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 Time lapse with Sony? Or better a other System 
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Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:22 am
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Post Time lapse with Sony? Or better a other System
hello,

i got a view questions and need some help to make the right decisions.
I´m a poor student and it took me some time to safe enough money for a new Cam.
Now i want to invest my money wisely and find the right equipment for me.

here are some facts about me:

I already own a Sony A350, i have an self made motorized dolly controlled by an arduino micro controller.
The Arduino also controls my A350, but i think it wouldn´t be a problem to update this for any other DSLR.
I love doing time lapse but i think adding some normal recorded video sequences and maybe some slow motions to time laps videos could be
a nice advantage!
I´m studying media design, so making short films, video editing and all that stuff is a part of my studies.
Beside time lapse and video, i´ll use the cam for landscapes and everything else i want to shoot at my travels.
I only have the Sony 18-70 kit lens.
i can spend 750€max for a cam + lens.


I actually like the Sony systems and i thought about buying the A57 cause of the nice video feature (50p,a good auto focus) and the cheap price for 575€ with kit lens.
But is Sony a good choice for time lapse?
There is no way to control the A57 from PC, and i didn't find a good way for bulb ramping the Sony cams!
I mean my Arduino construction can do a simple form of bulb ramping, but in bulb mode, there is no way to get a faster exposure then 1/10s with my A350 and i think thats the same with every Sony cam.
I have no idea to get remote control of the iso or aperture, and i think the noise at high ISO of the SLT would be a problem too!
i think it isn´t possible to use devices like little bramper on a Sony cam?

maybe you can recommend me a Cam wich suits my requirements, or you can help me to figure out how to do good day to night shots (including astro) with a sony cam?


Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:47 am
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Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:17 am
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Location: Hindmarsh Valley, South Australia
Post Re: Time lapse with Sony? Or better a other System
Hi JHT

I suppose in general there is nothing wrong with the Sony AFAIK. Anything that can have a shutter cable attached should be fine for timelapse. As for bulb ramping well that's another story that there is no simple answer. I've have not tried bulb ramping as yet. The seems nothing wrong with the Sony A57 based on the review at DP Review ALTHOUGH one big problem is that it doesn't have a shutter connection. So there could be a problem trigger the shutter. You could look into the infrared remote for it and see if you can modify it ?

As you have gathered most people around here use Canon or Nikon but once again I think the Sony is fine but there is the triggering of the shutter problem. So unless you have a stack of lenses that you want to use on the new camera I would consider changing brand. Also keep in mind that buying a previous model, even second hand, is a good option. Personally I would look for a second hand Canon 5DMk2 especially if you are looking into stars and galaxies. Keep in mind that the step up to shooting galaxies eg Milky Way really needs a full frame camera to considerably reduce noise. Of course the Nikon equiv. will be just as good. The only down side of the older camera is the lack of high speed video.

This is just my 2 cents of opinion since no one else has replied to you.

Steve R

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Amongst Myselves - ambient, landscape and space music
Canon 5Dm2, 450D, 17-40mm EF f4, 70-300mm L, 50mm f1.8 EF, Custom Intervalometer (UM9 and UM12) and MOCON, Meade LXD75 SN10


Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:30 pm
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Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:38 pm
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Location: Exmouth, Western Australia
Post Re: Time lapse with Sony? Or better a other System
Hello to all of yourselves ;) ,

My first DSLR was (is) an A350 which I bought because I already had a couple of Minolta lenses from my film days. I now have an A57 as well.

Contrary to reports, the A57 has exactly the same remote shutter port as the A350 so any remote release you have for the 350 will work, though my own Arduino based system had a wiring error which the 350 tollerated but the 57 would not.
From reading this forum it seems that no camera gives accurate bulb ramping unless you have a PC port output connected back to the timer, the Sonys certainly suffer from some flicker at shorter exposures if simply driven by an exposure length pulse in bulb mode. This leads to the myth that only Canon cameras will work with the legendary Little Bramper or other similar device. In fact you can buy a hot shoe adapter for the Sonys (and most other makes) which provides a PC output. You should read all the history of the Little Bramper to get a better picture of what this is about.

The A57 has noticeably better low light performance than the A350 in spite of the light drained away for the viewfinder. This is often commented on in the reviews. I know some people don't like the electronic viewfinder but I find it much better for low light photography (photographing turtles by moonlight) which is one of the reasons I wanted it. The video is also very good.

One bind is that the memory card slot is SD rather than CF co you need new cards but a plus point is that the batteries are the same.

The later Sonys use an updated version of their RAW file format which earlier versions of Adobe Camera RAW does not support. I had to upgrade from Photoshop Elements v7 (which I was very happy with) to v11 just to be able to load the latest camera Raw software to take the A57 files. Lightroom is already able to take these files.

The fact that there is no mirror bouncing up and down helps reduce the shake on my pan/tilt head, though this says more about the P/T head than about the camera!

You can buy the A57 as a body only. This allows you choose a different lens rather than get another kit lens similar to the one you already have. I have the 50mm f1.8 prime which is surprisingly cheap and great for the moonlit shots. This where the electronic viewfinder comes in as it helps you see where the painfully narrow depth of field is located. The A350 optical viewfinder is virtually black under these circumstances and focusing consists of making a series of test shots and fine adjustments.

Hope this helps.

