Best cameras for timelapse videos in 2024

Best cameras for timelapse: Image shows a cityscape spreading across mountains, with clouds in the sky.
Landscapes and clouds are popular timelapse subjects. (Image credit: Tantse Walter)

If you're after one of the best cameras for timelapse videos, read on to find the perfect match for your needs, budget and abilities. 

Not all cameras will be best suited to this use, as you need to keep it completely still to get the best effect. A timelapse is achieved by combining individual images taken over a period of time, which are then played back to create a sort of film or motion picture. Essentially, timelapses speed up movement and show the passage of time, displaying scenes that our eyes couldn't normally see.

Popular timelapses tend to be of scenes such as nature developing, landscapes, clouds, or even nightscapes. As such, in this guide, we've focused on DSLR and mirrorless cameras instead of action cameras like the GoPro Hero 10 or the Brinno TLC130. While these cameras are purpose-built for timelapses, they're not the best for other types of shooting such as astrophotography.

To use along your camera and achieve the perfect timelapses every time, check out our guides to the best travel tripods if you're often on the go, or the best tripods for sturdier picks. 

Best cameras for timelapse videos deal February 2024

Fujifilm X-T4: was $1699.99now $1549 at B&H
Save $150

Fujifilm X-T4:  was $1699.99, now $1549 at B&H
Save $150
on the Fujifilm X-T4, a versatile mirrorless camera with 4K video capabilities. This camera features a built-in intervalometer for interval shooting and a dedicated timelapse movie mode, as well as the ability to delay your interval shooting by up to 24 hours.

Best cameras for timelapse videos in 2023

Why you can trust Space.com Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test and review products.

Best cameras for timelapse videos in 2023

Nikon D850 review: illuminated-buttons-on

The Nikon D850 can shoot in 8K resolution, complete with 45.7-megapixel power and a silent shutter mode. (Image credit: Future)
Best overall: A solid and reliable choice giving full creative control of 8K timelapses

Specifications

Sensor details: 35.9 mm x 23.9 mm CMOS
Lens mount: F-mount FX
Articulating Screen: Yes
Image Stabilization: No
ISO range: 64 to 25600
Weight: 1005g

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent resolution stills
+
Excels in low light

Reasons to avoid

-
Pretty heavy
-
Optical viewfinder can make composition difficult

This camera's 45.7-megapixel power, high resolution and ISO capability give the photographer creative control over choices to create the best timelapse sequences.

The D850 can shoot high resolution (4K) and ultra-high resolution (8K). When shooting 4K the camera stitches the images together internally into one file that can be viewed on the LCD or edited later. In 8K, the images will be saved for stitching together with third-party software.

Also, silent shutter mode holds the mirror open after the first shot which reduces any vibrations, resulting in sharper images, and also helps preserve battery power. This is a massive advantage to getting smooth time-lapses. Enabling this, as well as exposure smoothing, is ideal for astrophotographers. The exposure system can meter low light in modes such as aperture-priority making it ideal for use around twilight and after dark.


Sony A7 III review: image shows Sony A7 III camera outside

The Sony A7 III is a professional-grade camera, with a long battery life perfect for extended shoots. (Image credit: Lauren Scott)
Best for long shoots: Pro performance at a very reasonable price point and excellent battery life

Specifications

Sensor Details: 24.2MP 35mm full-frame
Lens mount: Sony e-mount
Articulating Screen: Tilt only
Image Stabilization: Yes
ISO range: 50-204800 (extended)
Weight: 650g

Reasons to buy

+
Brilliant value for money
+
Great battery life 

Reasons to avoid

-
Requires post-shoot timelapse stitching
-
Complex menu 

The performance of this camera is on par with some of Sony's more expensive models. We rated it as one of the best cameras for astrophotography because its low-light capability is a dream for astrophotographers. This camera's 10FPS is more than enough speed for most shooters, and its battery life of 710mAh is well above average for a camera of this type and price.

You can use the Sony A7 III to shoot difficult daytime to nighttime timelapses, it can handle the changing exposures with ease in aperture priority mode. Timelapse setup is simple. Turn interval shooting on, set min and max settings for auto ISO, dial in the number of shots and the time (the interval) you want in between them and then just press the shutter button and let it do its thing. 

The intervalometer will keep the aperture in the same place throughout the whole timelapse to minimize any flicker you’d otherwise get if the aperture blades were opening and closing. It will also keep the focus point the same throughout the sequence.


Image shows a side view of the Nikon Z6 taken during our review.

The Nikon Z6 has a built-in interval timer and silent shooting, which makes it a great option for timelapse videos.  (Image credit: Andy Hartup)
A robust mid-range mirrorless option for enthusiasts

Specifications

Sensor details: 24.5MP, Full-frame 35mm
Lens mount: Z-mount
Articulating Screen: Tilting
Image Stabilization: Yes
ISO range: 50-204800 (extended)
Weight: 675g

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent in low light
+
Stunning image quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Now a predecessor of Z6 II
-
Continuous burst can lag

We’ve already reviewed the Nikon Z6 and seen how it stacks up when using it for astrophotography, but we feel it deserves to be on this list too.

There are four functions of the Z6 which make it one of the best cameras for timelapse photography. The first is the in-built interval timer which negates the need for a remote release. The exposure smoothing prevents abrupt changes to exposure which in turn stops unwanted flickering and jumping lens flares. Silent shooting means the mechanical shutter is locked up so we don’t have to worry about this creating unwanted movement.

Finally, the Z6 enables you to create a 4K in-camera timelapse video within the camera, with no need for post-stacking.

