Noticing the image quality from image stacking technique and time-lapse with manual exposure control, I developed an Android app called Intervalometer to ease the process of taking photos/frames without using remote release or computer (ADB commands).
Intervalometer is an automated app to trigger camera shutter with a self-configured timed interval. Normal time-lapse mode in most smartphones only allows auto exposure without additional controls on exposure settings and RAW format. This app works like an actual intervalometer for smartphones, it automates camera shutter triggering and it works on any camera app. With intervalometer and its flexibility to control time-lapse configurations, the following types of time-lapse are possible.
1. Low light time-lapse. Smartphones perform good in good lighting condition, but in low light condition, noise appears due to small sensor size. By using manual/pro mode on smartphones, exposure time can be set to longer time with low ISO to reduce noise. However, this setting is not available in timelapse mode. I set the exposure setting in pro mode in stock camera app, and used Intervalometer to automate the photos taking process. Post-processing of the images was done with Lightroom and LRTimelapse on PC.
2. Long exposure time-lapse. For long exposure effect, exposure time is set much longer (4 seconds). 4 seconds of exposure time overexposed the highlight, so ND filter was used to pull down the exposure.
3. HDR time-lapse. Over-exposure happens during daytime. HDR mode is a good solution for this situation. By locking the exposure in camera app and firing Intervalometer, HDR time-lapse can be created as well.
4. Milky Way time-lapse / Star Trails time-lapse. (refer to this post)
5. Moon time-lapse
6. Holy Grail of time-lapse (Day to night time-lapse). The Holy-Grail of time-lapse is also known as Day-to-Night time-lapse. It requires our attention to monitor the exposure and adjust camera setting according to the environment. Setting auto-exposure might be a solution but it might end up with flickering effect. Some smartphones (OnePlus 5) have histogram in manual/pro mode, by constantly checking histogram, time-lapse frames can be properly exposed consistently and flickering effect can be avoided.
7. Wide angle time-lapse (only on LG G6/V20/V30 wide angle lens). LG takes a different way in dual camera smartphones by adding a wider angle lens and pro mode is also available for the wide angle lens except for focusing. Wide angle view is ideal for landscape photography, so using pro-mode and intervalometer on wide angle lens could create a different view of time-lapses on smartphones.
Other than time-lapse, it can be used to capture frames for image stacking in post-process (on other apps) to achieve higher quality images and etc.
1. Image stacking (refer to this post)
2. Star trails (refer to this post)
3. Shooting lightning. Shooting lightning is not easy because it happens too fast. The best way to shoot lightning is to setup tripod with Intervalometer to keep taking long exposure photos to catch lightning shots.
– Full control on time-lapse configuration (delay timer, interval time, number of shots)
– Infinite mode
– Works with Any camera app (shutter button position can be reconfigured)
– Time-lapse calculator
Trial version is released for users to try the functionality and device compatibility.