Axsy T-Set leaves photographers all set for camera motion control

Camera motion control accessories are often costly and clunky, relying on knobs and buttons to work. The Axsy T-Set from London-based Axsy is an affordable alternative that combines three devices in one and works in conjunction with a mobile app that lets users control their cameras via touch input on their smartphones.

The product will work with nearly any digital camera on the market. Axsy enables the user to control video, time lapse and stop motion effects. The Triaxis-set is made up of the Centric, Slide and three Spin smart motors. The Centric device, along with the Android and iOS app, serves as the brains of the product and uses a radio mesh network. It gets connected to a camera via USB or a standard shutter release cable. The T-Set’s Spin smart motor accessory and Slide work hand-in-hand to enable sliding, panning and tilting motions. The standard length of the Slide’s rails are 1 meter, but it’s extendable to any length with Axsy’s 50-cm extension rails.

Backers who pledge $230 will get one when it ships in July. Axsy is hoping to raise £35,000 (~$53,000) on Kickstarter.

The product seems promising and should prove appealing to many photographers. It compares favorably to more traditional camera accessories such as the Axis360 from Cinetics and costs much less.

Imaging Video

Cinetics strikes again with Axis360 modular motion control camera mount

editors-choiceThe Premise. With the right equipment and a combination of talent and practice, taking a beautiful photograph can become a true passion. Doing more with a camera however requires access to the kinds of utilities and professional-grade equipment that is uncommon and expensive. Even those who have truly great vision and artistic sensibilities can find it difficult to make their ideas into reality without the right tools.

The Product. Cinetics, makers of the previously Kickstartered CineMoco and CineSkates, has another unique tool for photographers everywhere: The Axis360. Designed to help automate panning, tilting, and sliding for photographers and keep shots steady even over long periods of time, the Axis360 acts almost like a construction set toy for a camera. The base tripod is designed to shoot panoramic scenes with variable speeds, but with more Axis360s and modular components, the same camera/product combo can also tilt vertically or even slide along a 32-inch track over time. These pieces can be combined in nearly any sensible fashion to capture the perfect video or series of photos.

The Pitch. With a series of technical and inspiring shots, Cinetics shows off the kind of product that a camera equipped with the Axis360 can provide. Showing off their experience in successful Kickstarter campaigns, the materials for the Axis360 are comprehensive, visually explaining how the different parts interact, and what illustrating just what each tier provides. A how-to video is also provided that shows how the control is used to set up the product to move in just the right way. Cinetics needs $75,000 to bring the Axis360 to market, complete with all of its specialized components.

The Perks. The basic, panning tripod Axis360 model will launch in May 2014 and is available to those who contribute $395 or more. Being able to use the tilting or sliding functions requires additional modular components, which are gradually offered at higher tiers. The $1,495 tier comes with enough Axis360 modules and all of the available add-ons to allow photographers to make full use of the equipment.

The Potential. Based on Cinetics’s past history with crowdfunding, it’s a safe bet that photographers and videographers will be eager to get their hands on the Axis360. It may be a little much to expect to see it on the average store shelf with standard equipment, but the modular features make it essential for those that are truly passionate about professional quality time-lapse photography or video to order these once they become available.