Essentials: The Creative Timelapser

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Essentials the Creative Timelapser (1 of 6)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 4.5

Essentials is a series where we round up specially curated kits for different photographers in different situations. Other items could surely be substituted, but these are what we personally recommend. 

When it comes to creating timelapse videos, you only really need a few things. For starters, a big hard drive will help greatly–but what will also help are some of the right tools. As we’ve always said in our Essentials series, you can use whatever you want. But to give you some sort of guidance, we’ve created a kit for that type of stuff. Sure, time lapse videos are getting overdone, but if you find that you get a bit too tired of them, this kit will help you to transition into other things like studio work, landscapes and much more.

Overall, we’re emphasizing versatility for the creative timelapser.

Sony A7

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The Sony A7 is one of the most versatile cameras around. It doesn’t have the high ISO performance that the A7s does or the high resolution of the A7r, but you can consider it the fair middle ground. It has better resolution than the A7s and better high ISO output than the A7r. At its heart is a 24MP full frame sensor. And although Sony is still lacking on full frame E-mount lenses, the fact that it’s a mirrorless camera means that you’ll be able to mount almost any lens you want onto it.

Got a bunch of Canon glass? You can mount it on this camera with the right adapter. Certain ones even allow for aperture control and autofocus.

One of our favorite lenses though has to be the 35mm f2.8. It’s small, has the field of view of the human perspective, and is pretty compact. It won’t focus so closely though due to the design, so you may want to reach for an adapter with other lenses instead.

While the Sony A7 can do timelapse shooting by downloading the right apps from the Sony Play Memories store, it won’t allow you to have all the versatility that an external device can give you.

We also really digg Lomography’s Canvas Straps–which is what we’re using on the A7. This one is a limited edition.

Zkin Champ

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Perhaps our favorite messenger bag at the moment is the Zkin Champ in Navy Gray. It’s a stylish bag that looks great when you’re going to meetings and is versatile enough to be your everyday bag. It includes an insert that has dividers for your camera gear and also has pockets for your tablet, phone, documents and much more. But what also makes us really smitten with the bag is the fact that it can hold a 13 inch laptop with no issues.

The Zkin Champ can help you carry a DSLR, mirrorless cameras and much more. We’ve stuck two to three mirrorless cameras in here with lenses attached without much of an issue.

This bag is almost simple enough to not scream out that it’s a camera bag. Instead, it looks like a daily satchel that a business person would bring to work.

Pro Tip: Triggertrap will drain the battery of your phone or tablet, but it's less draining on your camera's battery due to not using the internal WiFi system if it has one.

Pro Tip: Triggertrap will drain the battery of your phone or tablet, but it’s less draining on your camera’s battery due to not using the internal WiFi system if it has one.

Triggertrap

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Triggertrap has a couple of really cool options that turn your phone or tablet into a major control device for your camera. It’s very much like an intervalometer, except it can do many more things. Triggertrap can shoot timelapses, do HDR images, allow for bulb ramping with timelapse shooting, can trigger flash slaves based on sound, and a whole bunch more. We haven’t had this much fun with an intervalometer in years.

Many photographers are already using Triggertrap, but our favorite has to be the flash adapter. Check out the demo below.

Introducing Triggertrap Flash Adapter from Triggertrap on Vimeo.

Pro Tip: Triggertrap can do a whole bunch of cool things like trigger your camera, use voice control, do timelapses, HDRs and much more.

Pro Tip: Triggertrap can do a whole bunch of cool things like trigger your camera, use voice control, do timelapses, HDRs and much more.

Benro Aero 4

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We’ve been using the Benro Aero 4 for a while now, and it’s grown on us quite a bit. It’s just the right size for trekking around into crazy shooting locations without breaking your back and is lightweight yet pretty durable. What we’re not the biggest fan of is the way that the legs fold up then down, but that isn’t a large enough problem to make us not want to use it. The Aero 4 includes a ballhead for pivoting, a handle for turning, and has smooth actions all around.

Primarily developed for video use, it will give a timelapse shooter all the versatility that they really need when shooting at a price that doesn’t break the bank.