How (not) to take your own drive-lapse

Posted by Carla DeCiccio on

Two months ago the Raven team attended CES to showcase our product Raven. While we were demonstrating the time-lapse feature of our product, tons of attendees shared crazy stories about how they have tried to capture drive-lapses. For most, they found it to be pretty challenging!

To make sure you don’t make the same mistakes, we’ve compiled a list of what not to do while taking your own drive-lapse & also included some examples of crazy driving time-lapse set ups!

Speeding up Regular Video

We’ve heard our fair share of people who have tried capturing time-lapses by simply “speeding up the video” they took. A time-lapse made of stop motion shots, whereas a video is continuous. Videos also take up much more memory while shooting, so if you’re going for a long road trip this will not be an ideal option. Most commonly, a DSLR is used to take time-lapses by taking a series of photos, then placing them together in an editing software. You can also use a camera that has a built in time-lapse feature if you’re not familiar with DSLR cameras.

Not mounting the camera properly

One of the most important factors when taking a successful time-lapse is mounting the camera properly so it does not move in the middle of the lapse — which will ruin the video! This is especially important while you are driving, as the car will be moving around quite a bit.

Running out of storage

Taking a time-lapse can take up quite a bit of space on your device — make sure you bring extra SD cards on your shoot, or if you’re shooting on a smart device make sure you’ve cleared up enough space.

Touching the device mid shoot

Similarly to properly mounting the device, touching it mid shoot is another no-no. This not only displaces the device’s original position, but it also affects the footage as the camera will not be shooting from the same position. As a rule of thumb, once someone moves the device in the middle of a lapse, you’re likely not going to be able to use the footage post poke.

Some Crazy Setups:

An Intense DSLR Camera Mount


One method to mount your DSLR in a car using a tripod

This method is likely to produce an amazing high quality time-lapse, however you need to know a lot about shooting with DSLR cameras and you’ll have to purchase or already own this expensive camera equipment.

Mounting a DSLR Camera outside of your car

Similar to above — this setup will produce a great time-lapse, but you’ll need to own or purchase the equipment and have an very in-depth understanding of photography!

Using a smartphone


This setup is crazy because it has the potential to be very dangerous. More than ten people are killed and 1,000 are injured every day in the U.S. as a result of distracted driving. By mounting a mobile device onto the windshield of your car, you are inviting a tempting distraction that should remain out of sight while you are driving.

Our recommendation: Try out Raven

You can use Raven, a connected car solution, to take super easy and simple drive-lapses. The smart device automatically records a time-lapse using the state-of-the-art Sony STARVIS™ image sensor and features a wide 140° lens after every trip you take, and automatically uploads to the Raven companion app on your phone afterward.

At a price of $299 it’s much cheaper than most time-lapse alternatives ie. camera equipment or other lapse taking cams, and also comes with a TON of other useful driving tools! Raven operates as a GPS, front & cabin dash cam, security system, and lets loved ones check-in on you while you’re driving via live-streaming.

What road trip would you like to take a drivelapse of next? I’d like to capture Conor Pass in Ireland, an extremely narrow twisting road through Ireland’s highest mountain pass (also the scariest road I’ve ever driven on)!

Check out our youtube channel to see a compilation of awesome road trip drive-lapses.


Dear Friends,

We’re thrilled to announce that Raven pre-orders will be available this Fall!

Enter your email below so we can notify you once we have the details you’re probably already wondering about:

We promise to update you very soon. In the meantime, we are working flat out to finish developing your and your car’s newest best friend.

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The Klashwerks Team

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