Testing Nikon D800E automatic time lapse feature at night

Last weekend we visited some friends in nearby village, and during the night we spent some time in a cabin located at a remote field. With the exception of some cars passing by at the distance, it was complete darkness, and the sky was spectacular to watch. A good chance for a long exposure and a brief time lapse video.


The image above is a 8 seconds exposure at ISO 3200. I used the maximum f/2.8 aperture on the Nikon 24-70 lens. It was a test shot before I start the time lapse capturing. I also did a 24 seconds exposure with ISO 800 which somehow got deleted. No problem since even at ISO 3200 the D800 performs great.

The D800E has an automatic lapse feature which is great for situations where you don’t want to capture a sequence of photos and post process later in order to make a time lapse video. It works really great. With and 8 seconds exposure for each photo I set the interval to 10 seconds between each capture. If we had stayed longer at the location the length of the final video would be longer but even at 11 seconds length, you can see see the stars move (and even captured a couple falling stars). The flashes you see are cars driving by.

The D800E has proven to be a wonderful digital camera, capable of performing great both in photography and video. I have also shot some video footage and the image quality is excellent. Of course with an DSLR like this, you absolutely need stabilization equipment, like a rig or a tripod for video in order to avoid shake. Manual focus is also a must, in order to ensure precise focus during shooting. For handheld video I rely more on my Sony CX730E camcorder which features a great in camera stabilization function.

During last month, I am shooting quite a lot video footage and I am planning on making a short video of my trips when I gather all the scenes I want. Together with the D800 and Sony CX730E, I am using the NEX 5N which is also a very good camera for video capture.

(c)2013 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

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