Published on November 20th, 2012 | by Kira0
Brinno TLC200 Time Lapse Camera : A New Way To Be Creative
Video is life now, even taking the place of photos, adding a bit of motion to what might have been still before. It’s not at all certain that film will take over completely, but one technology that ties these two mediums together is time lapse video. You’ve seen them before, in animation and nature videos, where a shot is captured every few seconds or minutes or hours. Some classic examples are moving clouds, changing seasons, the blooming and death of a flower, or the building of a house. Some can be really creative and quite beautiful.
But these can be fairly hard to manage with a normal camera, requiring either a fair bit of editing or setting up, not to mention the fact your camera is stuck in one place- and might not be weatherproof. A lot of the time you will be out babysitting the equipment. Unless you get the Brinno TLC200 Time Lapse Camera. This tiny camera- truly small at a mere 2.5 by 1.8 by 4.2 inches and 9 ounces- makes time lapse photography as simple as your point and shoot. It is as easy as finding your target, framing it, setting the time interval, waiting, and then uploading the video onto your computer. You can very easily determine how often you wish to take a shot. Cycle quickly through intervals of one, two, three, five, 10, 20, 30 seconds, or one, five, 10 minutes, or one hour on the menu. If none of these work for you, there is also a custom setting that lets you set the camera to take shots between one second and 24 hours. A firmware update adds a 2x per second option as well, and we loved the adjustable and rotatable lens and fairly wide angle of view- we were worried it might tilt on it’s own but held steady over the week or so we captured some images.
With these different numbers in mind one may think, how long will the battery life last on the Brinno TLC200? You do not want to set everything up to shoot, leave it to do its magic, and then come back to find that the battery died only a few days in. Lucky for us, four AA batteries can capture 300,000 frames! That basically breaks down to one second interval will last around 3.4 days, five second intervals about 17 days, and so forth. For the most part, this battery life should be pretty good for almost any project you want to do. We’ve seen Brinno gear before, and it’s nice to see them finding new video solutions for various niches.
Here is the next concern you may think about: weatherproofing. Most of the projects I have thought about for this camera are going to be outside, and possibly for a little while. This means at some point in time it is probably going to rain or snow on the camera. And unfortunately, the Brinno TLC200 is not weatherproof by itself. You can, however, purchase a weatherproof casing: Brinno ATH100 Weather Resistant Housing. I found this extra $60 expense a bit annoying. Brinno has to know that most users are likely to be using the the camera outdoors, so why not just make the camera waterproof or sell the two products together? That all being said, the casing does seem spiffy. It’ll remind you a bit of those cases that can take a camera underwater. However, we’re not suggesting doing so with this one, it just seems well-built enough to protect the Brinno TLC200 from the elements.
Another cool accessory for the Brinno TLC200 is the Brinno Shutter Line. This is basically a trigger for the shudder and it completely changes the role of the Brinno TLC200. It turns it into a stop motion camera! This is super fun for creating your own little films and makes it as easy as a press of a button. The three foot cord makes it so you do not have to be that close to the camera to shoot. It’s pretty critical when doing animation or freeze-frames that the shutter be remotely controlled, because the slightest adjustment to the camera could throw off the picture. If you have kids, this $20 accessory is the perfect add-on to help let the creativity flow!
We did have a few concerns with the Brinno TLC200. The camera’s display is not the nicest resolution, but the resolution that the camera captures is 1280×720 pixels, which is perfect for the web. There is no way to directly upload the video using the camera; so, you will have to buy a SD card reader if your computer does not have one built in. Also, it can hard to mount or fix the camera in place, especially in spaces that are easily disturbed- we took to taping it down or covering it with a Otherwise, this is a great little camera (in blue or green). And considering how much you would pay for other time lapse options, $190 is not a bad price for a cute way to monitor your yard, watch construction, or even create some animation projects. For a quick example, Brinno’s lovely video of balloons is embedded below.