Want to try a new way of getting creative with your images? Try the interval timer.
You’ve seen the movies on YouTube: a time-lapse sequence in a stunning landscape with clouds scudding across the sky, with the sun setting, all set to beautiful music. It’s the sort of thing that looks like you need top-end professional equipment to achieve, yet in reality all you need is your FUJIFILM X Series camera and time. Lots of time.
When to Use the Interval Timer
As its name suggests, the interval timer on your camera takes images at set intervals decided by you. The type of videos we talked about at the start look like moving footage but, in reality, it’s a whole host of still images put together to create that impression. You don’t even need fancy software to do this – the standard Microsoft Photos or Apple iMovie will suffice.
Interval sequences are all about capturing the passage of time, so the range of subject matter is virtually limitless. Sunsets and sunrises are obvious ones to try, but equally you can have some fun shooting one of your kids building a model, the comings and goings in your kitchen or living room, or maybe something longer term, such as a fresh flower drooping, dropping petals, and eventually dying. When you’re just starting out, shooting lots of images over a shorter sequence of time can help you perfect your technique.
In all cases, you’re going to need a fully charged battery at the very least, possibly more than one. But you could also consider buying the suitable power bank or AC adapter for your X Series camera, although this obviously limits you in terms of locations.
How to Control the Interval Timer
Setting up the interval timer is very simple. Start by making sure you have a freshly formatted SD card in your camera and then follow these steps:
STEP 1 Scroll through the SHOOTING SETTING menu and select the INTERVAL TIMER SHOOTING option.
STEP 2 You’ll be presented with two columns. On the left, you choose the interval between images; on the right, how many times the shutter will fire. Let’s say, for example, you wanted to shoot images at ten-second intervals for 250 frames.
STEP 3 Use the direction buttons (or the focus lever if your camera has one) to set 0h 00m 10s in the INTERVAL, then move to the NUMBER OF TIMES column, and scroll to 250. Once you’re happy, press OK.
STEP 4 If you wish, you can now delay the start of the sequence by up to 24 hours on the START WAITING TIME screen. This can be useful if you’re setting up your camera to shoot a sunrise, but you don’t want to have to get up to set the sequence going. An estimated start time will be displayed at the bottom of the screen, so you don’t have to do the mental gymnastics!
STEP 5 If you don’t want to delay the start, just set 0h 00m, and press OK. The sequence will now start, with a countdown and number of frames shot/left appearing on the rear LCD. It’s as simple as that.
Some Cameras Do It for You!
Selected entry-level FUJIFILM X Series cameras have the capability to stitch the images together for you in a time-lapse mode. If your camera has this functionality, you’ll be given the option to use it after setting the interval between shots (step 3 above). At this point, you can choose either stills or stills + time-lapse, and if you choose the latter, the camera will automatically put all the frames at the end of the sequence together into a movie file, in addition to saving them as individual still images.
You can also change the resolution and frame rate of the resulting video up to 4K/30p by going to the SHOOTING SETTING menu and choosing the TIME-LAPSE MOVIE MODE option.
Your Next Steps
- CHALLENGE Try creating a time-lapse video, exploring the evolution of a slowly changing scene. Post your finished movie to social media with the hash tags #MyFujifilmLegacy and #timelapse. You can also submit your work here for a chance to be featured on our social media channels.
Header image © Bryan Minear