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 Objective review of the Nikon time-lapse function? 
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Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:34 am
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Location: London, UK
Post Objective review of the Nikon time-lapse function?
Hello

For the last couple of weeks I have been searching in vain for an objective review of the Nikon time-lapse function. Can anyone help? At the moment I am using a Canon 5D Mk2 with the ML hack which works reasonably well in terms or ramping but the Nikon time-lapse function does intrigue me. Is it a gimmick or do the time-lapse experts here think it is of any use to create professional level work? Have you used it? If so what did you think?

I have asked Nikon UK for information and all they can do is refer me to the brochures.... Not much use to me. I think it *might* use some form of ramping. Wrong? Right?

I have seen a few posts on here with wish lists for the ideal time-lapse camera but have a feeling we are going to be waiting a long time for one of those somehow....

So what do people think about the Nikon time-lapse function? Just a toy or worth trying? If it is NOT a toy and allows a proper level of control then it could save me hours and hours in post production with my current LRTimelapse -> AE -> Premiere workflow. But I have a feeling we just ain't that lucky somehow!

Thanks in advance,

Mark


Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:48 am
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Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:34 am
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Post Re: Objective review of the Nikon time-lapse function?
I mentioned this in the camera reviews section in the Nikon D600 thread.

Still haven't got a reply yet.

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Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:32 am
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Post Re: Objective review of the Nikon time-lapse function?
@lucasfunkt Really? Odd, would have thought people on here would be all over this topic like a rash! Let's see if anyone does come up with an answer :)


Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:49 am
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Post Re: Objective review of the Nikon time-lapse function?
What sort or ramping method are you using?

I have used the Nikon timelapse function with great success as an intervalometer but in terms of ramping the only way I used it was shooting in aperture priority mode with an ISO that would give me a long enough, but not too long, shot in-between the interval I had set. There is no bulb ramping feature that I am aware of. If there was I would have used it! :D

If you want bulb ramping like the feature in ML I don't think there is such a thing on Nikons.

As far as I am aware ML is not available for Nikons and the bulb feature of Nikons doesn't work the same way as a Canon making any bulb ramping unsuitable.

As for using the Nikon intervalometer feature, it works, if you want to shoot timelapse, this camera can do it. Day to nights are possible like I mentioned above, but it's worth mentioning there are other ways of doing this though by ISO stepping and manual aperture stepping. I can't remember if there is as many features as on a cheap ebay intervalometer, but it works.

Nikons produce an excellent picture with very good dynamic range. I miss not having mine around. :-)

TP

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Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:47 am
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Post Re: Objective review of the Nikon time-lapse function?
Hi TP

At last some information from someone who knows! Thanks very much for that TP. At the moment I am using ML on a 5DMk2 which I am still evaluating. Other times i use a Canon intervalometer. I combine this with the usual LRTimelapse -> AE workflow. While that's ok I still need to cut my production time down as i am doing a lot of quite short (two - three hour duration) time-lapse sequences and need them perfect. I primarily do urban work here in London and often need ramping. I want to concentrate on the creative aspects of what I am doing, not jumping through hoops just to get a good exposure sequence.

Having had a good look round the web over the last few weeks it still surprises me that there is a gap in the market for a good bulb ramping device. Lil bramper seems to have run its course, there's Arduino if you like DIY and have the time and have seen a kickstarter project (http://www.timelapseplus.com/) which might be ok but the light sensor is external which doesnt seem ideal to me.

I have also seen that Promote Systems have a device (http://www.promotesystems.com/products/ ... ntrol.html) which again may or may not be useful but might check out.

I have been chatting to the people at Kessler Crane to see if any of their products have bulb ramping and the answer is no (although they were very helpful). If Kessler made a bulb ramper i think it would sell like hot cakes! And it would of course be a natural fit with the rest of their range.

Anyway at least for now I can rule out a Nikon ;) Thanks for your help TP


Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:10 pm
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Post Re: Objective review of the Nikon time-lapse function?
I`m not sure what you mean by the Nikon time-lapse function Mark. The pro cameras with the 10-pin socket can take an external intervalometer which works as well as a non-bramping Canon external intervalometer. Some crop Nikons like the D5000 and D5100 have an integral intervalometer function which is ok for daytime time lapse work but has a major flaw for night time lapses. At random times (it seems to me) it will stop running and tell you "the subject is too dark". It happened to me last night during a camp in the Alps. It stopped after 60 shots (why after 60? no idea). The camera was a 15 minute walk from my tent so I was not to know. Game over. Wasted effort. BIG FAT FAIL NIKON! These two cameras are going on ebay (cheap). I want these dinky toys out of my pram after last night. :evil: I`m saving up for a Canon 6D instead.


Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:11 am
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Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:34 am
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Post Re: Objective review of the Nikon time-lapse function?
Hi Ian

The more I actually find out about the 'Nikon time-lapse function' the less it seems like a time-lapse function. I was referring to the ability to shoot a sequence of images - the integral intervalometer you refer too - and then immediately review them as a video file. Sounds nice in theory but obviously the reality is that it seems more like a gimmick.

Sorry to hear of your Alps angst - but at least you were out there trying! 6D sounds a good plan, I am using a 5D 2 at the moment but am used to having a second body so i could double up on sequences. Was thinking of a 650D as the vari-angle screen would be very useful and i dont need the resolution of the full frame to be honest. I shoot RAW but the smaller of the options to save space and write time but still give me flexibility in post.

cheers

Mark


Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:54 am
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Post Re: Objective review of the Nikon time-lapse function?
Mark

The D4 has a function like you mention, and I beleive hat the D600 will also do that. I don't own either camera, yet.

Moose Peterson has a coulpe of clip on his website from the D4 doing a timelapse.


Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:59 am
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Post Re: Objective review of the Nikon time-lapse function?
not sure if this topic is dead or not, but i wanted to chime in with my experience on the d700

the built in intervalometer is exactly that: an intervalometer. you get to choose how many shots you want taken, the time interval, and how many shots per interval (for example in the case of auto-bracketing). the max number of shots you can choose is 999 and the smallest interval is 1s. the only other option you get is to choose the start time; either you can start immediately or you start at some given time. so, it's a very basic intervalometer, and does not support ramping.

let me know if you have any other questions!


Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:13 am
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Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:34 am
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Post Re: Objective review of the Nikon time-lapse function?
Thanks very much for that - basically not what i want! Pity! Would still like to have a hands on test of one at some point.


Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:46 am
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Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:36 am
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Post Re: Objective review of the Nikon time-lapse function?
I realise this thread is well past its sell by date, but I thought I'd just offer some additional info:

The D600 has both Timelapse and interval shooting. Timelapse is more limited than interval, since it doesn't allow liveview, bulb, bracketing or HDR. In its favour, it will render your stills into a video file at the current movie setting. This may not seem that useful, but it will enable you to preview the effect of exposure settings on blur etc, in a realtime movie, not just rapidly displaying stills.

I enjoy a spot of HDR, so the interval option is where it's at for me. Functionality is as described above by Photocs for the D700. For each frame it triggers, it will also trigger any bracketed exposures, including flash or ADL. During the course of the interval sequence you can change exposure manually - shutter speed, aperture and ISO!

I don't believe bulb is an option for either setting.

This is my first post BTW.


Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:58 am
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