Eli makes setting up a photo quick & simple. It's light weight and compact design makes it the perfect travelling buddy
We are keen to share ELi with the world so much … so we have twisted our manufacturer’s arm to bring ELi back to Kickstarter at a lower price in 2014! If you want to know when ELi is back on Kickstarter back us for at least a dollar and we will keep you posted. Or connect with me on Facebook.
As an amateur photographer I wanted to go out and learn about my camera - taking photos without spending my time setting up gear. It is well known that even with camera stabilization the sharpest photos are taken with the aid of a tripod. A good tripod is an essential part of your kit but not the easiest to get around with. They can be cumbersome to carry and time consuming to setup. Smaller travel tripods have many telescopic legs sections, the higher the tripod head the more unstable they are. I set out to create a device that would help me set my camera level quickly, on most surfaces and easily fit in my camera bag.
After several months of design and experimentation I got Ohsoh Eli “Electronic Levelling intelligence” to prototype level - I was blown away with what I could achieve!
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Eli is for you!
- Photo & Video enthusiasts
- Gifts - ideal gift for any amateur photographer, experienced and beginners
- Travel - when on your own and want to be in the shot, no-one is left out of the photo, small & portable, easy to use & 'wish you were here' shots!
- Family, Friend & Mates moments - gatherings, parties, restaurants, car bonnets, sport team photos (after a game/on the field)
- Gadget fans!
- Businesses - level online product photos, Real Estate (photos from awkward places, window frames, etc)
Why Auto levelling?
We all know we can fix a wonky horizon in post production right. So what’s the need for ELi?
ELi was designed to speed up workflow allowing you to concentrate on your photography. When you set your tripod down you only need to roughly place it and let ELi take over - with the press of a button you will be setup.
If you want to move from place to place in a short timeframe, ie 'the golden hour', ELi is an effective and fast way to do this.
Wonky horizons and fixing post production means cropping out part of your image - Eli avoids this - you get to keep your whole picture!
Eli is light weight and small - the perfect travelling companion helping you preserve those moments on holiday/travelling
The beauty of Eli is the simple ease of use combined with the effectiveness of it in every situation. Eli has a large levelling range up to 12.5 degrees, and with the press of a button it can level your camera within seconds. I have trialled Eli in many locations, using both a tripod and Eli on the ground. I have achieved great results.
To help with stability you can level and lock Eli using the locking arm under the keypad.
Eli makes panoramas a snap with the specially designed circular quick release plate that rotates on the levelled Eli and clicks every 15degs allowing easy overlap of photos. Simply place ELi in the desired location and press the Green button. Your now ready to pan - set up you camera and go!
In addition to levelling the camera on the dual axis to ensure level photographs and easy panoramas, Eli can also be levelled on a single axis, levelling just the horizon while allowing the controller to point the camera up or down to suit the shot being taken. Ideal for most photos looking up or down at a subject.
When using the single axis levelling you must have the camera's optics aligned with ELi or you will not be able to find level. This is why the quick release plate has alignment marks, an arrow on the bottom that points to the lens and a notch on the top to show when the camera is aligned.
Once the camera is aligned you can lock off the rotation by moving the rotation lock to the right to ensure alignment during the photo shoot.
Single axis levelling also means you’re not limited to a single horizontal sweep with your camera; you can get a much wider angle on the finished panorama by adjusting the angle up/down and re-levelling as you rotate the base of ELi. It is possible to capture a sphere this way without expensive wide angle lenses and equipment - just ELi, a tripod and your camera!
We have also developed a simple accessory that makes sphere photography even easier - we are thinking of making this a stretch goal... The below example was taken with an 18-55mm standard lens that came with my EOS 600D ... and that simple accessory.
We use the highly skilled team at Product Partners to turn the first prototype into ELi. Working closely with Mike and Paul we produced a number of concepts sketches with simplicity, ease of use and portability in mind.
Eli has been designed in a sleek black finish with rubber feet designed to grip on most surfaces (they also have the advantage of not scratching your car).
The extremely skilled guys at Bela developed the electronics based on component choices and enclosure constraints. Working closely with PP to ensure best fit and sensor alignment, making ELi work 'sweet'.
