Connected Objects Imaging

Enlaps Tikee enables endless time lapse photography

Time-lapse photography is a popular film and video shooting technique that allows viewers to see a long event completed in just a few seconds, such as the full blooming of a flower or the construction of a building from start to finish. But there are three common obstacles to shooting over an extended period of time with a digital camera: battery space, storage capacity and processing.

patent-claimedEnlaps Tikee is a plug-and-play device that removes all of those constraints and allows unlimited time-lapse photography, according to its Kickstarter campaign. It’s powered by an integrated adjustable photovoltaïc solar cell that allows for long-term time-lapse capability. Once captured, photos are wirelessly transmitted to the cloud, which provides a theoretically endless amount of storage space.


Lumigraphe introduces the camera obscura to the smartphone

The camera obscura was an optical device invented thousands of years ago that eventually led to the creation of the film camera. While many photographers still prefer film cameras to the digital cameras that have replaced them, there’s also a contingent of photography fans out there who like the distinctive look of images created by the camera obscura, including its unique color saturation and soft, dream-like focus.

patent-claimedThe Lumigraphe is an updated version of the camera obscura that was designed to be used with smartphones. The accordion-like device looks very much like early film cameras and creates images that look very much like those created by a camera obscura. The Lumigraphe was designed for outdoor use specifically. The user just has to open the device’s chamber and attach a smartphone to it to take photos. A pared-down, non-collapsible version will cost about $99, while the full-featured, collapsible version will cost about $219. Both will ship in December. The Lumigraphe’s maker is hoping to raise $49,276 through Kickstarter by July 6.

The device offers an imaginative way to use a smartphone’s camera that will likely appeal to a small segment of photography fans.



Adaptalux offers a hydra of color to light up macro photography

editors-choiceMacro photography can produce some startling images. However, unlike, say, portraiture that is often done in a studio, it’s difficult to have fin control over the kind of lighting and color in an image.

Adaptalux is a lighting add-on that attaches to the hot shoe of a digital SLR camera. The main unit hosts up to five flexible hose-like LED lights in five different hues that can be used with diffusers or gels to produce striking lighting effects for pictures of small objects such as leaves or bugs. The company also offers a miniature platform for staging such spectacles. Adaptalux Ltd. seeks £100,000 (about $150,000) by May 2nd. Prices range from about £100 (about $150) for a starter pack that includes two lighting arms) to £300 (about $445) for the complete set of lighting arms, diffusers and filters. All rewards are expected to ship in November.

Adaptalux dramatically expands the color options available to macro photographers in the studio or the field and the flexibility of the lights allow for a great deal of creative control. While the product has a companion app, it would be great to see it control the brightness of the various lights directly rather than merely offering advice, a feature that’s likely on the roadmap.


TurnsPro helps camera users shoot time-lapse photography like a pro

Time-lapse photography is a great tool photographers often employ in order to make it appear that time is moving faster than it actually is. Even for amateur photographers, time-lapse photography is a great way to spice up one’s photos.

TurnsPro is a camera mount that makes it easier to shoot time-lapse photography. It has two modes: Turns mode lets users shoot in real time or take time-lapse photos that can be edited together in post processing; Degrees mode lets users adjust the camera angle as to rotate the camera from 15 to 360 degrees, allowing for a single pan or continuous panning backwards and forwards.  TurnsPro can be used with action cameras like GoPro, small digital cameras, and even smartphones. TurnsPro costs £45 (~$69) and will ship in June. Its maker is hoping to raise £16,000 (~$24,400) by April 1.

While many cameras have time lapse functionality built-in, those options tend to be complicated to use. There are several other time laps camera devices on the market that assist in creating time- lapse photography, including Pico and Camalapse. It’s also worth noting that several rival products on the market require a smartphone or intervalometer to work, and they also tend to be more expensive. TurnsPro, though, offers more customizable options than a number of competing products. Slight drawbacks include the need for a separate thread adapter for GoPro use and the apparent hassle in getting the device to work with some of the larger digital single lens reflex cameras on the market.

Aquatics Imaging

Video Diving System lets divers safely record wonders under the sea

Scuba diving is one of those sports that allow for killer views, like hiking or skydiving. However, unlike other sports, it can be difficult to take photos or record videos underwater.

The Video Diving System is a way for scuba divers to record their underwater adventures safely. This waterproof product consists of a compartment for GoPro, DLSR or smartphone cameras. A stabilizer makes sure that any footage captured is clear, even at night. The System can either be held by its grips on either side of the camera, attached to the diver or placed on a stable surface underwater. For a full list of cameras the Video Diving System is compatible with, check out the Indiegogo campaign.

While this is a product certain to be appreciated by many divers, it’s unclear if the cameras need to be switched on before entering the water and then just left on during the dive. That’s a point the creators may want to address. Still, the Video Diving System seems to have solved the underwater footage problem plaguing many divers. For their own, backers can donate $134 for delivery in August 2015. The funding goal is set for $35,000.


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.


CamsFormer triggering system offers DSLRs more options, sensors, settings, everything

A DSLR in the hands of someone who knows what they’re doing is a powerful tool that produces high quality shots. But no matter how talented a photographer is, there are just some things that are either incredibly difficult or just plain impossible to capture, such as high-speed events. A photographer’s creative impulses can be tempered by these drawbacks.

