Timelapses on the Nokia 808 Pureview - the definitive 'how to'

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There's a terrific tutorial here by Olivier Noirhomme on how to do professional 1080p time lapse videos on your Nokia 808 PureView, covering everything from mounting and focussing tips to ISO fixing and compositing the thousands of images needed later on. Grab a coffee though, it's a long piece - at the very least, bookmark it for use when you decide to have a go at time lapse yourself at a later date.

From the article:


  • A wished result, an idea, a scene, a specific landscape

It can be anything : the sky, a city view, a park, your garden, your apartment view, …

  • Moving subjects and/or objects in the scene

Something HAS TO move in your scene. Otherwise, your timelapse won’t have any interest. The point is to see the evolution of a subject or object. A uniform gray sky, for instance, won’t offer a great animation because we won’t see anything moving.

  • Tripod or a way to place the device

The best way is of course using a tripod but one doesn’t always have one. You can place your device on something or between something to set it. Just make sure that it won’t move at all.

  • A way to secure the device

You don’t want your device to fall on the ground because of the wind or a pet (my cats love to snoop around when there’s something unusual). What I do is attach the device with a twine to what I find around the capture spot, even when I use a tripod.

  • A power adapter

I can’t guarantee in any situation that the device battery will not drain so be sure to have a power adapter or charger with you : electrical outlet if you’re near a house (with extension cord if necessary), the Nokia DC-16 USB charger, …

  • Time (interval and number of pictures)

To have a great animation, you’ll need hundreds of shots ! It really depends on how much real time you want to capture and how much free time you have because it can take hours. For instance, I tend to always choose a 5 seconds interval and 1000 pictures. It of course will take 5000 seconds (around 1h23) to shot the 1000 pictures. Thus, you can so start it and go doing whatever you want. You have time to work, watch a movie, several episodes of a series, read, …

You can read the whole piece here. Olivier includes loads of timelapse examples (I've embedded one below), each well chosen to illustrate various points, and I can't recommend this tutorial enough.

Great stuff. I'm something of an impatient guy and the incredible care and patience needed to set up and create good time lapse videos has usually eluded me, so I'll leave you in Olivier's capable hands.

All of the above refers to the Nokia 808 PureView, making full use of the device's detailed image controls, plus its oversampling and image quality. It's possible to create time lapse images on other camera-toting smartphones, of course, but you'll usually need a third party camera application and you may have to accept inferior photo quality.

Source / Credit: Olivier's PureView