For budding photographers seeking to add a touch of magic to their creative endeavors, mastering the art of time-lapse photography is a remarkable achievement.

At the heart of this captivating world lies the intervalometer — an essential tool that unlocks the secrets to stunning long exposure or time-lapse photographs.

Embracing the power of an intervalometer allows you to effortlessly capture images that are sharp and can be considered a keeper. These images, once processed, will look like a visual symphony that tells a story. Or maybe not.

With that said, let's talk about the intervalometer and why it is an important tool you should have.

Time-lapse Photography: What is an Intervalometer?

What is an intervalometer?

 At its core, an intervalometer is a photography accessory that acts as a precise timer for your camera's shutter release.

By automating the process of capturing images at predefined intervals, this ingenious device enables you to create captivating time-lapse sequences, stunning star trails, and alluring long-exposure shots.

It serves as your loyal companion that reduces the need for you to constantly touch your camera to press the shutter button.

What are the types of intervalometer?

Intervalometers come in two primary types: built-in and external. Some advanced camera models boast a built-in intervalometer, while others require an external intervalometer device.

As a beginner, the external intervalometer proves to be a versatile and accessible option, catering to a wide range of DSLR and mirrorless cameras.

An external intervalometer is also relatively inexpensive so you can buy it from your local camera store, and you are good to go.

On the other hand, internal intervalometers are available on select camera models. These cameras are often more expensive than its beginner counterparts.

long exposure image

Key features of an intervalometer

When selecting the ideal intervalometer for your artistic pursuits, consider these key features:

Intuitive Interval Settings

Fine-tune the time intervals between each shot to match the pace of your subject, ensuring smooth and captivating sequences.

Exposure Control

Some intervalometers offer the ability to manage exposure settings, ensuring consistent lighting throughout your time-lapse.

Bulb Mode Support

For breathtaking long-exposure shots, opt for an intervalometer with "bulb" mode compatibility, allowing extended exposure durations.

Timer Delay Flexibility

The timer delay feature grants you the freedom to initiate time-lapse sequences at the perfect moment, creating a seamless start to your visual story.

sunset with intervalometer

When to use an intervalometer?

There are different scenarios where an intervalometer is essential. Here are some of them.

Golden Hour Beauty

Capture the ethereal beauty of sunrise and sunset with breathtaking time-lapses.

Landscape photography

Immortalize the poetic dance of moving clouds, swaying flowers, and rhythmic tides in your time-lapse video.

Urban cityscapes

Transform bustling cityscapes into captivating urban time-lapses. You may use an intervalometer to capture people or vehicle movement as well as the changes from day to night.

Night or astrophotography

Embark on astrophotography journeys, tracing celestial movements and star trails.

timelapse camera on a tripod

How to use an intervalometer?

Using an Intervalometer is easy and simple.

Step 1 - Just like plugging in a charging cable, you connect it to your camera via the port on the side of your camera. 

Step 2 - Put your camera on a stand or a tripod for a stable and consistent timelapse.

Step 3 - Compose your shot.

Step 4 - Set the time, duration, and total number of images that you want to capture.

Step 5 - Press the start button and the intervalometer will automatically take photos for you.

Step 6 - Stitch your images through your computer and edit the final output.

old nikon dslr

Do you need an intervalometer?

It depends on the camera that you are using. If your camera already has that feature, then buying a separate one is not necessary. However, if you are using an older camera model, then an intervalometer is a must.

Moreover, intervalometers may also work as a remote shutter. Think of it as a 2-in-1 gadget that is useful for your photography journey.

How to choose the right intervalometer?

Select the perfect intervalometer with these considerations:

Compatibility and Versatility:

Ensure your chosen intervalometer works across various camera models.

User-Friendly Interface:

Seek an intervalometer with intuitive controls for a seamless shooting experience.

Durability and Reliability:

Opt for a weather-resistant device for reliable performance.

Check the features:

Consider advanced features like exposure control and timer delay.

Budget Alignment:

Explore intervalometers that fit your budget. Do not be tempted to go overboard since a basic intervalometer and advanced model will do the same thing and that is to capture images for you automatically.

Taking photographs at night

Final Thoughts

With the intervalometer's guidance, you have unlocked the world of time-lapse photography, capturing fleeting moments and transforming them into visual masterpieces.

Embrace this valuable tool and let your creativity flourish as you weave captivating narratives, one frame at a time.

May your photographic journey be filled with wonder and inspiration as you discover the true artistry of time-lapse photography. Happy shooting!


Aim Orallo