Canon EOS 5D Mark 4 Time-lapse Movie Recording Feature

After months of planning and preparations, I got to field test my new Canon EOS 5D Mk4 while trekking in the Annapurna region of Himalayas in Nepal, last month. Today I will be writing about the feature I used the most during my trip - the time-lapse movie mode (not the intervalometer).

Before my trip, one of the Mk4 features that excited me the most was the intervalometer. However, I was a bit concerned about two aspects while using the intervalometer.

1. The shutter count: If I need to produce a 1 minute long 30 fps clip, I needed to shoot approximately 1500 shots.
2. Memory: It was a 10 day trek and I didn’t want to run out of SD cards. At the same time, I did not want to compromise on the quality by shooting at a lower resolution.

Even then, I was extremely excited as the intervalometer was integrated to the camera. This would let me avoid additional accessories.

One week prior to my trip, I read about the time-laspe feature in the movie mode. (In EOS 5DMk4 user manual, page 371) Initially I was skeptical about this feature due to 2 reasons:
1. I will not have the component pictures if I use time-lapse recording. If I screw up something, there is no coming back.
2. The exposure used for the very first frame is the one used for the entire movie. This means there is no way for me to adjust the exposure while shooting. Working on video in post is generally tougher than working on the individual images.
3. No 4K recording. All time-lapse movies are recorder in MOV, full HD (1080p), 30fps

However, this solved my concerns related to using the intervalometer as this mode directly captures movie (electronic shutter) and wouldn’t take up a lot of card space. I just had to make sure I use it when the light is more or less constant.

After my first attempt itself, I fell in love with this feature. I ended up taking a lot of time-lapse movies. It is as simple as setting an exposure, specifying the time between the shots and press start. However, for dynamic light (e.g. sunset, sunrise) scenes, I reverted back to intervalometer.

Here is a movie which shows 4 small clips, including sunset and sunrise (stitched together using Final Cut Pro X). The first 2 clips speak for themselves. For the sunset clip, I think it still is decent. But for the sunrise shot, you can clearly see the overexposure towards the end.

Let me know your thoughts/suggestions/comments.