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ImageNOTE: This article was originally posted 9/28/2012.

Everything you ever wanted to know about shooting time-lapse on the Panasonic AG-HVX200. Ready, go.

Section 1 – The Nitty Gritty

  1. Make sure the camera is set to P2 mode (via the switch on the back).
  2. In the Scene File settings, set Operation Type to Video Camera.
  3. In Recording Setup, set Recording Format to 720P/60P.
  4. In Recording Setup, set Rec Function to Interval.
  5. In Recording Setup, set Interval Time to your desired framerate.
  6. Exit all menus, and you should see “I-Pause” at the top of your screen. You are now in “interval pause” mode.
  7. Press the record button. You will see the “I-Pause” change to “REC” each time a frame is captured, so you know it’s working. After each frame, it changes back to “I-Pause.”
  8. To stop recording, turn the camera off. When you turn it back on, it will return to regular to regular 720P/60P mode. If you want to record another time-lapse, repeat steps 2-8.

Section 2 – The Deets

Using a 1 frame every 5 seconds interval, this is what you can expect:

  • 10hrs * 60m/hr * 60s/m = 36,000 seconds. 36,000s / 5s/f / 60f/s = 120s = 2m.
  • At 720P/60P, P2 cards use 1GB/minute of video.

Thus, if you shoot for 10 hours and play your video back at 60P, you’ll get 2 minutes of video, which will use about 2GB of space on your P2 card. If your project is in 30P, you can, of course, conform the video and get 4 minutes out of the same clip.

Section 3 – Advices

When shooting time-lapse, you’re probably planning to shoot for a while, and are likely tempted to plug directly into an AC power source. You should know, however, that if your power is interrupted at any point during recording, you will lose all video shot up to that point. Even though the method for stopping recording is to simply turn the power off, the camera is still using battery power to finish writing the file and shut everything down. So, if you’re 5 hours into a 10 hour time-lapse when someone trips over the power cable, you will lose all 5 hours and have to start from scratch.

A much better idea is to rely on battery power. Plug your charger into your power source and keep one battery charging while the other is in use. Break the file once per hour by turning off the camera, swapping the battery if necessary, then restarting your shot. Because it’s time-lapse, no one will notice the jump in your final product, and you’ll be protecting yourself against power loss, corrupted files, etc.

Happy time-lapsing!