Best Camera for Time Lapse

Are you looking for the best camera for time lapse? It is best to consider its ability to shoot in RAW, battery life, and low-light performance. Below, I handpicked the top five products on the market based on these features. Read on to know why we chose them. 

In the past, I knew that people need to shoot a scene a hundred times at the same place to record time-lapse videos.

Fortunately, there are now countless cameras that offer dedicated time-lapse modes. These allow you to capture a scene over an extended period with the touch of just a few buttons.

Plus, some models already process the stills straight into video footage for you.

There is no need to create a time-lapse through software anymore. You can instantly share these clips to your social media!

In this guide, I will walk you through the five best cameras for time-lapse. I researched several pages of customer reviews and online articles to determine these top picks.

All these products offer interval shooting mode. They capture photos at a certain time and continue at set intervals for creating brilliant time-lapse videos.

Without further ado, let’s get with the article!

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

  • Screen Size: 2.25 Inches
  • Special Feature: Waterproof, Time Lapse
  • Connectivity Technology: Action Camera
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  • Screen Size: 3 Inches
  • Special Feature: Waterproof
  • Connectivity Technology: Wi-Fi Protocol 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth Protocol BLE 4.2
View On Amazon →Read Our Review
  • Screen Size: 3.2 Inches
  • Special Feature: Image-stabilization
  • Connectivity Technology: Bluetooth, USB, HDMI
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  • Screen Size: 2 Inches
  • Special Feature: Digital-camera
  • Connectivity Technology: Bluetooth, USB, HDMI, NFC
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  • Screen Size: 2 Inches
  • Special Feature: Portable
  • Connectivity Technology: USB
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5 Best Cameras for Time Lapse

GoPro Hero8 Black – Best Overall

GoPro Hero8 Black Action Camera

The GoPro Hero8 Black is among the best cameras for time lapse videos.

This action camera features TimeWarp 2.0 technology. It records incredibly stabilized time-lapse videos, even when you are in the middle of action.

The Hero8 Black also offers a Night Lapse Video Mode. It enables you to shoot night scenes in 4K, 2.7K, 1440p, or 1080p.

It even adjusts speed based on motion, scene detection, and lighting conditions.

With this action camera, you also have the option to choose between 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, and 60-second intervals between frames.

Besides these time lapse capabilities, the Hero8 Black also boasts HyperSmooth 2.0.

It provides three stabilization levels—On, High, and Boost—to ensure the best option for whatever you do. 

What’s more, the LiveBurst setting captures moments 1.5 seconds before and after pressing the shutter. Thus, you can pick the perfect shot from 90 still photos or share a short 4K video.

Despite these pros, some users mentioned that the battery life could be better. It might be a problem if you want to shoot time-lapse videos for extended periods.

Nevertheless, most customer reviews were positive. Many users praised the excellent video quality and other features of the Hero8 Black.

With these factors in mind, we chose the GoPro Hero8 Black as the overall best camera for time-lapse. 


  • Type: Action Camera
  • Max Video Capture Resolution: 4K4:3 (4000 x 3000)
  • Sensor Size: 1/2.3 Inch
  • Weight: 4.32 ounces
  • Dimensions: 1.14 x 1.89 x 2.6 inches

DJI Osmo Action – Best Budget

DJI Osmo Action Camera

If you are looking for a budget camera for time-lapse, consider the DJI Osmo Action.

This product can often be found under $200, about 1.5 times cheaper than GoPros.

But do not let its lower price fool you! 

This action camera offers more or less the same features found on the GoPro.

First, it allows you to shoot in a variety of intervals for excellent time lapse videos. These include 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 13, 15, 20, 30-second intervals between frames.

Like the GoPro, the Osmo Action also captures time-lapse videos at 4K, 2.7K, and 1080p.

Moreover, it boasts DJI’s own RockSteady technology. This action camera delivers stable, shake-free footage no matter the activity.

There is also a dual-screen for effortless selfie framing and hyper-responsive display.

That said, some customers critiqued the DJI Mimo app. A few said that it is hard to navigate and control the camera.

