36 hour timelapse using the Canon 7d



timelapse blogA test to see how I could do timelapse for drastically changing light over a long period of time, filmed from my hotel window in The Clift in San Francisco. 

I too one photo every 20 seconds remotely with the intervelometer and it was auto iris, auto shutter and auto iso. Would it work or would it be too jumpy?


I think it works just fine, but in future I would have done just auto shutter as it would have done the same  job for me and been cleaner at night. A good experiment and I learnt a lot from it. I will do another similar one soon with my new knowledge! I used a 32gb 266x Kingston card and took about 6400 photos in Jpeg mode and put them together using the method I explained here. I also sped it up in post as it was too boring! Snow Leopard users…use Quicktime 7 as Quicktime X is pretty useless. It should still be in your hard drive folder.

Music is Ghosts by Nine Inch Nails.

Shot using the Canon 7D, a Sigma 10mm fish eye and the Canon power supply for the 5dmkII/7D

Check out my amazon store for the power supply, lens and intervalometer.

36 hour timelapse on the Canon 7D from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.


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  1. Cool.

    Looks like White Balance becomes one of the real issues in full day to night.

    Would be interesting if you could shoot RAW and somehow ramp down color temp throughout the shot in AE!

  2. This makes me feel like I’m in a giant space ship the size of Chicago and I’m flying through the skies. It’s crazy to focus on the clouds and the sun, over such a long period of time. It really makes me realize how small we are.

  3. Very cool! I’m waiting on my intervalometer to try this out. A couple of questions:

    1. Did you use the AC adapter? I assume yes due to the length of time covered.

    2. Do you secure permission to use music in your personal work? I’ve tried but never get a response.

    1. Unless this is the graded version added, i didnt see that much of a problem in white balance.

      great video. im now a step closer to pressing the Buy now button on the 7D… still umming and arr’ing a few things though!

      HELP! 😛

  4. I’m amazed how smoothly that has come out for full auto, I was expecting a lot more flicker. I did a time lapse project this year using Canon compacts and the CHDK firmware so exposure could be averaged over a few frames and that still had some flicker in low light situations.

    Did you speed it up in post by merging frames or just using every nth shot? I guess a merge would reduce the flicker but looking at freeze frames it doesn’t look like that was the case.

  5. Awesome work Phil! And I kindly will borrow your idea of doing this from the hotel room’s window, as I it gives me something to look forward to in a hotel (after years of traveling, not as fun as it used to be 🙂

    On a side note, perhaps this is not the best place to post this question, but I read that you prefer to use Quicktime Pro 7 for putting them together, as opposed to the new one released with Snow Leopard. Is there a way you can elaborate on that? I tried looking for Quicktime 7 at Apple.com and it says that I cannot install as I have a newer version of Quicktime installed.

    Anyways, I know you’re super busy, but if you have a second to report on it, or even direct me to a different source that might mention it, that would be great.

    Keep up all the awesome video work Phil!


    1. Not to speak for Philip but i think I can speak for most filmmakers that Quicktime X is a very dumbed down version of Quicktime Pro – and there currently IS no Quicktime X PRO. All the features we need have been removed. Exporting, marking in and outs. etc..

      But its pretty easy – and Apple clearly anticipated the backlash when they stuck the Quicktime 7 installer on the OPTIONAL INSTALLATIONS of the Snow Leopard disk.

      I can’t seem to make the the DEFAULT Quicktime – but its easy enough with a right mouse click and an APEN WITH.

  6. A question first: since video slang is new for me and it seems to be way different than still photo slang: what do you mean by grading and what do you do it with? 😉

    A piece of advice maybe – if shooting JPG, i think the way to go would be to use Neutral picture style with diminished contrast and AdobeRGB, with HTP turned on to preserve as much highlights as possible and then have more room for post processing.

    AC adapter for 5D2/7D is the way to go, I wish it was included in the box, like it is done with 1-series cameras.

  7. very,very extra cool.
    weren’t you afraid of room service touching or maybe trying to clean your installation ? how about using the room lights? could you touch the switch?

  8. I second the question about QT X. There is no option I can see that allows image sequence creation. QT 7 wont install as it recognises QT X as a later version. I’m googling now for answers but if anyone else knows then it would be much appreciated.

  9. question. is it possible to mount the tokina 11-16 on the 7d with a fotodiox pro adapter? my purpose is for video only. as you are aware of, the tokina 11-16 is not available for the canon, but the nikon ver. is.

    cheers, paul

  10. hey, can anyone recommend a “must have” list of lenses for the 7d.
    im looking to get about 3 lenses at a price range of 500-1k each.
    i just sold my hvx with letus adaptor and need a basic shooting kit.

  11. this looks awesome, i especially love the night shots, reminded me of gotham city… the only thing that i would have done differently is maybe taken a photo every ten seconds and then when combining the pictures set it to play back at 60 frames per second, i just find it was a bit choppy. ill have to try this one time, i need an intervalometre for my d80 though.

  12. Hey Phil,
    word up for this shot. I have a question, though. Next year a client wants me to do a timelapse of a construction site wich will need to cover a period of four weeks. So the intervalls between the pictures need to be pretty long. So far I have only been using batteries for timelapses. When the intervalls between the pictures get to long the camera will eventualy go into powersafe and turn of. So does the AC adaptor prevent the camera from going into powersafe? Does anyone know this? Thanx!

    1. No, you do not need a intervalometer. The Canon remote shooting software that comes with the 7D has a timer option. The only drawback is that the lowest setting is 5 second intervals.

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