Time Lapse Video with the HandlePod DIY Slider

A camera slider combined with time lapse motion makes for very effective video. Rapid movement of the subject plus the smooth motion of the camera is visually compelling. However it is a difficult effect to accomplish. Extreme time lapse compression means the camera must move very slowly. Time lapse on a slider usually involves a motor to move the camera at a predetermined rate. This works very well but can be costly. DIY projects for a motorized slider are also available.

Time lapes of waves at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

The DIY slider for HandlePod used for time lapse of ocean waves.

The DIY slider for HandlePod described in a previous blog can be used for time lapse video with certain limitations. The camera, or in this case a smartphone, is moved by hand. The time lapse compression must be minimal. Otherwise it would be physically impossible to move the camera slowly enough to create a reasonable slide over the time required. Using the Framelapse Pro app for Android, an appropriate interval is one frame every two-tenths of a second. This speeds up the action six times. The camera must be moved carefully, but it is possible to do at that rate. The video below is a time lapse of ocean waves flowing into tide pools. It was shot with a smartphone and HandlePod on the DIY slider.


Longer frame rate intervals like a second or more are needed for very slow events like moving clouds or the setting sun. A motorized slider would be needed for camera motion effects with these subjects. But a faster frame rate of one or two tenths of a second is possible for camera movement by hand. It works for fast moving subjects like people, cars or ocean waves. If you want to experiment with time lapse on a slider, the DIY slider for HandlePod is a simple, inexpensive way to try it out. It may be all you need for many shots and you can always go to a more complex (read expensive) motorized rig later.

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