Hyperlapse vs Timelapse explained


Seven years ago I made a video that explains what a hyperlapse is.

Considering many brands and manufacturers still don’t seem to understand the difference between a timelapse and a hyperlapse I’ve decided to make this video to clarify it, again.

What is a timelapse?

A timelapse is a video created by capturing a sequence of photographs at a fixed interval over an extended period of time.

This can be done from a tripod, or a motion-control mount like a panning device, or a slider.

These last two are what we call motion-control timelapses.

What is a hyperlapse?

A hyperlapse uses the same principle as a timelapse, capturing photographs over an extended period of time, however, it adds movement to the timelapse by moving the camera between each photo.

Now traditionally, a hyperlapse shot is focused on a single anchor point on a subject, like a window on a building or the top of a cathedral that you focus on while moving along a path.

Have a look at this hyperlapse tutorial to get the entire workflow from the beginning to the end of how to capture and edit a hyperlapse.

With the arrival of affordable, powerful gimbals there is a new style of hyperlapse where you don’t necessarily need to track a single anchor point on a subject. You can just walk with the gimbal while taking photos and slowly curving around corners.

In my opinion, this does not qualify as a traditional hyperlapse, as part of the challenge with traditional hyperlapses is reframing your shot for each movement the camera makes, and then spending lots of time in post-production to make it as smooth as possible.

Recently I spent 26 hours in two days in After Effects to painstakingly stabilize every single frame by hand for a very big music video. A few days later they requested the unstabilized shots because they wanted a more rough look to the video.


To recap, with a timelapse, the camera stays in one spot, either on a tripod or on a motion-control mount.

With a hyperlapse, the camera moves between photos.

A traditional hyperlapse is where you focus on an anchor point of a subject while moving along a path.

Gimbal hyperlapses are a sort of hybrid in between.

If you want to learn more about hyperlapse photography, I have a YouTube playlist below with all my tutorials, I have a free e-book about hyperlapse photography, and I’ve got an amazing video course called The Ultimate Hyperlapse Course which you can all check out down below.

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