13 states, 1 guy, an iPod and 5 minutes and 48 seconds of video

So I had this crazy idea a while ago that when I made my journey to the left side of the country that I wanted to make a time-lapse video of my trip. The first thing was to find a camera. Now, mind you, I already have three digital cameras, and the two point and shoots don’t have an intervalometer, and the digital SLR is too damn big to have resting on my dash for 4.5 days. I found the Nikon P7000 some time ago, and played with it at Photoshop World, and liked it. The only downside was the limited time selections. The P7000 will only shot 1 frame every 30 s, 1 min, 5 min, 10 min, 30 min, 60 min., which wasn’t quite what I was looking for. So I switched gears, and continued to look around, but I ended up not liking any of the options because I didn’t want to buy another digital camera that was really only good for one thing, and the Canon G12 was way too much camera for what I needed it for.

Ultimately, I decided to just upgrade my iPod to the iPod Touch with video, and go from there. The limiting factor here is pretty big though; the camera needed to shoot images, not video, and the iPod shoots stills only of high enough quality to be HD video ( 960 x 720 ). Which is tiny in comparison to an actual digital camera.

With a couple of test runs in hand using the TimeLapse app on my iPhone, I was off and running with a plan, and a device ready for execution, and here’s the outcome.

The only thing I’m not really happy with is the sporadic exposure control of the iPod’s camera. It doesn’t do well at all with bright lights and unevenly lit skies. Some parts of the video are really dark in comparison to how the lighting actually was, the device and hardware functioned flawlessly though. The only problem I experienced during the trip; parking in the sun. The iPod overheated and stopped recording while I wandered about Mount Rushmore. I don’t think I would truly call the quality HD like Apple states on their site, but I guess if size is the only qualification, it is.

Overall I think the video turned out really well, and the iPod was a good choice for this application. The only other thing I will add is that the song I originally chose for the video is Cities, by the Talking Heads and YouTube nixed the audio, so I had to use Audio Swap to replace it with something else. The Talking Heads is a much better fit.

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