Sunday, 16 March 2008

Time Lapse photography with the Nokia Nseries and others!

The majority of the Nseries range from Nokia are equipped with fantastic cameras. Along with this the camera application has a range of features available to the user...
According to Wikipedia, Time Lapse photogrpahy is "a cinematography technique whereby each film frame is captured at a rate much slower than it will be played back." You've probably seen time lapse being used if you regularly watch the news or nature documentaries. However, this is a blog about phones (The finest fones to be precise) so I'll be showing you how to make a time lapse video using your S60 device!

What you'll need:
Things in italics are optional.

In this guide I'll be providing details on how to create a time lapse video based on what is available on my N95 8GB. I'm aware that some older devices don't have the option to continuously take pictures so you'll need to download your appropriate version of Python and then get this .py script from here.

Getting the pictures:

First of all, make sure that there's enough space for all the pictures you'll need on your memory card/internal memory.

Choose the subject(s) of your video.

Use a tripod to make sure your phone stays still or just balance it on a flat surface.

Open up your camera application and scroll down to 'Sequence mode',click on it.

Depending on the subject of your project, select the amount of time between the shots. If you're doing something like a flower opening, 10 seconds per shot won't really do anything but make your video larger/longer than if it were maybe 1 minute per image captured.

Align your shot, hit the fire button and leave your phone alone.

Making the pictures into a video:

Get all of the pictures that your phone has taken and put them into a folder on your computer.

Grab Resize JPEGs and MakeAVI from the top of this page.

Open Resize JPEGs and change the size of all of the images to VGA (640X480).

Open MakeAVI and import all of the pictures. Set the framerate and click Begin! select the codec of your choice and the application will begin stitching the images together into a video.

The finished product:

Here are some examples of videos that I've made:

As you can see, the subjectwas my favourite Pokemon clock :) It's a total of 795 pictures taken at 10 second intervals and playedat 20 frames per second.

This one is just the sun coming up. It's 2,389 images also 10 seconds between them but this time at 30 frames per second.


  1. MAK

    thnx for the info.

  2. Anonymous

    For time lapse it's often useful to also use fixed focus to stop some frames focusing on different subjects, e.g. people are walking around in the foreground. Landscape, sports and night appear to be fixed focus (can't hear the lens focusing when you depress the shutter button half-way). Also turn off the flash. White balance should usually be left on auto.

  3. G.R.G.

    Thanks for the tips Dylski!

  4. Peter

    Doesnt seem to work on an e71 - no facility to alter timing, only takes 6 shots at a default speed.

  5. Saso

    Yes, cant do it on nokia e71. I downloaded some j2me app for timelapse, but it doesnt really work ... requires me to allow the application to access the phone memory for each picture.

    any1 found a way to do timelapse with e71?

  6. Anonymous

Post a comment

If you need to contact me directly, use the 'Contact Me' form.
DO NOT use the above form to contact me with support issues e.g. further explanation of a tutorial. Leave a comment on the post instead. If you email me for such things, it's unlikely that I'll reply.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts with Thumbnails