I would like to know how I could achieve with my Nikon 3300 a pretty long, whole day, time lapse ( sun rising, clouds moving, cars moving, sun setting, etc). I am not 100% sure my camera's battery would last enough to perform this, and there seems to be some trick behind.

Would I have to take it or capture it as Video? Schedule a shot every X seconds?

I have never experimented with this kind of video/photo capture, so I'm clueless.


2 Answers 2


You can get an AC power adapter that fits into the D3300's battery bay for less than $40 US.

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As for the rest of the issues you've identified, as well as some you have not, we've got a good base of existing questions and answers that address them.

How to deal with large exposure shifts during time lapse?
What are good exposure and timing choices for time lapse photography?
How can timelapse sequences be shot without in-camera support?
What is bulb ramping?
How to create awesome nature time lapses


If you want to take a whole day time lapse you certainly would need a remote trigger and more precisely an intervalometer that will trigger the camera every time a constant amount of seconds have passed.

I would set it to take a photo every minute if you want an extent video or 5 minutes if you want something quicker.

The most important thing here and probably the most difficult is camera settings: when it's dark the camera won't shoot at the same settings of a bright sunny day, so you'll constantly have to check if the settings are proper, this if you're shooting in manual mode (which would be best) otherwise you can set it to auto and leave it there for the hole day.

This task cannot be achievable in my opinion if you have just one battery, you'd need at least three or four of them, so when one battery dies you'll need to be there and swap the new one in quickly.

Most important thing, you must use a tripod or something that will make your camera stay still, leaving it on a shelf would do the job I guess but a tripod would best fit this kind of photography.

Keep in mind that if you take a shot every 5" you'll end up with 288 photos so, since a video runs at 24-25FPS or 30FPS that will make a 12seconds video. If you shoot every 2" you'll end up with 1440 photos and you will end up with a minute long 24FPS video.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I have always found quite weird that DLSR's are not sold with a "direct light plug", to have it powered contineously. Thanks for the info. Is there any setting to automate the trigger every X on the camera directly? \$\endgroup\$
    – CptEric
    Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 11:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well you cannot expect that kind of feature on a lower end camera. Higher end camera has that kind of feature and by the way batteries are cheaper these days. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matt
    Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 11:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's no the price of batteries, but the commodity. i would like to leave it shooting before leaving for work , and then stopping it on the afternoon, but it seems unfeasible, heh. \$\endgroup\$
    – CptEric
    Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 11:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ That hardware costs a lot I guarantee and typically it's not a must for this range of cameras. You'd need to step up by a lot (and I means thousands of dollars) if you'd like that feature. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matt
    Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 11:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ If the camera would be positioned close to a power outlet, then you could try plugging it in using an AC adapter connector instead of relying on the battery. And no, the D3300 doesn't have an in-built intervalometer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kat
    Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 12:07

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