NAV

Timelapse+ VIEW

Welcome! This is the official documentation for the VIEW Intervalometer by Timelapse+. You can scroll through the entire document or click on the links on the left to jump to a specific section. If you find errors or if parts are confusing, contact me via http://www.timelapseplus.com/contact or make the correction yourself and send a pull request with github here: https://github.com/timelapseplus/VIEW-documentation

This document is formatted for printing, and can be printed as a PDF for a portable copy.

Overview and Operation

Power and Buttons

Front Overview

Power On

To power on the VIEW, press and hold the Power button (#1) for 2 seconds. In a few seconds the button will illuminate red, indicating that it’s booting. The VIEW logo will appear on the screen shortly thereafter.

Power Off

To power off the VIEW, press and hold the Power button (#1) for 2 seconds. A confirmation prompt will appear on the screen. Turn the knob to select “Yes” and press the knob or the Enter button (#5) to power off.

If the VIEW is not responsive, it can be forced off by pressing holding the Power button (#1) for 15 seconds. It can then be booted normally by pressing the Power button again for 2 seconds.

Operation

The user interface for the VIEW is a menu based system designed to be simple to operate outdoors and with gloves. For that reason, there’s no touchscreen, but rather simple buttons and a knob for scrolling through options. Use the knob to scroll up and down through the menus. To select open or select the highlighted menu item, press the knob or the Enter button (#5). To go back or cancel, press the Cancel button (#4). Some screens use the Context (#6) button for additional options indicated on the screen.

Gesture Sensor

The Gesture Sensor (#2) while a time-lapse is running and the screen goes blank. Wave your hand across the front to activate, then wave to the right to preview the current/last time-lapse, or to the left to cancel. While the preview is playing, wave to the right to skip ahead 10 seconds.

Ports and Connections

Front Overview

Charging

To charge the VIEW, connect a Micro-B USB cable from a USB power supply (USB charger, battery pack or computer) to the charging port (#12) on the VIEW. When connected the Charge Indicator (#11) will illuminate red, blinking while charging, and steady when full. This light can be disabled in Settings->Charge Indicator. Note that the battery indicator in the VIEW will prematurely show a low battery, and if charging a completely dead battery, it can take some time before progress becomes visible.

Auxiliary Ports

The VIEW includes two 2.5mm TRS auxiliary ports (#9, #10) for motion sync, shutter cable triggering and external integrations. Currently only AUX2 is used by the firmware. It will send a pulse to trigger motion systems to move after each shot during a time-lapse (no setup necessary for this), or it can be used as an external trigger for the interval when the time-lapse interval is set to “External”.

SD Card

The SD card slot (#8) provides a convenient way to get data from the VIEW. The VIEW can also save the RAW time-lapse images to the SD card – this is the most convenient way for post processing, since each time-lapse is named sequentially in its own folder along with the XMP files for automatic deflickering in Lightroom.

The VIEW supports all current SD card types and capacities, but internally it uses a Class 10 controller, so the newest UHS II cards will not offer a speed improvement over a Class 10 card. Cards can be formatted with the camera or on a computer as FAT/EXFAT (MSDOS).

USB Host

The VIEW includes a full-size USB host port (#13) for connecting the camera. This port also supports USB hubs for connecting multiple devices (right now it can also communicate with the DP NMX via USB, and multiple camera support is planned for the future).

Hooking up the camera

Hotshoe Mount

The VIEW can be conveniently connected to the top of the camera by sliding it on the camera’s hotshoe. This also provides PC-sync feedback for bulb ramping without requiring an additional cable, however, the current exposure ramping mode does not use this, so you can mount the VIEW anywhere without affecting the performance.

USB Connection

Connect the appropriate USB cable for your camera from the Host Port (#13) to your camera’s USB port. It’s best to have the camera powered on before connecting, as there seems to be an occasional timing issue causing the camera to not properly connect if powered on while connected. If the camera doesn’t seem to connect, unplug the USB and reconnect. Sony cameras can be quite flaky – if you’re having trouble, try removing the battery from the camera, powering it back on, and then plugging in the USB to the VIEW again.

