I have lots of cameras but one of my favorites is the Nikon D7000. I particularly like using it when I make time-lapse shots. It has a built-in interval timer so unlike when I use my Canon cameras, I don’t have to buy or attach any extra equipment. Out of the box, the D7000 is ready to shoot time-lapse movies.
Here are some best practices for using the D7000 for time-lapse.
1. Set up your camera. It’s a little-known fact that the D7000 won’t let you enter the interval timer function if you haven’t set your camera’s date and time. I had a friend who spent hours following my instructions trying to shoot a time-lapse and we found out he never set up the date and time and that fixed his problem.
2. Make sure you have a fully-charged battery.
3. Use a sturdy tripod and ball head.
4. Frame your shot.
5. Set your camera to manual and set your exposure and ISO.
6. For faster time-lapse creation in post use JPG fine. If you want the best quality, have the time and experience, shoot in RAW mode and batch correct the RAW files before sending them to your time-lapse software.
7. Configure the interval timer…
a. Select a start time
b. Pick an interval
c. Select the number of intervals
d. Select the number of shots per interval
It’s easiest to set the start time to “NOW” which means that once you have the timer set up and fire it the camera will immediately start making images for the time-lapse.
You should experiment with how often you want the camera to fire. This will be a function of how long you want the end time-lapse movie to be. One interval is easiest for beginners.
If you’re shooting in bright light be sure to cover the viewfinder during long time-lapse shooting periods. Nikon includes a device to do this called the DK-5 but if you’re like me you’ve lost it so use black gaffer’s tape or duct tape to block out the light that can get into the camera through the viewfinder.
Then press the button and let the D7000 do its magic. While many Nikon cameras have the same capability, I find the D7000 to be affordable and it still maintains very high quality images.