Crowdfunding Critic: MIOPS smartphone high speed camera trigger

High speed photos taken with help of smartphone app, compatible with many current cameras

Welcome to another Tuesday edition of the Crowdfunding Critic here at Electronista and MacNN. Every Tuesday and Thursday, we bring you a crowdfunding project that we like enough to share with our readers. As we note, this isn't an endorsement of the project or the campaign, but rather something the staff thought was interesting enough to mention. As with any crowdfunding project, we urge our readers to research the items they are considering pledging on, as all investments come with risk. The subject for today's post is the MIOPS smartphone controllable high-speed camera trigger.

The MIOPS camera trigger was created to give photographers a single device with all the features that would be needed for high-speed photography. The bonus is that the device is controlled by an app on a smartphone through Bluetooth. Settings are adjusted on the smartphone, and then sent to the device, rather than forcing photographers to fiddle with settings on a small LCD screen. For those that don't want to use a smartphone or don't own one, users can still control the device directly though buttons and on-board color LCD screen.

MIOPS has three different types of sensors, including sound, light and laser. It also has a port for other sensor types that a user may want to take advantage of. External flash units and the camera can be triggered by MIOPS through a cable. Most modern DSLR cameras, including the Canon EOS series and Nikon D series, are supported through cable connections. MIOPS can be mounted in the hot shoe of many other SLRs and DSLRs.

There are several modes in the camera trigger, all of which can be combined to setup custom scenarios. Lighting, sound, laser, time-lapse and high dynamic range (HDR) are the basic options, with another mode for external sensors to be added.

Lightning mode is a function of the MIOPS light sensor, allowing cameras to catch lightning bolts, even adjusting the sensor to determine the bolts that would trigger the device. The device also has a laser mode that triggers as soon as the beam is broken. Sound mode can be used to take photos of fast-moving objects in the dark. Time-lapse allows users to set the time frame for photos to be captured with specific settings. HDR mode creates photos based on user-defined settings, removing the need to do any manual actions.

All of the actions can be controlled or combined through an iOS app, or an Android version that is due to be completed by the time devices are shipping. Every action that can be taken, and every setting that can be altered on the unit, can also be done through the app, giving users complete control when the device is already setup.

To give MIOPS some extended life, the company offers firmware updates through a USB port on the device. It's said that the firmware upgrades will be available "free for lifetime." The device also has a built-in battery that is recharged through the same USB port, letting photographers focus on the task rather than digging for a new set of AAs.

The MIOPS campaign is scheduled to conclude on August 28. So far the project has raised over $250,000, much more than the $75,000 the campaign was originally seeking. Since the device is so far along in development, all pledge tiers show an estimated delivery time of December 2014.


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