Nikon D5000 Interval Shooting Mode

by on June 10, 2009

in Nikon

The Nikon D5000 offers a very cool interval shooting mode that offers endless creative possibilities.  Several other Nikon DSLRs feature an interval shooting mode as well (do all of them?).  I have had the pleasure of using a variety of Nikon DSLR models; however, the interval shooting mode is one thing I had never taken the time to dig into.

Now that I have toyed with it a bit, I have to say that I really like the potential that it offers. Leave it to me to wait to use a Nikon DSLR with 720p HD video capabilities to jump into the stop-motion movie creation.

So, here’s the rundown on how I created the above movie using still images via the Nikon D5000 Interval Shooting Mode…

I set the Nikon D5000 on a tripod in the backseat/floorboard of my car.  I criss-crossed the rear seatbelts through the back leg of the tripod in order to stabilize it a bit.

I then set the D5000 to capture 999 frames (the max setting) at 1 sec intervals in Shutter Priority Mode of 0.8 sec each.  I used JPEG Medium file sizes to conserve card space and because I knew that I would not need the extra resolution from JPEG Large-sized files for a video.  Oh, and all the images were ISO 6400.

After getting everything set up, I ended up making two stops to reset the interval mode and restart shooting.  I ended up with roughly 2100 images, which I edited down to about 1500 or so for the final video.

I dropped the unaltered images into Windows Movie Maker and set the duration of each image to 0.13 seconds for a “fast” look in the final film.  I then dropped in Endless Road by The Coal Men as the soundtrack (it seemed fitting).  Thanks to Dave C. and the guys for allowing me to use it!

The nice thing is that the D5000 did most of the work without much real thought from me other than the initial concept.  This was my first foray into the interval shooting mode, time lapse, stop-motion or whatever you want to call it.  I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more opportunities to use this feature in the future.  Big kudos to Nikon for making it simple and straightforward.  If you want to download the full-res video for personal use and closer inspection, you can get it here. (Right-click and choose Save as…)

If you’re interested in the Nikon D5000, check on prices and availability at B&H Photo.




1 Marco Montalbetti June 10, 2009 at 8:49 am

Being this your first incursion in the Stop Motion world, I must admit that you (or the D5000) did a great job. I have to tell you though, if that was your daily office-home commute, you should really, REALLY think of either moving closer from work, or changing to a nearer work!!
Best regards and congratulations on an awesome vid!

2 D700 June 10, 2009 at 6:09 pm

That was good i’ve used it on D700 to record my family eating the Christmas dinner, that was just for Photos i never thought to make a video.
My camera keeps on getting better it can now do Video there will be no stopping me now lol

3 Jeremy D. June 10, 2009 at 9:32 pm

that is awesome! what car do you drive?

4 Eric June 10, 2009 at 9:43 pm

Thanks Jeremy. It’s a Mustang.

5 Viv December 30, 2009 at 9:03 pm

Vrey nice work! Could you pls share what lens was on the D5000?

6 Eric December 30, 2009 at 9:04 pm

@Viv – Thanks. I used the kit 18-55mm VR lens.

7 Josh August 26, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Now did you use a flash during this I see that your shots are fairly bright for being at night? I’m still new to interval shooting and want to do some night shots of lasting intervals but find that its really difficult to do this without my pictures coming out extremely dark

8 Dimitris September 3, 2010 at 11:03 am

Excellent work with detailed “how to” info.
Thanks for sharing and greetings from Athens – Greece.

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