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How to create a time lapse video with a CamCorder.

In many ways, using a CamCorder may be simpler than a Camera. Essentially you create a video and then "sample" the video in post processing to create the time lapse. You don't have to figure out an interval, but since the CamCorder must be running the entire time, the total elapsed time is limited to the maximum duration of the CamCorder and memory. As well, the performance of your computer may affect the file sizes that can be handled.

Required Equipment

CamCorder: Virtually any CamCorder can be used, but select one that has the resolution and duration of the time lapse you want to create.

Tripod: Just like the requirement for time lapse when using a Camera, you will also need a tripod with a CamCorder. The same criteria applies to CamCorders, so the tripod solution you select for the camera will also work with a CamCorder.

Battery Power: As well, battery power is also a concern, so you should ensure you have plenty of juice to last the duration of the desired time lapse.

Post-Processing Software: This method will be shown using Adobe Elements Premiere 11. Other software may work, but you will have to acertain whether or not an alternative application will fit your needs.

Setting up the Shot

Unlike using a Camera, there are no interval calculations required for using a CamCorder; simply frame the scene and begin recording. All of the interval determination will be done in post-processing software.

Still, you will want to ensure you obtain a good exposure under varying conditions, and also ensure the CamCorder is on a stable platform so that there will be no jitter in your time lapse due to camera shake.

One thing you will not have to worry about is audio. You will be stripping the audio out of the time lapse anyway, so anything you say will have no bearing on the finished video.

Post Processing

If you have created your movie by using different snippets of video, assemble them into the final movie before continuing. This step will not be covered here as there are many post-processing software applications that can accomplish this.

Using Adobe Elements Premiere 11

Step 1: Import the desired video into Premiere.


Step 2: Drag the video into the edit panel, and drop into Video 1/Audio 1.


Step 3: Hover the mouse over the video, Right Click, then select "Unlink Audio and Video".


Step 4: Hover the mouse over the audio track, Right Click, then select "Delete Audio".


Step 5: From the Tools panel, select "Time Stretch".


Step 6: Enter the desired Time Stretch value. 100% is real time; 50% is slow motion, and anything over 100% will create a time lapse video (200% will create a double speed event, and so on). 3000% matches the 30fps frame rate, which results in a 1 second interval. Use the chart below to assist determining what value to use:

Speed SettingEffective Interval
15000.5 seconds
30001 seconds
60002 seconds
90003 seconds
100003.3 seconds

Note, the maximum value you can enter is 10000.


Step 7: To view the time lapse, you should RENDER it by clicking on the "Render" box.

This will result in a smooth video. At this point, you can save the video by clicking on "Publish & Share" in the upper right corner. The application will drop unused frames so that only those used in the time lapse are kept. This reduces the size of the video file.


1 second interval - 30fps frame rate.

1/2 second interval - 30fps frame rate.