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Published 28th June 2013 by

Whether you are a professional photographer or a beginner who just discovered a new passion, this time lapse calculator will make preparing that magical timelapse video a blast.

You will be able to determine the capture interval, the number of photos you need, and the size of a memory card that will accommodate all of your precious pictures. You will never have to spend hours guessing and working out via trial and error the parameters of your timelapse!

What is Timelapse

The basic idea of time-lapse photography is taking photos at a much slower rate that they are going to be viewed. The photos are combined to form a video that is much shorter than the total recording time. When the video is viewed, the time appears to be elapsing much faster than in reality.

This kind of photography allows for capturing effects that are very subtle for a human eye, for example, growing plants, sunrise and sunset, movements in a harbour, the motion of stars and the sun in the sky.

Timelapse Calculator


Timelapse Results

  1. =
  2. Total number of frames =
  3. Total storage required (approx) =

How to use Timelapse Calculator

The time-lapse calculator takes in a few parameters which you can control in the fields above.

First, select the value you wish to calculate from the list above. The form will show you the values you need to enter in order to calculate that value.

  1. Clip length
  2. Event Duration - The total time you need to spend taking pictures for your time lapse. This can range from 30 minutes for a short clip to a few hours for longer clips with a higher interval in between pictures.
  3. Shooting interval - The time interval between two consecutive photos. It usually doesn't exceed 30 seconds - a higher interval can cause the video to "jump" between frames. It can be calculated by dividing the total recording time by the number of photos.
  4. Frames per second - The number of frames in the final clip shown per second. Typically, 24 frames per second are used. Try not to go below 12 fps, as this will affect the image fluidity. High frame rates (up to 60 fps) correspond to high-quality videos, for example in 4K quality.
  5. Image size - The data size of one photo taken during the time lapse. You can read it off your camera's settings. If the total memory usage exceeds the capacity of your memory card, you can try to decrease the image size.

The calculator also works out the total number of photos you need to take for your time lapse. It is simply the clip length multiplied by the frame rate. It also gives an approximate indicator of the total amount of space the photos will take on your memory card. It is found by multiplying the number of photos by an individual image size. Actual image sizes vary by camera, camera settings and subject so this is just a rough guide.

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