You no longer need a professional camera to create seamless time-lapse videos that depict the passage of time at a certain location. Instead, you can just download an iOS or Android-based app that enables you to have complete creative control over the process of capturing time-lapse videos.

Time lapse video on a smart phone is easy. Many smart phones today have built in time lapse capabilities. Any iPhone running iOS 8 and up should have a time lapse option in the camera app. Just open the camera and slide it to Time Lapse. Hit Record.

In my Galaxy A51 Android phone, there is a video option called Hyperlapse which is just as easy to use. Hyperlapse is a type of filming similar to time-lapse. The difference is that time lapse combines a lot of still photos into one long video and then speeds it up. Hyperlapse, on the other hand, takes one normal-speed video and speeds it up.

Microsoft Hyperlapse Mobile ( ) is an app that allows you to take quality hyperlapse videos and save them on your smart phone. You can also upload any video from your phone gallery, then select the desired speed, and convert it into a hyperlapse video.

You can do this same thing in most video editing apps.

There are quite a few dedicated time lapse apps available. One example is “Lapse It” for your iOS or Android smart phone ( There’s a free version and a pro version. Try out the free version first. Lapse It can render your video in different formats like MP4, MOV or FLV, at different resolutions and with different frame rates, this gives you more control. There are no restrictions other than battery and disk space.

In the Pro version ($4.99/year) you can make videos in 1080p Full HD (1920×1080), other resolutions available are 720P, 480P, 360P, 240P. In the free version only a lower resolution is available.
When you have an app ready to go, you need to get a tripod or other rock-steady platform. This is no hand holding in time lapse because it make too much movement in an already moving scene.

A good place to start is shooting the sky especially on a cloudy day. The movement of the clouds or the stars provides an entertaining fun subject. Sunsets are also a natural subject as is automobile or pedestrian traffic. Look for a subject that has motion perhaps over a long period of time. A process involving people can be a good subject for time lapse. Cleaning, painting, building, walking are a few examples.

Some camera issues to consider are battery power, storage space and protection from weather. AC power may be ideal for some time lapse shoots. But if you must use battery power, you will want a long lasting battery. For storage, the ideal is some kind of cloud storage if your software gives that as an option like the more expensive construction cameras intended for construction sites.

Shoot a number of small tests and you will learn a lot about making good time lapse. Time lapse footage goes well when combined with a music track.