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Tag Archives: cameras

The Soloshot Keeps You In The Frame, No Matter Where You Are

soloshot-2-xl

Some of you may harbor the desire to create videos of yourselves in the process of committing shenanigans of various sorts, and this always implies a certain amount of logistics. For one, whether these are acts of skillful sporting display, or simply running around while flailing your arms, you’ll usually need a second person to pan the camera to keep you in the shot. The Soloshot removes the need for that friend. It’s a robotic camera base on which you can mount any recording device with a tripod mount, and which then follows your movements thanks to a wireless transmitter armband. “It can rotate at speeds of up to 40º per second all the way around, and can track subjects up to 2000 feet away moving at speeds up to 140 mph.”

Replacing your friends with a robotic device doesn’t come cheap. The Soloshot is $480, but has the extra advantage of not judging you every single time you fail that jump.

Keep reading for a video of it in action, as well as links.

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3rd Person View Arm Lets You Star In Your Vids GTA-style

With the roaring popularity of the GoPro and other rugged action cameras, it’s becoming increasingly common to see videos of people getting into all kinds of sports-y situations. More often than not, what you’ll see is a shot from someone’s helmet, which lets you see roughly what they’re seeing, but doesn’t feature the person in question in the frame at all. The 3rd Person View is a system that lets you mount your camera on an articulated boom arm, and allows you to include your upper body in the shot. It’s a little bit like you’re playing Grand Theft Auto, or any other game with a 3rd person view, only you’re the star.

Created by Dutch film producer Thijs Vrij, the device consists of three parts – a waterproof adjustable waistband with a carbon sandwich backplate; an alloy adjustable camera pole; and, a locking/release mechanism. The whole thing reportedly weighs less than 950 grams (2 lbs) and fits inside a backpack when disassembled.

The boom arm is adjustable, so you don’t have to place the camera directly behind you, which does give you even more viewing angles. However, we’re not sure just how sturdy the waistband is. It would have to be pretty tight if you want to avoid ridiculous amounts of sway and vibration in the shot; just the kind of thing that’s likely to happen in heavy action footage. Still, if you want to give it a go, it’s £135 (US$214) on Kickstarter to get your own.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

The Hipster Is Strong With This One: The dSLR Wheel Of Filters

Filters… we’re starting to really hate them. Popularized by Instagram, they’ve spilled out of the hipster bandwagon and onto the mainstream, where everybody’s breakfast now looks like it was shot in 1969. Why is this cool? Are we just… old? Old fashioned? In any case, these kind of pictures have mostly originated from smartphone cameras, with the dSLR crop so far retaining a modicum of class and elegance. This won’t be the case for long if the dSLR Wheel Of Filters takes off. You’ll be able to take crappy, “artsy” pictures with your $1,000 camera that look just the same as those coming from that $30 plastic Holga from Urban Outfitters. And that, that, my friends, is what the hipster spirit is all about. We feel the same about paying $100 for a T-Shirt that looks like a $5 thrift store reject that we do about taking lo-fi pics with professional level photography equipment. But maybe it’s just us.

Of course our cynicism is going to fall on deaf ears. When something is trendy, it’s trendy. So for those of you that (gasp) are contemplating this purchase, know that the device will fit onto your Nikon or Canon camera, and features a 10-color wheel, and a prism and macro wheel.

For pictures of it, and pictures taken with it, hit the jump.

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FlyVIZ: Is The Ability To See 360 Degrees Worth Going Outside Looking Like This?

The FlyVIZ is an interesting visor whose sole purpose is to project a 360 degree panorama right on your eyes. A camera mounted at the top is able to see all around, and the resulting video feed is pumped to a pair of LCD screens that allow the wearer to see all around him. If he turns his head, so does the view, meaning that after an average of 15 minutes of initial nausea and disorientation, most wearers are eventually able to start navigating the world “normally.”

Presented at INRIA in Paris, the FlyVIZ is an exploration in “sensorial augmentation”, with some practical applications in mind:

In safety and security applications, soldiers, policemen or firemen could benefit from omnidirectional vision to avoid potential dangers or locate targets more rapidly. In less critical situations, some surveillance applications with a high visual workload, in all directions of space for instance, could also be concerned, such as for traffic regulation. Considering the novel perceptual experience proposed, FlyViz could also be transformed into entertaining applications and devices, as well as experimental materials for new perception and neuroscience studies.

This is clearly not a commercial application at the moment, but it’s interesting to know it exists.

Wanna know what it looks like from the wearer’s perspective? Hit the jump for a video, in French, as well as links.

