Playing with Hyperlapse

About a week ago, Instagram announced the release of their new free Hyperlapse app for iOS. So since we were headed to Ohio to visit relatives over the Labor Day weekend, the timing was perfect for me to use some flights to experiment with this new software.

Mind you, Hyperlapse does wonderful things, but it has its limits. It has essentially no settings you can change — you tap on a button to start recording, tap again to stop, then decide how much you want the video sped up before it is saved. The particularly impressive part of this story is that the app makes use of your iOS device’s built-in solid state gyro to help smooth out the device’s motion while you recorded the video.

Here’s a hyperlapse video (10x speedup) of our departure from Denver International Airport:

For the most part, it looks pretty good to me — but you can see some artifacts in the clouds from point to point. The default speedup is 6x, so on the flight home from Cleveland, I used that setting for three hyperlapse videos I made during ascent. Here’s a montage of them:

Maybe this was just a fluke, but the app seemed to do a much better job with things like clouds in the second video. A function of the speedup setting, or just dumb luck? Time (and some more experiments) will tell…

Hana surf

A bit of soothing surf to help get you over the mid-work-week “hump” (direct link):

This short video clip is from a beach in Wai‘ānapanapa State Park near Hana, Hawaii.  It’s a long drive from anywhere else on the island of Maui — but not nearly as difficult a drive as the souvenir T-shirts would have you believe (just twisty and narrow, so take your time).  The pay-off is a series of black sand beaches and some beautiful views — but wear insect repellent, we got back to our hotel with arms and legs covered by bites!

The watcher

I spotted this critter on a photowalk through downtown Victoria, Canada:

The watcher

It’s hard to say what thoughts are going through his (her?) little reptilian head, but pride of “ownership” is likely one of them!

The Lytro — holy smokes, this thing looks amazing!

I’d heard about “light field cameras” when they hit the news a while back — but didn’t honestly think they’d be commercially available in the next decade.

Turns out they’ll be available by the end of the year. Here’s a CNetTV intro to the little critters (by way of Pixiq):

The idea is that the sensor in the Lytro is covered with little lenses that allow the camera to record brightness, color, and direction of light at each pixel. Apply some processing power to the data afterwards, and you wind up with a camera that lets you focus your picture after you take it.

Amazing stuff, I can’t imagine what these will do in a few more years, once they’ve learned from the original models!