Getting Started: Recommended Camera Settings

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List of Recommended Camera Settings

The following is a list of recommended DSLR camera settings for long-term time-lapse.

If your camera is currently plugged into another device via USB cable, you may need to unplug it to change settings.

  1. Use an aperture between f/8 and f/11.
  2. Use a manual/mechanical focus ring; secure it with tape in the desired position.
  3. Shoot in Aperture Priority mode.
  4. Set focus to Manualdo not use auto-focus under any circumstances.
  5. Set ISO to between 100-400.
  6. Set Exposure Compensation to a manual option suitable for your scene.
  7. Set White Balance to a manual option suitable for your scene.
  8. Set Picture Profile to the manual option suitable for your project needs.
  9. For other image processing functions, turn them off (examples: Active D-LightingLow Light Noise Reduction, and in-camera HDR).
  10. Save power by disabling non-essential functions, like GPS and Wi-Fi. Put the camera into Airplane Mode if possible. Reduce screen brightness.
  11. Set File Number Sequence to auto-reset on Canon cameras, and turn it off for Nikon cameras.
  12. Use EvaluativePattern, or Matrix Metering, unless your subject is quite small compared to the rest of the scene. If this is the case, use one of the other metering settings.
  13. Enable auto-orientation to set the orientation flag in photos.
  14. Disable auto-power off or ‘camera sleep’, so the camera remains awake during power-on.

Once your camera is set up, save all settings by turning the camera off and on again using the normal camera power switch.

Sony camera models require additional settings to operate smoothly. Please see the Sony Camera Configuration page for more information.

We recommend you do not use an ND filter.

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