About this project
The laptop has become just as much as a part of photography as the camera. The problem with the laptop is we never have a good place to put it when we shoot "tethered". Sometimes a table is handy. Sometimes a table gets in the way. Sometimes the laptop ends up balanced on the edge of a chair. Sometimes it ends up sitting on some dewey grass at six in the morning. Then someone steps on it.
We've come up with a solution that allows the laptop to be mounted with the use of many existing accessories in many creative and convenient places. For the past couple years, we have been using just a slab of aluminum for a mounting platform. But now we're ready to take this idea to the next level and really make it a great thing. The DigiPlate takes over where our slab of aluminum left off and adds many features like:
- Secure clamps to make sure the laptop doesn't slide off.
- A "cheese plate" tapped hole system to mount hard drives, etc.
- A cable management system to prevent broken FireWire & USB ports.
- Mulitple mounting solutions.
- Compatible with many already-on-the-market products.
- CNC machined from 6061 lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum.
- Anodized black for a non-reflective finish.
- Built-in carry handle.
The "cheese plate" based design makes expansion limitless.
Clamps keep the computer secured (see update #2 for the shake test).
Cable management—4 points of friction make cables virtually unmovable.
The repositionable baby pin mount allows for mounting on dozens of existing and widely available light stands, clamps, magic arms, etc.
The tripod bracket mount allows for mounting on the same tripod as your camera.
If you have a spare tripod you can mount the DigiPlate directly to the tripod head or quick release plate.
Mounting holes provide for easy accessory (like hard drives, routers, etc.) mounting to the bottom of the plate.
The built-in carry handle makes transporting a breeze.
You can even keep the laptop attached while going from shot to shot.
The baby pin base works with tons of existing mounting accessories.
- A sturdy sun shade system.
- Extended Li-Ion battery to power the laptop for field use.
- iMac and Cinema Display support
- The options will be virtually limitless!
The Low Down
As you can see we are already into the prototype stages and well on our way to finalizing the design of the DigiPlate. If we meet our pledge goal, it will enable us to finalize the design, purchase all the hardware for the DigiPlate system and do an initial first run of production on the DigiPlate. You'll see on most of the rewards that we've put a delivery date of August 2012. We're hoping that is our worst case scenario date and will do our best to deliver the rewards much earlier—the prints we can pretty much guarantee earlier delivery. We'll monitor our pledge goal and if we get to a point where we feel we will probably meet that goal, we will start the ball rolling on those initial hardware orders and get production rolling with the help of our magical credit card.
DigiPlate is a creation of photographer Dana Neibert and his crew. Being professional photographers, we have access to all the latest and best gear out there. But sometimes the best is not exactly what a working photographer needs. There are many instances where you use a product and think, "Man, this would be so much better if..." or "Why doesn't this do..." And we don't just use something once or twice in a controlled environment and declare it good or bad. We use it real world situations over and over in extreme temperatures, 120 feet in the air on a cherry picker, on the side of mountain at 5AM waiting for the sun to rise, in a monsoon bobbing up down in a boat in the Indian Ocean and everyplace else our awesome photo adventures take us. The first couple prototypes of the DigiPlate have already been on a few adventures and each time have come back home and tweaked on the drawing board based on each versions performance. Moving facets just .001" can make a world of difference in how something performs and feels to the end user.
We're completely open to hearing from you. If you have a feature you think the DigiPlate should have, a suggestion or questions, please let us know. We're hoping that when we're done no one will be saying, "Man, this would be so much better if..." or "Why doesn't this do..." Thanks!
$25 - You will receive an 8x10 print of your choice from Dana Neibert. A selection of available prints can be viewed at dananeibert.com/shop
$165 - Early Bird Special! You will receive a DigiPlate system that includes the DigiPlate, mount (baby pin base or tripod bracket) and laptop clamps. Retail on this package will be $279.
$225 - You will receive a DigiPlate system that includes a DigiPlate, mount (baby pin base or tripod bracket) and laptop clamps. Retail on this package will be $279.
$250 - You will receive an 16x20 print of your choice from Dana Neibert. A selection of available prints can be viewed at dananeibert.com/shop
$1950 - Retail Starter Pack - You will receive (10) DigiPlate systems that each include a DigiPlate, mount (baby pin base or tripod bracket) and laptop clamps. Retail on this package will be $2790.
$9250 - Retail Starter Pack - You will receive (50) DigiPlate systems that each include a DigiPlate, mount (baby pin base or tripod bracket) and laptop clamps. Retail on this package will be $13,950.
We'll have specific specs shortly but for now it works with up to most 17" laptops.
We're working with the MacBook Pro (both regular and Retina versions) line during prototyping but we will make the clamps adjustable with the help of shims so you will be able to use laptops with other heights. We'll do some due diligence in the research department and figure out a good range for typical laptops out there. We should have those specs before the funding date.
Good question. The MacBook Air is a wedge shape which won't work very well with square clamps. We are working on specific clamps for the MacBook Air. For our backers, we will let you choose which laptop clamps you would like with your pledge (if you choose a DigiPlate system pledge).
Plate: 18.5" x 12.5" x .25", 5lbs. 3oz.
Baby Pin Mount: 2.375" tall x 2" Diameter, 8oz.
Tripod Bracket Mount: 13oz.
Clamps: 4oz. (pair)
Update #5 has a little video and a list of common mounting accessories that are widely available for the baby pin mount. The tripod bracket mount mounts right to your camera's tripod. Also, you can always remove the DigiPlate mount and just bolt a tripod plate to the bottom and then mount the DigiPlate on a regular tripod.
The tripod bracket mount will fit tripods with legs up to 1.75" in Diameter.
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