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iPhone wireless focus controller rocks

8 June 2010
iPhone wireless focus controller rocks

Redrock Micro has announced a new wireless follow focus that can use an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch as its user interface. Prices start at $1000.

The Redrock microRemote can work with cameras that use prime lenses, such as HD DSLRs or the Red One, or video cameras equipped with 35mm adaptors, and is part of a kit designed to make focusing and focus pulls simple and repeatable.

The system will include both wired and wireless versions, ranging in price from about $1000 for a workable wired system to $3000-4000 for a complete wireless version, which is relatively inexpensive for such systems.

All the variants include a base station receiver on the camera, connected to one or more motors. Redrock will introduce its own range of Torq motors, but the unit will also work with the M-One motor from Palomar. Users will be able to calibrate the lens manually or automatically.

To find the distance to the subject more easily, there will be Redrock’s microTape sonar-based range finder, a cylinder that will fit just above the lens and is effective up to about 30m.

The less expensive wired option uses a small hand controller that fits to a grip handle and can be used for focus, zoom or iris.

The wireless unit connects via a 2.4GHz link to the base station (it can also be used wired) and, at its simplest, can be used to make the camera start or stop, and control the lens via a 270-degree focus controller (with end stops), which will allows users of even stills lenses to do a long, cinema-style focus pull.

The exciting bit is when you insert an iPhone or iPod Touch into the controller. It gives visual confirmation (numerical and graphical) of what the focus point is, and will also show the distance that the microTape is reading, so you can hit the focus point accurately. It also calculates the available depth of field (which it shows graphically) and can also auto focus to the spot it’s told to by the sonar.

Users can also record and replay focus movements, and it will ramp between two focus points.

There will be a lens calibration database included, and users will be able to add to it themselves or from the web. It should start shipping over the next few months.

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