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Features of a High-Quality Time Lapse Camera for Construction

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

time lapse camera for construction

The unique characteristics of a time-lapse camera for construction, such as the necessity to work in all weather conditions for extended periods, necessitate the usage of a specific camera. A smartphone mounted on a tripod is unlikely to give excellent results. Take note of these aspects when selecting a camera.

  1. Clarity of Resolution: Ideally, you should take videos with cameras that have 5-12 megapixels. Remember, there is no "do-over" in construction. You cannot request that the builders demolish and reconstruct a wall so that you can record it. Choosing a high-resolution camera increases your chances of capturing high-quality photographs right away.

  2. Long-Lasting Power Supply: You don't want to use a camera that requires new batteries, or a battery charge every few hours. That would be far too much work. Instead, utilize a power supply, Power over Ethernet (PoE), or solar panels.

  3. Built-in Timelapse Function: For example, it is recommended to utilize a camera that can capture photographs automatically at predetermined intervals (e.g. every 3 minutes). Without this feature, you'd have to press the shutter manually every 3 minutes... That could easily consume an entire day!

  4. Weather Resistant, Waterproof, and Durable: Rain, snow, and fog are difficult to avoid on construction sites. As a result, your camera must be built to endure the weather.

  5. Local Storage and Cloud Backup: Making a construction time-lapse video necessitates taking many photographs. You should buy at least 128 GB of storage (more is preferable). Having said that, local storage can be lost or damaged. As a result, having a cloud backup is a good idea. The best method is to utilize both local storage on the camera and a cloud backup. Select a camera that makes it simple to back up photos to the cloud.

  6. Remote Viewing: Select a camera that can be connected to your network so that you can simply access the recordings. This capability also allows remote monitoring of the camera. There's no need to go to the job site to make sure the camera is still operational. You may check your photographs from home or the office.

  7. Camera Stability: To generate a high-quality building time-lapse, keep the camera in the same position. If your camera moves or shakes, your time-lapse may be difficult or impossible to observe. As a result, search for a camera and camera accessories (such as a tripod) that make it easy to keep the camera stable.

Why Time-Lapse camera for construction is Important for a Project?

Construction time-lapse is useful in projects for several reasons.

  • Display the project's workflow. You can display your team 6 months of images to highlight how far the project has developed in that period. It's useful for an architecture firm that creates weekly or monthly client reports. It can make for wonderful updates in these reports to enhance written summaries. Consider the construction time-lapse to be a visual executive overview of the project.

  • For social sharing. Share the time-lapse video with your fans and potential clients on social media. It's also a good idea to share the excitement of a completed renovation on social media with customers, tenants, and supporters.

  • Keep a history of your organization. An architectural time-lapse film is an excellent method to document the history of your structure. When you finish the job, you can give it to the client as a present. It depicts the full construction process from start to finish in minutes.

  • For web marketing. Provide your marketing team with the construction time-lapse video. It will provide clients with a high-level overview of the construction process. The construction video can help you differentiate yourself from competitors that do not provide this type of footage.

  • Presentation during construction trade shows. These types of videos can pique the curiosity of onlookers at an event. These videos can also be used in virtual events such as webinars.

What Makes a Time-Lapse Camera for Construction Video Unique?

Time-lapse camera for construction video, unlike other genres of time-lapse footage, has its distinct characteristics. As a result, considerable planning is required to produce a high-quality video. There are no "second takes" in construction video, unlike other types of video where you can shoot the footage numerous times to achieve a perfect shot. You only have one shot at getting your video.

  • Rain and snow are your adversaries. The cameras you use must be weatherproof. Construction projects, unlike interior workplaces, are typically placed outside and have no extra protection. Rainy or snowy days can provide unforeseen scenarios for cameras, thus they must be at least IP66 waterproof or have other weatherproof protective measures, such as waterproof cases.

  • Unstable signal at building sites. The network signal at the building site may be unreliable, causing problems with remote viewing.

  • The camera may have been stolen. People are continuously coming and going from building sites. Every day, you might see some familiar faces on the job site. However, new people will come regularly, such as suppliers and contractors. With so many people coming and leaving, there is a chance that your camera will be stolen. A camera with human detection and motion detection features can aid in the prevention of theft. When a questionable person appears in front of a camera, you will receive a push notice on your phone. In this way, the camera efficiently calls for assistance before it is stolen or damaged!

  • It is difficult to keep the camera completely charged. The construction process may take months or years to complete. To create a comprehensive time-lapse video, you must record each day of the project. This necessitates keeping a camera powered on for extended periods.

  • Customers want high-quality films. Time-lapse movies are frequently utilized for corporate communications and web marketing by construction companies and real estate developers. As a result, your clients may anticipate HD, 4K, or even 12MP video quality.

The Most Effective Setup for Time-Lapse Camera for Construction

There are a few additional preparation tasks to consider before you begin photographing.

  • Multi-camera: If you look closely at the fantastic time-lapse films of buildings on YouTube (for example, the Nonprofit County Theater Expansion Project), you'll notice that they frequently have more than one angle. Multi-camera shots on huge projects can show more of the construction process. It adds to the excitement and watchability of your film.

time lapse camera for construction

  • Angles: I believe this is more of an art than a technique, and you can find inspiration in other videos. Looking up gives the building a lofty atmosphere while looking down gives you the impression of being high up and having a bird's eye view. To imitate the perspective experienced by the human eye, we usually shoot in a flat view.

  • Daytime vs. nighttime shooting. In general, we prefer to film during the day when there is enough light. However, if your construction project is also being built at night or has special lighting effects, you can use a different camera to film some content specifically at night.

  • Backup: To keep your video footage safe, the SD card slot of the IP camera can be installed up to 256G, and with the purchase of a Reolink NVR, you will get up to 6T video capacity expansion, and you can also participate in Reolink's cloud storage through subscription to backup your video footage in the cloud.

  • Timetable for camera recording. You can do so by opening the Reolink App on your smartphone, going to settings camera recording, and then tapping "schedule."

Plan a shooting schedule using the camera recording schedule. For example, if there is no building activity on Saturday and Sunday, you could disable recording.

Reasons for Using IP Camera as Time-Lapse Camera for Construction

1. Multi-camera

We recommend that you photograph the work site from various viewpoints. Installing many IP cameras on your construction site is a simple way to accomplish this. If your gadgets enable time-lapse, you may even be able to employ a CCTV camera system.

2. Security functions

An IP camera can also be used to provide security. For example, you can take pictures of the work site 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Furthermore, some IP cameras have people detection and motion detection functions that aid in the detection of threats.

3. Remote supervision

The monitoring screen can be viewed remotely via mobile app or PC C. This eliminates the need for you to visit each building site to check on progress.

4. In-built time-lapse feature

Some Reolink cameras now enable time-lapse thanks to a recent firmware update. Simply choose a place for the camera, select your settings, and let the camera do the rest.


A time-lapse camera for construction is one of the most effective ways to communicate construction progress. It livens up construction reports. While you may make a time-lapse with a variety of cameras, Reolink cameras are a fantastic choice. These low-cost cameras allow construction time-lapse, making it simple to create videos. Even better, these cameras may double as security cameras, ensuring the safety of your construction workers and site.


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