A company wants us to do a 2 year HD time lapse and a sequence every 3 months of the construction progress. At the moment I think stills is the best way to go. The problem is the actual place where we will do the shot is a 2 hr drive from us so looking after the shot will be difficult.
I am wondering if anyone has done any type of shot this way and what kind of advice I could get regarding it. I am really not sure about any of it... like software to use, powering of the system over that time, how to get the shot sequences without disturbing the cameras etc...
I am researching Stop Motion Pro at the moment and perhaps laptops to capture the images but thats where i get daunted! any advice is much appreciated...
Really really reaching here. I understand that there are some CCTV megapixel cameras out there. They use a 1" C-mount. The data can be saved via FTP or on a memory card. It can also be remotely monitored. I cannot vouch for the quality. Worse case, maybe you can remote something like a Nikon D series via a computer that will FTP you the files. Just a thought.
We've had good luck doing weeks-long timelapse with Canon SLR camera systems mounted on solid brackets away from harm - they could have been left there for years. My suggestion would be to invest in one of the cheaper Canon digital SLRS, a programmable shutter control, a plug-in AC adapter, and a bunch of 4 GB CF cards. Do the math to see how long a card will take to fill up, and just have a contact at the site change the cards out when they need to be changed. You need to figure out how often to take a picture, where to put the camera, and whether or not you want to get ahold of the used cards at certain times, dump and QC the pics, and re-use the cards. To me, this is the least-expensive and most controllable solution.
Essex Television Group
Same thing here - we used a Canon EOS 20D up on rafters to capture one shot every 20 minutes at a plant that was building an auto parts press over a 6-week span. The still camera worked great, the shots were equivalent to progressive HD. We bought a cheap laptop at WalMart and used ratchet straps to hold the camera and computer in place. We bought the AC adapter for the Canon, plugged the laptop into an outlet with AC as well and turned the energy savers off. We used Canon's capture software to capture shots directly to the laptop. The software had a limit of 999 photos, and we couldn't program it not to shoot at night when nothing was going on, so we had to travel down to location once a week to dump the photos to CD and restart the program. Footage looks awesome! Two years is quite a commitment - I agree with using a cheaper camera as long as you can find good capture software that would allow you to capture directly to a computer. One other thing - the computer had to be re-booted each trip too to clean out the cache. 999 photos will slow your system down, so rebooting is a great way to speed it up.
Allen Film & Video
"My name is actually spelled KC...really...it is..."