Home Forums 360° Panoramic VR Photography Time-lapse tips?

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    Keith Martin
    Forum Member
    • Forum Posts: 37
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    I’m discussing a 24-hour time-lapse pano video project with a friend, shooting at a bridge in the UK. We’re working out some of the challenges, but I know some of you have done projects like this. So… I’d love to pick your brains!

    What options do you suggest for exposure control? I’ll be using a Nikon D3x (my normal body) and 10.5mm lens. I have a PanoCatcher robotic head that can turn/shoot as required with no physical contact required, but I really don’t want to have to touch the camera to alter exposure settings. Any suggestions? Is there a remote control for Nikon cameras that can adjust camera settings, or would I be looking at laptop software? Anything around for iOS?

    Camera power:
    I’m a little uncertain how long my battery would last. It’s big – this camera has a built-in battery grip – but I’m not sure it’d last the approximately 1500 shots I’m looking at for this. I won’t be near a mains power source, but I could have a large battery sitting underneath. Any tips on keeping a DSLR running for a long time away from mains power? If necessary I’ll just get a second battery for the body, but swapping that out would be a real danger point in terms of jogging things.

    Any tips I should know about?

    (If only we were doing this experiment early next year. Jeffrey’s Sphericam 2 would be great for this! Ahh well, my bad timing.)



    Aaron D. Priest
    IVRPA Member
    • Forum Posts: 11

    Hi Keith! This is likely too late for your project, but for the benefit of others who might read this later…

    I’ve done a few of these with my Panoneed robotic head and 10.5mm fisheye: https://vimeo.com/129961514 There’s quite a bit of behind the scenes footage in that video. I usually use a Ramper Pro for exposure control; I’ve been testing 24hr mode on it for a while now. It does not support panoramas however, and the way I have it jerry-rigged is not supported. I’ve been using DslrDashboard as well, but it is not as good on iOS as on an Android (Apple’s power management and multi-tasking issues require the backlight to be on the whole time without sleep or standby mode). I use a relatively cheap Nexus 7 tablet instead for it. The Nexus 7 does not support USB charging and USB host mode at the same time without hacking Android’s OS. It will run about 13-14hrs before the battery dies. You can use WiFi instead of USB to power the tablet externally and still run DslrDashboard without rooting it. I use a TP-Link TL-MR3040 battery powered WiFi router to get wireless on cameras that don’t have it like my D810, but I’ve found that is not as reliable as USB to the camera–the WiFi often drops out. Also, it’s better to have another device be your intervalometer and only use DslrDashboard for exposure ramping, by using a Promote Control, the intervalometer built into Nikon’s, or a cheap remote. This means you lose interval ramping of course as your exposure gets longer, but with long timelapses the chance of it crashing is much higher otherwise.

    For power, I bought a cheap DROK 12v to 7.5v step down transformer off Amazon.com and chopped the camera cable from a knockoff Nikon AC adapter to power my D700 and D810 from the same 12v power that my dew heater, Ramper Pro, and motorized heads run on. I can run very long timelapses this way via truck batteries or a Goal Zero Sherpa 100 solar battery when hiking. You’d want to see how many volts a D3x runs on. If it uses the same Nikon AC adapter that my D700 does, then I think you’d be safe with this method.


    Keith Martin
    Forum Member
    • Forum Posts: 37
    • ★★

    Hi Aaron,
    Very interesting feedback! Thanks – the project got pushed back somewhat and I’m still thinking and tinkering. Useful stuff here, I’ll be re-reading this and rethinking my experiment plans. :)

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