Let's find perfect DSLR for Octolapse time-lapse videos together


after some investigation I found some criteria and features that are critical in choosing a perfect DSLR for Octolapse time-lapse videos

  1. Quality, this feature is self explanatory - images and resulting video has to be of really high quality. If you are choosing almost any DSLR that is not 10 years or older it should provide good enough quality of image.

  2. Has to be supported by gphot2. This is a crucial requirement of course. List of supported cameras is here - http://gphoto.org/proj/libgphoto2/support.php

  3. Mirrorless vs mechanical shutter: For long time time-lapses I hope most of us agree that going for mirrorless camera is a better option because it has no mechanical shutter so nothing to wear over time, and also work quieter, having camera working for 10+ hours and listening it take a shot bother some people.

  4. Long battery life in time-lapse mode. This is a crucial feature that it also most times overlooked. If you are printing something for 6-8-10 or more hours that camera has to be working also for that time. There are some cameras that can be powered power supply, and some have deep sleep in between photos in order to preserve battery life. Camera must have this feature or it is useless for longer Octoprint time-lapses.

Did I miss any critical feature?

Do you have any DSLR camera that would you consider recommending?

I developed this feature using a Nikon D5200, so I can tell you for sure it supports all of the more advanced dslr techniques, like deferred download (happens right before rendering, reducing capture time by a LOT). The quality is pretty good, and it supports adapters that fit into the battery slot but run from a DC power supply.

I can say that people have lots of trouble with Sony DSLRs and gphoto2, and Pentax cameras might require some programming changes or custom scripting to get working.

1 Like

I have Sony NEX-6 DSLR and it is not supported by gphoto. I know that the choice will be between Nikon and Canon but I would like to see few good choices in the thread.

I heard that Nikon should even work without external DC supply, is this true? Does Nikon (at least D5200 that you have) have sleep mode so that it doesn't drain battery in between taking photos or external power is only way to record long time-lapses?

There is no way it would last through a very long print when using the battery (there can be well over 1000 snapshots). Also, going to sleep may mess with gphoto2, but I've not noticed that. I have received issue reports from other users where sleep mode interferes with gphoto2. Using a PSU for your timelapse if possible.

Consider trying the --trigger-capture gphoto2 command with any camera you would like to use. --trigger-capture should return after the camera takes a pic, but before it saves the image to SD. Also make sure that it supports saving to SD (not all cameras do, which is super strange), and file download (all files preferably) and delete via gphoto2.

I would add Canon EOS M50 really high on this list. Any other recommendations?

No, because I haven't tested any other cameras myself :slight_smile: I usually only see cameras that have problems due to issue reports on the github repository, so I'm not sure which cameras actually support all of the features useful for Octolapse.

I'd love to create a list of cameras according to what kinds of features they support exactly. Specifically, can you use any of the three methods I've come up with for octolapse: Download Image, No Download, Deferred Download. If I had such a list, I'd put it in the wiki.

1 Like

I'm actually considering buying this camera (Canon M50). I mainly want it for other uses, but I would definitely like to use it for octolapses as well. Could you tell my more as to why you would place it super high?

1 Like