Some cameras need to be set to “PC Connect” or “PTP Mode” in order for USB to function properly. Also, some Canon cameras with WiFi (like the 6D) require WiFi to be disabled for USB control to work.

Only the USB cable is needed for full ramping support. No other connections are necessary.

Time-lapse Setup

Start by connecting the camera via USB as described in the previous section. This will enable the Time-lapse menu (the first item on the main screen). Press the knob or enter button to select. You’ll then see the options listed in this section.

Quick Setup for the first test

For your first automatic ramping test, I recommend to start with the following configuration:

Setting Recommended Value
Exposure Just setup the camera for the current scene before hand and skip this step
Timelapse Mode Auto Ramping
Interval Mode Auto Variable
Day Interval 8 seconds
Night Interval 40 Seconds
Destination SD Card (you have to first put an SD card in the VIEW)1

I recommend starting an hour before sunset, setting the camera at the lowest ISO, a moderately wide aperture (f/2.8) and then setting the shutter speed to whatever is needed for a good exposure (maybe 1/3200). Make sure it’s not overexposed!

Then, let it run at least 3 hours after sunset to get a good length and transition. Or, if you have external power for the camera, go all night until sunrise!

1Some cameras perform better with the Destination set to camera. This is only recommended for the first test for the convenience of post processing.

Time-lapse options are described below

Exposure

Puts the camera in liveview mode for adjusting the exposure and focus. Turn the knob to increase/decrease exposure. Press the enter button to toggle focus mode. When in focus mode, the liveview image will be cropped to 100%, and the knob will then adjust focus rather than exposure.*

Timelapse Mode

Option Description
Fixed This is for a basic time-lapse where the exposure and interval are constant throughout
Auto Ramping In this mode the VIEW will automatically adjust the exposure to match changing light conditions

For short time-lapse clips during the day or night where the exposure and interval are constant, choose Fixed.

For sunsets, sunrises, day to night, night to day, and day to night to day, choose Auto Ramping. This will also enable the Auto Interval options for interval ramping between day and night.

Primary Camera

This option is only shown when more than one camera is connected to the VIEW. The primary camera selection defines the camera used for setup and liveview, the status thumbnail, and the exposure tracking. The settings from the primary camera are copied to all additional cameras connected, and they are triggered in sync. This is nice for panoramas, as well as a wide view and a telephoto view for post-processing transitions. In the case of wide and telephoto, make the wide view the primary for better exposure tracking.

Interval Mode

This option is only shown when Timelapse Mode is set to ‘Auto Ramping’

Option Description
Fixed Length This maintains the same interval through out the time-lapse and will limit the maximum shutter speed to fit within it
Auto Variable This mode will automatically ramp between a Day Interval and a Night Interval and allows for longer shutter speeds at night

Interval

This option is only shown when Timelapse Mode is set to 'Fixed’ or Interval Mode is set to 'Fixed’

Option Description
[time in seconds] Interval length in seconds. This is the time between the start of one frame to the start of the next

Frames

This option is only shown when Timelapse Mode is set to 'Fixed’. In Auto Ramping mode, the VIEW always runs until stopped.

Option Description
[number of frames] Number of exposures to complete before stopping

Day Interval

This option is only shown when Timelapse Mode is set to 'Auto Ramping’ and Interval Mode is set to 'Auto Variable’

This determines the interval length during daylight, based on the camera’s exposure settings. It will be smoothly ramped to/from the Night Interval as the ambient conditions (and camera exposure) change.

Option Description
[time in seconds] Interval length in seconds. This is the time between the start of one frame to the start of the next

Night Interval

This option is only shown when Timelapse Mode is set to 'Auto Ramping’ and Interval Mode is set to 'Auto Variable’

This determines the interval length during the night, based on the camera’s exposure settings. It will be smoothly ramped to/from the Day Interval as the ambient conditions (and camera exposure) change.

Option Description
[time in seconds] Interval length in seconds. This is the time between the start of one frame to the start of the next

Ramping Options

This option is only shown when Timelapse Mode is set to 'Auto Ramping’.