In terms of stabilization, the Osmo Action falls short compared to GoPro Hero 8. It crops your image, resulting in a tighter field of view.

Regardless, the DJI Osmo Action is still among the best time lapse cameras.


  • Type: Action Camera
  • Max Video Capture Resolution: 4K4:3 (4000 x 3000)
  • Sensor Size: 1/2.3 Inch
  • Weight: 4.4 ounces
  • Dimensions: 2.6 x 1.7 x 1.4 inches

Canon EOS M50 – Best for Beginners

Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Camera

The Canon EOS M50 is among the best mirrorless cameras for time lapse video.

It offers a time lapse movie setting that allows you to set the interval time between shots.

The M50 also features three built-in time lapse scenarios. Whether you want fast, slow, slower movement, the camera automatically adjusts the right settings for your shot.

Besides these impressive time-lapse features, the M50 provides high-quality images and videos.

It uses a CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 8 Image Processor to deliver incredible color and sharp details.

What’s more, the M50 includes a vari-angle touchscreen LCD. This display makes it easier to change camera settings for taking the best photos and videos.

On top of all these benefits, it shoots up to 4K UHD resolution for stunning time lapse video projects.

However, 4K video is cropped, and it does not allow Dual Pixel AF.

Some customers also noted that noise is visible in videos, even when shooting in lower ISO values.

That said, the Canon EOS M50 is still an incredible camera for timelapse photography. This entry-level camera is best for beginners who do not need extra features.

If you are looking for a professional camera, consider the next product instead.


  • Type: Mirrorless Camera
  • Max Video Capture Resolution: 4K (3840 x 2160)
  • Sensor Size: APS-C
  • Weight: 13.76 ounces
  • Dimensions: 2.3 x 4.6 x 3.5 inches

Nikon D850 – Best for Professionals

Nikon D850 DSLR Camera

The Nikon D850 features a back-side illuminated (BSI) full-frame sensor without an optical low pass filter. This high end camera also boasts 45.7 megapixels of resolution.

It is capable of a high dynamic range for beautifully detailed results. It also reduces the risk of moiré patterns in your photos.

Moreover, the D850 can record time lapse videos in two easy ways—interval shooting mode or time lapse movie mode.

As its name suggests, the interval shooting mode allows you to set the camera to shoot photos at set intervals. It will then save all the images in one folder on your memory card.

The time lapse movie mode functions similarly. But this time, it automatically combines all the photos into a video. This option eliminates the need to create a time lapse video through software.

These time lapse sequences can then be exported into either 4K and 8K resolution. 

On top of all these benefits, the D850 includes a built-in exposure smoothing and silent shutter mode. These features help eliminate flicker and vibration.

The downside is that this camera is very expensive.

A few customers also complained about the weight and the lack of built-in flash.

But if you can afford the Nikon D850, you might find it among the best cameras for time-lapse.


  • Type: DSLR
  • Max Video Capture Resolution: 4K (3,840 x 2,160)
  • Sensor Size: Full-Frame
  • Weight: 35.45 ounces
  • Dimensions: 5.8 x 3.1 x 4.9 inches

Brinno Empower TLC2020 – Best Dedicated Time Lapse Camera

Brinno Empower TLC2020 Time Lapse Camera

If you are looking for a long-lasting time-lapse camera, consider the Brinno Empower TLC2020.

This dedicated time-lapse camera can record up to 82 days worth of footage using a 5-minute shooting interval. If you prefer a 10-minute shooting interval, expect the camera to last for 110 days.

All you need is four AA batteries to power the camera.

The TLC2020 also offers eight capture settings. Feel free to choose from construction security, outdoor construction, home school, and other themes.

Furthermore, it includes powerful HDR and FHD sensors. These ensure high-quality and sharp videos, even in low-light conditions.

Lastly, this timelapse camera is compatible with a range of accessories. You can swap the lens or change the housing, depending on your needs.

Despite all these pros, a few users reported difficulty in focusing due to the small screen.

