About this project
Michron is a device that plugs into your camera and allows you to take timelapses. This kind of device is called an intervalometer. Michron is special because it has no buttons or screens; instead the user interface is the Michron App on your smart phone (Android or iPhone).
Once you’ve created your settings in the app, upload them by plugging your phone into Michron with the programming cable. After you have uploaded your settings, you can disconnect your phone. Michron will perform completely on its own. Once Michron is plugged into the trigger port, it will tell your camera to take photos according to your settings. And don't worry, Michron's battery has a life of over 2500 hours, meaning you will probably never have to replace it (and if you do, it's easy to replace).
What is a timelapse?
A timelapse is a collection of photos taken over a period of time that are then compiled together to create a video that expresses time in a way not normally seen. Timelapse photography gives you the freedom to visualize the passage of time as you want, allowing for infinite creativity. To see one of the many videos that got us inspired by timelapse photography, check out http://vimeo.com/23237102
Which cameras does Michron work with?
Michron works with any camera with an external trigger port. This includes almost all DSLR's and a growing number of point and shoot cameras (to see the full list, please see our FAQ). We will confirm your camera make and model when we send out our survey to ensure that you get the appropriate cable for your camera.
How do you turn the photos into a video?
Michron tells your camera to take photos at the interval you designate in the app. After you are done collecting the photos you can open them into any one of a handful of free or purchased programs (Timelapse Assembler, Lightroom, etc) which will quickly turn your photos into the final video. Although it is straightforward, we will also provide a short video showing how to use these programs as part of our manual.
We will provide a few tutorial videos to help you get started taking timelapses. In these videos we will show you how to use each individual feature of Michron as well as share some tips and tricks that we have learned from our experience on how to take better timelapses.
Made In America
Michron will be manufactured and assembled in the United States, although certain items such as accessory cables and electronics components may be sourced through non-domestic channels since many of these items are not made in the United States.
Michron is programmed by your Android or iOS device (If you don't have one of these, check our out FAQ for some more information), allowing us to program in some cool features not feasible on a device sporting an LCD screen and a few buttons.
If you are completely new to photography or timelapse this optional feature is for you! Put your camera in Landscape mode (or Portrait, Night Scene, etc) and pick a pre-made setting on Michron: People, Clouds, Landscape, Cityscape, Stars. From these presets, Michron creates all the settings for you and works with your camera as it shoots in Auto.
Intervalometers typically require the photographer to shoot in Manual (meaning the user adjusts the camera exposure) but many people do not know how to do this. AutoTimelapse fixes this problem and makes timelapse accessible to all photographers.
Interval ramping allows users to change the interval between shots during the timelapse. For example: most timelapses are taken at a fixed interval, such as one photo every 30 seconds for 2 hours. With interval ramping, you can start at 30 seconds, then speed up to every 5 seconds at the one hour mark, and then slow down again to every 60 seconds for the last 15 minutes of the timelapse. (See the clock shot in the video!)
Bulb ramping allows you to make smooth light transitions. Michron will continually adjust the shutter speed of the camera according to your settings. This feature is extremely useful in shots with dynamic lighting such as a sunset or sunrise. Michron is designed to work with or without a PC Sync cable.
This feature allows you to make multiple exposures for every photo you take in your timelapse. Instead of taking a single photo after each interval, your camera takes a set of three closely-spaced photos, each at a different exposure. You can then later edit each batch of three photos into an HDR image in your photo software of choice and compile an HDR timelapse.
*HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, meaning an image that has very dark parts and very bright parts. Bracketing means taking multiple photos of the same image at different exposures.
This is an awesome little feature. For new photographers, this is something you want to have. For experienced photographers, it will be nice to know you have an extra one in your camera bag. This feature allows you to take a photo on your camera by triggering it through your phone, from a distance of about two feet. This eliminates camera shake, allowing you to take sharper images (no blur!).
