Cheap. Variable. Frame. Rate. Camera?
November 29, 2010 2:34 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend a little digital video camera that does time-lapse video?

I keep getting seduced by small cheap video cameras (most recently the Kodak ZM1) but what I'd really love is one that could take one frame a second.

Such a thing must exist. Can anyone recommend one?

(screen isn't important, a degree of waterproofing would be nice)
posted by sodium lights the horizon to Technology (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not sure how helpful this will be, but many cameras can be made to do time-lapse shots when connected to a PC, i.e. when triggered via USB. I've done this a lot with Canon point-and-shoot cameras. And once you've taken enough still shots, assembling them back into a video is very straightforward (there's plenty of free software to do this). Just an alternative approach to consider.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:43 AM on November 29, 2010

Most Canon point and shoot cameras can do this after install CHDK on them.
posted by Memo at 3:01 AM on November 29, 2010 [2 favorites]

Depending on what you're doing with it, the GoPro HD might be the right choice for you. It's very small, and can do timelapse. Here's one where it's been placed on top of an egg timer (!) for some awesome rotating action. They're also really, really sturdy, as they're built for sports video. Here's one going into space, and then falling 80,000 feet.
posted by Magnakai at 3:38 AM on November 29, 2010

Coincidentally, this post about hacking a digital camera into one that can do time lapse was just featured on Lifehacker yesterday.
posted by crunchland at 4:22 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Those links both point to the same video, Magnakai.
posted by EmGeeJay at 6:27 AM on November 29, 2010

There's a few apps for the iphone that'll do timelapse stuff pretty well.
posted by Blake at 7:31 AM on November 29, 2010

Dpreviews feature search gives 5 current waterproof cameras with timelapse, 4 from Pentax and Ricoh G600.

With CDHK, you can also include Canon D10.

I doubt many will allow you to take a frame every second. I wouldn't be surprised if the minimum time between shots is ~5 seconds.

If you are willing to use a plastic bag or underwater/waterproof case, I would like to suggest the Samsung WB2000 ("TL350" in USA). An ultra-compact with lots of features, dials, 1080p video, timelapse, 1000fps low-res or 10fps full-res, pictures DURING video and a fast (f/2.4) lens @ 24mm. Probably the best compact-camera secret. Rather cheap even.
posted by Akeem at 8:30 AM on November 29, 2010

I've used a plain old Canon SD1100 Powershot digital camera to shoot time lapse video with no hacking necessary. I can also vouch for this economical waterproof case.
posted by mrsshotglass at 10:02 AM on November 29, 2010

Assuming you want an HD timelapse the Canon PowerShot S95 can do this, though it lives under the 'faux tilt-shift' setting. You just set it not to blur out the image.
posted by jeffkramer at 10:55 AM on November 29, 2010

Oh, sorry. The first link should've gone to this.
posted by Magnakai at 1:02 PM on November 29, 2010

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