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Old Sep 26, 2010, 10:37 AM   #11
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The talk of the lens was due to the aperture closing down and opening again if it isn't set to the widest aperture. It's all mechanical and all wear and tear, eventually they will stop, but might take 500,000 photos, most of us will never know with our use.

I really am interested in what you are doing though and would love to see some results in video form.
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Old Sep 26, 2010, 11:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Track View Post
What do you mean my lens could get damaged as well? Why?
As Mark says, repeatedly opening and shutting the aperture (a zillion times!) can wear-out the mechanism. Also, if you're in AF mode, the lens' automatically refocusing for every shot will wear-out THAT mechanism. With fixed (manual) aperture and focus, no problem.

Quote:
Do you seriously want to tell me that no one does time-lapses with their dSLR's?
Many do, but usually not 10k shots per day. A video cam with time-lapse capability is much more appropriate -- it's built for this stuff, lacking the swinging mirror of an SLR. No dSLR is built to survive the strain. Even the best fail, often quite soon, or so the service techs tell me.

Those months- and years-long time-lapses you mention? They're shot at around one frame per minute or hour or day, not 10 frames per minute. And if they're done by professionals, the cameras receive regular service.

Look, video in dSLRs is rather a toy, and quite new. You take a 10-15 mpx still camera, pump up the mechanics a bit, and feed out the stream of 2mpx images. But it's still a 10-15 mpx STILL camera. It's like motorizing a bicycle -- it can be done, but you DON'T make a high-speed racer out of it. Cameras have been build with long-life high-usage mechanisms for many decades. But they ain't SLRs.

Are you doing this professionally? Then it doesn't matter. Replacing the body every few months is just part of the cost. It's all about money, eh?
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Last edited by RioRico; Sep 26, 2010 at 12:01 PM.
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Old Sep 26, 2010, 4:50 PM   #13
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I did mention the lens due to the possibility of the iris having to move each shot, and the same with the autofocus mechanism, if you are using it that way. If you have set the aperture to its widest setting, and manually focused on the subject, it won't affect the lens.
Repeatedly operating the shutter that many times in a short period, is more likely to cause excessive wear than the same number of operations over a longer period (months). This is due to a number of factors.

If you are taking time-lapse shots of something like plants growing, one shot every few minutes is going to be just as effective as one every few seconds, and reduces the wear, and the amount of time you have to spend processing all those shots (no small consideration) by a factor of sixty.

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Old Sep 28, 2010, 6:54 AM   #14
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Hi guys, I am SO sorry that this post became so long.. I just felt like I needed to reply to everything everyone said because you all just took so much time to handle my little question.

Feel free not to reply to anything. And thanks again.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
So, don't point the camera toward the Sun.
There's barely any sun here in New York City right. And I wouldn't ever be so foolish if there was.

I did get some fantastic shots of the moon last night. It was basically hovering above the Upper East Side and I captured it in every way I could.
Hopefully that wouldn't have the same effect.

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No one said your camera won't last a month. In fact, I think many here tried to reassure you that isn't the case.
Well, that doesn't relieve me very much, as I need it to last a year, at least.
I'm going to be going on a photo-shoot in Switerland and France soon, and I'll be depending on my camera to last the entire month-long stay.
If I need to buy a new one or have this one re-configured.. I need to know now.

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Originally Posted by TCav View Post
Actually, the "limitation" is on the mechanical focal plane shutters in dSLRs. P&S cameras don't have mechanical shutters.
So.. you're saying that my TZ5 would be able to take shots indefinitely.. or at least until some other mechanism inside of it dies?
But see.. then I wouldn't be able to use my non-fisheye 8mm lens.. which takes simply breath-taking panoramic time-lapses when projected on a large enough screen.

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Originally Posted by fldspringer View Post
It is important for you to understand, your use is not the normal useage of a DSLR.
Yes, I do. But it is quite shocking to me. I haven't bought a dSLR since my Canon Film EOS back in 1999.. and now I find out that my 1000$ purchase has a lower shelf-life than a 150$ P&S.

I mean, I thought that SLRs were like Server CPU's - tougher, stronger and able to take 24/7 constant use.

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Originally Posted by fldspringer View Post
I'd recommend modifying your shooting.
I can't.. I wish I could, but I can't.

I bought a 700$ lens just for time-lapses, and even if it were cheap, I still couldn't give up the results it gives me. It's half of the reason I bought the camera in the first place.

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Originally Posted by TCav View Post
10,000 per day is about 7 per minute! Are you using the 10 second self-timer and a remote release button locked?
Actually, I've had it since August 7th (my birthday).

Actually, I use both 5-second and 10-second, for varying situations, like at night where I need longer exposures or in a deep fog where I need faster shooting to capture the quickly descending clouds.

