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08-13-2011, 08:11 AM   #1
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Suggested Improvements for Time Lapse

I've been doing some time lapse photography with my K-5 and there are some things that I think can be improved through firmware to the already amazing intervalometer shooting mode.

1. Default shake reduction OFF. Default AF OFF. I've accidentally shot a couple jerky time lapse videos because of forgetting about shake reduction. I know it's really on me, but it would be nice if there was a custom function that automatically turned it off.

2. 16x9 format. Time lapse videos become an odd size that must be cropped from the standard 3:2 35mm format, if you want to view them on an HDTV. And since we're composing on live view anyway when starting a time lapse I think it would be nice if the video mode crop was transferred over.

3. ...on that same token, it would be great if I could just shoot the photos in 1920x1080 format so I don't have to do anything in my computer (of course, leave the option of shooting any resolution available).

4. Automatic video from series. Now, this might be a stretch, I don't know if this would just take a super long time, or eat up battery... But it would be great if after an interval the K-5 could just convert the photos into an AVI at a specified frame rate. Anything to reduce the steps.

Anyways my biggest one is the 16x9 format. I'd like to be able to shoot in a multi format mode anyways, which I know is difficult with an SLR, but with a time lapse and live view it could be done fairly easily I think.

I honestly can't figure out how other brands get away without having an intervalometer function. I guess because they want to sell remotes...

08-13-2011, 08:46 AM   #2
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Wow that are nice questions.

I was wondering about the video-mode, since we can shoot a movieclip and take a part out of it if it would be possible to glue two movieclips together? That is for some part the thing you are asking to glue pictures togeter to make a clip.

I'm very sertain that this wil drain battery, but then again, we can have a spare. On a full battery it should be doing such a job.

Taking 16:9 pictures is something that I would like, since I sometimes also watch them on a screen of that size.
08-13-2011, 09:07 PM   #3
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Set it up i User mode and call it Time Lapse and have the shake reduction set to off.
08-14-2011, 08:50 AM   #4
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That's a good idea, I'll do that. One down.

08-15-2011, 01:38 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sperdynamite Quote
That's a good idea, I'll do that. One down.
Have you tried to set up a user mode for time lapse yet? I just tried and find that when in any of the 'user' modes the 'interval shooting' menu option is blanked out and not selectable. Is this the normal behavior? This means you have to set everything manually in one of the other modes such as Av or Tv to do a time lapse series. Or maybe I am doing something wrong?
08-15-2011, 04:54 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ekim Quote
Have you tried to set up a user mode for time lapse yet? I just tried and find that when in any of the 'user' modes the 'interval shooting' menu option is blanked out and not selectable. Is this the normal behavior? This means you have to set everything manually in one of the other modes such as Av or Tv to do a time lapse series. Or maybe I am doing something wrong?
That is one of my pet peeves with the K-5. The intervalometer should work in a user mode. For time lapse, you typically change everything to manual, and when you go back to using the K-5 as a "normal" camera, you have to change everything back. And you inevitably forget to change one or more of the parameters.

M mode
Manual white balance
Manual focus
SR off
Image review on rear screen off
No beep
Typically jpeg at lower resolution, maybe lens and aberration correction

Here's a time lapse I just made yesterday, but with the K-r. The intervalometer function is identical to the K-5. I bought the K-r just to burn the shutter up doing time lapse photography. This was shot in raw, because I knew some post processing would be required. Post processing is time consuming because you have to do the changes to all the images...

This may take a few seconds to load, as it's 9MB. The K-r, DA 21 Ltd, f/8.0, 1/10 sec, 0 ev, ISO 200. It's about 3 stops underexposed at the beginning and over exposed at the end. One shot every 6 seconds, 300 shots, which is 30 minutes of getting my butt blown off this point in the high wind, and making sure the tripod didn't tip over.

Columbia River Gorge Sunrise, Oregon USA

Last edited by leadfoot; 08-15-2011 at 05:00 PM.
08-15-2011, 06:23 PM   #7
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Why the hell have they limited it to 999 shots? ( ok it's better than the laughable 99 shots of the K20D ).

My canon shooting buddy did a time lapse of a car journey, while I was driving recently. after some experimentation we found the optimum frequency was 1 second between shots. The journey wasn't that long and required nearly 3000 shots.

Whoever at Pentax ruled that the time lapse should be limited to 999 shots is frankly ... an idiot!!

it should be unlimited ( until card fills up ) if needed.
08-15-2011, 09:01 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Smeggypants Quote
Why the hell have they limited it to 999 shots? ( ok it's better than the laughable 99 shots of the K20D ).

My canon shooting buddy did a time lapse of a car journey, while I was driving recently. after some experimentation we found the optimum frequency was 1 second between shots. The journey wasn't that long and required nearly 3000 shots.

Whoever at Pentax ruled that the time lapse should be limited to 999 shots is frankly ... an idiot!!

it should be unlimited ( until card fills up ) if needed.
You will most likely run out of battery before you get to 1000 shots. If it's cold (freezing or below), you'll run out of battery before even 500 shots. A grip or AC power helps of course. On a car journey you can probably replace the battery without interrupting the sequence much.

Also remember, 1000 shots is 1% of the rated life of the K-5 shutter. Don't know what the rated shutter life is on your friend's Canon, but I bet 3000 shots is around 3% of the shutter life.

