iOS 8 Camera app: Time-Lapse

Time-Lapse photography is often one of those things some of us think about, but never do. There are several apps offered in the App Store for iOS, including HyperLapse from Instagram and Time-Lapse! that I reviewed last month.

Now Apple is offering a Time-Lapse feature in iOS 8. It's one of the options you select when you go to take a photo, and it's really automatic. In the usual Apple style, there isn't much to think about. You can tap for focus and exposure, then push the red button and off you go. The app selects what it thinks is the correct capture interval automatically.

Here's a quick video I shot from the car:

Then video is saved to Photos, and you can trim the beginning and end. That's all there is to it. Why do Time-Lapse? Most people may not think it's worth the trouble, but once you've tried making a few time-lapse videos, you may get hooked. Building storm clouds, flowers opening, a dish of ice cream melting, kids at a playground, a construction site, and a drive in the mountains all are good subjects.

Both the paid (US$1.99) Time-Lapse! app and the free Hyperlapse app give you a few more options. Hyperlapse will smooth your video out providing very good image stabilization. Time-Lapse! lets you adjust the exposure rate, and can even activate the flash in dark conditions. You'll get better images from Apple's built-in app if your iPhone is on a tripod or being held in a steady stand. I use the Joby GorillaPod as a great way to steady my iPhone for photography, and it is perfect for time-lapse, unless you want to be moving.

I think having a time-lapse function built into the Camera app is going to encourage more people to give this unique form of photography a try.