Tuesday, October 4, 2011

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Time-lapse: Prince George to Maple Ridge

A time lapse movie shot from inside a rental minivan, coming back from a PPOC-BC trade show in Prince George. A Nikon P7100 was mounted to a passenger side hand-grip with a Gorillapod. The camera was set to time-lapse mode, taking one shot every 30 seconds and the resulting frames are played back at 10 fps in this video. Unfortunately the battery died before we got all the way back. However, still very impressive battery life! The camera was running for over 9 hours straight and took about 1100 frames.

Music is an excerpt from the song "Speedbumps" by Sounds from the Ground. (iTunes Link)

Here is a photo of the camera mounted inside the vehicle...


Mike said...

Interesting information there but I have one question to ask if I may...

According to the Nikon P7100 Manual it says:-
Under 'Intvl (Interval) Timer Shooting' you can select the following:-

30 s: 600 images

1 min: 300 images

5 min: 60 images

10 min: 30 images

If this is the case how did you manage to keep the P7100 running for 0ver 9 hours taking 1100 or so frames?

Mike Paterson

Mike Mander said...

You are correct about the camera's intervalometer limitations. I simply stopped and restarted the camera a few times during the drive back before the frame count reached 600. I should have said the camera ran for over 9 hours sequentially in total, rather than "... for 9 hours straight..." - sorry about the misleading way of wording that.

Mike said...

Thanks Mike.
It was when you mentioned quote "The camera was running for over 9 hours straight and took about 1100 frames." ~ with that information I took it you meant exactly that.

I do have a couple of other questions for you if you do not mind:-
1. You say you managed to take 1100 frames under 1 battery.
According to the camera's manual it says the battery is good for 350 frames.
Can you please let me know how you managed 1100?

2. Looks like I shall have to purchase an appropriate Timer Controller as I want to do time lapse deep space over the night and won't be in a position to control the camera.
Do you know which Timer Controller is suitable for the P7100?

Again thanks in advance Mike.
Nice Blog.

All the Best
Mike Paterson

Mike Mander said...

Hi Mike,

Responses to your questions...

1) Well, I presume when they rate it at 350 shots, that is RAW or maybe RAW+JPEG, plus some flash use as well as image review. I was just shooting medium size JPEGS, no flash, and only a few seconds of automated image review between each frame. The camera was asleep for maybe 15-20 seconds out of each 30. Hence the 1100 frames which, frankly, did surprise me nonetheless.

2) I do not have the P7100 any more, but I would be surprised if there is an external timer remote available for it. I could be wrong though, and I would suggest checking out Nikon's web site for P7100 accessories.

Also, I am not sure if the high ISO (or time exposure) noise levels of the P7100 will allow for good quality time lapse astro-photos honestly. I do think a good DSLR might be needed to do that, but hey, it's worth a try! I presume it isn't, but if that *is* your main purpose in getting a P7100, you might want to try and test that first somehow, before deciding to buy one...

You're welcome and glad you are enjoying the blog!

Mike Mander

Mike said...

Hi Mike,

Thanks again, appreciated.

Re the 1100 frames ~ when you put it that way it is easy to understand the increase from 350 to 1100. Obviously the camera is only awake for a few seconds or more before closing back to sleep mode.
With a timer controller added and say a 10sec long exposure taken every 30sec that will add to the screen, power etc being used more.
However, that's a different scenario so I wouldn't expect the battery to deliver anything along the lines of 1100 frames.

I have a number of cameras, DSLR & Pro-Compacts.
I recently purchased an Olympus XZ-1 compact and tried this for night sky time lapse using a timer controller and in a manner it worked.
As such I would hope the similar sized and specked (albeit XZ-1 has a Bulb setting) P7100 would be able to also connect to a timer controller and produce a semi-decent time lapse night sky.

I'm not expecting anything like can be achieved using a DSLR and dedicated astro-photography equipment. I leave all that to my Brother who has all manner of telescopes, trackers, etc.
I just provide the cameras.

It's basically curiosity to find out if the P7100 can do any night sky time lapse.
Shame there's no Bulb setting though on the camera.
The XZ-1 has Bulb right at the end of the speed setting which is also 60sec. However the XZ-1 chews through a battery at an alarming rate and with just the one port to connect both an external power and timer remote it makes it extremely difficult to use the camera for anything greater than 250 frames.... In other words the camera with all it's settings can do a half-decent job of night sky time lapse using a remote timer but it's let down by the fact you have to rely on the internal battery which is next to useless for lengthy periods/shots.

Anyway, I think I will take the plunge and order one... just for the fun in trying to see if it will work.
The camera has lots of other uses too and I like to keep my cameras.

Thanks again Mike for the Blog.
I'll be back to check out your other items later.

In the meantime have a great day.
All the Best.

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