How To Shoot Timelapse With DSLR – Epic Tips

Are you planning to shoot a epic time-lapse video with your DSLR camera ? In this article, we will show you some best tips and tricks to improve your time-lapse photography !

Coming up !


Why Time-Lapse ?

Why people shoot time-lapse video ? Because creating a time-lapse video is a great way of showing something that we can’t experience in real life.

Due to the way it speeds up the movement of your subject, it can show you movement that we barely notice with our eyes. So anything that moves slowly will be a good subject of your time-lapse film. Just think of it as the opposite of slow-motion.


3 Methods To Make A Epic Time-Lapse Film !

If you’re looking for a method to make a time-lapse video with your DSLR camera, then you just came to the right place ! Because I’m going to reveal the secrets to create a 4K high quality time-lapse video. Even if your DSLR is a crappy one, you can still use these 3 simple methods to get the best time-lapse.

Method 1: Record a long video, and speed it up in post. This is the easiest way to create a time-lapse. You can easily do this with your smartphone. But the problem is that the video size will be very very huge, which I don’t recommend !

Method 2: Use time-lapse video mode(if your DSLR has this mode). It allows you to shoot at a lower frame rate like 1 frame per second. In that case, it would playback much faster than real life and the file would be much smaller than if we’d been recording the entire time.

Method 3: A time-lapse video is formed by a bunch of consecutive photos, and the quality of photographs captured with DSLR is much better than the video quality. So if you want to get the best quality of your time-lapse, it’s necessary to shoot a sequence of individual photos and assemble them together in post. This is the best method !


Right now, I’m going to show you how I shoot my 4K time-lapse with my DSLR ! I’m currently using Canon T7i, and these steps I’m about to show you will work on any type of DSLR.

STEP 1: Set up your shot. The first thing you need to do is to mount your camera on a solid tripod. You can also place your camera on a sturdy location, but placing it on a tripod is still the best way. Please make sure that the tripod isn’t moving during the shot. The tripod I’m currently using is an aluminum alloy tripod by Bonfoto.

STEP 2: Camera Settings. So what is the best camera setting ? Well… it all depends on what you’re shooting. But I would suggest you to use Manual mode. If the camera is set up to automatic mode, then it will be exposed a little be differently each time causing a slight flicker.

Shutter: If you use slower shutter speed such as 1/20 sec, then the moving objects(crowds, clouds, cars…) will be blurry as if they’re actually moving faster. If you use faster shutter speed such as 1/100 sec, then everything will look a little bit choppy. I would prefer “slower shutter speed” but it’s all up to you !

White balance: Please turn off Auto white balance. Because the weather, lighting are changing all the time, that will cause a slight flicker by using Auto white balance. So it’s better to set it to custome.

STEP 3: Setup the interval. Interval is one of the most important setting of shooting time-lapse. It determines the mount of time that passes between each captured photo. The longer the interval, the faster the time-lapse.

0.5-2 secondswalking, biking or other sport
2 secondsbusy street corner
5-10 secondssunrise, sunset
10-60 secondsconstruction projects

You can easily setup interval by using “Interval mode” on your DSLR. Unfortunately, most of DSLR don’t have this mode, so you have to prepare an extra “interval timer” It’s a very helpful tool that can help you shoot a sequence of individual photos automatically.

Interval timer for Canon DSLR

Interval timer for Nikon DSLR


STEP 4: Start shooting. Start shooting time-lapse and wait ! it’s gonna be very boring during that time, so it’s better to have some friends with you.

STEP 5: Create a file folder. We just finished shooting a bunch of photos(time-lapse) and now we have to import those files into computer. And create a folder for those files.

STEP 6: Done ! That is it ! pretty simple right ? That’s also how you get a 4K high quality time-lapse video.



What settings do I use ?

To get the best quality of photos(time-lapse), I will shoot at ISO 100~800. I also like to use slower shutter speed because I want to get that “blurry effect” But the downside of using slower shutter speed is that it might make your image overexposed. So you need to have a ND filter.

What about lenses ? I always use Canon 80D with 17-50mm f/2.8 zoom lens for shooting time-lapse. If you’re not sure what focal length is the best for your time-lapse, then it’s better to use a 17-50mm or 24-70mm standard zoom lens.

If you want to take your time-lapse video to the next level, then it’s necessary to get a “panoramic rotator” It is a very helpful tool that allows you to create a professional motion time-lapse !

I hope this tutorial will help you understand how to shoot a epic time-lapse with your DSLR. Also, don’t forget to comment down below how you shoot your time-lapse video 🙂















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