Assembling a compact timelapse kit

Tom, Triggertrap's Head of Photography, put together a portable timelapse kit so that he can shoot clips whenever and wherever he’s out with his camera. It seemed far too useful to keep to himself, so we’re sharing it here. Now you, too, can timelapse any time and any place!

When I think about heading out to shoot timelapses, one of the things that often puts me off s lugging a load of gear around. At very least you need a camera, tripod, intervalometer, and probably an ND filter too. I've finally found a set-up that I can carry any time I take my camera out which means I'm always ready to shoot little timelapse clips. Here's what you'll need to build your own compact timelapse kit.


You can't shoot a timelapse without a solid base, unintentional movement will trash your timelapse shot. 

There are a few options here, but I've opted for the compact Manfrotto 709B. It's a neat little tripod that folds down nice and small, plus it's impressively strong. It holds my Nikon D810 and pretty much any lens I own without a problem. A GorillaPod or similar mini tripod could also work.

I've added my Peak Design Capture Pro to the screw mount on the Manfrotto ball head. As I always have the Peak plate attached to my camera, it makes it speedy when I want to mount my camera to my tripod.


I might be a little biased, but the Triggertrap Mobile Kit is perfect for this (buy yours here)!

The Triggertrap Mobile MD3-DC0 kit for Nikon

I might be a little biased, but the Triggertrap Mobile Kit is perfect for this (buy yours here)!

The Triggertrap Mobile Kit is compact, weighs next to nothing, and as it uses your smartphone to do all of the hard work, there's no worrying about another battery to charge. If you're like me and use an iPhone, chances are you'll be carrying a battery pack on you anyway, so I don't really worry about the iPhone's battery.  


Most of the time, I shoot with a Nikon D810 and for timelapsing, I prefer the Nikon 16-35 f/4 VR or the Nikon 35mm f/1.4G lenses. Okay, so neither of these are especially light-weight options, but the idea behind them is that they allow me to shoot high quality clips when I'm out and about with my camera. You can use any camera for timelapse so long as it has manual settings and a remote port to connect your intervalometer to.

ND Filter

When it comes to creating really smooth timelapse footage, don’t overlook the importance of an ND filter. Ideally, you want to shoot with a shutter speed that is half of the duration of the interval between your shots. An ND filter will allow you get the shutter speed that you want without over-exposing your images. I use a 10 stop ND which can sometimes be too much. A decent variable ND would probably be a great addition to this kit!

The full set-up

Here's the full set-up, ready to go!

Learn more about timelapse

If you're not sure how to get started with timelapse photography, check out our handy tutorial!

Get social with us!

Got a cool tip for a timelapse setup? Send us a tweet! Have an awesome shot you want to show us? Share it with us! You can submit your photos to our Flickr pool or share them with us over on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Don't forget to tag us @Triggertrap and #Triggertrap.