RoHS Compliant, Restriction of Hazardous Substance Directive
Eli has been designed with a standard tripod thread on the base to allow easy attachment to most tripods - saving time messing around with the legs to get a level shot.
Eli runs off 4 AA batteries with a standby battery life of up to 6 months and up to 1 month of use.
- Height: 90mm
- Diameter: 125mm
- Weight 521g with batteries 407g without batteries
- Load: 800g levelling 1Kg max
- 25° movement range (12.5° from midpoint)
- Accuracy within 0.5°
- Rapid levelling time (within 6 seconds)
- Two levelling modes (single and dual axes levelling)
- Level pan for panoramic photos
- Tricolour status indication
- Fine position adjustment via arrow keys
- Quick release plate
- Mechanical lock to support larger lenses
- Wide base with feet for use without a tripod
- 3/8-16 thread in base for tripod mount (supplied with 1/4-20 reducer)
Where are we at?
We have three working prototypes that have been rigorously tested and shown awesome durability and accuracy ... and we have learnt a lot. We also have injection moulding tools 90% complete and have made 1 unit from these. It is working really well, the clearances are good and it has shown us where improvements can be made.
We have 85% of the parts we need to start a small run of 200 units, plus 1000+ of the major components (with longer lead times) which will allow us to ramp up production quickly.
We have a granted patent in the United States of America and registered design protection in Europe, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
Having got Eli to the final prototype stage and commissioned the tools, I have now run out of money to finance the final stages of this project. I need your assistance to get this product manufactured and onto the shelves, where it will be sold at a mid-level price, which I believe will set it out as a groundbreaking product that dominates the market.
What is Next? Production Timeframe
- Graham’s out and about using ELi to take panorama photos for kickstarter supporters
- Receive funds - make final payment for injection molding tools and T3 samples reviewed. If suitable quality acheived start production of plastics, if not then further samples required (T4)
- Order PCB assembly and keypads
- Order and send out T-shirts, Caps and Panoramas to Kickstarter supporters
- OhSoh website completed, showcasing a gallery with ELi photos and further pre-sales can be made
- Packaging design completed and remaining parts (including keypad and assembled PCBs) received
- Inspect T4 samples, if they were required, and start production if all OK
- Plastics received, assembly and test procedures finalised
- Assembly begins
- Send out ELi to Kickstarter supporters – Hooray!
We will email our backers with regular updates regarding the production process. We promise to run a transparent campaign and to keep our backers up-to-date and informed.
Why Support Us?
- Be one of the first to own Eli
- Eli saves you time - never miss another awesome shot
- Easy to carry around and easy to use
- It's a gadget!!
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We have worked very hard in the prototyping, IP and tooling processes to ensure we have a working product that is ready for manufacture. We have 90% completed our tooling process and have undertaken vigorous testing on three prototypes. We are attempting to account for many of the manufacturing and supplier challenges but as with all projects there may be some unforeseen hurdles outside our control. We are resolved and determined to meet our delivery date. However there is a possibility for delays due to:
- The contract with our manufacturer states our timeframes, however as quality is paramount to us the reviewing of samples and producing further samples if refinements are required may take longer than expected. This would only be done to enhance Eli for you the end user.
- China celebrates it's New Year from approx 20th Jan to 10th Feb 2014 - our timeframe has accounted for this but there is a chance is could affect our timeline.
Although all attempts are being made to minimise these risks transparent dialogue with supporters via email is a must, showing our progress. - particularly if any issues affecting the delivery date arise.
My standard kit is a good 1.5kg, if not closer to two. I see your max weight listed as 1kg. How much wiggle room is there in this figure?
This version of ELi is aimed at the amateur photographer with an entry level DSLR camera, like a Canon 600D or smaller. It is also well suited to mirror-less ‘point & shoot’ cameras, like the Sony cyber-shot DSC-S2100, as in the video on the back-pack.
ELi allows you to rotate your camera manually. We do have plan for this as an accessory replacing the quick release plate.
The panorama is posted in a tube to protect it. You will need to have it fitted to a frame when it arrives.