The CamsFormer triggering system addresses these weaknesses by attaching to a DSLR’s USB and cable release port and providing a combination camera remote, high-speed trigger, and motorized tilt and zoom. All this alongside CamsFormer’s variety of sensors allows photographers to set sound, light, or infra-red triggers that sets off up to two cameras and flashes from anywhere between microseconds to 32 seconds. A companion iOS app allows for wireless camera control, photo curation and upload. It even enables things like Infinity Mode where a camera can shoot infinitely despite whatever memory limitations it might have. This product offers options available anywhere since it generates its own Wi-Fi network as well.

For the CamsFormer, this is just the tip of the iceberg. It can even add video capability to cameras that don’t have it. The $189 early bird price is a steal, but the eventual retail price of $249 isn’t bad considering everything this product does. The $7,000 campaign is looking to ship the product by July 2015.

The CamsFormer is extremely impressive in that radically expands any camera’s capabilities, adding a dizzying array of customizable settings any amateur or serious photographer would love. The product is another in a long line in creative imaging solutions like the Panlight and MaxStone that do so much to make serious photography more approachable, fun, and wallet-friendly.

Cell Phone Accessories Imaging

Pico eases time lapses with or without a smartphone

Photographers have many tricks up their sleeves. One of the best is using time lapses to create beautiful images. This consists of taking lots of pictures within a short or long amount of time to capture shooting stars, thunder storms, sunsets or any other very quick or slow moving eye-catching event.

Pico makes it easy to create customized time lapses. The device plugs into your smartphone and then the free app makes it possible to schedule the number, frequency and exposure of desired shots. In addition, the app allows for bulb ramping which makes it possible to change the light for shots going from day to night. Once that’s done, plug Pico into the camera which will obey the program.

If a program is unnecessary, you can use Pico as a simple intervalometer. To do so, press down on Pico and count the number of beeps. Each beep equals one second. When that’s finished, the camera will continue shooting at the desired interval until Pico is unplugged.

Pico plugs into the camera with different cables available that are compatible with 300 different camera models. Plugging into the headphone jack means that Pico is compatible with any iOS or Android smartphones running current or recent software. In addition, this product has a battery life of eight years.

Many cameras have interval options available, but all are difficult to use. Photographers are forced to use little screens and buttons to make their programs, with few options available to them. Pico makes programming a cinch and is small enough to live in the camera bag all the time. It’s unclear if the app saves past programs. If it doesn’t, the creators may want to consider adding such a feature. Backers will need to donate $50 for this product with an estimated delivery date of July 2015. Pico is hoping to raise $100,000 on Kickstarter.


Lume Cube portable flash brightens up your selfie, illuminates environment

Those who love high quality photography are moving farther away from cameras and simply relying upon their smartphones for a great shot. The smartphone camera has come a long way, providing folks with control over focus, exposure, filters and more. However, there are still a few key ways these phone cameras lag behind digital or film cameras.

Lume Cube provides the kind of light that’s hard to find when using a smartphone camera. Each cube is 1.5” and provides up to 1,500 lumens. With a strong magnet on the back and powerful suction cup, each cube can be mounted at least somewhere for the perfect shot. Or use the tripod it comes with to stand it up. Boasting two hours of battery life and no recycle in between flashes, Lume Cube can easily be used for continuous use.

Best of all, though, is the fact that these cubes sync up via Bluetooth to any iPhone or Android with its accompanying app. The app allows up to five Lume Cubes to be used at once. It also allows for dimming and either sporadic flash for photo taking or a continual flash for videos. Last, but not least, each cube is encased in waterproof silicone making it durable for wherever a photograph may need to be taken.

The campaign does a fantastic job of showing backers just how powerful this light can be, with some nighttime action shots and a before and after selfie. Lume Cube clearly delivers what it boasts. The only drawback is that they’re a bit bulky. If its creators can flatten these cubes out so that they’re less, well, cube-y, then they’d be much more portable which is the whole point of shooting with a smartphone. Backers can have one for $59 by February 2015. Lume Cube is looking to raise $56,000 on Kickstarter.

Cell Phone Accessories Imaging

MOS Kick is a tiny clip that can get your phone on a tripod

Does anyone actually use a camera that’s not built into their iPhone or smartphone anymore? The only problem with using a mobile device camera is that there usually isn’t a convenient way to make it stand up for videos, family pictures, and some of the more complicated photography such as time lapse photos and slomo videos. MOS Kick offers a tripod-type solution for mobile gadgets that is small enough to fit in a pocket or backpack. It is made of metal for durability, but is still lightweight. No measurements are offered, but it is compatible with all smartphones.

MOS Kick offers two things that similar products don’t: maximum portability and compatibility with all smartphones, giving it a definite edge. Interested backers may also want to check out the Stand-Pod campaign, and those who enjoy extreme close-up photography might be interested in C-Lens. This campaign seeks to raise $25,000 by December 17, 2014. Early bird backers get one product for $25, with an expected delivery of January 2015.