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TriggerTrap universal camera trigger goes into production

By dpreview staff on Dec 5, 2011 at 19:10 GMT

The crowd-funded universal camera trigger, TriggerTrap, has gone into production its creator has announced. TriggerTrap is a light, laser and sound-sensitive programmable camera trigger with built-in time-lapse function. It also has an auxilliary input and is built around Arduino open-source architecture, meaning it can be programmed to trigger a camera in response to almost any electrical input. The TriggerTrap is compatible with a large range of cameras, via cable or infra-red communication, it will be available from February at a cost of $125.

Creator Haje Jan Kamps has produced some test time-lapse footage using the TriggerTrap, which can be seen on the TriggerTrap website. http://triggertrap.com/2011/12/01/triggertrap-timelapse-tests/

Press release

Triggertrap goes into production

Triggertrap, the versatile, universal camera trigger has gone into production. Featuring built-in light, laser and sound sensors, the Triggertrap also incorporates a timer, for flexible control of Timelapse photography. The device can control hundreds of different cameras via Infra-Red or wired trigger systems (depending on the camera's capability) and it based around the open-source Arduino architecture, allowing it to be controlled, programmed and expanded to suit your technical requirements and creative vision.

Creative photography possibilities

The Triggertrap is perfect for high-speed photography. The light and sound sensors can be used to capture events just milliseconds after they happen.

It's fast. Very fast.

The team behind the Triggertrap tried triggering flashes in response to the built-in strobe on a compact camera, and found that the Triggertrap was able to respond and fire the external flash such that it would correctly sync at shutter speeds down to 1/640th of a second - that's a response time of less than 1.6 milliseconds.

Of course, the light sensor can also be used for other things: Capturing the sunrise without getting up out of bed early, or taking a photo whenever somebody turns on the lights in a room. The laser trigger is a second light sensor, specially adapted for being used with a laser beam - point a laser at it from across the room, and the Triggertrap can take photos for you whenever the beam is broken.

The final built-in sensor is a microphone that can trigger your camera whenever the Triggertrap senses a sound - a door opening, a baseball hitting a bat, etc. You can also use it as a hands-free kit for studio photography: Simply whistle or clap your hands to trigger your camera. Perfect for when you're doing stop-motion animation, for example.

Additionally, the Triggertrap has an Auxiliary port, to which you can connect nearly anything. Wire it to the horn on your car to take a photo when you honk at someone; connect it to a pressure-sensitive switch under your door mat to photograph your guests; add a switch to your cat-flap to find out which of the neighbour's cats keep stealing your cat-food; hook it up to an infra-red motion detection sensor to take photos of wildlife. Anything you can think of: as long as you can find a way to make your event create an electric signal, Triggertrap lets you use it to trigger you camera.

In addition to triggering a camera based on sensor inputs, the Triggertrap has timelapse functionality built-in.

"Part of the excitement about the Triggertrap", says its inventor, Haje Jan Kamps, "is that I have no idea what people are going to use it for. It's an incredibly versatile piece of photography kit, and because it is so easy to hack, I'm expecting creativity to go off the charts."

Designed for photographers, supported by photographers

The Triggertrap story starts in July 2011 when an attempt to raise $25,000 via crowd-funding website Kickstarter.com took the photography world by storm. In a little over a month, nearly 900 supporters had pledged more than $77,000 in exchange for more than 950 Triggertraps. Once the project was officially funded on June 31st, the long journey towards a real product started

Today, the Triggertrap team announce that the testing and prototyping phase is complete. They are ordering the parts needed to manufacture the Triggertrap this week, and in a few weeks, the factory will start creating the devices.

Open Source & Arduino

The TriggerTrap (left) sits alongside the build-it-yourself TriggerTrap Shield (right).

Both the main Triggertrap version and the built-it-yourself 'Shield' version run on Arduino-compatible software, which makes the barrier to modification very low indeed. The team is planning to release both the software and hardware under open-source licences. This allows use of the easy-to-learn Arduino programming language to add new functionality to the device - or alter the built-in features - and easily upload the new firmware to the Triggertrap with an USB cable.

The 'Shield' version of the Triggertrap takes hackability to a completely new level. It is a device that 'piggybacks' onto the back of an Arduino rapid prototyping platform board. By choosing the shield version, you get the satisfaction of soldering your very own Triggertrap (it isn't nearly as hard as it sounds - promise!). You can choose to build the Triggertrap as specified in the soon-to-be-released step-by-step instructions, or use the circuit board to create your own versions of the Triggertrap.

The Triggertraps should start shipping in early February 2012, with the Triggertrap Shield following soon after. The device costs $125 for the complete version, and $75 for the build-it-yourself Triggertrap 'Shield' version. For more information, see Triggertrap.com

Comments

Total comments: 36
Perry Carmichael
By Perry Carmichael (Dec 13, 2011)

Very pretty box, but these have been for sale for years, based on arduino, like at http://www.glacialwanderer.com/hobbyrobotics/?p=11. www.dreamingrobots.com has a thing called the Camera Axe, for a little more$$, with a ton of sensor types..... Have a look! (I am not connected to nor sell the Camera Axe. I just do a lot of research and am making my own.) Good thing about arduino is all the code is available in the open source community so don't be afraid of making one yourself!

0 upvotes
Peet Venter
By Peet Venter (Dec 10, 2011)

I want one!

0 upvotes
Leon Obers
By Leon Obers (Dec 10, 2011)

Quote from Soulhunter: Smaller and cheaper...
http://www.doc-diy.net/photo/smatrig2/

But if you want a small delay, that cheaper device only has settings for delay from 1 seconds and up. Triggertrap from 1 milliseconds and up. By that it is much more versatile.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Soulhunter
By Soulhunter (Dec 9, 2011)

Smaller and cheaper...
http://www.doc-diy.net/photo/smatrig2/

2 upvotes
kimchiflower
By kimchiflower (Dec 7, 2011)

Very 1979.

