Hope it is okay to post this here, feel free to remove if not...
If a few of you saw the other thread about creating a low cost range finder then you will know what this is.
But basically over the last 2 months I have been working hard on a new tool to assist focus pulling.
I have designed and built it from the group up to be low cost, yet has high quality components and build quality that you would expect with a decent little product made to go on the top of your swanky camera.
While it doesn't have a proper name yet (we are calling it the "Range Finder project" for now), there is a working prototype that you can see bellow.
As you can see it is a pretty small unit that sits on the top of your camera allowing you to see exactly how far away the talent or object is from the film plane (datum line).
It achieves this by using a highly accurate sonar sensor at the front of the device.
It then displays this information in the form of Feet and Inches on the displays located either side of the device.
This means you can be standing anywhere either side of the camera and see the measurement it is taking.
It really is that simple...
So I bet you want to get one, right? Well we are still working on it...
We are currently finishing off the firmware on the device.
Adding things like the menu system that will let you change;
-Datum line offset
-Units (Imperial or Metric)
We are also working on finishing the product design.
Currently we are trying out displays that are 2x the size of the original prototype's.
These larger displays will allow you to stand further away from the camera due to the increased digit size.
Also working on adding physical buttons to the case that allow you to interact with the menu system.
As well as a few other things like the general look and feel of the case.
What is the wireless for?
Good question! We hope to release a companion device to the range finder soon after release.
This companion will have a single display and the menu buttons but will allow you to wirelessly receive the measurements and control the sonar device remotely.
This smaller device will allow you to mount it onto any wireless follow focus unit, or monitor you have, aiding you with nailing that focus while not even having to be in line of sight of the camera.
So when can you get one?
If all goes well over the next 2 weeks of final prototyping and firmware development, I hope to start a crowdfunding campaign (Kickstart or something).
This campaign will hopefully start on the 1st of February and last 30 days.
During that time we will finish off the final bits and bobs of the design and actually start manufacturing units to be shipped as soon as we can after the campaign has finished.
Then over March, we hope to be actually shipping out orders. That is if everything goes well. Sometimes one link in the chain breaks and we could be waiting a few days or even a week for one component or item to arrive to finish off the production.
But March though April is my goal for shipping these out.
Want to have a go with the prototype?
I know a few people really want to have a go before we start the campaign.
So we will be at BSC Expo on Friday the 3rd February in London to show off the product.
We don't have a stall but if you follow the Facebook page you will see what we plan on doing.
If you can't make it to BSC Expo then I am afraid there are not many more events that we can go to.
What we will be doing though is sending around 5 nearly finished prototypes/final products out into the wild for industry focus pullers and cinematographers to have a go with.
If you would like to apply for this then please send me a message. We still have a few left to allocate.
Any questions or comments, please leave bellow.
Would love to hear some feedback on our little project.
If you would like to stay up to date on the project then please follow us on our Facebook page.
While I will keep this thread up to date, that is the first place that gets information posted.
Ill post the rest of the prototype photos bellow as well as the spec document.