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Where do you store all the images? Do you have a REALLY big SDHC card? Do you stop the time lapse process to change cards?
I have a 64GB SDXC card which captures 13,000 shots on average @ 18MP, a 16GB SDHC card for back-up (both with 15MB/s write bandwidth) and an 8GB SDHC 'Extreme' card with a 30MB/s write bandwidth for taking 3.7 shots-per-second. It could also handle 8 FPS, if I were to get the 7D. That's something I'm beginning to see interest in.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark1616 View Post
The talk of the lens was due to the aperture closing down and opening again if it isn't set to the widest aperture. It's all mechanical and all wear and tear, eventually they will stop, but might take 500,000 photos, most of us will never know with our use.

I really am interested in what you are doing though and would love to see some results in video form.
It's such a relief to hear you say that.
Can you believe those melvins over at the Kolor Autopano forums said that it would be impossible to take a 160,000-image panorama because it would outlive my shutter.

Oh, and I would love to do some sort of show piece with everything I've shot in the past two months. But.. I don't know how or where. Am I supposed to start my own website?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RioRico View Post
As Mark says, repeatedly opening and shutting the aperture (a zillion times!) can wear-out the mechanism. Also, if you're in AF mode, the lens' automatically refocusing for every shot will wear-out THAT mechanism. With fixed (manual) aperture and focus, no problem.
I never use Auto-Focus. I don't see the need for it. I get much sharper focus by hand with the 10x zoom focusing option. It really took my photos to a whole other level. And if you want to get good at focusing manually, the best way I've found is to buy a mirror lens. They require such precise focusing and an ultra-steady hand just to get something viable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RioRico View Post
Many do, but usually not 10k shots per day. A video cam with time-lapse capability is much more appropriate -- it's built for this stuff, lacking the swinging mirror of an SLR. No dSLR is built to survive the strain. Even the best fail, often quite soon, or so the service techs tell me.
Do you know what a video cam with time-lapse capability is?
I went to B&H and saw it for myself after I heard of it..
All it is, is just the video camera taking photos.. really poor 4-5MP photos.
I mean, why use your video camera for taking photos? That's just silly.
The best option, if you want to use a single camera for years, is get a P&S.. much, much better quality than a video camera and no shutter to worry about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RioRico View Post
Those months- and years-long time-lapses you mention? They're shot at around one frame per minute or hour or day, not 10 frames per minute. And if they're done by professionals, the cameras receive regular service.
That's probably true. Although I've yet to see one done by a professional.
To be honest, I think the best way to do this would be a camera you directly connect to a hard drive.. and I've not found a way to do that on the T2i.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RioRico View Post
Look, video in dSLRs is rather a toy, and quite new. You take a 10-15 mpx still camera, pump up the mechanics a bit, and feed out the stream of 2mpx images. But it's still a 10-15 mpx STILL camera. It's like motorizing a bicycle -- it can be done, but you DON'T make a high-speed racer out of it. Cameras have been build with long-life high-usage mechanisms for many decades. But they ain't SLRs.
Actually, I disagree. Well, first of all, the T2i has a censor the size of a 20"+ video camera. Now if it were to take actual STILLS 30 times a second, the quality, on top of that, would be amazing. And it is.
Although, I must admit, I don't know how video cameras work, in the same regard that you speak.. but I doubt that it's a 'toy' as you claim.
Nonetheless, the video is fantastic. I'm not going to be buying a video camera any time soon. Oh, and the lens options.. fantastic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RioRico View Post
Are you doing this professionally? Then it doesn't matter. Replacing the body every few months is just part of the cost. It's all about money, eh?
I'm actually not. I'm a semi-pro who doesn't really need to work.
But.. I would love to get some extra income on the side by.. either selling my own work, or finding a few small jobs that pay decently.. I just have no idea who's buying these days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VTphotog View Post
I did mention the lens due to the possibility of the iris having to move each shot, and the same with the autofocus mechanism, if you are using it that way. If you have set the aperture to its widest setting, and manually focused on the subject, it won't affect the lens.
Repeatedly operating the shutter that many times in a short period, is more likely to cause excessive wear than the same number of operations over a longer period (months). This is due to a number of factors.

If you are taking time-lapse shots of something like plants growing, one shot every few minutes is going to be just as effective as one every few seconds, and reduces the wear, and the amount of time you have to spend processing all those shots (no small consideration) by a factor of sixty.

brian
I understand this, but it is.. disappointing to me that the shutter can only last 100,000 shots. Like my reference to servers.. this is Supposed to be professional hardware.. and professional hardware is supposed to be every more capable than mainstream.. not less. I mean if they can do 300,000 on the 5D, maybe they can do 500,000.