I dunno... looks like a 6th grader got an electronics kit as an early xmas present.

0 upvotes
Andreas Roca
By Andreas Roca (Dec 8, 2011)

...and I like it even more for that!

0 upvotes
kenyee
By kenyee (Dec 6, 2011)

Looks nice...wish they kept in the weathersealing that was part of the original kickstarter goal but I can see why not w/ all those exposed water entry points...

0 upvotes
The Scurvy Dog of PR
By The Scurvy Dog of PR (Dec 6, 2011)

Where the heck have I been... This thing is fantastic. I'll take two!

0 upvotes
xoio
By xoio (Dec 6, 2011)

Well, if you own pretty much any kind of Fuji camera (bar the 5pro) you're buggered!

0 upvotes
Mike Sandman
By Mike Sandman (Dec 6, 2011)

If I buy the Triggertrap Shield version and solder it together myself (which I can definitely do), there still has to be an interface to communicate with the device. Where do I go for that? Or, of I have to ask that question, should I just buy the built-up version?

0 upvotes
oringo
By oringo (Dec 6, 2011)

From the looks of it you don't need to solder anything if you purchase the shield version. You'll just need to supply your own Arduino board (~$30). The interface buttons are still there as tiny push buttons on the shield. What you are missing is the clear case and the big buttons.

0 upvotes
geoffire
By geoffire (Dec 6, 2011)

Want!

0 upvotes
PhotoArtKC
By PhotoArtKC (Dec 5, 2011)

Looks like something I could use. But could they have made it a little smaller perhaps?

0 upvotes
SharQ
By SharQ (Dec 5, 2011)

Smaller is possible; get the Triggertrap Shield version. It's much smaller, but not as sexy-looking.

0 upvotes
Delos
By Delos (Dec 5, 2011)

Competition for the Camera Axe? http://www.cameraaxe.com

2 upvotes
TEBnewyork
By TEBnewyork (Dec 5, 2011)

I've been waiting for this to go into production. I missed the Kiskstarter funding but hopefully they will get production ramped and clear the backlog before too long.

0 upvotes
Arnoldus1942
By Arnoldus1942 (Dec 5, 2011)

Looks promising. Some of its functions may be incorporated into digital camera's in the near future.

0 upvotes
pocketfulladoubles
By pocketfulladoubles (Dec 5, 2011)

Excellent idea, excellent work!

0 upvotes
lemonydes
By lemonydes (Dec 5, 2011)

weather sealed?

0 upvotes
DotCom Editor
By DotCom Editor (Dec 5, 2011)

Could they have made it any uglier, or is the photo just a prototype?

2 upvotes
Jens_G
By Jens_G (Dec 5, 2011)

I like the way it looks.

5 upvotes
SharQ
By SharQ (Dec 5, 2011)

The photo is a final prototype, so that's what it'll look like when it comes off the production lines.

0 upvotes
cordellwillis
By cordellwillis (Dec 6, 2011)

There's always something to complain about.

0 upvotes
Cwada
By Cwada (Dec 6, 2011)

Who cares... I think it's absolutely awesome and definitely want one. Maybe now I finally get to take a picture of the bats circling around here in spring :)

0 upvotes
BPJosh
By BPJosh (Dec 5, 2011)

I will have this!

0 upvotes
Halibut
By Halibut (Dec 5, 2011)

What exactly does crowd-funded mean?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 5, 2011)

It means the person with the idea raised money to make the product by asking would-be customers to commit their money to the project. Like crowdsourcing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowdsourcing

it involves an open call to the public, in this case for funding.

2 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Dec 5, 2011)

Looks like an awesome product. Glad to see it is customizable as well.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 5, 2011)

Yes, how are your Java programming chops? That's what you need to program Arduino circuitry.

0 upvotes
goshane
By goshane (Dec 5, 2011)

Hi Maric, actually the programming compiler for arduino is running on Java, but you dont program arduino in java. As well you dont need to do arduino programming - which is very simple - to use a triggertrap. Programming is only for using custom inputs, and hacks, or updating software. The arduino is so simple to program, should anyone wish to learn...it is similar syntax to basic, and based on C.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
SharQ
By SharQ (Dec 5, 2011)

What Goshane said - Arduino is based on Processing, mostly, which is one of the easier languages to learn. If you speak any programming language, it's easy enough to pick up (I only had a PHP background before I started playing with Arduino)

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 5, 2011)

Processing is quite an easy language, but is still Java based, although is much simpler than Java.

Arduino hardware programming is done using a Wiring-based language that is like a simplified C++.

I think this is a great project and I will certainly be buying one for time-lapse work.

0 upvotes
IanDay24
By IanDay24 (Dec 6, 2011)

You could also develop for this using a product called www.virtualbreadboard.com This allows you to test on screen before committing to the processor, and it is free.

I found the software easy to develop and not had much experience in programming.

0 upvotes
NYC Jim
By NYC Jim (Dec 6, 2011)

Great idea. As a photographer I'm less interested in hacking and customizing, and more interested in how I might connect this to my cameras. I hope someone writes a description of how I would interface this device to my cameras and strobes... more of an applications focus than a device focus. Nice work and thanks to dpreview for posting it.

0 upvotes
sorinx
By sorinx (Dec 6, 2011)

Most of the features shall be only a software update for cameras. We have already microphone, sensor, image detection, all we need is the possibility to use this features.

0 upvotes
zbytek3
By zbytek3 (Dec 7, 2011)

You must wait till Februar and it will be in the childhood period but cameraaxe you have now with the 5 generetion.... and it is cheaper ... :-)

0 upvotes
Total comments: 36