In my experience, which is not very much, time lapse videos of more than 20-30 seconds (at 24 or 30 frames per second on the video, which is 600-900 individual pictures) is about the upper limit, before they get uninteresting. Your mileage may vary

08-16-2011, 02:00 PM   #9
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I hope Pentax can offer interval shooting in a user mode via a firmware update. I can't think of any reason why it could/should not be done.
BTW nice sunrise movie leadfoot. A good idea to use the kr rather than the much more expensive k5 if you do lots of time lapse shooting.
08-17-2011, 09:32 AM   #10
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Responding to the OP's question regarding why don't other cameras have this function?

1 or 2 years ago, i bought a Yongnuo "Timer Remote Controller" TC-80N3a off ebay. forgot what it cost me, but it wasn't much, perhaps $20 or more. Anyway, its intended to use as a simple shutter control cable, and has a lock such that in bulb mode you can click the shutter and simply have a lock that holds the shutter open until you manually shut it again for on the spot long exposures.

Also, it has a fancy intervalometer built in that goes up to 99 frames for up to 99 hours - seems to be the biggest limitation. One uses it with the shutter pin connector, i've used it with K20 and K5. So why should a camera mfr incorporate it into the camera if it can be plugged in? More convenient to have it built in, i admit.

There probably is fancier intervalometer's out there for purchase. With such a plug in intervalometer, one can use a user mode setting on the K5 for Bulb exposure mode, then plug in the intervalometer, could one not? Hopefully one without the 99 frame limit mine has.

If one was going to be doing a lot of these, perhaps the eventual solution would be to buy a mirrorless camera with an exmor APS sensor that one could plug a intervalometer into. That way, no shutter wear out - total electronic. Perhaps the camera that comes closest at the moment would be a Samsung mirrorless or the Ricoh GXR, not sure. Or how about the old Nikon D70, that had an electronic shutter did it not - not sure of the details.
09-03-2011, 06:24 PM   #11
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One other thing to remember and for the K5 this is critical. Turn off your Horizon Correction. I figured with my shake reduction turned off the Horizon correction would be turned off as well. No such luck. My time lapse shots were jerky. The objects that shouldn't move kept moving (i.e. tree trunks. ) I had given up on Time Lapse until today when I was sitting waiting for a seat at a restaurant and began looking at my camera defaults and saw the Horizon Correction and thought I bet the sensor is moving trying to correct the horizon when I have the camera on the tripod. Rushed home tried 100 shots with the horizon correction off and viola perfect time lapse.
09-03-2011, 11:04 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by leadfoot Quote
You will most likely run out of battery before you get to 1000 shots. If it's cold (freezing or below), you'll run out of battery before even 500 shots. A grip or AC power helps of course. On a car journey you can probably replace the battery without interrupting the sequence much.

Also remember, 1000 shots is 1% of the rated life of the K-5 shutter. Don't know what the rated shutter life is on your friend's Canon, but I bet 3000 shots is around 3% of the shutter life.

In my experience, which is not very much, time lapse videos of more than 20-30 seconds (at 24 or 30 frames per second on the video, which is 600-900 individual pictures) is about the upper limit, before they get uninteresting. Your mileage may vary
Those are very terrible excuses for the dismal 999 shot limil.

Regarding battery life. I get over 2,500 shots with one fully charged battery. And that's with the display review on and much autofocussing. If and when you get a K-5 you will see how efficient the battery life is. I was impressed.

So what if a 1000 shots is 1% of the average shutter life of the camera? Shouldn't I decide how much shutter life I want to use in one shoot?

I'm glad you don't work for Pentax Development. But sadly someone with a similar mindeset obviously decided to handicap the K-5 to 999 shots. Better than the stupid 99 limit on the K20D though
09-08-2011, 03:49 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Smeggypants Quote
Those are very terrible excuses for the dismal 999 shot limil.

Regarding battery life. I get over 2,500 shots with one fully charged battery. And that's with the display review on and much autofocussing. If and when you get a K-5 you will see how efficient the battery life is. I was impressed.

So what if a 1000 shots is 1% of the average shutter life of the camera? Shouldn't I decide how much shutter life I want to use in one shoot?

I'm glad you don't work for Pentax Development. But sadly someone with a similar mindeset obviously decided to handicap the K-5 to 999 shots. Better than the stupid 99 limit on the K20D though
Agree - 99 shots is almost useless, 1K shots much better, but still limited. Should only be constrained by battery life and SD card size.

Can you post a link to your friend's time lapse, or a link to your own sequence? Would be cool to see 3K shots from a road trip.
09-08-2011, 07:32 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by leadfoot Quote
Agree - 99 shots is almost useless, 1K shots much better, but still limited. Should only be constrained by battery life and SD card size.

Can you post a link to your friend's time lapse, or a link to your own sequence? Would be cool to see 3K shots from a road trip.
He's supposed to be burning the shots ion a DVD for me soon. he did a Quick tiny version, but his computer is old and for some reason crashes trying to render something bigger. When I finally get it and find time to compile the shots into a video I'll upload it to youtube. I'll mail him now and remind him to burn the DVD
11-09-2011, 08:20 AM   #15
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I would like to use in bulb mode and have an exposure timer for long exposures. Why didn't they add that? It would be use for astro and not having to take as many shots. Is there a way around this?
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