In this menu, there are a few settings to configuring the limits of auto ramping. Note that these options can limit the range of ramping and thereby cause it to not reach a proper exposure if too limited. For most cameras, a max ISO of 6400 does well, with a lower ISO limit of 100 (best to only use native ISOs, not lower).

The Night Exposure setting defines how much less exposed “night” should be, relative to “day”. For example, a night exposure of -1 (the default), will underexposure a night scene by 1 stop compared to the day. So, if an auto ramp is started during the day, and by night the exposure it too light, a lower night exposure is needed. Or, if the images after sunset are too dark, a higher value should be used. A Night Exposure setting of 0 will keep the day and night perceived luminosity the same.

Option Description
Night Exposure Relative exposure difference for night vs. day
Maximum ISO Upper ISO limit for auto ramping
Minimum ISO Lower ISO limit for auto ramping
Max Shutter Longest shutter speed to use during ramping
Ramp Params Which parameters to use for ramping [1]
Min Aperture Minimum aperture to use for ramping, e.g., f2.8 (shown only if Ramp Params includes aperture)
Max Aperture Maximum aperture to use for ramping, e.g., f11 (shown only if Ramp Params includes aperture)

[1] The “balanced” option tries to move shutter and ISO together, to more gradually increase the shutter speed. The other settings always prioritize the lowest ISO possible.

Manual Aperture

This option is only shown when the aperture setting of the lens cannot be read from the camera, such as when using a manual lens or the lens-twist method.

Enter the aperture setting of the lens here to aid in the calculation of absolute exposure values to aid in day/night feathering of interval and exposure compensation.

Option Description
[aperture] Aperture value that the lens is set to or locked on (in the case of lens-twist)

Destination

This option is only shown when an SD card is inserted in the VIEW. Sony cameras require that the images be saved to the VIEW’s SD card.

Option Description
Camera Keep images on the camera’s card. For auto ramping, XMP files will need to be later saved and merged with the camera files (to be described in the post-processing section coming soon). This is recommended for best performance and shortest intervals.
SD Card Saves the time-lapse images in their own folder in the root of the SD card, along side the XMP files for Lightroom. This simplifies post-processing and organization since the exposure corrections for deflickering will be automatically imported into Lightroom along with the images, but requires longer intervals due to transferring the images over USB.

START

If you have all the settings entered, select this option to start the time-lapse! While it’s running, you can select “Preview” to review the results in process, or select “RUNNING” for a cancellation confirmation. This status screen is still in its most basic state and will be improved in a future release.

Remote App

The VIEW Intervalometer can be controlled and monitored via a web-based app for mobile devices. Anything with a web browser can access it, but it’s only optimized for mobile-sized screens. There is no app publish in an app store at this point, rather, it is loaded directly from the VIEW itself.

There are two methods for connecting to the VIEW from a mobile device, a local WiFi method, and an internet method.

Local Method Pros:

Local Method Cons:

Web Method Pros:

Web Method Cons:

Local Wifi Method

WiFi Setup Diagram

To configure the local WiFi app interface, setup the following on the VIEW:

  1. Enable WiFi (if it’s not already): Settings -> Wireless Setup -> Enable Wifi
  2. Enable Access Point Mode: Settings -> Wireless Setup -> Enable TL+VIEW AP (if this setting is missing it means it’s already enabled)

Then, on the mobile device:

  1. Connect to the TL+VIEW WiFi access point
  2. Open a web browser and go to 10.0.0.1

That’s it – the app will then load in the browser. On an iPhone, you can save it to the homescreen for convenient use as a full-screen app.

Remote Internet Method

Web Setup Diagram

To configure the remote web app interface, setup the following on the VIEW:

  1. Enable WiFi (if it’s not already): Settings -> Wireless Setup -> Enable Wifi
  2. Connect to a nearby access point: Settings -> Wireless Setup -> Connect to AP
  3. Enter the password for the network if necessary (make sure it’s entered correctly with the correct case). Use the context button on the lower right to switch between uppercase/lowercase/numbers/symbols. Press the power button on the password screen for more instructions.
  4. Once the VIEW connects (only the first time), a number will appear on the screen. You’ll need this for step 4 below.

