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Camlet Mount lets you attach a smartphone or tablet to camera’s hot-shoe

A Kickstarter campaign launching on April 15, 2015 is raising funds to build the Camlet Mount, a cradle that connects your smartphone or tablet to a DSLR or mirrorless camera, giving you greater control. The Camlet Mount is designed to be universal with a variety of cameras.

The Camlet Mount mounts onto a camera through the flash/accessory hot shoe. The Camlet Mount will hold devices in their protective cases, so there’s no need to remove them. You then link a smartphone or tablet to the camera through Wi-Fi (either built-in or through an Eye-Fi memory card) or a provided cable, although no data or power goes through the cradle – it’s just a stand. This linkage, however, lets users control their camera comfortably from a larger screen via a third-party app.

“Our solution was to have an interchangeable holder system on the mount…so users could quickly swap between smartphone- or tablet-sized holders when needed,” says Camlet Mount creator David Slater. Future versions of the mount might include a battery pack or wireless charging for extended use, Slater says.

Related: Manfrotto’s Digital Director lets you control your DSLR via iPad

When attached, the smartphone or tablet can be positioned several ways: above the camera; lowered to a position that covers the back of the camera (covering the camera’s screen in most cases); or swiveled toward the front so that the mount can be used for video blogging or selfies (users can see themselves in front of the camera if they are photographing or filming themselves). When reviewing or editing images, the mount and camera can be used as a handy stand.

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This accessory is similar to the upcoming Digital Director from Manfrotto, unveiled on April 13, 2015. While the Digital Director boasts official certification from Apple’s Made For iPad program, it’s only compatible with the iPad Air and DSLRs from Canon and Nikon. The Camlet Mount not only works with iOS and Android smartphone and tablets, it supports Micro USB or Lightning connections (sorry, no 30-pin) and more cameras. Perhaps what’s more eye opening is that while the Digital Director will set you back $500, the Camlet Mount will sell for $59.

However, unlike the Digital Director, the Camlet Mount doesn’t include an app for controlling the camera. This requires a third-party app, and Camlet Mount recommends the DSLR Controller, DSLR Dashboard, CamCap, Helicon Remote, USB DSLR Camera Controller, and Slingshot DSLR Remote Control for Android devices. For iOS and Android, users can use Canon EOS Remote, Nikon Wireless Utility, Sony PlayMemories, Olympus Image Share, Fujifilm Camera Remote, Samsung Smart Camera, Panasonic Image App, and Camranger.

When the Kickstarter campaign launches, Camlet Mount will have a few early-bird specials. The first five to purchase will get one for $35, and the next 100 to place a pledge will get it for $54. Delivery is estimated for November 2015, provided it meets its modest goal of $45,000.

Related: Bling your Nikon DSLR with this new stainless steel hot-shoe cover