The Z6 body is robust and fully weather-sealed, you'll be able to remain outside in moderate rain or wind for a few hours before experiencing any issues


Image shows a side view of the Fujifilm X-T4 taken in our review.

The Fujifilm X-T4 has a dedicated timelapse mode, enabling you to shoot in HD and Full HD.  (Image credit: Diana Jarvis)
A stylish and versatile camera with a dedicated timelapse mode

Specifications

Sensor Details: 23.5mm x 15.6mm (APS-C)
Lens Mount: Fujifilm X mount
Articulating Screen: Yes
Image Stabiization: Yes (in movie mode)
ISO range: 80-51200 (extended)
Weight: 607g

Reasons to buy

+
In-body image stabilization
+
Useful vari-angle screen

Reasons to avoid

-
Autofocus speed is nothing special
-
Need to plug the actual camera in to charge

At just over two years old, the stylish Fujifilm X-T4 features a built-in intervalometer for interval shooting, as well as a dedicated timelapse movie mode. The X-T4 also gives you the option to select Still and Time-lapse movie mode. This not only stitches the timelapse together for you into a video but also saves all of the images separately, giving you the option of ease or creative control. The X-T4 can record timelapse movies in 4K and Full HD. 

Other benefits include the option to delay your interval shooting by up to 24 hours, and exposure smoothing to ensure that changes in exposure don’t happen too quickly so as to avoid flickering.


Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV camera on a table outside

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is a compact and affordable Micro Four Thirds camera that packs an impressive performance. (Image credit: Jacob Little)
The best budget camera for timelapse videos: Incredibly compact and affordable, but still packs a punch

Specifications

Sensor details: 20.4MP Micro Four Thirds
Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds
Articulating Screen: Flip down
Image Stabilization: Yes
Weight: 383g

Reasons to buy

+
Brilliant value for money
+
Very compact

Reasons to avoid

-
Flip-down screen, not fully articulated
-
Doesn’t have weatherproofing

Also featured in our best beginner camera list, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV makes shooting timelapse videos a breeze and gives options for 4K, 1080p and 720p via its built-in intervalometer. Most Olympus cameras offer this option for interval shooting and timelapse movies, but we’ve included the OM-D E-M10 Mark IV because of its affordability and versatility for other types of shooting too. This makes it suited to those looking to take their photography more seriously or with a more modest budget.

You can shoot up to 999 frames, choosing your own interval time and desired resolution. The timelapse setting is handily found on the first page of the camera’s menu, unlike some cameras which bury this away. And it has a Micro Four Thirds mount so is compatible with an extensive range of Olympus and Panasonic lenses.


Front view of the Canon SL3/250D, taken during our review.

The Canon EOS Rebel SL3/250D is very user-friendly with a built-in 4K timelapse movie mode. (Image credit: Tantse Walter)
Automate the timelapse process with this beginner-friendly DSLR camera.

Specifications

Sensor details: 22.3 mm x 14.9 mm CMOS
Lens mount: EF and EF-S mount
Articulating Screen: Yes
Image Stabilization: 4K UHD
ISO range: 100-51200 (expanded)
Weight: 449g

Reasons to buy

+
Good stills and video resolution
+
Very light for a DSLR 

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited AF points (9) when using optical viewfinder
-
Chunkier than comparable mirrorless cameras

The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 (also known as the EOS 250D) is a beginner-friendly, easy-to-use camera. 

That said, it's still packed full of impressive features, including a built-in 4K time-lapse movie mode. This function works like an intervalometer: you can choose how many frames you want to capture, how long a gap should be left between each one and whether you want the camera to automatically expose each shots or just stick to your original settings. 

The advantage of the 250D over an intervalometer is the camera will automatically create the timelapse for you, meaning you get a neat file ready to view without needing to stitch post-shoot. You can also instantly share the timelapse created using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, both of which are built-in to the camera.

The battery provides enough power for 1070 images to be captured while using the optical viewfinder, which has a vari-angle touchscreen to help you frame and focus your shot.


How we test the best cameras for timelapse videos

In order to guarantee you’re getting honest, up-to-date recommendations on the best cameras for timelapse videos to buy here at Space.com we make sure to put every camera through a rigorous review to fully test each product. Each camera is reviewed based on a multitude of aspects, from its construction and design, to how well it functions as an optical instrument and its performance in the field.

Each camera is carefully tested by either our expert staff or knowledgeable freelance contributors who know their subject areas in depth. This ensures fair reviewing is backed by personal, hands-on experience with each camera and is judged based on its price point, class and destined use. For example, comparing a 60MP full-frame mirrorless camera to a sleek little crop-sensor DSLR wouldn’t be appropriate, though each camera might be the best performing product in its own class.

We look at how easy each camera is to operate, whether it contains the latest up-to-date imaging technology, whether the cameras can shoot high-quality stills photos and high-resolution video and also make suggestions if a particular camera would benefit from any additional kit to give you the best viewing experience possible.

With complete editorial independence, Space.com are here to ensure you get the best buying advice on cameras for timelapse, whether you should purchase a camera or not, making our buying guides and reviews reliable and transparent.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Tantse Walter
Contributing Writer

Tantse Walter is a photographer and adventurer that's spent seven years facilitating global adventurous expeditions. She loves getting into the nitty-gritty of sourcing and planning trips. Whether that be for astrophotography location scouting, or just for the love of exploration. Tantse enjoys taking creative, bright and bold photos of people, places, animals and the night sky. Tantse’s photos have been purchased by notable companies such as Ford and Cross Country Trains as well as an upcoming book about the songs, rituals and musical history of Capoeira.