Then, on the mobile device:

  1. Open a web browser and go to app.view.tl
  2. Login using your email address. If you need to register, you’ll be asked to create a subdomain (for access as yoursubdomain.view.tl) and a password
  3. Once logged in, if this is your first time, press ‘Add Device’ (if you’ve done this before, you don’t need to again)
  4. Enter the numbers displayed on the VIEW screen

That’s it – the app will then load in the browser. On an iPhone, you can save it to the homescreen for convenient use as a full-screen app.

Firmware Update

The VIEW Intervalometer can be updated on its own – no computer is necessary, just a wifi access point for Internet access.

The firmware is loaded directly from github releases, so you can also browse the available firmware here: github.com/timelapseplus/VIEW/releases/

The current firmware version is displayed on the top line of the screen.

Step 1: Connect the VIEW to the internet

The VIEW must first be connected to the Internet. Follow these to connect to a WiFi access point for Internet access:

  1. Enable WiFi (if it’s not already): Settings -> Wireless Setup -> Enable Wifi
  2. Connect to a nearby access point: Settings -> Wireless Setup -> Connect to AP
  3. Enter the password for the network if necessary (make sure it’s entered correctly with the correct case). Use the context button on the lower right to switch between uppercase/lowercase/numbers/symbols. Press the power button on the password screen for more instructions.

You can ignore any prompts to enter a code – just press the cancel button.

Step 2: Update firmware

Next, navigate to Settings -> Software Version. If it’s successfully connected to the Internet, it will delay a few seconds while it retreives the latest firmware information. If it’s not connected to the Internet, it will only show the previously installed versions (this is so you can always roll back, even when there’s no Internet available). If it just loads the installed versions, return to step 1 above and verify the network password is correct or try a different access point.

Once the Software Version menu has loaded, you can select the firmware version to install. Press the power button to read the release notes for the selected version. Press the knob or the enter button to install the selected version. Updating to the most recent version is always recommended.

The installation will take between 5 and 30 minutes, depending on the connection quality. Upon success, the system wil reload, displaying the boot splash screen. If it fails, it will return to the Software Versions menu (better feedback in the UI will be added for this in the future).

Firmware updates will either fail or succeed – it won’t get stuck in a corrupted state. That said, it’s possible for it to hang when downloading if there’s a network interruption (working on fixing this). If after 15 minutes or so the VIEW still says it’s downloading the firmware, it may need a force-restart. Hold the power button for fifteen seconds to power down, then 2 seconds to boot it back up. It will load the old firmware version, and then you can try again to update. A future update will provide better error handling & reporting and progress reporting (like a progress bar for the download).

Camera-Specific Notes

This section includes notes and issues specific to certain camera bodies. Camera-specific issues will be corrected in firmware when possible and removed from this section once resolved.

Notes for all cameras

Sony Alpha

Sony cameras can work well, but there are several things that the VIEW currently does not enforce but must be set in the camera for it to work.

There have been reports that not all USB cables work with Sony cameras, so if it fails to connect, try a different USB cable.

Setup the following on the camera:

  1. USB Mode set to ‘PC Remote’
  2. RAW files (not JPEG or RAW+JPEG)
  3. Manual mode, in a native ISO (not the ISO numbers with a line over them, nor auto ISO)
  4. Focus set to manual (the back button still works for autofocus, but this prevents it from trying to focus on every shot)

On the VIEW in the time-lapse setup menu, the Destination must be set to SD card. Insert an SD card into the VIEW for this option to appear. This is required because a limitation in the Sony firmware prevents it from being able to save to the camera’s card while it’s connected via USB.

The Sony A7RII needs longer intervals due to the large file size. 12 seconds should be good – shorter might be possible. Other Sony cameras seem to do ok at 6-8 seconds for a minimum interval.

Nikon

Many (all?) Nikon cameras have the option of whether liveview displays the simulated exposure or not. If you are using the exposure menu or liveview via the app, you’ll want to make sure the liveview display shows the exposure. On the D800, this is toggled by a button on the lower-left.

