Gear choices are almost limitless in the photography and time lapse world. Here is the gear we recommend when we get asked about time lapse gear.
Deciding on which camera bag to bring is a tough choice when you want something that is comfortable and will protect your gear. Here are a few we have tested.
Mindshift Gear Rotation 180 Professional Deluxe
Weight: 6.2 lbs
- Rotating belt pack for camera access without taking the pack off.
- Very rugged and durable feeling
- Well-padded shoulder straps and hip belt
- If you don't attach the clip-in strap on the belt pack it can fall out of the pack if you don't have the hip belt buckled.
- Not the best looking pack of the bunch
- Almost seems a little overbuilt
Get the rotation 180 Professional Deluxe if you need access to your camera and a lens or two without taking off the pack.
Gura Gear Bataflae 32
Weight: 5.9 lbs
- Lots of pockets
- Plenty of dividers to organize camera equipment
- Great for plane travel
- Nice understated aesthetic
- No back panel access
- Not the best for long hikes
Get the Gura Gear Bataflae if you are a travelling photographer who needs a bag that holds a lot of camera gear and if you love having lots of pockets. This is my favorite bag for airports and travel.
F-stop Tilopa BC
Weight: 3.95 lbs (Not including ICU)
- The most comfortable pack I've tested
- The only storage compartment I was able to organize exactly how I wanted
- You can customize how much camera gear you take with different ICU's
- Plenty of options for carrying tripods or sliders
- No water bottle pocket (This was fixed in a recent update on the pack)
Get the F-stop Tilopa BC if you want a well built, comfortable bag for hiking that can handle a lot of gear. I use the small pro and medium slope ICU's. This is my favorite bag I've tested.
Clik Elite Contrejour 40
Weight: 5.25 lbs
- Plenty of space for non-photography gear
- Back and side panel access
- Tablet sleeve
- Photo equipment dividers aren't stiff enough to keep gear from moving around and for this reason I don't recommend this bag. I don't feel like it protects equipment well enough.
- Too tall to be a carry on bag for air travel.
Weight: 6.75 lbs
- Lots of pockets
- Chest carrier built in
- Access to camera without taking off the pack
- I would like the flap for the back panel access to be bigger.
Get the Mountainsmith Parallax if you need a bag that is great for travelling and is an excellent value.
So what bag do I reach for most? Definitely the F-Stop Tilopa BC for two main reasons. It is the most comfortable and it has the camera compartment I like the most. It also doesn’t hurt that I can attach two tripods and a slider to the outside. It is really an amazing bag.
If you don’t want to spend the money for the F-Stop Tilopa BC, I think the Mountainsmith Parallax is the best value, coming in at under $300. The camera compartment was pretty good and I really liked the removable chest carrier. I just didn’t think it fit quite as well as some of the other bags (I’m 6’1” so that might have something to do with it).
All of these bags have their place and have some amazing features so I don’t know that you can really go wrong with them. I will say that the Clik Elite bag was my least favorite due to the camera compartment dividers not being stiff enough.
Update: I just got a Lowepro Whistler Bag and I really like it. It may even be my new favorite. It doesn't hold quite as much as the F-stop or Gura Gear but the dividers are well thought out and it is very comfortable.
Time lapses are everywhere these days, but it can be hard to know where to start.
What is a time lapse?
A time lapse is a series of images taken at a certain interval and then the images are played back at 24 or 30 frames per second (fps) to make it into a video. A time lapse is usually used to speed up time in a video.
For example I might shoot 240 images with 2 seconds between each image. When I play back this series of images at 24 fps you will see the passage of 8 minutes of time in only 10 seconds.
What interval should I pick?
When you are first starting out it can be tough to pick your interval time. Your interval time is the time between each image capture. Here are some general tips to get you started:
- 2 second interval for fast moving objects like clouds or people.
- 5 second interval for clouds
- 10 second interval for sunrise/sunset
- 30-45 second interval for stars
How long will it take?
Time lapses can take a while so make sure you are comfy. I usually shoot 240 images for my time lapses. Here is how long that will take with the shooting intervals I listed above:
- 2 second interval will take 8 minutes to shoot
- 5 second interval will take 20 minutes to shoot
- 10 second interval will take 40 minutes to shoot
- 30 second interval will take 2 hours to shoot
In our next articles we'll talk about what equipment you need to shoot a time lapse and how to edit a time lapse clip once you capture the images.