If you want to capture quality time-lapse on a budget, please read on. I'll show you the specs of my minimum system. It's low cost, low weight, and low complexity - but can still deliver near "holy grail" time-lapse results.
"Minimum Hardware for Expert Results" System Specs:
|Computer||ASUS EeePC 1025 netbook (~$300)|
|Weight: 2.5 lbs|
|OS: Windows 7 Starter, 32-bit|
|Hard drive: 100GB|
|Processor: Atom 1.6GHz, four cores|
|USB: 3 USB 2.0 ports|
|Lens||Canon 10-22mm zoom|
|Other||Tripod and ball head|
About the computer:ASUS claims a 12 hour battery life for the model 1025 netbook. So far, I have only run it for four hours in the field but still had plenty of battery life left.
It's not a very fast machine, so it takes longer to download and process RAW images. It can capture full-sized RAW images in about a 12 second interval. I can get the interval down to 6 seconds by setting GBTimelapse to only display RAW thumbnails during a time-lapse.
About the camera & filter:I recommend a wide angle zoom like the Canon 10-22mm lens and a very dark neutral density filter like the Hoya 9-stop. With this combination, I can use a bulb time of one second in daylight at f/4.5 and ISO 100.
After sunset when the bulb time has increased to 16-seconds and the ISO to 3200, I can remove the filter and continue on in bulb-mode to capture the night sky.