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Cheetahs Filmed In Super Slow Motion

Phantom makes a pretty awesome line of high-speed cameras. The details these reveal about movements that are usually too quick for the eye to see are just incredible, and when the subjects are creatures as majestic as cheetahs, the resulting footage is simply jaw dropping. National Geographic recently went to the Cincinnati Zoo to capture the feline doing what it does best: run. The production ended up being one of the most sophisticated the crew had worked on, including several cameras rolling on a track-mounted dolly capable of reaching 60mph. A rotating cast of 5 cats were coaxed into short sprints by what looks like a ball of yarn on s string. Cute. They were shooting at 1,200 frames per second, and the video, included below, is simply a masterpiece. Totally worth checking out.

If you’re curious about how it was done, hit the jump for a video of that.

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Worried Mannequins In Store Windows Are Looking At You? They Could Be

Once the realm of the paranoid, fantasies about being spied upon by the mannequins in store windows has recently turned into a privacy-encroaching reality. The Italian mannequin maker Almax SpA makes a product called EyeSee, which is a mannequin with a camera embedded in one of its eyes. It watches the customers going through the store’s doors, feeds the data to facial-recognition software and analyses their characteristics to better target their service. For example, one store found that many shoppers that came in after 4 pm were Asian, so it assigned Chinese speaking staff at the entrance after that time.

Currently in use in three European countries as well as the US, it is deployed in stores like the Benetton Group, among others. And while the practice of using cameras to analyze customers’ appearances is not new, it was traditionally done from overhead cameras; Almax argues that the eye-level angles provide better data. Clearly the intentions are not nefarious and are aimed at providing a more tailored shopping experience, but the surreptitiousness of it has a few privacy critics alarmed. The question then becomes: should we still have a reasonable expectation of privacy while out shopping?

[ Bloomberg ] VIA [ Engadget ]

Spectacam Records The Action In Front, And In The Back

It’s never a bad idea to have a camera running when you are moving, whether it’s a dashcam in a car, or a helmet-mounted camera when you’re cycling. Not only is it fun to watch what you’ve done, but if there’s ever an accident, that’s some potentially important footage. Except of course it’s always footage of stuff in front of you. The Spectacam cycling cam seeks to change that by featuring two 1080p cameras mounted 180 degrees from each other. The small device is streamlined and mounts to the top of a helmet with velcro, then connects to a smartphone through WiFi. An included handlebar mount allows you to secure your phone in front of you and control what’s happening at the touch of a button. Being able to immediately see out of the cameras lets you adjust the shooting angle at each end of the Spectacam, to make sure you’re recording exactly what you want. The footage is stored in an SD card, and not on your phone. Battery life is said to be around 3 hours.

Currently a far-from-funded project on Kickstarter, a $200 pledge will get you in line for a May 2013 delivery.

[ Project Page ]

If You Really, Absolutely, Positively, Just Don’t Want To Use A dSLR

By David Ponce

The above product looks like it could be cool, until you start thinking about things in detail. It’s called the Phocus iPhone Case and it’s a rather large and rugged case that can ultimately be used with Nikon or Canon EOS lenses. It’s got a standard tripod thread so you can stabilize your newly created camera and take somewhat decent pictures. But we’re iffy on this and we’ll tell you why. First off, the standard case comes with its own lenses: $99 for wide angle and macro lenses, and $139 if you add a telephoto lens. But if you want to use your own dSLR lenses, you have to buy special 35mm adaptors: $220 for Canon lenses and $245 for Nikon. They’ll come with spacers so you can maintain the proper focal length. At this point, you’re $320 deep in the best case scenario, and that’s not even including the fancy lens. You don’t have electronic control over that lens either, which means the shutter is the iPhone’s. And the sensor… It’s… a really convoluted way of taking pictures when you could toss in a couple hundred dollars more and just buy a real camera. But hey, if you really, absolutely…. You get the idea.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Technabob ]

Picosteady: A SteadyCam For your iPhone

By David Ponce

Mr. Blurrycam’s first cousin is Mr. Shakycam. They make for a fine pair as together they make up a sizeable portion of the pictures and videos found online. And while the Picosteady pictured above doesn’t help Mr. Blurrycam much (just learn to focus, already), Mr. Shakycam could be out of a job. A SteadyCam is usually an expensive piece of equipment that stabilizes cameras and allows for those smooth, gliding shots you see in movies. It’s not something that you typically use with an iPhone. But if this Kickstarter project is successful, you’ll be able to do just that. It’s got a pivoting handle and a counterweight and accommodates a range of cameras, not just the iPhone. And from sample videos they’ve provided, it seems to do a fine job indeed. It’s smaller than a lot of the higher-end rigs and probably does still require a fair amount of care on the part of the operator, but for the smaller, harder to eliminate vibrations, it’ll do just fine. It’s $139 on pre-order on Kickstarter, after which it’s expected to go up to $179 in retail.

Hit the jump for a video and links.

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