How to Take Time-Lapse Videos on iPhone or iPad

The camera on the iPhone is acknowledged as one of the best cameras you can get on a phone. In fact, it’s comparable to cameras on many higher-end point-and-shoots. It has several amazing features, including the ability to create time-lapse videos.

Among the options that the iOS camera will let you use are panorama, square, photo, video, and the featured time-lapse.

Scroll up through the options to access the time-lapse feature, here on our iPad, it should be the last one at the top.

The whole idea of taking time-lapse videos is that you have to set your iPhone or iPad in one place for an extended duration. This means the phone or tablet has to be perfectly still. We recommend you prop the device up or use a tripod.

In the following example, we’ve aimed our device at a tree blowing in the wind with puffy clouds passing by in the background. Pressing the red shutter button will begin taking pictures at set intervals.

Each tick on the wheel takes a photo but the interval of each photo depends dynamically on how long the video is, which according to this website, can vary from two frames per second for videos under ten minutes, to one frame every eight seconds for videos longer than an hour.

What this means is that the longer you film something, the longer the duration between pictures. If you film something longer than ten minutes, the camera software will go back and delete every frame between so the entire video is consistent.

As a result, if you film something for about five minutes, you’ll end up with a video that is around 20 seconds long at 30 frames per second (fps).

On the other hand, if you film something for much longer, you would think that you would end up with a longer video, but because of the way the camera software works, those extra frames will be dropped and you will end up with a video that is more or less the same length.

This doesn’t mean however, that the video will be choppy, it will still play at 30 fps, but at a much faster rate.

When you’re done filming your video, you can go back and review it. Open Photos and it should be there. You can play it back, favorite it, delete it, or share it with family and friends.

Time-lapse videos are really easy but you have to keep a couple things in mind. First, you’re going to need to leave you iPhone or iPad in one place for an extended period of time. Like we said, that means you will need to prop it against something or more ideally, use a stand or tripod.

Also, the longer your video, the faster it will play. It will still be 30 fps, but the camera software will remove frames the longer you record.

Spend some time trying it out. Point your phone or camera at something interesting, ensure the device is still, and let it record. If you have any questions or comments you would like to contribute, please leave your feedback in our discussion forum.

Matt Klein is an aspiring Florida beach bum, displaced honorary Texan, and dyed-in-wool Ohio State Buckeye, who fancies himself a nerd-of-all-trades. His favorite topics might include operating systems, BBQ, roller skating, and trying to figure out how to explain quantum computers.