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A Bike Ride Becomes An App Review

On Sunday the 30th of March, the wife and I headed out for a bike ride without a proper destination. I had considered attempting to go to East Coast but thought I didn't need a map as I had walked there before. I guess I had forgotten the directions and when we had reached Novena I pulled up a map on my phone and looked for an alternative location to end our run. Which didn’t get us very far because my new direction put us in the heart of the very busy shopping district of Orchard Road. So we sought yet another new route and decided to go back to my original plan of going to East Coast. That led to riding through the downtown area and over the Benjamin Sheares bridge. And then…well, let’s just say we had one extremely long ride.

I tell you this because it was this ride that made me wish we had a better way to show where we had gone. I kept saying “I wish we have a GoPro to get a time lapse video of this. We did some research afterwards and discovered there were other alternatives to the GoPro like the SJ4000 but even though that was cheaper, it was still not within our budget.

Then we discovered a free app for the iPhone that could do time lapse photography and we gave it a shot. The app is called Lapse It and the paid version unlocks higher resolutions and allows you to leave off an advertising frame at the end of the video. It works great and has lots of options like how long you want between frames, including counting by milliseconds, seconds or minutes depending on what you were hoping to achieve. So here was our first test run on a ride from Yishun to Punggol. We had it set to shoot one frame every three seconds, recorded at 1080p and rendered it to playback at 11 frames per second.

We realised that the three-second intervals made for quite large jumps even at the slower speeds of a bicycle and decided that for the ride home, we would make it one frame per second instead.

The faster rate helps smooth out the video, but the low light with an iPhone4 camera just wasn't optimal. But hey, we had two time lapse videos and without the cost of buying some new camera. I'd recommend the app if you're interested in getting started with this kind of photography. It’s really simple to use and the results were surprisingly sweet.

The plan now is to see if we can't redo that long run (but perhaps with a couple of new twists for video reasons) and get it all for our readers’ viewing pleasure. Stay tuned!

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