Canon DSLR cameras are a powerful choice for short term time-lapse and even long term time-lapse. For external construction projects, the Canon DSLR camera will require some further system parts. Construction sites are hazardous, dusty and suffer like we do from the UK weather. Each system we build is connected to back to our 4G and 5G control box. With a DSLR, you will also need an external housing unit. The housing unit for the DSLR time-lapse camera will also need a heater. This is used to demist the front screen in cold winter months. In this post we are going to cover the differences in set up and maintenance of a canon DSLR camera and network IP based camera system. Burgess Technologies provides trade customers and end clients with 4G/5G camera systems for construction sites. Each system ships pre-configured and is Plug & Play. No technical expertise is required. Plug our 4G/5G control box into the power, mount the camera and the installation is complete.
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Canon DSLR Camera or an IP based network camera for indoor time-lapse
The great thing about an internal project is you may not require an external housing unit for the Canon camera. “External housing” gives us this clue anyway, if you can locate the canon camera in a safe place there is no need to worry about housing the camera, after all there are no weather conditions to worry about. A network based IP camera is also a good choice for internal time-lapse projects too. The thing with internal projects, like re-builds and fit outs etc the camera does not usually need to record or capture an image of a large area. A 4K 8MP network camera may be best the choice. If the project benefited from a higher mega-pixel camera, then the canon dslr may be the best option. You can buy a canon 2000D for around £500 and this gives you a massive 22 mega-pixels.
Canon DSLR Time Lapse Camera for External Projects.
As touched on in the intro, for capturing images of an external construction project, the canon DSLR time-lapse camera would need an external housing. That housing also needs a heater. An IP camera is self-contained in its own housing, it’s a more ready to go camera. The biggest issue with any external housing for a DSLR is that housing units scree misting up. In the UK we get some pretty cold weather, therefore you need a heater unit within the housing. In a nutshell, IP cameras are designed to be in the field for your years. They have a warranty of 3 years. A DSLR camera for time-lapse can still last as long, but there would probably be more maintenance involved, resulting in more site visits.
A DSLR canon time lapse camera draws slightly less power than a network IP camera. A DSLR needs a constant power supply though. The batteries in say a canon camera only lasts a few days. You can purchase a mains power unit, which supplies the canon cameras with constant power. If you are thinking of using a network ip camera for time-lapse, then that camera uses POE. Power Over Ethernet is a technology which sends data and power over a data cable. For example, we send our network time-lapse cameras out with a 20MTR cat5e data cable. The data cable comes out from our 4G box and then into the camera. With POE you can run out to 100 mtrs which is is 330 feet. With network and POE extenders you can run out to 1KM.
Megapixel and Image Quality
The first Network IP cameras was invented by Axis in 1996. This groundbreaking technology opened up a host of advanced features over older analogue CCTV systems. An analogue CCTV system was closed, almost dumb. A network camera (also known as an IP camera) was based on an open architecture. This allowed customers for the first time to view their security camera systems remotely, and over the internet (IP) – Internet Protocol. In the first few years, cameras was released that could capture in 1080P, which is full hd at 2MP (mega-pixel). Today, network cameras go as high as 7K. Our own minimum resolution system is based on a 8MP 4K IP camera.
Using a DSLR for time-lapse is more cost-effective if your project requires 20MP and over. Many construction sites that need time-lapse cameras, opt for 4K resolution. 4K UHD (Ultra High Definition) is 4 x full hd @1080p. A 4K time lapse camera captures an image in 8MP. If your own project requires 4K only then a DSLR time lapse system is probably not the best way forward. Some projects do require image capture at 20MP and above, and this is where the DSLR is the best solution.
A 20MP network IP camera is 3 or 4 x as much money as say a canon eos 2000d. For example a Sony IP camera is near £2000 to buy. The canon 2000d with a decent lens is a 1/3rd of this price. This means we can build a 24MP canon construction site solution for under £2000.Using a Canon camera for time-lapse is a great choice, for the right application. Short term construction projects, indoor time lapse projects where a housing unit and heater is not required, mega builds where you need to cover large distances and finally, film creators who want to zoom in a lot on post-production. Typically though, most time-lapse applications only usually require 4K resolution which is 8MP. Those who want a little extra can opt for the 12MP system and both fall under the network IP solution. Generally, IP network cameras are much less maintenance, they are designed to be working continuously outdoors for a number of years. They also carry a 3-year warranty.
What every your time lapse camera needs, burgess technologies LTD has been building systems and supporting customers for over 6 years. If you have a project you would like to discuss, please contact our UK office in warrington.