Generally, people take photos for doing time lapse videos and later combine those individual photos to a clip. This is done using:
- A good camera – DSLR would be best
- Proper exposure settings, i.e. manual exposure, manual color balance
- A timed shutter
- A program to batch-edit the photos
- A program to stitch them into a video
To give a little more detail:
Any DSLR will probably work best for your situation. The important thing is: Don't let the camera fiddle around with exposure and color balance. Set it to manual mode and try to get a good picture, then leave it at this setting.
If you set the exposure to automatic, you can compensate light changes, but the pictures will look different throughout the time lapse.
The shutter is very important here. You want to control your camera automatically, so that it takes a picture every x minutes, or seconds, etc. Mostly, this is done using external remote control shutters such as this – availability depends on your camera model:
However, computer programs can also trigger your camera. You just have to connect it via USB and run a software dedicated to controlling cameras. There are many available, e.g. DSLR Remote Pro (that's one I just found), which also offers time lapse settings.
If you want to do the work yourself, you just need a program to capture photos from the camera – even without timing features – and use AutoHotKey or AppleScript (on Windows and OS X, respectively) to trigger the exposure.
As far as I know, both Canon and Nikon supply software too.
Editing the photos
You may want to apply a little color and contrast correction to your photos, or make them black-and-white. All you need is a program that can batch-edit a row of photos. IrfanView can do that on Windows. A more professional solution would be Photoshop Lightroom etc.
Combining the photos
Any video editing program will be able to stitch the photos back together. I know QuickTime Pro can load a sequence of images, and professional NLEs like Premiere Pro etc. will do it as well.
Even simpler is FFmpeg, which is free, open source and cross-platform. It's command-line based, but really easy to use for these simple tasks. Generally, this guide seems pretty useful, as it mentions lots of open source tools and outlines the procedure way better than I just did:
How To Create Time Lapse Movies With Lots Of Open Source Software | DIYPhotography.net