The camera automatically takes photos at selected intervals to create a silent time-lapse movie.

Selecting Time-lapse movie displays the options below.

  • Start: Start time-lapse recording. Shooting starts after about 3 s and continues at the selected interval for the selected shooting time.
  • Interval: Choose the interval between shots in minutes and seconds.
  • Shooting time: Choose how long the camera will continue to take pictures (hours and minutes).
  • Exposure smoothing: Selecting On smooths abrupt changes in exposure in modes other than M (note that exposure smoothing only takes effect in mode M if auto ISO sensitivity control is on). Large changes in subject brightness during shooting may result in apparent variations in exposure, in which case it may be necessary to shorten the interval between shots.
  • Silent photography: Select On to silence the shutter during shooting.
  • Choose image area: Choose an image area (FX or DX).
  • Frame size/frame rate: Choose the frame size and rate for the final movie.
  • Interval priority: Select On to ensure that frames shot in modes P and A are taken at the chosen interval, Off to ensure that photos are correctly exposed. If On is selected, check that the minimum shutter speed chosen for ISO sensitivity settings > Auto ISO sensitivity control in the photo shooting menu is faster than the interval and that Release is chosen for Custom Setting a1(AF-C priority selection) or Custom Setting a2 (AF-S priority selection) according to the focus mode currently selected.

Recording Time-Lapse Movies

Before Shooting

Before shooting a time-lapse movie, select Time zone and date in the setup menu and make sure that the camera clock is set to the correct time and date, and then take a test shot at current settings and view the results. Time-lapse movies are shot using the movie crop; to check the composition, press the X button in the Time-lapse movie display (to return to the Time-lapse movie display, press the W/Q button). For consistent coloration, choose a white balance setting other than 4 (auto) or D (natural light auto).

To ensure that shooting is not interrupted, be sure the camera battery is fully charged. If in doubt, charge the battery before use or use an AC adapter and power connector (available separately).

  1. Select Time-lapse movie.

    Highlight Time-lapse movie in the photo shooting menu and press 2.

    Time-lapse movie options will be displayed.

  2. Adjust time-lapse movie settings.

    Adjust the following settings:

    • Interval: The interval (in minutes and seconds) should be longer than the slowest anticipated shutter speed.

      Highlight Interval and press 2.

      Choose an interval and press J.

    • Shooting time: The total shooting time (in hours and minutes) can be up to 7 hours and 59 minutes.

      Highlight Shooting time and press 2.

      Choose a shooting time and press J.

    • Exposure smoothing: Enable or disable exposure smoothing.

      Highlight Exposure smoothing and press 2.

      Highlight an option and press J.

    • Silent photography: Enable or disable silent photography.

      Highlight Silent photography and press 2.

      Highlight an option and press J.

    • Choose image area: Choose an image area for time-lapse recording.

      Highlight Choose image area and press 2.

      Highlight an option and press J.

    • Frame size/frame rate: Choose the frame size and rate at which the final movie will play back.

      Highlight Frame size/frame rate and press 2.

      Highlight an option and press J.

    • Interval priority: Enable or disable Interval priority.

      Highlight Interval priority and press 2.

      Highlight an option and press J.

  3. Start shooting.

    Highlight Start and press J. Shooting starts after about 3 s. The display turns off and the camera takes photographs at the selected interval for the selected shooting time.

During Shooting

During shooting, the time-lapse recording indicator will be displayed in the control panel and the memory card access lamp will light. Regardless of the option selected for Custom Setting c3 (Power off delay, 0 c3: Power Off Delay) > Standby timer, the standby timer will not expire during shooting.

Adjusting Settings Between Shots

Shooting and menu settings can be adjusted between shots. Note, however, that the monitor will turn off approximately 2 s before the next shot is taken.

Ending Shooting

To end shooting before all the photos are taken, highlight Off in the time-lapse movie menu and press J (note that this may not end shooting if the value selected for Interval is very short, in which case shooting can be ended by turning the camera off). A movie will be created from the frames shot to that point. Note that if the power source is removed or disconnected or the memory card is ejected, shooting end (but no beep will sound) and no movie will be recorded.

No Photograph

The camera focuses before each shot. If the currently-selected focus mode is AF-S and Off is selected for Interval priority, the camera will skip to the next interval when unable to focus.

Calculating the Length of the Final Movie

The total number of frames in the final movie can be calculated by dividing the shooting time by the interval, rounding up, and adding 1. The length of the final movie can then be calculated by dividing the number of shots by the frame rate selected for Frame size/frame rate. A 48-frame movie recorded at 1920 × 1080; 24p, for example, will be about two seconds long. The maximum length for time-lapse movies is 20 minutes.

Frame size/frame rate

Memory card indicator   Length recorded/maximum length

Time-Lapse Movies

Time-lapse cannot be combined with some camera features, including movie recording, long time-exposures (bulb or time photography), the self-timer, bracketing, HDR (high dynamic range), multiple exposure, interval timer photography, and focus shift. Active D-Lighting is disabled automatically. Note that because shutter speed and the time needed to record the image to the memory card may vary from shot to shot, the interval between a shot being recorded and the start of the next shot may vary. Changes to settings will not be applied and shooting will not begin if a time-lapse movie cannot be recorded at current settings (for example, if the memory card is full, the interval or shooting time is zero, or the interval is longer than the shooting time).

Shooting may end if camera controls are used or settings are changed or HDMI cable is connected. A movie will be created from the frames shot to the point where shooting ended.

Image Review

The K button cannot be used to view pictures while shooting is in progress, but the current frame will be displayed for a few seconds after each shot if On or On (monitor only) is selected for Image review in the playback menu (the frame may not be displayed if the interval is very short). Other playback operations cannot be performed while the frame is displayed.

Silent Photography

Selecting On for Silent photography disables some camera features, including:

  • ISO sensitivities of Hi 0.3 through Hi 2
  • Flash photography
  • Long exposure noise reduction
  • Flicker reduction