By Andrew Liszewski
Taking advantage of the USB protocol found on Canon’s EOS DSRLs that allows their EOS Utility to remotely control the cameras, Okii Systems has created a USB-based follow focus dial that doesn’t require the camera to be strapped into a large mechanical rig. The handheld device, which is just 3 inches in diameter and weighs less than 5 oz. including batteries, features a machined aluminum dial and a set of buttons which not only lets you adjust the focus on the fly while recording video, but also store and cue up four specific focus points at the push of a button.
But that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. The open source USB follow focus also lets you remotely start and stop recordings or trigger the shutter, toggle the live view on or off, trigger autofocus and metering, adjust the ISO, aperture, shutter speed and exposure compensation. It also plays nice with the DSLRs’ HDMI output allowing you to use the follow focus while monitoring the video feed on an external monitor. Now Okii Systems goes out of their way to point out that their USB-based follow focus performs a lot differently than a mechanical system due to Canon’s USB implementation, but for just $400 it seems like a great addition to the DV Rebel’s toolkit.