How to choose a timelapse interval

Welcome to our post! Here, we will show you how to select and decide the best timelapse interval and we will review some examples to teach you how to choose the best fit in different cases.

What’s the Timelapse Interval?

The interval is the time between two shots within a timelapse sequence. This is, we’re talking about the time between the start of one exposure to the next start, a really important timing for long exposures.

As a main rule, your interval must be longer than your shutter speed. This interval will fundamentally influence how your timelapse will result. The longer your interval, the faster your timelapse will look.

Here you can find a really clear video in case you have more doubts!

How to choose the timelapse interval?

Now that we know what a timelapse interval is, let’s learn how to choose it! Here, we can find two different ways to set the interval:

When you have already decided the speed and the total length of your timelapse

You must always remember that depending on what you will like to shoot, there’s a suitable interval that will capture the movements in a better way, getting the perfect timelapse.

Let’s see some examples, that will enable you to choose the timelapse interval correctly in any situation.

If you’re willing to calculate the duration, divide the total length that you have in mind by timelapse interval, for example: you want to shoot a 30-second-long timelapse with a 5s interval, this is, 30 seconds of footage at 25fps needs 750 frames.

Multiplying the number of frames (750) with your interval (5s), the result is 3750 seconds, which means that you will need to shoot the timelapse during 62,5 minutes (3750 seconds)

When length and duration are clear to you

Once you have already decided about the total length of your timelapse and duration, you have a easy path to calculate the interval. These are the steps to go: select the the frame rate (24, 25, or 30 fps) and transform the shoot duration to seconds.

Let’s see an example: one hour is 1 x 60 x 60 seconds, which is 3600 seconds. From here, you can calculate how many frames your timelapse needs, if you want 20 seconds of 30fps video; 20 x 30 is 600 frames in total.

Now, we will calculate the timelapse interval, dividing the duration (3600s) by the number of frames (600). The result is 6, which will be your interval in this example.

Other ways to calculate the timelapse interval

The most trustable method to rely on is a intervalometer, that can be bought apart and nowadays, many professional cameras have one included in their options by default. You can easily find it in the menu if your camera has one.

In addition, as you are definitely interested in timelapses, we have also a very useful free tool for timelapse lovers, check out our great timelapse calculator!

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