Rostrum Camera Stand for Remote Overhead Photos and Video
A Rostrum for overhead photos and video with smartphones, tablets and cameras - a portable, modern take on a classic point of view.
rostrum | noun | a raised platform supporting a still or video camera.
The earliest dedicated Rostrum Cameras came into existence around one hundred years ago and the fundamental design has changed very little since then... until now.
As featured on
As a stills product photographer and product designer I’ve long appreciated the many benefits of the overhead camera point of view. Hey, for starters, it keeps gravity on your side when building your set!
I’m a big fan of the late, great Saul Bass, the renowned American graphic designer and award winning filmmaker best known for his Hollywood movie title sequences using rostrum camera techniques. The very talented filmmaker Wes Anderson expertly utilises the rostrum camera viewpoint in his inspiring work. I take my hat of to these guys as they’ve reinforced my drive to create The Rostrum Camera Stand (RCS).
I wanted to create a simple to use, versatile RCS that would allow stills photographers and videographers, regardless of skills levels, to capture high quality overhead stills images and video harnessing the many features available on modern image capture devices - from smartphones to large tablets, from compact cameras to DSLRs.
There are so many, often under utilised, useful features these camera devices now have such as WiFi, Bluetooth and NFC remote control, time-lapse video, slow-motion video, high speed video, stop frame animation, built-in flash, optical zoom, ultra close macro and a host of other still image quality controls. The RCS is a fantastic tool to help fully harness those very useful camera features. Working with remote control is sooo slick! The 'Panasonic Image App' I used in the video above let me switch from stills to video, zoom in and out and control many other features, all from my Smartphone.
We're looking forward to working with our Apple Watch and RCS as soon as it arrives!
Where we are now
Six months of design, prototype, sleep, repeat ensued as our trusted checklist (below) kept us focussed and on track. We have our final design prototypes as shown and used in our videos and stills imagery. With your support in helping us achieve our goal, we'll press the button on bespoke material and hard tools manufacture then immediately implement the Rostrum Camera Stand production.
The Rostrum Camera Stand - Our checklist
Our RCS had to meet the following criteria.
- Strong, reliable, compact, lightweight, portable.
- A flat pack design ensures the RCS is compact, light and very portable. The cantilever design and cellular structure gives strength, stability and reliability. The reliable and simple 'triple lock' assembly ensures your valuable camera device is safely supported on the rostrum platform.
- Easily assembled and mounted.
- The RCS is assembled in seconds and can be simply hung on any wall, door, window or any vertical surface secure screw or hook fixing.
- Accommodate smartphones, phablets, tablets (up to 12"), compact cameras, mirrorless cameras and DSLRs.
- The generous sized rostrum platform has multi position camera lens portholes to accommodate smartphones, phablets, tablets (up to 12"), compact cameras and mirrorless cameras. There's an additional adaptor pad to accommodate larger DSLR* lenses. *Additional props may be required to level DSLRs. Adaptor pad adds additional flash diffusion.
- Effective use of camera remote control and manual control.
- The RCS is typically mounted at eye level or below allowing comfortable manual control of camera devices and viewing and control of LCD touch screens. With WiFi, Bluetooth and NFC enabled camera devices you can remotely control your camera from your smartphone, tablet or smartwatch. Use tablet to trigger smartphone or vice versa. Use smartwatch to trigger smartphone or tablet. Use earphones as cable release for smartphones and tablets. Remote control allows camera position at any height and is great for fast, efficient hands-free operation.
- Enable use of on-camera flash for overhead stills.
- The RCS is constructed from an advanced translucent polymer with a double layer base panel to diffuse and soften direct flash.
- Sufficient reach to capture at least a broadsheet newspaper double page spread in one frame
- The reach of the RCS platform enables a typical camera with a 30mm equivalent lens (i.e. smartphone/tablet) to capture a full frame shot of a broadsheet newspaper double page spread. Larger subjects can also be captured using techniques such as panorama image capture.
- Simplicity and versatility
- A simple, secure, vertical surface hanging point ensures you have maximum versatility from the RCS. Your copy board, (a table, desk or floor) is free from any clutter or obstacles that might encroach or cast shadows on your subject. You have unhindered space for movement of your subject and maximum control of your lighting.
The early rostrum cameras have, and still are, being used to produce amazing, inspiring results. The portable RCS combined with our smart mobile camera devices opens up this enduring stills and video photography technique to us all. We hope you share our point of view Kickstarters!
p.s. Looking forward to answering any questions.
Risks and challenges
Having developed numerous prototypes over some time, we have perfected the RCS to its final form as you see here. All that's required before we commence production is, with your support,
A) Achieve our goal, at which point we
B) commence manufacture of material and fabrication tools and move rapidly on to RCS production.
The RCS is constructed from an advanced polymer manufactured to our specifications. We have solid, long established relationships with our polymer factory and our fabrication factory. Should any unforeseen misfortune fall upon them, we have core back up suppliers whom we can also trust and rely upon.
We have decades of experience in designing and manufacturing products using similar materials and processes so we are able to anticipate any problems before they arise.
We have managed and overseen enormous and complex global distribution projects and are very confident in the logistics field.
- (30 days)