11 Cool Photography-Related Kickstarter Projects
SnapFocus by Brandon David Cole
A modular follow-focus system
Midas Mount's SnapFocus takes follow focus to the next level. Aimed at DSLR-weilding videographers, the SnapFocus places precise focus control right at the fingertips of the user. By simply regulating the amount of force on each cable-driven bicycle-style lever, the focusing apparatus will shift the lens ring to a finite degree. This level of adjustment is achieved via a gear system that feeds off of the resistence from the cables. The SnapFocus is paired with Midas Mount's Hitchhiker shoulder mount, which steadies the camera.
|The SnapFocus from Midas Mount allows you to take extremely precise focus control in video shooting by means of levers and adjustable gearing.|
The main idea behind the SnapFocus is to do away with an assistant cinematographer, as the unit enables videographers to become a one-man band. The Hitchhiker shoulder mount is fully adjustable, and the SnapFocus system can accommodate a wide spectrum of lenses and cameras. The SnapFocus can even be used on larger cinema cameras like RED and Alexa models.
The SnapFocus is one of the most high-profile Kickstarter projects. In fact, well-known American TV and movie producer JJ Abrams has gone on record as saying that he 'love[s] the product'. Inventor Brandon David Cole set a pledge goal of $20,000, and funding has now reached more than $110,000. He informs us that the SnapFocus will likely look a little different in production form, but will still offer the same level of funtionality. You can pre-order the SnapFocus now, and it will start shipping in December.
EZ-Steady by Kyle Hart
A video stabilizer for iPhone, DSLR, GoPro
Kyle Hart has been busy. He's the guy that designed the Rhino Slider, mentioned earlier, but before he laid out the blueprints for that idea, he designed the EZ-Steady camera stabilizer. The EZ-Steady is a run-and-gun type of stabilizer that is compatible with the iPhone, various DSLR cameras and GoPro cameras. To be honest, we've seen this sort of design before in products like the Tiffen Steadicam Smoothee, but the EZ-Steady provides a bit more versatility than most of the competition.
|The EZ-Steady is a simple stabilizer for keeping video nice and smooth when hand-holding the camera.|
First off, the EZ-Steady can be configured with a camera in under 5 minutes. That claim is due in part to the EZ-Steady's staged mounting system, which enables the camera to be set far forward or backward on the mounting plate. There are two areas for mounting weights along the EZ-Steady, which can be screwed in or out to acheive an exact balance point. The handle of the EZ-Steady can also rotate an impressive full 360 degrees at a sharp angle to accommodate tight shooting situations.The EZ-Steady is also constructed of a high quality aluminum and uses Mr. Hart's patented 'Rhino Skin' covering on top of the mounting plate.
The EZ-Steady is nearing $80,000 in pledge money, which is about $75,000 more than Kyle Hart hoped to recieve, so this project is definitely flying. Backers should receive their products early next year.
Trygger iPhone Case by Scott Phillips and Joel Kameraman
A case with integrated polarizing filter for iPhone 4/4S
Constructed of 1.8mm-thick polycarbonate, the Trygger case is nice and rugged (unsheathed, if you drop the iPhone 4/4S in the wrong place, that beautiful glass panel will turn into transparent confetti), but its most attractive feature if you're a keen iPhone photographer, is its built-in, adjustable polarizing filter.
|The Trygger iPhone case offers a substantial protective shell for your phone, but also incorporates a 'slide-up' polarizing filter for enhancing the appearance of certain scenes.|
The filter is moved into place over the iPhone's lens by sliding the rear of the case upwards, and a circular dial along the side of the case rotates the filter, which does not block the flash. There will also be a Trygger application that allows users to calibrate the polarizing filter accordingly via an onscreen histogram.
The Trygger is already shipping, thanks to the fact that the project received double its intended pledge money. You can pre-order yours here.