Panasonic

Make sure the USB mode on the camera is set to PTP

Camera Support Overview

Camera Body Auto Ramping Focus Ramping Liveview Minimum Ramping Interval
Nikon DSLRs Yes Yes, most Yes, most 5-6s
Canon DSLRs Yes Yes, most Yes, most 5-6s
Sony A7, A6000, A7S Yes No No 8-10s
Sony A7R Yes No No 12-14s
Sony A7RII Yes No Yes 12-14s
Sony A7II, A6300, A6500, A7SII Yes No Yes 8-10s
Panasonic GH4, GH5 Yes No No 6-8s

Motion Control

The VIEW is able to synchronize with most motion control systems for shoot-move-shoot functionality. In addition it has full motion programming support for the Dynamic Perception NMX stepper controller (via Bluetooth or USB), with support for the eMotimo Spectrum (via AUX2 serial) and Syrp Genie Mini (via Bluetooth) to come soon.

AUX Out Sync

To trigger a motion system to move after each shot, connect a 2.5mm TRS cable from AUX2 on the VIEW to the sync input on the motion system. The VIEW will send a 200ms “closed” pulse after the completion of each shot.

External Trigger

If the motion system does not support an external auxiliary sync (like the Syrp Genie), the VIEW can use the camera trigger from the motion system to trigger each frame. In this mode, the interval is defined externally by the motion system.

To use an external trigger, set the Interval Mode to ‘External AUX2’ in the time-lapse setup menu. Connect the motion system’s camera port to the VIEW’s AUX2 port.

NMX Controller

In addition to the above methods, the NMX can be connected via USB or Bluetooth for full motion programming. Motion programming must be done via the mobile app for the VIEW as it is not currently supported by the standalone interface.

NMX Bluetooth Connection

To connect the NMX via Bluetooth, first enable Bluetooth on the VIEW in Settings->Wireless Setup->Enable Bluetooth. The VIEW must be restarted after enabling Bluetooth (this will be fixed in the future so the restart is not necessary). With Bluetooth enabled, the VIEW will automatically connect to the first available NMX controller.

NMX USB Connection

To connect to the NMX via USB, a USB hub is needed for the additional USB port (one for the camera, one for the NMX). Connect a small USB hub to the VIEW, then connect the camera and the NMX to the hub, then connect power to the NMX (in this order!).

Important: the NMX must first be connected via USB, then external power – if the NMX is powered on before connecting USB, it won’t be detected.

Troubleshooting & Support

Hopefully your experience with the VIEW is smooth and issue-free, but should there be a problem, don’t worry – we’re here to help! Reporting issues helps to improve the product for everyone, so there are some systems in place to help with this.

Questions on the best settings to use?

Check out the facebook group to learn from other users and share ideas: https://www.facebook.com/groups/395686464095972/

Need help not covered here?

Send me a message through the contact page here and I’ll get in touch ASAP: http://www.timelapseplus.com/contact/

Make sure to include the firmware version on the VIEW (seen on the top bar before a camera is connected) as well as the camera model.

Sending time-lapse log files to support

If a problem occurs during a time-lapse, sending the error log will help in quickly identifying and solving the core cause. Here are the steps to take (firmware v1.5.0 or newer is required for this):

It will then upload the report next time it’s connected via view.tl.

If you send a report, let me know more details by sending a message here: http://www.timelapseplus.com/contact/

Trouble with a particular camera

First, try a different USB cable if possible – Sony cameras seem to be especially picky.

If a particular camera is not working, it might not be fully supported. You can help provide the info needed for adding support by doing the following (firmware v1.5.0 or newer is required for this):

It will then take an image, gather information about the camera, and upload it via view.tl next time you’re connected. The image will not be sent – only the associated data and error log.

If you send a report, let me know more details by sending a message here: http://www.timelapseplus.com/contact/

Trouble Connecting to Wifi

Certain firmware versions had a bug preventing wifi from connecting to certain access points depending on the name:

Also, if it fails to connect, try disabling wifi, enabling it again, then reconnecting making sure the password is correct (it’s case-sensitive).

Also, if firmware updates fail to download, make sure Bluetooth is disabled in Settings->Wireless Setup, as this can sometimes cause issues.