If you’re someone who is interested in videography, especially in creating time-lapse videos, then the Nikon D3200 is the best camera you can work with. Time-lapse videos are quite popular these days. Interestingly, they were popular earlier on as well, but only in movies or documentaries. However, today, people are making time-lapse videos on their phones, their digital cameras, and their video recorders because of the wider availability of equipment.
If you want to create a good quality, professional time-lapse, you should definitely look into the D3200 and its many incredible features. It comes packed with 24.7 million effective pixels and a CMOS optical sensor, which will give your videos that crisp and clear look. The camera also has an APS-C (15.4 x 23.2 mm) sensor, which will make your time-lapse smoother and more visually appealing to look at.
Since many time-lapse videos require the camera to be positioned still in one place for a long time, it also needs good battery life. Well, the D3200 comes with a Nikon EN-EL14 lithium-ion battery that will keep your camera working for hours on end without dying out.
You also have the option of recording the video without turning on your LCD, which will give you even more recording time because the LCD is not pulling away any energy. So, there are a great many secrets present in this camera that you can enjoy while creating a time-lapse video.
Here are 5 Tips on Using the Nikon D3200 for a Time-lapse.
Use The Right Interval
Using the right interval is super important in creating a time-lapse video. This will determine how long your video is and how fast you want it to go. It will also take into account how long you want your time-lapse to be. While some new cameras come with an intervalometer, the D3200 does not. However, it does come with a built-in video editor that you can use to create time-lapse videos.
Intervals are important because the world doesn’t move at the same pace, so while for some time-lapse recordings, you may need a shorter base video. In contrast, for others, you may need to record for longer periods.
For example, suppose you are recording a 10 second time-lapse for a busy street. In that case, you may just record the people walking or cars moving for 5 minutes, and you can speed it up for a 10 second time-lapse.
However, if you are recording the bloom of a flower, or a sunset, then you may need to record for long because these movements happen slowly. And this is where you need to set your intervals.
With the Nikon D3200, you can use its continuous shooting mode that shoots at 3 frames per second, or you can record a video at 1080p, 720p, and 424p with 30, 25, or 24 frames per second. These features will give you a host of options through which you can show your intervals. The camera has an EXPEED 2 12 bit image processor that gives your images and videos an added flair.
Choose Good Music
Good music is essential if you want your time-lapse to be viewed by more people. To get a larger reach or a wider audience, you must attract them through the kind of music you’re adding to the background. Most people will not look at a sound-less screen, and even if they do, they won’t enjoy it. So, pick music that is entertaining, engaging, and goes with the kinds of movements in the video.
For example, if a video has a fast-paced street recording, you can maybe use an up-tempo sound to match the video. What this does is that it creates a semblance of being in that moment. The viewers will almost feel like they are in that time-lapse. If you are recording something serene like the clouds moving or the sun setting, then you can maybe use a slower or mellow sound.
It all depends on the movements present in the video itself. In fact, choosing good music becomes even more important for you to get inspired by. Perhaps because of the kind of music you’re listening to, you alter the time-lapse a little or edit it accordingly to make it even better.
The Nikon D3200 allows you to import and export your videos onto your computer or your USB for you to edit on a device later. It also has a built-in video editor that can help you paste music or images onto your time-lapse videos.
It also contains many HDMI ports through which you can directly connect it to your screens and view the video before selecting it for any specific sound. So, you can play around and brainstorm for sounds using its many features.
As mentioned above, in time-lapses, you have to create a semblance of the viewer being present in the video. One way to accomplish this is by adding motion. Since most time-lapse videos are recorded by mounting the camera onto a tripod and keeping it still, positioning it in one direction only.
However, if you occasionally move or tilt the camera, you can have incredible effects added to your time-lapse. It gives the viewer a panoramic view to look at and makes the video a lot more interesting.
One way you could do this is through getting a specific kind of motorized tripod that moves, and you can time those movements accordingly. Depending on what you’re recording, another way is to hold the camera in your hands and move it very slowly to capture more of whatever is happening.
For example, you can use a motorized tripod to move very slowly if you want a panoramic time-lapse of a garden growing. However, if you want to show the street life, you can just hold it in your hand and rotate the camera to capture the from a 180-degree angle, since the street is a fast-paced location.
The Nikon D3200 has many functions that help with motion detection. It has auto-focus functions that work on single points, dynamic areas, auto areas, and 3D Tracking – on up to 11 points. It also features a subject-tracking function that gives your moving subjects more focus(slow or fast). These features are incredible if you want to clearly capture moving faces or cars on the streets.
Shadow Movement Is Important
Creating time-lapse videos also requires a certain amount of effort and creativity from your part. You have to look around yourself and find movements to record. If you think there are no clouds to make a time-lapse on, or you are not close to a busy street, just find the next best thing. This next best thing is shadows.
The one thing that keeps moving is the earth, and hence our contact with the sun. This movement creates shadows. So, you can always record the shadow movements of anything to get a good time-lapse.
An example of this could be if you can simply get a stick and make it stand upright on a clear ground. The sun will always cast a shadow on it. You can record, from a distance, the way the sun makes the shadow move, almost turning it into a sundial.
This way, you can be extra creative and make time-lapse videos by literally creating things like sundials. All you’ll need is a stick and a clear ground. You can mark the 12 numbers on it using anything you have.
As mentioned above, the Nikon D3200 comes with incredible autofocus features that will help you in focusing on any moving thing, even the shadows. However, an additional feature that it contains is an eye-level Penta-dach mirror, which will give you a better framing of the video, especially with shadows since shadows can be translucent and difficult to work with. The scene and orientation recognition feature is also immensely helpful when working with elusive subjects like shadows.
Use Different Apps
Many different applications can help in your journey to record time-lapse videos. If you are particularly interested in creating time-lapse videos of the sky, you can use weather forecasting apps like Strom, AccuWeather, MyRadar, or Dark Sky Finder.
All these applications help you in finding different kinds of weather patterns in different locations. You may have to do a bit of traveling if you’re really committed, but these apps will also tell you what the weather will be like around your location.
Since the Nikon D3200 comes with a geo-tagging plug and is certified by Microsoft for Windows 7, you can always use the port to connect it with your computer and locate different locations to shoot on through apps like Google maps.
You can also use video editing apps like OpenShot and Adobe Premiere to edit your videos. You can export directly onto these platforms through the HDMI ports. So, go and get recording for your next time-lapse video, and share it for the world to see.