Plus, the camera only exports 1080p video file in the AVI format. Mac users will need a conversion tool to edit the photos.

Nevertheless, the Brinno Empower TLC2020 is an excellent time-lapse camera for different shooting scenarios.


  • Type: Dedicated Time Lapse Camera
  • Max Video Capture Resolution: 1080p (1920×1080)
  • Sensor Size: 1/3 inch
  • Weight: 3.4 ounces
  • Dimensions: 2.4 x 2.8 x 1.8 inches

How to Choose the Best Time Lapse Camera

If you are still unsure which time lapse camera to buy, fret not!

We included the things to consider when choosing the best camera for time-lapse. Hopefully, the following information will help you make an informed decision.

Read on to learn more!

Ability to Shoot RAW

When looking for a timelapse camera, consider buying one that captures RAW format images.

RAW format retains all the details of your shot since it does not compress your images. It is important for low-light conditions when you need to extract the brightness from each scene.

In contrast, shooting in JPEG format results in compressed photos and loss of details.  

The Canon EOS M50 and the Nikon D850 are incredible cameras that can shoot RAW.

Battery Life

Depending on your needs, timelapse photos can take a while to complete.

So if you plan to shoot for extended periods, a camera with a long battery life is crucial.

You must also consider a timelapse camera that can connect to a power bank or third-party battery.

With these in mind, we recommend getting the Brinno TLC2020 if you will be recording days worth of footage.

Low-Light Performance

Do you want to create a time lapse video of the night sky?

If so, you should get a camera with excellent low-light capabilities.

Look for a model with a large sensor and wide ISO range to allow more light into the sensor.

The Nikon D850 is a great example of a camera with incredible low-light performance.


You must also consider the construction of the camera if you are shooting outdoors.

Choose a model that is weatherproof or comes with a case. It will help withstand immense heat and other harsh conditions.

Do you want to shoot underwater? Then you need to buy a waterproof camera.

We recommend rugged cameras like the GoPro Hero8 Black and the DJI Osmo Action for those recording high-action timelapse videos.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best camera for time lapse photography?

There is no one best time lapse camera. What might be a great camera to others is not the right one for you, and vice versa. So when shopping for timelapse cameras, consider your needs and preferences. It is best to choose a model that allows continuous shooting over an extended period to capture time lapse videos. 

Is GoPro good for time lapse?

A GoPro is one of the best camera systems for time lapse video. It instantly produces edited time lapse videos, so you don’t have to stress yourself over post production software. It also offers various shooting intervals, ideal for shooting different subjects.

However, a GoPro cannot record an interval longer than 60 seconds. So if you want to shoot for an extended period, look for other camera models on the market.

Should I look for a special time lapse camera?

If you are shooting construction time-lapse or any project that takes several hours to complete, a dedicated camera will come in handy.

These special devices often have longer battery life than action or DSLR cameras. Thus, they can record days worth of footage without a problem.

However, some models have poor low-light performance due to their smaller sensors. You must consider this before buying a dedicated time lapse camera.

What is a good interval for time lapse video?

It will depend on what you are shooting.

Fast-moving subjects, such as clouds or people, may need a shorter interval of around 3 to 10 seconds for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, slower objects, like stars, require a long interval of at least 15 seconds for 2 hours.

Is a tripod necessary when taking timelapse images?

Yes, you need a tripod when recording time lapse sequences. Without it, your images will turn out blurry.

With that said, do not simply buy the cheapest tripod on the market. Make sure to purchase a sturdy one that won’t stumble easily when the wind blows or you accidentally bump it.


That concludes our top picks for time lapse cameras!

We chose the GoPro Hero8 Black as the overall best time lapse camera due to its versatile features. It offers a range of intervals for recording timelapse videos. It also delivers steady and smooth results, thanks to the TimeWarp 2.0. Finally, this action camera has a Night Lapse Video Mode for excellent low light performance.

With that said, we recommend all time lapse cameras on our list. The final choice will depend on your needs and preferences.
Buy the GoPro Hero8 Black through this link today!