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Tourist
Posts: 4

Long-term time-lapse with Fusion

[ New ]

Hey hive-mind,

 

I'm planning a long-term timelapse (12-15 days) with a GoPro Fusion in an unaccessible location. The nearest I'll be able to get after positioning the camera is around 35-40m away, so wifi won't work either. 

I'm trying to work out which settings may be best. I want an image every 10seconds through day and night and I'm unsure whether timelapse-photo or nightlapse photo is going to be the most suitable. 

 

I'm currently testing, but wondered if anyone had any experience of it and hence any suggestions. 

Also, anyone have ideas on powering a Fusion for that long, perhaps with a solar panel and battery pack combination? 

Thanks!

Nomad
Posts: 5,716

Re: Long-term time-lapse with Fusion

[ New ]

You will face a number of issues with this.  Namely if you don't use "Night Lapse" as a setting, then at night, it's most likely that you're just going to end up with a completely black featureless shot (no stars for example).  It of course depends on your filming location (city environment etc).  However if you enable nightlapse, then during the day you're just going to get a bright white image that's completely blown out due to the long exposure times.  

 

Plus 12 - 15 days at photo's every 10 seconds... that's going to be a huge amount of files to deal with.  

 

Also if you are hoping to power the camera through external means, you will have to leave the side door open to run a USB cable in there.  So that means your camera is now no longer water proof (so rain, condensation through ambient weather changes will be a huge issue) and part of your shot won't be usable (because you'll see a big USB cable sticking out the side of your camera).  

 

This honestly doesn't sound like a realistic project at all nor does it sound like the proper equipment to use.  

Tourist
Posts: 4

Re: Long-term time-lapse with Fusion

[ New ]

Thanks for the insight. My biggest concern is how to get it to cope with both day and night without being able to change settings. 

To give some more background, the plan is to mount it at the top of a mast on a sailing yacht to capture a 360 timelapse of an Atlantic sailing crossing that I'm doing in 6 weeks time. There will be no light pollution so it may simply be a case of running it as timelapse photo and allowing the ISO to go up as well. Any further thoughts on this would be most welcome if anyone has experience of running a day-night (or night-day) timelapse. 

 

Data is not a problem. I beleive I have a solution for that, namely the 1TB microSD cards from SanDisk - the question is whether they will address properly in the Fusion or not - it's something I need to test. 


The powering and waterproofing I think I have solved too - I can use a right-angle USB C cable that I will Sugru in to the side to form a watertight seal. The cable will then run up and around the edge of the GoPro and be taped down. In tests, it has proven effective and not been visible in the images. The plan is to use a large power bank (26000mAh) connected to a flexible solar panel wrapped around the mast. During the day, the solar should charge the powerbank and then the powerbank should last the night for powering the GoPro. 

In terms of ideal kit, it may not be, but it's an interesting challenge and there's not really space to put anything else up there. 
If it looks like it's going to be impossible, then the fallback is to mount it lower down on the yacht, perhaps on the rear, where it can be within wifi range so I can change settings. 


Nomad
Posts: 5,716

Re: Long-term time-lapse with Fusion

[ New ]

Well, fortune favors the bold....

 

Yes, changing the settings will be an issue indeed, although if you have to go one way or the other, I'd just leave it in time lapse mode and see if the boat crew are willing to leave on some external lights at night.  It may not give you a glowing vista at night but at least it should allow for the boat to be at least visible.  After all, you're probably going to get more/better footage during the daytime.

 

Another issue will be salt water build up on the lenses.  Any spray is going to end up drying on the lenses and if you can't get to them to clean them, chances are you're going to slowly but surely get a softening of your image.  

 

I very strongly suspect that a 1TB card is NOT going to work in the Fusion or is going to be prone to failure.  You need to just do the math on this one.  With a 128GB card (GoPro Recommended and fully formatted) take 10 photo's each 10 seconds apart.  Get the total size and divide by 10.  That's going to give you a rough approximation of the size of each photo.  Now calculate the longest time you'll be at sea (15 days?).  So 15 x 24 (hours) x 60 (minutes) x (60 seconds) / by 10 (seconds).  That means you need to take...  129,600 photo's. So now you need to find out if 129,600 photo's will fit on your memory card.  Actually you can just use this calculator to do the hard math:

https://www.omnicalculator.com/other/time-lapse

 

Good idea on the waterproofing, but once you put that Sugru putty on, you may have a very hard time removing it again.  However, it should work.

 

You'll also need to make sure that your PowerCell and it's connections are kept watertight too.  A Ziplock bag and some rubber sealant on the opening should help with that.  You will also need to make sure that the Solar Panel is capable of keeping your power bank charged too.  I know that some "emergency" Solar Cells take up to 3 days just to build up a charge to fill a mobile device.  A 260000mAh  powerbank may take significantly longer.  You could always use a longer USB cable going from the cam to the powerbank and have a backup powerbank to swap out just in case.  After all, you may have cloudy days which impact your powerbanks ability to get a charge from a solar panel.

 

For shots this difficult, most people would double down.  Get a 2nd Fusion and mount it somewhere else (an extended pole off the back of the yacht for instance).  It at least gives you more options on getting some good footage and acts as a backup.  

 

Good luck and keep bouncing around the idea's, might as well be as prepared as possible.

Tourist
Posts: 4

Re: Long-term time-lapse with Fusion

[ New ]

There's only 5 of us on the yacht, so kleaving lights on won't be a problem. We'll always have some form of naivation lights on. 

The reality for nighttime, is that there is limited chance of seeing stars in video anyway unless the ISO is very high. We'll be moving, so long exposures won't work very well and as you say, the more interesting stuff should be the daytime. 

 

I'm hoping the top of the mast will be much clearer of salt spray - if waves are breaking over the top of the mast, I'll have bigger concerns than salt on the lens! That said, it's one to keep an eye, so thanks for the reminder. 

 

No reason a 1TB card is more prone to failure than anything smaller. The conern for me is whether it'll address. It's SDXC compatible, so it should work but it may require firmware. That said I'll do the calculation and see. Each frame from the fusion is 2.3MB, so for 15days with a frame every 10seconds, it'll be 298GB per card. Maybe therefore a pair of 512GB cards would be sufficient. If it's 13 days, it'll just about get on a 256GB card, but anything over, it needs a 512GB. 

 

I've used Sugru before and it's never been too hard to get off. A bit of picking and a blunt blade normally does it. 

 

Beyond that, I am thinking of possibly 2 more fusions, both low down - one front of the yacht, one rear. This, I feel may actually give the more intersting views, though there is something about a bird's eye view of the yacht crossing the Atlantic that is somewhat alluring! 

 

Powering - you may be right about Solar. It's a good theory, but the panels may need to be too big to be practical. A second battery pack that I can switch out on a long cable may be better solution. I'll do some further testing and see. 

 

Thanks for the thoughts and advice. 👍