? Learn how to do nighttime shooting with DSLRs or view more lessons at the Vimeo Video School.




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