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Thread: Camcorder with time lapse and a 33.7 mm wide angle lens

  1. #1

    Default Camcorder with time lapse and a 33.7 mm wide angle lens

    Please help. I am looking for a digital camcorder that has the time lapse feature as well as a 33.7 mm wide angle lens.


    I would like to film what I see on my road trips. Some of my drives are over 200 hours long, so filming my trip and then speeding up the video is not an option, as the resulting file would be too large. (I am not prepared to purchase an external hard drive every time I go on a road trip.) So the camera that I am looking for should have a time lapse feature. This way it will take an image every second, and then when the video is played at 30 fps, it will be sped up 30 times. I experimented and learned that the video looks reasonably smooth when it is played at 8 frames per second.

    Recently, I tried attaching a JVC camcorder (JVC EVERIO GZ-HM30) to the dashboard of my car and filming. I discovered that I need a wide angle lens. The JVC camcorder was missing about 50% of the scenery. At the electronics store I noticed that a camcorder with a 33.7 mm wide angle lens doubled the field of vision. Unfortunately, it didn't have the time lapse feature.

    All JVC camcorders seem to have time lapse. But none of them have the 33.7 mm wide angle lens. Some Samsung camcorders have time lapse, but I couldn't find one with a 33.7 mm wide angle lens... I am hoping that someone might know of a new or used digital camcorder out there that has both features.

    I have been struggling to find a camcorder to allow me to film my drives for about a month now. At some point it started to feel like pulling teeth. I would truly appreciate your kind help.
    Last edited by BillBauer; 05-13-2011 at 08:02 AM.

  2. #2
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    I would suggest looking at a gopro camera. These have a fixed wide angle lens, are ultra compact and have a time-lapse option.

  3. #3

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    Thank you for your reply.

    GoPro cameras are really wonderful, except for one problem. I had been in contact with GoPro technical support. They told me that GoPro cameras allow time lapse filming, but time lapse is done using the photo mode. GoPro cameras allow one to shoot videos using a relatively low quality setting. Unfortunately for me, the lowest quality for photos that these cameras allow is 5 mps, and if I shoot one photo per second for 200 hours, the video file that I would end up with would be well over the 50Gb limit that I would prefer to have.

    To make a long story short, if I use GoPro to shoot a 200 hour long video, I will end up with a huge file. If I use GoPro's time lapse feature for 200 hours, I will still end up with an unreasonably big file... So I had to conclude that GoPro is not a good option for me.

    Now that I think of it, is there software out there that allows one to take a video clip and reduce its size by keeping 4 equally spaced frames per second and discarding the remaining 26 frames per second? If I could do that, I would not need to have a camera with time lapse feature. I could just use that software at the end of each day of filming to reduce the total size of the video file... I would have to carry a laptop/notebook with me everywhere if I were to use software like that. So I think I would probably still prefer a camera with time lapse feature and a 33.7 mm wide angle lens...

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    It could well be worth checking out the Sony handycam range. A lot of them (most in fact I believe) have a function called 'Interval Record' which essentially translates as time lapse. I used one to do a similar dashboard video years ago but I did use a Sony wide angle adaptor to get the whole windscreen width in. In my video I got around three hours of driving down to about three or four minutes. It was posted recently on here somewhere and it was commented that after a while these type of videos do get.... well, boring essentially.

  5. #5

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    Thank you so much for your reply. Right now this is my best lead.

    I think one's itinerary helps to determine whether such a video is boring or not. As well, the video might be boring for other people to watch, but it will help to bring me back into the moment. A video that could remind one of one of the highlights of his or her life, has value to that person.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillBauer View Post
    ..A video that could remind one of one of the highlights of his or her life, has value to that person.
    Absolutely agree.

    Here's mine.

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    If I may suggest something, I think your concept could benefit from the technological problems you're finding. I don't think that speeding up 200 hours of footage is going to give the look you're after. Because there'll be large sections of driving with little or no change, I would suggest that you use segments of footage rather than the entire journey. This would enable you to intersperse cutaways such as a route map, google earth footage, sign posts, monuments, interior shots of the car (speedo, tachometer, you! etc)... Just a thought.

  8. #8

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    Would it be feasible to use an auxiliary lens to give you the required FoV and tether the camera to a laptop that is running time-laps software?
    Both devices plugged into your car cigarette lighter socket (or via a power inverter).

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