If you’ve ever tried to capture the night sky with a point-and-shoot camera or smartphone, then you know it’s pretty pointless. That blood-moon lunar eclipse from a few weeks ago? Brilliant if you had a good camera and some nice lenses, but incredibly challenging (or, some would argue, impossible) to photograph with cameras that use small sensors. So it’s too bad the Tiny1 wasn’t on the market during this rare spectacle. The camera, currently in development, is designed for such celestial events, and makes astro-photography as easy as clicking a shutter button. One camera still in development might spur even more interest.
Updated on 6-12-2016 by Lulu Chang: TinyMOS launches Indiegogo campaign for the Tiny1
Created by TinyMOS (via Pop Photo), the company was formed in 2014 and is comprised of students from the National University of Singapore. And now, a year after launching as a prototype, Tiny1 has unveiled an Indiegogo campaign to much fanfare, and has already raised nearly $250,000, with 25 days left to go. The boxy Tiny1 is developed specifically for producing high quality images in low-light settings, which makes it pretty perfect for all the astronomers out there. Described as “the world’s smallest, smartest, and most social astronomy camera,” the Tiny1 promises to help “you plan, capture and share your star-filled sky experience — all from the palm of your hands.”
According to TinyMOS, the camera’s “sensors detect extremely dim lights, allowing the camera to capture images of the Milky Way and stellar bodies barely visible to our naked eyes at night, within a short exposure time of about 30 seconds. It is also capable of capturing time-lapse videos of the night skies at a resolution of 2.5K.
The camera uses patent-pending, state-of-the-art calibration techniques to automatically process the captured images, stacking them to reduce noise in low-light environments in half the time of traditional cameras.” TinyMOS says the camera is also adept in daylight, “performing as flawlessly as a mirrorless camera that provides unprecedented access to high quality images and videos to the everyday user.” Based on the samples the company distributed, they look impressive.
The bare-bones prototype has a brushed aluminum housing and a small lens (although another image shows a different body, so the final product may look nothing like the prototype). The Tiny1 isn’t limited to a single lens either, as it will support a system of interchangeable lenses. There will also be presets for things like the Milky Way and the Northern Lights. In terms of specs, the company hasn’t revealed any details. There’s no pricing either, except that it will be affordable, TinyMOS says.
Low-light photography is the holy grail for many cameras. If the Tiny1 is as efficient as it’s claimed to be, it would definitely be something to pay attention to, if it makes it to production.