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DSLR vs CCTV Time-lapse

Updated: Apr 2, 2020

Better Image Quality

DSLR cameras are made to capture the high quality still images. Even an entry-level DSLR like the Canon 700D can easily produce 18-megapixel images with accurate colors, exposure latitude and image sharpness. The still images are captured at regular intervals and assembled to produce broadcast quality 4K time-lapse videos. Although some CCTV-based time-lapse systems can capture HD or 4K video, the image quality is highly compressed. The compromise is needed to accommodate for the long recording time that can last for months and years. CCTV cameras are built for security and monitoring and not high-quality image reproduction.

Lower Power Consumption

DSLR Cameras use far less power capturing still images at regular interval compared to a CCTV camera that records video continuously, 24/7. A long-term DSLR time-lapse project lasting several months or years usually have a shooting interval of 15 minutes or more. The camera is in “sleep” mode most of the time during the long periods of intervals.  It “wakes up” for that short moment to capture an image, then goes back to sleep again. The advantage of low power consumption means that a small solar panel can power up the DSLR time-lapse camera. A solar powered CCTV camera requires more power, so it is easily affected by bad weather and low sunlight.

TITAN 3 makes outdoor deployment easy. Even in bad weather, the batteries can last for days without sunlight.

Easier Installation

A CCTV camera requires a LAN cable to be connected to a remote central storage for data transfer. The laying of cables can be very costly and impractical for most time-lapse projects, like a building construction site. Wireless CCTV is available but the wireless video streaming is data intensive and can be unstable. In comparison, the DSLR time-lapse camera is self-sufficient. The TITAN 3 allows the images to be transferred wirelessly via WiFi or 3G/4G.

Less Data Cost

The Titan2 Remote allows wireless data streaming to a cloud storage at regular intervals. At 4 to 8 MB / image, the data usage is manageable. A 4GB monthly cellular data is sufficient for most long-term time-lapse projects. CCTV time-lapse camera will not be able to stream video with a data SIM card. It will be too unstable & expensive.

Less Data Management

Data management with DSLR time-lapse images is easier compared to CCTV video files. You spend less on data storage and get better quality images in return.

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