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How to Record a Time-Lapse with a smartphone

How to record a time-lapse using the Legacy Mini Kit 3.

A time-lapse is a camera mode that creates a video from a series of photographs taken over time. It’s an engaging, dramatic way to show the passing of time.

Setting up for a Time-Lapse

Here’s how to set up and shoot a time-lapse with the Mini Kit 3.

With the Mini Kit 3, there are two options to film time-lapses: using the tripod and phone mount, or using the tripod and Movi Cinema Robot gimbal. The tripod and phone mount will allow you to set your phone up easily and capture simple, static time-lapses. Using the tripod and phone clamp will also allow you to plug the iPhone in to charge it as you record.

The Movi Cinema Robot gimbal allows you to select two points for your time-lapse, having your phone travel between them whilst you record. This results in having gentle movement in your time-lapse video. Check out this article on how to capture a two point time-lapse using the Movi gimbal.

Setting up the tripod and phone clamp.

  1. Grab your tripod out of your Mini Kit 3 and set it up on a sturdy surface.

  2. Take the phone clamp, pull out the arms and rotate the cold shoe on top of the clamp till it is wide enough to fit your phone.

  3. Take your iPhone, place it inside the phone clamp and twist the cold shoe again to tighten.

  4. Open the Camera app on your iPhone, swipe left until you see the time-lapse option.

  5. Frame your shot. 

  6. Press record.

How long do I leave my time-lapse recording for?

A time-lapse records a long period of time and compresses it into a short video, so the longer you leave a time-lapse rolling, the better. Time-lapses will often be left recording anywhere from 5 minutes to many hours.

If you are using the tripod and phone clamp set-up, it is best to switch the phone into airplane mode to conserve battery, or to plug it into a power supply to keep it running for the full length of your video.

Remember not to leave your phone unattended as you wait for your time-lapse to be captured.

What do I capture as a time-lapse?

Time-lapses are best used to show the passing of time very quickly. Sunsets & sunrises are common uses but they are certainly the extent of what you can film. Rooms filling at events, behind the scenes set-ups, projects that take time to complete such as construction, renovation or even people’s journeys are all great candidates for a time-lapse.

If you are filming in an environment where the light is likely to change, remember not to lock the exposure. This will prevent your video from getting too bright or dark as the environment changes.

Reviewing your time-lapse.

When recording on either your iPhone’s default camera or the Movi app, your final clip will be a video file, so you don’t need to do any additional work on the file to turn it into a time-lapse. Although it is difficult to slow down a time-lapse, it is very easy to speed it up.

If you’d like to review your time-lapse, simply jump into the Photos app to watch your finished time-lapse. Videos recorded on both the Movi app and the Camera app will be viewable in Photos.

If you’re looking to show progress or the passing of time in an engaging and dramatic way, try recording a time-lapse.

Remember that there are two ways to film a time-lapse using the Mini Kit 3: the tripod and phone clamp for a static time-lapse, or the Movi Cinema Robot gimbal to include gentle movement. Also check out our article on shooting a hyper-lapse with the Movi gimbal for more inspiration!

Questions or need help? Get in touch. We’d love to help!