Want to be an early adopter of new technology? Here’s a quick look at a few photography-related prototypes seeking crowdfunding investments.
A trigger shutter used to be a cord that screwed into your camera that you could depress from a distance of a few feet away. With new digital cameras, that trigger can now be wireless and a whole lot more functional. (We recently reviewed such a device, the Satechi Smart Trigger for iOS.)
ShutterBox is a device from Ubertronix that gives your Android smartphone remote control of your camera via Bluetooth, up to 200 feet away (theoretically). The device slips into the hot shoe of your camera and can be used in several modes such as a single image, photo burst, lightning, time lapse, and motion. With these modes you can set the device to fire off-camera flashes, or snap a photo when it sees motion. The inventor, Josiah Leverich, says you can use your phone to sense lightning, taking a photo when it strikes.
The camera supports several camera models from Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Samsung, Sony, and Olympus.
The ShutterBox campaign just launched on Kickstarter and has 27 days to reach its goal of $25,000. If successful, the initial units will be produced in Texas, with a delivery date of seven-to-nine weeks after Kickstarter completion. The complementing Android app is near completion, Leverich says.
The Travelwide is an ultra-light 4×5 film camera from Chicago-based Wanderlust. The camera uses 4×5 analog film, which is 13 times larger that 35mm full-frame images. Wanderlust’s concept is a travel camera that you can easily tote anywhere; not only is it lighter than a comparable metal-body camera, at 1.4 pounds (with the lens), it’s lighter than a DSLR. The lens, however, isn’t included.
The Kickstarter campaign offers an option of two models. The Travelwide 90 is built for the Schneider Angulon 90mm f/6.8 lens ($189 backing), which is a wide-angle lens (28mm equivalent) that focuses from two feet to infinity. The Travelwide 65 is designed for the Schneider Super Angulon 65mm f/8 lens ($99 backing). Ideal for landscapes, the Travelwide 65 wide-angle (20mm equivalent) uses the same body as the 90, but “but instead of a helical focus, the focus is fixed at a very nice hyper-focal distance.” As mentioned, the lenses are not included, but Wanderlust suggests a few resources where used models can be affordably acquired.
Just a few days into the campaign, and Wanderlust Cameras has raised over half toward their goal of $75,000.
Greg Dash in Wales created this unique shooter after he was unable to find a pockatable camera with a fisheye lens. The end result looks like a tiny toy DSLR, not unlike the Fuuvi Bee video camera that’s gotten some celebrity attention lately.
The Lo-Fi Fisheye point-and shoot-camera is a 2-to-12-megapixel camera with a 170-degree lens (resolution can be switched depending whether you want fast performance or high quality). A time-lapse mode can be set from one photo every second, to one photo every seven days. The battery is replaceable, but should have a lifespan of five-to-seven years. Believe it or not, the camera shoots HD video, too, and stores photos on a micro-SD card. Did we forget to mention it’s incredibly cute?
With five days left, the Indiegogo project has raised almost twice its goal. The £65 bids have already sold out. Dash, who made the prototype for himself, already has a working model and has lined up a manufacturer. The goal is for a limited run 1,000 cameras, so act fast if you want one.
Supraflux Video Camera Stabilizer
Another gear project is the Supraflux Video Camera Stabilizer, a Steadicam for the masses. Supraflux previously raised funds on Kickstarter for the Picosteady, a stabilizer for the iPhone and other smartphones, point-and-shoot cameras, and DSLRs. After getting the Picosteady into production, the team is responding to feedback for a more heavy-duty stabilizer. The VCS helps still and video photographers keep their camera steady through the use of counterweights. The unit also has a brake that allows for better control of turns by locking one axis on the stabilizer.
The VCS has a number of well-machined parts, and can be custom-made with specific weights to accommodate your camera. The VCS, however, has a universal mount and operation that will work with a range of cameras such as point-and-shoots, DSLRs, and camcorders.
Supraflux plans to sell the device for $745. Want to get it at the discounted $495 level? They’re all gone. The Kickstarter project exceeded its goal within the first 30 hours, but you can still get one by making higher pledges (still cheaper than getting one at retail).