How to Take Time-Lapse Videos with iPhone or iPad

By Lois Green, Friday, April 08, 2016

Time-lapse video is first introduces in iOS 8. It is a camera features that lets you condense a long periods of continuous capture in short clips.

To make it clearer, we can compare time-lapse video with Slo-mo video. Slo-mo shoots more frames per second than normal shooting, so when it is played back at a normal frame rate, it spreads out over a longer period and everything seems more slowly. In Contrast, time-lapse shoots on a frame or so per second, so when it's played, the original 30 minutes or 1 hour video will "fly" before your eyes. The 1 hour or longer videos will be condensed to 30 seconds or so.

Time lapse videos are an effective way to show slow movement and changes over time in a given scene.  You can use it to record the sunset or sunrise, the moving cloud or even the opening flowers.

Shoot Sunset Time-Lapse Video


How to Shoot Time-Lapse Videos with iPhone/iPad

1. Make sure your iOS device is running iOS 8 and the later. If your iPhone not yet on iOS 8 or iOS 9, update it by going to Settings > General > Software Update.

2. On the Home screen of your iPhone, open the Camera app.

3. On the Camera's main interface, scroll to the list of available shooting modes which are at the lower part of the screen. Then, find and select Time-Lapse mode. You'll notice that the red record button is encircled by a timer that indicates that you are recording.

4. Now, tap on the record button to start shooting scenes on Time-Lapse. If you want to stop recording, just tap on the record button again.

iPhone 6 Time-Lapse Video


For practice, you can use the following shoot examples to have a try:

• 5~10 minutes for city traffic

• 10~15 minutes for pedestrian

• 15~20 minutes for clouds

• 20 minutes or longer for sunrise/sunset

Tips for Shooting Time-Lapse Video with iPhone

1. Keep iPhone stable. You can rest your iPhone somewhere safe or use a tripod.

2. Record something changing slowly. The benefit of the time-lapse is that it could condense the boring 30-minute video of sunset into 30 seconds. If you record something changing quickly, time-lapse loses its meaning.

3. Capture contrast. You can capture the cars which are running speedily. When using time-lapse, you can accelerate the speed to make an amazing scene.

4. Beware battery life. As most of time-lapse videos are not shot in a short time, make sure you have fully charged your iPhone.

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