Brinno Time Lapse Cameras 200 and 200 Pro – Review

Brinno Time Lapse Cameras 200 and 200 Pro
Company: Brinno
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For the third year in a row I was hired by a client to capture an exposition event in central New Jersey. The event is fairly prestigious for the region’s landscape architects to show off their amazing skills. The client, Grounds Keeper Inc. of Matawan, NJ, likes to use my videos for their online marketing, email, and website.

In years past my client has spent an enormous amount of time, money, and effort making this expo a huge success for his business. The event requires months of planning, thousands of dollars in materials, and nearly four full days of his entire crew working ten hour shifts to set up his display.

Because this was the third time I was shooting the event, I thought it would be nice to do something a bit out of the ordinary. Why not try to make a time lapse video of the construction? After doing a bit of research I found the company Brinno. They make several cameras and motion sensors. Having never created a time lapse video before, I wasn’t sure which camera was best for the job so I decided to pick two and hope for the best.

TLC200pro
Brinno TLC200 Pro versus TLC 200

The Brinno TLC200 Pro (a review unit provided by Brinno) is the pricier of the two models and retail for $220. Its big advantage over the TLC 200 is its lens and ability to focus.

The Brinno TLC 200 (purchased) is much more affordable with an MSRP of $130.

Both cameras came needing a firmware update. Although it wasn’t a hassle to install I wasn’t expecting I would need to do so, considering I got both cameras directly from the manufacturer. Both cameras are extremely light and portable, weighting about 5 ounces, and their dimensions are 2.5 x 2  x4.2 inches. I found the on-camera software very easy to use, but I didn’t care for the interface. I did find myself hitting the wrong buttons on the camera quite often.

Setting the time and date was a piece of cake. The timer uses military time so you never can make a mistake with your start and stop times. Focusing on the TLC200 Pro however can be a chore. One of the things I disliked most about both of the cameras was the small size of the rear display. I found the display resolution to be very poor. It was very difficult to see what I was going to be shooting even with my reading glasses on. Moreover, it was nearly impossible to focus the lens on the TLC200 Pro due to the low-resolution display.

You’d think I am writing a bad review of these cameras but I’m not. Both cameras did exactly what I had hoped, and both my client and I were happy with the result. The small, lightweight camera sizes allow me to place the cameras just about anywhere on the expo floor, and in this case the expo ceiling. The most amazing thing about the cameras has to be the battery life. Both cameras require 4 AA batteries that, depending on the setting, can last up to 45 days of shooting.

Below are two unedited video links, one from each camera, both shot at the same day and time.

Brinno TLC200 Pro video:


Brinno TLC 200 Video:

If you compare the two videos you will note the wide angle lens on the TLC200 Pro captured much more on the scene I needed to grab. But I found the brightness, clarity, and focus on the TLC 200 to be much more appealing. I just wish the rear display had improved resolution so I could have framed the action better

When comparing the two I have to say I like the inexpensive TLC 200 much better. Because it does not have all the advanced exposure and focus settings it was much easier to use and delivered a very nice video. Add all that to the $90 cost difference and to me there is no question which one I recommend.

Our MyMac ratings are 8 out of 10 for TLC 200, and 7 out of 10 for TLC200 Pro.

You can see my edited client videos here:

Here are the specs for all you camera geeks:

TLC200 Pro:
Specification

Camera
Model TLC 200 Pro
LCD Screen 1.44″ TFT LCD
Lens Rotating Angle 120°
Waterproof Optional, (with the Weather Resistant Housing (ATH120))
Capture Mode
Time Lapse Auto generation of Time Lapse video
Stop Motion Optional, ( with the Shutter Line (ATS110))
Motion Activated Optional, ( with the Motion Sensor (ATM100) and Weather Resistant Housing (ATH120))
Image Sensor
Type 1/3″ HDR sensor
Dynamic Range 115db
Resolution 1.3 Mega pixel
Pixel size 4.2um
Sensitivity 3650mV/lux-sec (Ultra good low light quality)
Optics Lens (BCS 019)
Type CS Mount (Aspherical Glass Lens)
Aperture F 2.0
Field of View 112°
Focal Length 19 mm (35mm equivalent)
Focus Distance Manual focus from 1 cm to ∞ (factory setting: 40 cm )
Shooting Setting
Scene Daylight, Twilight, Night, Moon, Star
White Balance Auto, Day, Shade, Cloudy, Fluorescent Light (Cool), Fluorescent Light (Warm), Tungsten Light
Custom Image Exposure, Saturation, Contrast, Sharpness
Recording
Time Lapse Video Format: AVI
Resolution: 1280x 720
Still Image Format: JPEG (only for using Shutter Line)
Resolution: 1280x 720
Memory Storage SD Card (Supported up to 32 GB)
Time Interval
ASAP Captures 3~ 5 photos in 1 second
Custom From 1 second to 24 hours
Power
Power source Battery: 4 AA Batteries
DC IN: 5V (Micro USB connector)
Battery Life 2 second time interval, captures 240,000 frames
Camera Body Dimension
Size (DxWxH) 64x 52x 107 mm
Weight 140 g (without batteries)
Color Black

TLC 200
Specification

TLC 200 Specifications
Model TLC 200
Output format – Video Mode
Format: AVI.
Resolution: 1280×720, 640×480
– Still Image Mode (only for using Shutter Line)
Format: JPEG.
Resolution: 1280×720, 640×480
Field of View 59º
Focal Length 36 mm (35mm equivalent)
Focus Distance 75 cm (Minimum)
Time Interval ASAP:up to 2 frames per second.
Custom: from 1 sec to 24 hours.
Memory Storage SD Card (Supported Up to 32GB)
LCD Screen  1.44″ TFT LCD
Power Source Battery: 4 AA Batteries
DC IN: 5V (Micro USB connector)
Battery Life Time interval: ASAP can capture 270,000 frames in 2.2 days
Time interval: 30 hours can capture 3,700 frames in 78 days
Size (DxWxH) 64x 46x 106 mm
Weight 120 g (without batteries)
Color Green/ White, Blue/ Black

Author

  • Robert Hazelrigg The Graphics Guy http://roberthazelrigg.com Besides being an award winning Graphic Artist, Robert Hazelrigg also worked for Apple Computer and Adobe Systems Inc. As the Graphics Guy Robert provides innovative marketing solutions for small businesses, major retailers, and global corporations.

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