Veho MUVI X-Lapse
Simple; well-made; effective
Can only rotate right to left
The MUVI X-Lapse is a smartphone or camera mount that swings your iPhone around a full 360 degrees in an hour, letting you make sweeping time-lapse movies.
In essence it’s a glorified egg-timer, ticking as it rotates and ringing when it’s completed its movement. And, like an egg timer, you rotate it against the spring to specify the time and the degree of rotation – 15 minutes for 90 degrees, 30 minutes for 180 degrees, etc.
On top is a standard male 1/4-in UNC tripod screw for mounting a camera or the included smartphone clip, and underneath is the female equivalent for mounting on a tripod. Also on the bottom are three feet that swivel out for stability on flat surfaces.
And that is pretty much all there is to say about the X-Lapse. It’s a simple tool that creates magic when used in conjunction with a camera or other device capable of time-lapse photography.
We took the X-Lapse with us on a recent visit to a farm in East Gippsland, Victoria, and set it up on a fence post next to a paddock of Angus steers.
We set it up for a 180-degree shot that would begin looking up the fenceline, sweep the paddock, and end up facing in the opposite direction.
The controls in the OSnap! app are comprehensive but easy to use. We set it to use the back camera, Landscape Right orientation, no flash, a high resolution of 3264 x 2448, a timer interval of 5 seconds and a delayed start.
It didn’t all go quite to plan. After 14 minutes and 163 photos we got an out-of-available-memory message on the iPhone, and remembered that we were dealing with big file sizes here.
The pics we had were really good, though, so we hung on to the project. At 10 frames per second the 163 photos had resulted in a 16-second loop.
OSnap! lets you create videos from the photo loops, and you can specify the parameters here as well.
A nice touch is being able to choose to export the movie with audio from your Music app. If audio is attached, however, when exporting to a movie it loops the video to the end of the audio track, so you might want to clip the audio to prevent having too big or too long a movie.
We attached The Eagles’ Doolin’ Dalton instrumental track (which seemed to fit into the cow theme). It’s 48 seconds long, and the resulting H.264 movie at a resolution of 1280 x 960 was 102MB. So we created a 16-second version of the track to suit a single loop of the movie and the exported video was a more manageable 35MB. (This is the video you can see below.)
Note. We just used iTunes 11 to create the 16-second version. Click on the track you want to shorten and press Command-I. In the Options tap of the dialogue box, set the start and stop times and click OK.
Then, with the track still highlighted, go to File > Create New Version > Create AAC Version. (That ‘AAC’ might read ‘MP3′ or another format, depending on your iTunes Import Settings.)
The new track will start and stop at the times you set in the Options dialogue box.
The X-Lapse doesn’t do an awful lot, but what it does, it does well. It’s well-made, with a nice rubberised finish, and is small and light so you won’t notice it in your luggage. As one alert reader pointed out, it can only rotate right to left, which might limit some of its uses.