Fastest commute ever [time lapse]

Shot with my Nikon P6000 in the 30s interval time lapse movie mode. P6000 attached to my Manfrotto tripod in the front passenger seat. The tripod legs are basically double jointed and can be adjusted perfectly to fit in the seat and remain very solid.

Car time lapse setup

I just did the math….3 seconds of video @ 30 frames per second = 90 ‘stills’ = one shot taken every 30 seconds over approximately 45 minutes of commute time (no carpool bonus since my wife was off today).

UPDATE: Here’s the 6mb AVI file straight off the camera – it has a fair bit more detail than the compressed version embedded above. I also had a chance to play with it a bit more at with Final Cut so I stretched it out to 30s so you can see a lot more detail:

Morning Commute from John Biehler on Vimeo.


  1. Now *that* is cool! Nice setup!

  2. Tyler says:

    Cool, a bit fast but really neat. I always thought about doing that but I don’t think I can do that on my SD750. I also don’t have a tripod I could use that would fit I think

  3. John says:

    Yeah, I wish I could go more frequently than one frame every 30s but that’s the lowest on the video setting. I’ll post the original avi tonight (6mb) that you can see more detail than the compressed Flickr video I posted.

    Going to try the full frame still time lapse mode on the way home which is also limited to every 30s at the fastest refresh.

    I know there are firmware hacks for some Canon cameras that give additional functionality (check with John Bollwitt – I know he’s interested in trying them too).

  4. VancityAllie says:

    Wow, that was fast! Have you considered shooting that with your D90 at all?

  5. John says:

    Allie: Absolutely I want to do this with my D90 and a couple different lenses (fisheye!) but I don’t have an intravalometer remote (yet). Been waiting for the offshore ones on Ebay to show up with a D90 connector….should be any day now. Otherwise I have to manually hit the remote switch myself while driving.

  6. Stacie says:

    I wish our commute was only 3 seconds…

  7. VancityAllie says:

    Ah okay, thanks for the response!

  8. VancityAllie says:

    By the way, I’ve been doing a lot of looking after I got inspired by your timelapses and I think I’m going to order one of these: It’s a bit pricey but it works with the D90 and doesn’t have a limit.

    I hear that you can use the Nikon Capture Pro 2 to connect directly to the D90 and do timelapses. Neat! I’m going to try this out in the meantime. I’ll let you know what my results are.

    Let me know if you get anything working with the D90 too! :D

  9. John says:

    Allie: You might want to wait a bit for a proper remote timer to get on the market….way cheaper and more useful. Something like this should be available on ebay soon with the proper D90 connector. This isn’t even the least expensive one…it’s just the first one I could find after searching. I’ve also seen people use this one and make their own cord by hacking the wired remote cord from Nikon.

    There is some other software for the D90 as well (can’t remember the name) but it’s about $100 too. I’d rather have something hardware based so that I don’t need a laptop as well as the camera setup.

  10. VancityAllie says:

    What are the advantages of that over something like the PClix?

    • John says:

      Mostly cost…since it’s at least 1/3 the cost of PClix. I didn’t read all the details on it (the price scared me off) but I’m not even sure how it interfaces with the camera.

  11. No intravalometer built into the D90? My point-and-shoot Canon S2 IS has this feature, but I’m limited to 100 shots.

  12. John says:

    Most DSLR’s don’t have an intravalometer…at least all the Nikon’s I’ve played with. It’s usually managed by an external (wired) switch of some sort but there are also third party battery grips with LCD screens that have this function as well.

  13. Gotcha, didn’t know that. The advantage with using an external one would likely be that you’d have much more flexibility in your timings. As I mentioned, on my camera I can do 100 shots, but the intervals only go as low as 1 minute.

    One of these days I’ll get a DSLR. From the looks (and sounds) of things, you’re a Nikon guy – if you had to do it all over again, would you go with Nikon again?

    • John says:

      I probably would still go Nikon…if for no other reason than most of my friends are Nikon so it makes sharing gear easy. That said, it really depends on what you want to do….you really can’t go wrong with any DSLR from any of the companies out there. You can always start small (and cheap) with a beginner kit and then figure out what you want to do and upgrade. I’ve had no trouble selling my older gear off and many places give decent trade ins too. Just remember it’s not important what camera body you use, but what lenses you have. Lenses stay with you longer than a body does.

%d bloggers like this: