The Brinno TLC200 Pro is the first video camera to shoot time lapse HDR.
I’ve been processing HDR still photos for years now, and it’s a time consuming process. The results are worth it, so I take the time; but I never envisioned HDR would find its way to video…and so elegantly simply as with the Brinno TLC200 Pro.
For those who don’t know what HDR is, it stands for High Dynamic Range. In plain English, that means the photo/video is able to capture the brightest highlights and the darkest shadows in one image. Usually with standard photography or video, the camera only records the brightest part of an image and lets the shadows go black. HDR lets you see all the detail. Watch the video to see how well it captures the bright setting sun and yet doesn’t lose detail in the yard. (All that disturbance on the pond is a large flock of ducks.)
A couple notes from the video:
Keep in mind that the video you are watching has been compressed twice and reduced in size from the original version. The original AVI looks much better than this processed copy.
The default setting for the camera is to turn off when there’s not enough light at night – that saves batteries and an unattractive black screen. Next time around I would turn that default off and then edit out the section where it’s completely dark.
At the end of the video you see reflections of lights on in my office that weren’t on the first night. Lesson to self…if you are shooting through a glass window, make sure there’s nothing to reflect inside.
For my first effort, I was really pleased with the quality of the video. I also used it to film a fireworks display with the “night” setting and it looked amazing.
Easy to use
To set up the unit, merely remove it from the box, install four AA batteries, install one SD card and you’re ready to shoot. It will hold SD cards up to 32 GB.
To make your first video, simply flip the power switch to ON and press the OK button to turn on the LCD viewer on the back of the unit. Frame your shot and then press the OK button twice. You’re recording. When completed, press the OK button and hold temporarily to stop the recording. It’s that easy.
When you take the SD card out, you’ll find that you have a completed AVI video in 1280 x 720 resolution. It’s not a series of JPG images that need to be stitched together, it’s ready to play.
If you also purchase the accessory ABR100 Brinno reader, you can plug it into the micro-USB port on your compatible tablet or cellphone and watch the video immediately after recording. If not, plug your SD card into your laptop and watch it there. Any common editing software will work with AVI files.
There’s a host of other accessories available as well, but you don’t need any of them to get started. The attached video was taken immediately after setting it up the first time – right out of the box.
Ways to use it
The TLC200 Pro comes with five shooting modes.
- Daylight for standard photography
- Twilight for sunrises and sunsets
- Night for nighttime shooting with longer exposures
- Moon – special setting with 2 second exposure lengths
- Star – special setting with 4 second exposure lengths
For the techie types
Check out these specs about what makes this package so awesome:
The TLC200 Pro uses an extra-large sensor to capture the maximum amount of digital information about the scene in front of it. Where an ordinary DSLR captures a 65 DB range, the Brinno captures 115DB. The other telling factor is that it uses a larger pixel size than most digital cameras – almost 4 times wider and higher than most APC-DSLR’s. Those combine for maximum light sensitivity, enabling the most detail in your low-light or nighttime videos.
The camera comes with a super wide angle lens – up to a 112 degree field of view. The lens has an f2.0 aperture, meaning it captures a LOT of light in dim situations. Both of those are great for most situations, but you have optional accessories if that isn’t what you want. Telephoto lenses are available for a closer view and even faster glass is available should you need it.