We've made Michron as small as possible, so that you can take it wherever you go without even realizing it's there. And, since it's designed to sit in your camera's hotshoe, it will stay out of the way when in use.
2500 Backers- Photo Booth:
This feature will allow you to take easy group or self portraits, even when your camera is far away from what is being shot. Many cameras already have a self timer feature for taking photos such as this, but typically the delay is only for 10 seconds and does not let you control how many photos are taken. This was a big complaint of Steve’s after spending 20 minutes trying to get a group shot on top of a rock (there was lots of running involved) so we’d love to add it into Michron.
With the Photobooth feature, you can set how long the delay is, how many photos to take, and how long between each photo. That way, you have plenty of time to get into position and take all the photos you want. Basically, Photobooth is everything you wish you camera self timer could do.
Not just for timelapse:
Michron was designed to be as flexible as possible because we know what creative people can do with a tool like this. Because Michron is, at the heart of it, taking numerous still photos at a set interval, it can be used for a few other things as well, although we are sure you will think of many more:
- Easily take multiple photos for self portrait and group shots
- Stop motion and claymation
- Photo stitching
We have been working on this project for several months now and are ready to launch. We have finished our R&D and have a refined prototype that is sourced and ready to manufacture. However, manufacturing and delivering a physical product is not cheap, which is why we are really excited to be here on Kickstarter asking for your support. This money will fund the first production run of the Michron. The money raised here will go to the following:
- Up-front, one-time manufacturing costs
- Per unit manufacturing cost and accessory cables
The Michron App is a licensed and adapted version of the Android- and iPhone-compatible smartphone interface originally developed by Alpine Labs for Radian. The app is free and will be available for download through the Google and Apple app stores. The app is compatible with all Android devices newer than 2.3 (aka Gingerbread), and all iOS devices running iOS 5.0 or newer.
How Michron Got Here
Utilizing 3D printing, both on a home printer and using commercial services, we were able to rapidly iterate the mechanical design, to create a package that is both compact and functional. In addition, we have worked extensively with the company that will be producing our injection molded parts to ensure that the Michron enclosure can be made to our specifications.
In addition to the mechanical design and iteration (the visible parts) significant work went into miniaturizing the printed circuit boards to help us shrink the housing even further. Fortunately, the first PCB we designed worked great, and shrinking it down went smoothly as well. We've since moved the ports around to improve fit for our V3 boards, which are in the mail.
Once the printed circuit boards were working happily, we had to nail down the firmware (the code that runs on Michron) so that it plays well with the smartphone app, and could execute all of our advanced features. Ultimately the Michron to phone interface went smoothly, thanks to Steve's past experience with Radian, but it still took a good deal of time, and we are still adding and altering some small features as we continue to get feedback from our users.
As soon as we reach our funding goal we will order the molds for Michron's housing (this is one of the slowest steps in manufacturing). This will allow us to start a major part of the manufacturing process before the campaign ends, enabling us to deliver the Michron to you even faster. Barring any unforeseen manufacturing issues (explained under "Risks and Challenges"), we expect to package and ship your Michron in March.
We will email our backers with regular updates regarding the production process as well as provide behind the scenes footage from the manufacturing floor. We promise to run a transparent campaign and to keep our backers up-to-date and informed.
Risks and challenges
As with all projects, there is the possibility for issues outside of our control to appear. While we have done everything in our power to ensure that Michron is completely ready to go, there is always the chance of delays in manufacturing due to the following:
- Firmware Bugs: although we have thoroughly tested the firmware, bugs could pop up as we continue to test and refine all features based on user feedback.
- Manufacturing the housings : We have confirmed with our molder that the design can be easily manufactured, but it is possible that it takes longer than expected to produce parts that meet our quality standards.
- PCB Component Lead Times : We have ensured that all electronics components are common and widely available, but there is the possibility of a sudden shortage of certain parts.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
- (29 days)