We recently had the chance to review the Brinno Empower TLC 2000 Time Lapse camera. Our three-week Florida road trip provided us with the perfect opportunity to check out some of the TLCs cool features.
What is this thing?
It’s a small, lightweight, high definition “time lapse” camera designed with a few specific functions in mind. Some tout this cam as great for security purposes, but it’s clearly capable of much more than that.
At 2.8 inches tall, 2.4 inches wide and 1.7 inches deep, and weighing in at about 4.5 ounces with batteries, it’s ideal to carry around on your vacation to capture and catalogue moments without thinking about it or distracting from the moment.
What does it do?
The TLC has four basic modes, all operating in impressively clear 1080p resolution.
Set the camera down and let it take photos for you for hours on end. The interval is configurable, and you can set it to record within a specified time window. The end result is an effortlessly produced time lapse video of whatever is going on. This mode is ideal for single locations, like the beach, balcony, boardwalk or building site.
This is quite a bit different from Time Lapse and a concept that was completely new to us. More on this later, but Step Video mode lets you record short bursts of video at specified intervals – like five seconds every three minutes. The Burst Length and Burst Interval are also configurable. We found this mode ideal when your location is changing frequently.
This mode lets you set the camera down hit the button to take a snapshot. It’s classic stop motion and best used for animation sequences.
Not much to say here. You can take pictures. Hot dang!
The Real Scoop
While the Time Lapse mode is pretty cool, our family was most intrigued by the Step Video. Why? It gave us a way to document our vacation in a way that we never could before. Sure you could so some of this with a smart phone, but not as easily or unobtrusively. It’s so lightweight and out of the way that you barely notice it.
The flat bottom base lets you easily stand it and point it on various stops. The end result is a video time lapse of sorts of your entire day, which you can capture while still being “in the moment” with your family.
This little gadget is so out-of-mind that we had to be very careful to remember to pick it up when we moved locations!
Here’s a short example of one of our videos. This was taken in five second bursts and one-minute intervals. We sped the video up 4x in editing for demonstration purposes – but we may want to continue speed up future videos somewhat because it creates a quick and fun way to look back on special moments.
Notice this video also documents a Flytographer photo shoot – something we probably wouldn’t have done with another camera. Cool, right?
What Else Should I Know?
A few points we found interesting:
- The TLC is powered by two AA batteries that last a good long time depending on what you’re doing. The website lists various scenarios from 17 hours to 33 days.
- Storage is in the form of a mini-SD card. You have to remove the card and download the contents before you can view. While the large display screen does help you set up the perfect shot, you cannot use it to review the results.
- You can control the exposure somewhat for indoor vs outdoor use as well as a few other settings
- Like most HD camera’s, the video can look a bit shaky when you walk. In Step Mode it works best when you set it down on a stable surface. You can see this in our demonstration video.
We have to admit, we were a little skeptical at first. As Alton Brown says, “Say no to uni-taskers!” But the Brinno Empower TLC 2000 won us over in day to day use.
While we’re not always successful, our goal as a family is to be centered and in the moment as we enjoy being with each other. Life is too short to do otherwise. The TLC is a major step forward in that direction. And if you’re like us, you’ll have a blast a few days later when you sit down together to watch and reminisce around the crazy family antics.
Disclosure: Thank you to Brinno for gifting us a camera to use in this review. Opinions here are all our own, as always. This post may contain affiliate links at no cost to you.
After 18 years in software development, Lesli bailed on the corporate scene. When she’s not traveling, she’s hiking in the mountains or checking out Atlanta’s culinary scene, whiskey in hand.
Lesli has two kiddos -Cooper and Elliot- plus two bonus kids currently at UGA, and she’s happily married to her soul mate.