5 Must-Have Features of a Construction Time Lapse Camera (plus a bonus)

Construction Time Lapse is no longer just about marketing and progress capture. In the past, the technology involved inserting an SD card into the camera and hoping it would capture the images. You would only know whether it worked or not after the project is completed. However, with the advent of the cloud connection and the upload of the images, users can use the images  to remotely monitor the visual progress. As the visual progress developed so did the ability to integrate with construction management platforms. Now users can not only view progress but can also leverage the data with AI, generating actionable insights from the jobsite. In this article, we will explore the five must-have features of an evolving construction time lapse camera. 

1. High-resolution image quality

One of the most important features of a good construction time lapse generation is the camera quality. It should be capable of capturing high-resolution images to provide clear and detailed visuals of the construction site. 

A good camera will have a resolution of 1080; 720 is the minimum for HD, but it is not preferred for big projects. For most applications, 4K is preferred and is the perfect balance between image detail and file size. 4K also has the resolution to allow you to zoom into the frame to create a variety of close-ups. Here is another blog to help you select the right camera for your project.

2. Weatherproof and rugged design

Construction sites can be harsh environments with exposure to dust, rain, extreme temperatures, and potential physical damage. A time lapse camera should be weatherproof and ruggedly designed to withstand these conditions and ensure uninterrupted operation throughout the project.

If you’re expecting heavy rains, snow, or extreme temperatures, use a weatherproof enclosure with a high IP rating. Our SolarX and DryX weatherproof enclosures can protect your gear. The enclosure is IP65 before modifications. An IP65-rated enclosure gives protection against low-pressure water jets.

3. Long battery life or external power option

Construction projects can span weeks or even months, so the camera needs a long-lasting battery or the option to connect to an external power source. This feature prevents the camera from running out of power and missing critical moments during construction.

Here is a case study on how Topcon successfully addressed its major power-related challenge. Since the site was being graded during the Livermore Training Center's construction timelapse, they needed access to power. The timelapse footage was the foundation for creating enticing teasers to attract visitors to the newly established training center, and it was essential to capture every moment. Read how a Solar power camera saved their project. 

4. Remote Monitoring

The ability to control the camera remotely is highly valuable. It allows project managers and stakeholders to monitor the construction progress from anywhere, enabling better project management and decision-making.

Read this Case Study to learn how a CamDo customer remotely tracked their renovation project with CloudX.

5. Time lapse scheduling and customization

The camera should offer flexible time lapse scheduling options to capture images at specific intervals (e.g., every few minutes, hourly, daily). Customization features like adjusting exposure settings, capturing intervals, and video playback speed allow users to tailor the time lapse to their specific requirements.

Our Time Lapse Calculator is a comprehensive, easy-to-use resource to help you determine your project's power and memory requirements. 


6. Jobsite Intelligence

The construction time lapse camera should go beyond remote monitoring, delivering automatic actionable insights to reduce the time it takes to coordinate schedules and reduce risk. These insights must be presented in real-time through an intuitive dashboard, enabling site teams to receive alerts, take prompt action, and implement improvements during daily safety meetings. Check out our  Jobsite Intelligence solution. CamDo removes the friction for users to complete daily progress reports, safety reports and more, with automated visual data using Computer Vision integrated with many construction management platforms. CamDo is the only provider of an AI based solution that will save workers up to 90% of the time required to report and coordinate each day.

Choosing a construction time lapse camera depends on the project's specific requirements and the available budget. These essential features will help ensure the camera efficiently captures and documents the construction progress, facilitating better project monitoring and stakeholder communication.

Ready to start your time lapse project?