So, I would like to create a timelapse montage of a road changing the seasons - as the viewer travels down the road.

Now, this said, I assume that I would have to travel down the road, gathering footage periodically. Can anyone reccomend what type of equipment I would need?

If Driving? If walking (or running) down the road?

This is nonprofessional for any budgetary concerns, but I would like to at least get a stable image.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ If Driving? If walking (or running) down the road? I don't understand these questions. Are these about capturing the images, or are these questions about the produced timelapse effect, looking as if the viewer is driving, walking, or running? \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Commented Jan 22 at 17:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ What is the run-time of the sequence you intend to produce? Over how many seasons? Please be specific and edit your question to add as much detail as possible to your question. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Commented Jan 22 at 17:57

2 Answers 2


This isn't a problem of what equipment you need. This is a problem of clarity of vision, previsualization, and planning. You need to have a clear vision of what you're trying to produce. The following questions and decisions are entirely independent of equipment:

  1. What video frame rate do you want (24 fps, 30 fps, etc.)?
  2. Do you want each output frame to be a photograph in the sequence? Or do you want the video sequence to linger for some time on each image (1/2 second, 1 second, etc.)?
  3. What is the subject? That is, what is the camera (i.e., viewer of the timelapse) seeing, focusing on? Is it a landscape far from the road, such as overlooking a valley? Or is trees or something whizzing by very close to the road? Is the camera just aimed sideways, or straight forward? Or does the camera pan during the timelapse, relative to its velocity vector?

These questions have important consequences. For instance, if you want a 2-minute timelapse of discrete 24 frame-per-second images viewed as if you were travelling 50 mph down the road, that would require:

  • \$2\,\textrm{[min]}\times 24\,\mathrm{[frames]\over[sec]}\times60\,\mathrm{[sec]\over[min]}\$ = 2,880 individual images, taken every ...
  • \$50\,\mathrm{[miles]\over[hour]}\times 5280\,\mathrm{[feet]\over[mile]}\times {1\over3600}\mathrm{[hour]\over[sec]}\times{1\over24}\mathrm{[sec]\over[frame]}\$ = 3 feet between frames.

But none of this has anything to do with camera equipment. It could easily be done with a smartphone camera. Your time will be spent in editing and processing the images to minimize frame-to-frame brightness flickering, and using software such as DaVinci Resolve, OpenShot, or LRTimelapse Pro to make the video sequence.

Your hardware decisions are limited to:

  • Angle/field of view (which is a function of the combination of lens focal length and the camera the lens is mounted on);
  • Perhaps a tripod or monopod;
  • Hard drive or storage space for the images and video project files.

That's it. For the most part, the photography details in this project are minimal and basically trivial (although you should learn about and plan to mitigate exposure flickering). Having said that, if you are going to buy a camera for this project, I recommend against a older Nikon DSLR (even used cheap one). Unless you're using a PC-E or E-type lens, Nikon DSLRs and lenses use a spring-loaded mechanically-linked mechanism to close the aperture down to the set value during exposure. As a result, the actual resulting aperture size is highly variable frame-to-frame, much more so than cameras and lenses that use an electronically-controlled aperture.


It is pretty obvious that there is a different answer if you are driving or walking.

As scottbb pointed out it is different if the "travel" is for 100 m or 100 km.

If you are driving on a road, with speed limitations (you can not go below some speed for safety reasons) or if you are walking and can take a photo without worrying there is a car coming.

If you are on a car, you probably need a rig for the car. https://www.amazon.com/dslr-car-mount/s?k=dslr+car+mount

You could try an action camera which is cheaper and smaller.

If you are walking or running, you can have a chest mount for an action camera, https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=action+camera+chest+mount or you could need a tripod or monopod for a bigger camera.

One general tip would be that you take your photos (or footage) on a wide angle lens and at more resolution you need, so you can stabilize it and crop it.

You need to take clear annotations, about the speed, reference points on the road, height and position of the camera, where you are pointing at, time of day, etc.

It needs planning and or a clear routine.

Use a high shutter speed to avoid motion blur.


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