brinno tlc200 pro: first construction time lapse video results [video]

[posted: ]  [15 comments]

following the market research on construction time-lapse cameras and brinno tlc200 pro + eyefi first steps articles, i’m happy to present my very first construction (or rather, destruction) time lapse recorded with the brinno tlc200 pro camera:

the video above was partly processed with avifrate (to slow down the second segment) and edited in gopro studio.
 

below you’ll find the unedited video output, some information regarding image quality, and more.

unedited, out-of-the-camera video:

what’s good:

  • as you can see above, the video quality at maximum resolution (720p) is actually quite nice. the camera produced a crisp image and handled the changing lighting conditions (e.g. on partly cloudy days) relatively well.
  • the automatic time and date bar at the bottom of the video (if desired/apctivated in options).
  • something else that is nice: you can set the camera to “sleep” through nights when the image gets very dark. this not only saves you the hassle of cutting out ~50 useless percent of the video when you can’t see anything, it also enables you to get significantly longer recording times due to saved storage space.
  • post-processing: as soon as you stop the recording, you’ve got a working .avi video file to view without special processing.

what’s bad:

  • the major “technical” problem was the wall mount. as you can see in several instances, the video is slightly shaky – despite the fact that the camera was firmly attached to the wall (via the wall mount) and remained completely untouched. for 25 euros (24 USD), i would expect to get a product sturdy enough for proper time lapse recordings – especially when buying an original brinno accessory!
  • post-processing: while it’s nice to get a complete video file directly from the camera, this makes post-processing – if you want/need to do it – more tedious. for example, removing the few “night” frames per day for a more fluid view could be a matter of deleting images within a time-stamp range, as opposed to doing a video cut for every night.

with this specific recording, there were also two logistical problems:

  • low video frame rate vs. extremely fast video
    i didn’t have access to the camera for a month. so, without a definitive date set for the beginning of demolition, i had to use a relatively big interval of 10 minutes for an interesting timeframe of only about 10 days. this is the reason for the low “detail” frame rate in the second, slowed-down part of the video.
    a more optimal interval to better allow viewers to follow the demolition progress would have been 1 minute, for example.
     
  • point of view
    the other problem was relatively hard to foresee (or maybe not?). the second container had a lid which opened exactly into the camera’s field of view, thus blocking an interesting part of the scene during 3 days.

altogether, i’m pretty happy with the camera so far, and i’m looking forward to more time lapse videos.

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    15 comments on “brinno tlc200 pro: first construction time lapse video results [video]

    1. Wow! Impressive!
    2. […] daylight footage, but also very dark footage captured during night. the camera used – the brinno tlc200 pro – actually has a setting to stop recording at night, but this only takes effect after several […]
    3. Thanks for the info. [...]» the major “technical” problem was the wall mount. as you can see in several instances, the video is slightly shaky – despite the fact that the camera was firmly attached to the wall (via the wall mount) and remained completely untouched. for 25 euros (24 USD), i would expect to get a product sturdy enough for proper time lapse recordings – especially when buying an original brinno accessory![...] It seems to me that this is not a problem with the mount, but a natural phenomenon. Your mounting position is influenced by heat/cold and slightly moves during the day/night cycle.
    4. Your post helped me a lot but what I still don't get with the Brinno: if I set the timer from - let's say 8:00-18:00 - and 10 minutes with a frame rate of 30 then what does the camera do? Will it film at a random time for ten minutes or every ten minutes 30 frames in the preset time of 8:00-10:00? The manual doesn't say anything about that. Hopefully you can help because I have to film a construction which takes about a year and the camera has to work!!!
    5. hi christine, with your settings the camera will record one picture/frame every 10 minutes between 8 and 18 daily, and the video will then play at 30 frames per second, i.e. 1 second of video shows 300 minutes =5 hours.
    6. Markus -- great info -- I am planning on using the camera to document the renovation of an old theater -- is there an extended battery option, so I do not have to move the camera to change batteries? -
    7. Hi Jamie, I used a micro-usb cable and usb wall charger. They sell weather-proof ones to go with the weather-proof housing, but if it's indoors any kind should do.
    8. Hi Markus, just been reading your blog, I would love your advice if possible, we are fitting out a new restaurant, its an old bank so its just a big square, the job is over 3 months but will probably download the video every 4 weeks so we don't miss anything etc, what would be the best time limit for taking pictures? would every 5 minutes between 9am-6pm be ok or would we change it to 10 minutes a picture? Can go lower than 5 minutes ,just want to know what's best so we see lots of the building being changed from an empty shell to the restaurant, thanks
    9. hi bob, it's better to look at it from the results side: how long would you like your final video to be? personally, i believe under 2-3 minutes is best to keep people's attention. at 60 frames per second, that would be 10800 pictures (180 seconds video, 60 fps), or 120 pictures per day at 3 months (10800 pictures by 90 days). if you're recording (or using) only daytime footage (say 12 hours), that would amount to an interval of 360 seconds (12*3600 seconds per day, divided by 120 pictures). hope that gives you a better idea of what you want to do. :)
    10. Hi Markus - wow, first of all, thank you for all your research and advice! As a traffic engineer, I have occasion to record turning movements at busy intersections. I am wondering if the 0.5 second time lapse recording of a busy intersection would still allow me to view it and not miss any traffic movements. Thoughts? PS I assume there is a way to position camera view during setup to make certain I am recording what I need?
    11. hi chet, i don't have much experience with traffic time lapse, but i'd think 0.5 seconds should be plenty to capture the action. yes, there's an automatic live view on the little display before you start to recording.
    12. This was a great help to me! finding this all very confusing and wanting a time lapse video of our construction project. Is there any way you can watch what its recording daily? so that if you are far away you can still check its up and running? Also, do you need to move it to change its batteries? Thanks for all the advice & hope you can help:)
    13. hi abs, you should be able to watch daily footage (until the day before) using the timer function and an eye-fi card if there's wifi at your recording site. the timer ensures that a video file is saved for every day. in order to change batteries, you need to open the housing, remove the camera and open a compartment on the bottom, so yes. unfortunately, occasional charging via the usb port is not possible, so it's either external power or changing batteries and moving the camera.
    14. hi markus, I have a tlc200 (not the pro), but when I set the time to 7am-5am, I left it on for 2 days, and when I went to download the video, there was a video for each day. is this normal? its like the camera stops every day at 5pm and creates a video with all the frams for that day... any help would be appreciated. Phil
    15. hi phil, as far as i've seen so far, setting a timer should activate the camera every day during the set timeframe. i'm not sure why your camera would stop/save at 5 p.m. and not 5 a.m. though.

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