Timescapes - Digital Timelapse Discussion

Long term timelapse camera
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Author:  bogardeblaksteen [ Fri Jul 01, 2016 11:01 am ]
Post subject:  Long term timelapse camera

Hi all

I am trying to find the right camera for my long term timelapse box, i hope you can help.

My self-developed box (Nerdbox) has remote control from server, and is installed in a weathersealed box on high poles on several building sites etc in denmark. I am making more and more of these and now i wanna be sure i am using the right camera. Until now i have used canon 5D, or 750D when it had to be cheaper. So far, i see (of course) a substantial difference in image quality between the two.

I only shoot one kind of pictures: Totals of Landscapes or building sites in raw with long exposure with wide angle lens with a shutter of 18 and iso100.

I place value in:
Pure image quality (this is most important)
Reliability (high/low temperatures, moist resistant etc, no firmware breakdowns)
How long will it last (shutter count - some of my projects lasts up to 5 years on a remote site)
High resolution
I dont mind paying what it costs, but only if i get a real difference in performance. If not, i want the cheaper option.

I place NO value in:
Physical buttons
Bells and whistles (auto focus speed, high iso performance etc - i dont need a lot of the specs that you normally evaluate in a camera)

I am open to suggestions for any brand, but right now i am considering sony a7s 2, lumix gh4, canon 5d mark3 etc...

So i guess the point is: i want really great image quality, and i dont mind paying for it, but if more than one camera can give me that, i want to save some money and get the cheaper option. I am not going to use these cameras for anything else than this...

Look very much forward to your thoughts :)

Author:  geraldft [ Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Long term timelapse camera

You should look at dxomark.com for a good comparison of raw sensor specs.

Nikon D600/610 and D750 have better raw image quality than the 5DMk3 at a much lower price point.

Even Canon 6D is slightly head of the 5D, though with slightly lower resolution.

Expected shutter life is usually found in the manufacturer's data.

Author:  DigiSnapMark [ Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Long term timelapse camera

We use the Canon T5 (1200D) for most projects. It's a very low cost camera, and the image quality is quite good. Of course there are some gains possible using full frame cameras, but most projects won't see any real benefit. I don't see any advantage of the 5DIII vs the 6D, so the 6D would be my choice if you want FF/RAW.

We've used close to 5000 cameras over the years, and I have to say that we have been delighted with the reliability of Canon. We had some lockups with earlier Rebel series cameras, quirks and lockups with a couple Nikon models, and lower reliability with some earlier Pentax cameras. The current model Nikon and Pentax cameras are probably fine, but we continue to use Canon. The Sony A7RII can be set to a 'silent' mode, which then has NO moving parts. This would be perfect for high-shutter projects, but even on 5 year projects, this is generally not required.

One thing to note with ALL mirrorless cameras is that the sensor is always exposed. If you have a scene where the sun shines on the sensor... hour after hour, day after day, you might experience sensor degradation or 'burn-in'. I don't have proof of this with the latest cameras, but I fear it just the same.

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