Kit


Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:58 pm
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Location: Hindmarsh Valley, South Australia
Post Re: Time lapse with Sony? Or better a other System
Whoops ! I stand corrected on the shutter connection for A57. I had a better look and although DP Review don't list it as a connection on the specs. page they do mention it in the detailed case review.

No mirror hey ? That is a bonus for wear and longevity. No need for shutter replacements down the line.

Steve R.

_________________
Amongst Myselves - ambient, landscape and space music
Canon 5Dm2, 450D, 17-40mm EF f4, 70-300mm L, 50mm f1.8 EF, Custom Intervalometer (UM9 and UM12) and MOCON, Meade LXD75 SN10


Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:06 pm
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Post Re: Time lapse with Sony? Or better a other System
The A57 has a normal shutter, though it can use an electronic front curtain for reasons I'm not entirely certain about, and does have a mirror! The difference is the mirror is semi-transparent and never moves. About 30% of the total light is reflected up into it's focus sensor and the rest goes straight through. In spite of this half stop drop in light into the main sensor the low light performance is very good.

It's a half way house approach to the full mirrorless cameras. Something to do with not being able to combine the very best of focus sensors and image sensors into one unit. MUCH cheaper than the current interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras too.

Kit


Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:37 pm
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Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:22 am
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Post Re: Time lapse with Sony? Or better a other System
thanks for the helpful informations!

Ofc a Canon 5dmk2 would be good,no crop + lower noise and easier to control.
But i think i can't afford it, even if it´s used.

The Sony should do a good job, i have no doubts about picture quality,i just have to figure out how to control it properly.

My Arduino is equipt with a touchscreen LCD, so its pretty easy to see and control the shutter speed, i just have to watch the histogram on the Camera screen.

Changing Aperture and ISO on the Cam has worked most of the time, but its a little bit annoying and sometimes u can see the wiggle of the cam in the results.

The biggest problem is the 1/10s min. exposure in bulb mode, but i think ND filters could help if i want to sart in daylight.
Changing the filter without changing the camera position will be hard, plus i have to re-adjust the aperture, and all of that during two shots...
But can get rid of the wiggles with adobe Aftereffects and motion tracking anyway.

I think the little bramper+hot shoe setup would not change the main problems.

At least, not every shot is a day to night shot :)

I read that you´re building a time lapse dolly for your self Kitwn?
Let me know if u find a good solution :)

Thanks for your help guys.


Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:46 pm
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Location: Hindmarsh Valley, South Australia
Post Re: Time lapse with Sony? Or better a other System
With regards to your exposure time of 1/10. I generally run my timelapses at 1/20 as this gets rid of any flicker that I'm likely to get from shutter speed errors. But I see your point with regards to the amount of light. Can you go down to 50ISO or so ? Having not attempted a day to night or vica versa transition I have no idea. Depending on what you are filming you could always stop once you hit total darkness in a sunset and then start reshooting at a higher iso once total darkness starts and then dissolve this footage over the sunset shot. Again this depends on the content. I've used this technique several times. You could also shoot on different days. Just an idea.

I have seen an external manual aperture fitting for lenses which I must try out one day which can control the amount of light getting in but then there is the issue of depth of field changing.

Ahh the problems we need to over come ;)

Steve R.

_________________
Amongst Myselves - ambient, landscape and space music
Canon 5Dm2, 450D, 17-40mm EF f4, 70-300mm L, 50mm f1.8 EF, Custom Intervalometer (UM9 and UM12) and MOCON, Meade LXD75 SN10


Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:15 pm
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Post Re: Time lapse with Sony? Or better a other System
JHT,

If you don't already have a lot of money tied up in Sony lenses, my advice would be to switch to Canon. You don't have to go straight for the cost of a full sized sensor model, just make sure you get one with the full remote control functions. This allows you to remotely control almost every aspect of the camera including ISO, aperture, focus and many other things.
This means you can control all this stuff without touching the camera. With a fully calibrated, Little Bramper style intervalometer you can get (so others on the forums claim) almost seamless changes of ISO and exposure and/or add/remove ND filters to help get towards the Holly Grail. Also allows full control from the increasingly popular DragonFrame animation software which can be used for timelapse.

Actualy the quest for the HG is a bit overrated in my view. Once you own two cameras you can switch between views, adds variety and interest to the video, and then change settings on one while the other is shooting. This why my own 'Project Pipsqueak' controller is designed to trigger two cameras at once.

Speaking of which, I have got Pipsqueak functioning reasonably well, must update it's thread with some details.

Kit


Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:00 am
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Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:17 am
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Location: Hindmarsh Valley, South Australia
Post Re: Time lapse with Sony? Or better a other System
Interesting idea of using two cameras on one shot. I presume the idea isn't to replicate the same framing but maybe a zoomed version in the case of a sun rise ?

_________________
Amongst Myselves - ambient, landscape and space music
Canon 5Dm2, 450D, 17-40mm EF f4, 70-300mm L, 50mm f1.8 EF, Custom Intervalometer (UM9 and UM12) and MOCON, Meade LXD75 SN10


Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:32 pm
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Post Re: Time lapse with Sony? Or better a other System
Yes, an obviously different view or the jump will seem odd. If you start one camera before stopping the other, you will not miss anything while changing camera settings. Such a break is very obvious in a sunset as it changes so rapidly.

Kit


Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:32 pm
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