You're right about the plant growing, but there are things that require a fast shutter speed. In fact, 3.7 FPS is not enough.
And the reason I shoot so much, is because I have the fastest consumer workstation currently available, and I like to think that I could slow down a plant's growth so that I could see every instant of it.
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Old Sep 28, 2010, 7:37 AM   #15
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If you really want to do a time lapse sequence on a budget, then, yes, you'd be better off with a P&S. But no P&S will reproduce the angle of view that you're getting with your 8mm lens.

If it is your intent to use all (or most of) (or some of) these still photos to create a video, then the extra resolution of your 18MP images will be wasted, and you'd have done as well with those 4MP stills from that video camera you mentioned.

The T2i is not the professional level camera you seem to think it is, so the analogy of it to a Server isn't valid. Servers have the additional hardware to support the demands of the significant I/O burden as well as the 24/7 operating cycle. They also include a lot of redundancy, which, of course, you don't have since you're using just the one T2i. In fact, to extend your analogy, I would say that the T2i is far less capable than your "fastest consumer workstation currently available".

Clearly, since you take time outs from the time lapse project to use the camera for other things, and you intend to use it for your month long trip to Switzerland, perhaps you should abandon this time lapse project, since all it seems to be doing is hastening the ultimate failure of your T2i, which, the longer you persue it, increases the possiblity that failure will occur at a time when you'd most like to have teh T2i working.
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Last edited by TCav; Sep 28, 2010 at 7:40 AM.
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Old Sep 28, 2010, 9:12 AM   #16
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I thought that p&s' have a lot less life, like 30-40k. I would guess that some other part like a compter chip would die sooner, since they are not made of the same quality parts as a dslr .
But if you are putting such wear on the shutter, this case may be different.
Now when it comes to analogies, one that immediately came to my mind was that of a lightbulb. If you flick it on and of very quickly, even an LED is going to die pretty quickly. But if you turn it on for only an hour a day in an unhumid, clean, etc. enviroment, it will last quite a long time. The point is that you are putting an extreme amount of stress on your camera in a short amoun of time, which will produce different results than a standard wear and tear rating. Ive heard of people who still have canon's first dslr and it's still usable, even though they don't use it anymore. Im sure those have far exceeded their lifetime, but since they are probably only lightly used over a long period of time they wont necessarily fail on the due date. Not a very strong point, but I think you know what I mean.

Don't some p&s cameras have fisheye attachments? Not as good as a real lens, but still possible.

You could put a video of your time lapse up on youtube. It would certainly give you more exposure. Just make sure you leave sone contact info in the description. Im certainly interested in seeing your work.

Curiosity: Would the new Sony SLTs have a longer life than an SLR since they dont have a moving mirror?

Perhaps the foremost thing I dislike about digital photography is how if some chip fries, your whole body is gone, just like how your computer might not turn on one day. Welcome to the club.

Speaking of computera, you must have quite a machine to process 10,000s of pictures. Mine gets slow after a few hundred.
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Old Sep 28, 2010, 10:31 AM   #17
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Curiosity: Would the new Sony SLTs have a longer life than an SLR since they dont have a moving mirror?
It's not the mirror that fails as much as the focal plane shutter, especially when using 'Live View'. When using 'Live View', the shutter opens so the main image sensor can provide the 'Live View' image. When you press the shutter button, the shutter closes, then it opens and closes to make the exposure, then it opens again for the 'Live View'. So using 'Live View doubles the number of shutter actuations.
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Old Sep 28, 2010, 7:18 PM   #18
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Yes, I do. But it is quite shocking to me. I haven't bought a dSLR since my Canon Film EOS back in 1999.. and now I find out that my 1000$ purchase has a lower shelf-life than a 150$ P&S.
I suppose I could frame it in a way that shows how good you have it.

200,000 exposures equates to 5,555 rolls of film (36 exposure) at $3 a roll leads to $16,666 and you still need to get the stuff developed.

See, ya got it good.
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Old Sep 28, 2010, 7:50 PM   #19
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Yes, I do. But it is quite shocking to me. I haven't bought a dSLR since my Canon Film EOS back in 1999.. and now I find out that my 1000$ purchase has a lower shelf-life than a 150$ P&S.

I mean, I thought that SLRs were like Server CPU's - tougher, stronger and able to take 24/7 constant use.
The shutter has always been a limiting factor, even for SLR's. Shutter life for DSLR's is roughly the same as it was for film SLR's. I've owned 8 different slr's/DSLR's and have only had one shutter failure, but I've never even come close to shutter life estimations.

I don't think there are many people doing what your doing and even pro level dSLR's aren't designed for that type of usage. When you do the math, a shutter life of 200k is about 100 shots a day for 5 years. I don't know anyone who shoots that much, even pro's. Your t2i is not a pro level camera, and not designed to be as rugged.
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