Video: Time Lapse Photography on the Nokia N85

| January 13, 2010 | 9 Replies

[N85 Time Lapse video at end of this post]

Tomorrow, weather permitting, I’ll be working with a school in London with WOMWorld’s TOM to showcase the N85’s video/photo capabilities as well as Nokia software and services. Time lapse is a nice example of a built in feature that can produce some interesting results.

It’s also one of a few features I’d like to see in the N900’s camera (and stay in Nokia cams in general – it’s disappeared in N97 too).

Sequence mode.

One of the neat features ever since the N95 was Time Lapse Photography. This is where you let the camera take a sequence of pictures at defined intervals. Combine all those frames into a video and you’ve got a time lapse.

Video from back in 2007 with N95


The difference in just fast forwarding video is that you’ve got gaps of time where anything could have happened. A little bit like stop motion.

An advantage with taking still pics is that your file size is much smaller, for much higher resolution.

E.g. a source sample in VGA, at 1h the file size is around 700MB+.

at 1600×1200, over a period, over 7 hours with 827 frames was only 124MB.


Another advantage is that still pics are generally much faster at rendering.

You can set anywhere from

  • 10 seconds
  • 30 seconds
  • 1 minute
  • 5 minutes
  • 10 minutes
  • 30 minutes

You can get different effects depending on:

  • the duration of sequence
  • the duration of the overall shot (i.e. number of frames)
  • the final length of each frame once you put them in a video editor.

Below is a video made by a sequence of 827 images from the N85 across 7 hours. It’s just the snow outside my Uni house; you can see the snow filling up, being trampled on, cars/people making snow prints and then the daylight appearing. Hey, it was the best subject I could get at such late notice :p

N85 Time lapse



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Category: Nokia, Nseries, S60, Video

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Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@) or email me directly on jay[at]
  • Just thought I’d check the X6 in case they added it to there but no luck…there is a sequence mode but for some reason no customisation so it’s just the burst option (Max 18 shots one after the other), tried even with with the timer in case Nokia split the 2 things but it just delays when it starts as I thought it would!

    p.s. I tried it with the flash off and holding the camera key to see if it goes past 18 shots but don’tk now result yet as it seems to have crashed!! agh! will check on the phone in 30 min to see if it recovers on it’s own.

    • Nah, annoyingly it’s been removed in S60V5.

      Burst is good, though it’s not the ideal 4-9fps for useful burst shot. I think it’s 2-3fps max?

  • it’s only about 1.5 fps (flash disabled) even in MMS quality pictures! the most variance is between 1.4fps to 1.55fps so quite slow…just wish I could do it to 1 frame every x seconds/minutes.

  • No time for the week…but luckily I watched this vid last nyt and I have a free shot today so, Jay! Wata good dessert in your blog.Nice work

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  • Victor

    Amigos aqui temos um tutorial de como fazer um video usando a técnica do Time Lapse utilizando um celular Nokia N95 8GB.

  • Ian

    Wow! I have this feature on my E70. Had the phone for 3.5yrs and only just found it 🙂

  • Ian

    Ooops. Meant to say E90, not E70!