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Who needs iOS 8? Four time-lapse apps you can use today

Serenity Caldwell | June 18, 2014
Time-lapse mode is just one of the cool new features coming when iOS 8 hits devices everywhere this fall, but you don't have to wait until September to play with it on your iPhone or iPad. There are plenty of third-party apps that offer time-lapse photography; here are four of my favorites, each offering a slightly different experience depending on what you need.

When sharing, iMotion offers to send all the frames as images to your camera library or as a single video; in addition, you can send your video via email or to Facebook or YouTube if you've already paid the $3.

Time-lapse for settings tweakers: Lapse It (Free/$2)

The big kahuna of time-lapse settings apps, Lapse It (Free, pro version for $2) offers just about every preference you could think of for a time-lapse app — great for the buttono-obsessed, though maybe a little bit overboard for your average iPhone photographer.

Lapse It offers a fully customizable capture interval, letting you shoot in any number of milliseconds, seconds, or minutes. In addition, you can set whether your time-lapse is limited by the user, by a timer, or by a set number of frames. There's also an option for an initial delay, resolution size, dimming the screen when capturing to save the battery, and a scheduling mode (Pro version only).

When capturing, you have just as many tools, including ones for changing the exposure, focus, and white balance; turning the flash on or off; and flipping from the front to the back camera.

Once you've captured something, you can trim the project, add effects or music, crop it to square, add a timestamp overlay, or loop the video, though these controls are a tad clunky in the app. You also must render your video once you're finished tweaking it; once rendered, you can watch the video, publish it online, or save it to your camera roll.

Time-lapse, meet iMovie: Frameograph ($5)

Last, but far from not least, is my new favorite app for turning time-lapse movies into delightful projects: Frameograh ($5), by the folks at Studio Neat.

Frameograph eschews the multitude of settings found in other apps for a clean, fun capture experience; it also provides you with an easy-to-use timeline for editing and cleaning up your project. You can add multiple time-lapse clips, overlay music, delete individual frames, and finally export to the camera roll where it can be shared with your service of choice.

I wish Frameograph allowed you to shoot more precise intervals than at every second (its full interval options are from 1 second to 10 minutes), but it's not a horrible limitation — the longer shoot times make for a smoother video playback experience, and you can adjust the framerate to make sure your frames play as slowly or quickly as you'd like them to.

 

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