Apple poured a ton of love into the iOS 8 Camera and Photos apps, but one feature that did not get enough stage time during last week’s Worldwide Developers Conference was the incredible time-lapse video feature.
The new feature lets you create videos of accelerated sequences of photos over time with stunning simplicity. I finally got around to trying it myself by sweating and wheezing my way to the top of Hayden’s Butte to capture the summer sun setting over Tempe, Arizona, last night.
I only took one run at it, but the results were unbelievably cool:
I’ve never shot a time-lapse video or even tried one of the third-party apps that have made it possible for years. But with iOS 8, Apple makes it so ridiculously easy, Instagram is guaranteed to get flooded with slow-simmering sunsets, crawling clouds and bustling street videos once iOS 8 hits photogs’ iPhones in the fall.
Controls in Time Lapse are pretty much nonexistent. You can set the focus and manually control the exposure, but that’s about it. Once you tap record you are at the mercy of your iPhone, which dynamical selects the intervals to snap photos. Just set it and forget it.
My tripod and iPhone firmly in place, I tapped record, hiked up and down the trail with my dog a few times and came back 25 minutes later to find a 22-second video of the evening’s sunset ready for me. You can record as long or as short as you want and the iPhone still spits out a digestibly short video – perfect for Vine, Instagram or Flickr.
Considering it was the first time I even tried it, I was surprised how great the video looked. Like slo-mo in iOS 7, Time Lapse gives iPhone users the ability to shoot videos that look like they came from a DSLR. My exposure was too low to start with, but the app automatically adjusted about eight seconds into the video when it got too dark.
A quick trim lets you adjust the beginning and ending points of the video, and like Slo-Mo you can save edited videos as new clips or trim the original. Seconds after recording you’ll be ready to throw it on YouTube.
Sunsets and clouds aren’t the only cool subjects worthy of time-lapsing. YouTuber iTwe4kz posted a video yesterday showcasing time-lapse iPhone footage of everything from construction sites to melting popsicles, but we can’t wait to see what kind of crazy uses iPhoneographers will put the feature through once Apple unleashes it in the fall.