Our good friends at MIOPS have recently announced their latest project Capsule360, a versatile motion control box capable of performing sliding, panning and tilting moves while capturing photo or video. MIOPS engineers were able to use their extensive knowledge from their prior successful product launches, such as the MIOPS Smart Camera Trigger and bring together a single, “do-it-all” product capable of everything from timelapses and 360° photography to panoramas, star tracking for astrophotography and smart object tracking for motion video.
The real power of the Capsule360 comes in its versatility – you can stack multiple capsules together and even set one up vertically to offer slide, pan and tilt capabilities. And with the added bonus of smart object tracking, you will be able to set the Capsule360 to automatically track subjects, so that they always stay within the frame. The MIOPS Capsule360 is currently a Kickstarter campaign that has already surpassed its initial goal of $75K, raising $300K in less than two weeks. While we at PL rarely ever support Kickstarter campaigns due to the typical practice of “over-promise and under-deliver”, we are confident that this will be a successful project executed in a timely manner by a team of professionals, purely based on their track record. Although I personally have zero affiliation with MIOPS, I had a chance to meet the heads of the company a couple of years ago in Istanbul and I was blown away by their dedication and commitment (see my interview with one of MIOPS managing partners), so I’m sure they won’t let this project fall apart. In fact, unlike most Kickstarter projects that advertise a product that does not yet exist, the Capsule360 is pretty much a finished product at this stage that requires funding in order to mass-produce it.
Anyway, let’s take a quick look at the capabilities of the Capsule360 and show what it can do.
The core idea of the Capsule360 is relatively simple – a single unit is able to do panning straight out of the box, so if you want to be able to do things like 360° product photography, you can do that by simply mounting a turntable on the Capsule360, as shown below:
Obviously, you can also mount your camera right on the unit in order to do any sort of panning motion, such as when capturing panoramas. The same setup can be used to do astrophotography – the MIOPS Capsule360 will automatically track stars. While it is not an equatorial mount and you will need to do polar alignment yourself, it looks like MIOPS engineers are already looking into ways to automate the process. If they come up with a working solution, it could potentially serve as a great and inexpensive star tracker for photographing space objects.
The power of the Capsule360, however, comes in its modularity – add one more Capsule360 and an L-bracket, and now you can do both tilting and panning to capture more complicated multi-row panoramas, or to track a subject while recording videos:
If you shoot creative videos and you want to be able to perform panning and tilting while sliding your camera, you can add an optional slider and now you have a versatile slider with subject tracking capabilities:
With this setup, you have access to all kinds of capabilities that the MIOPS Capsule360 offers. You can even shoot motion timelapses, if you prefer to go that route instead.
The Capsule360 is controlled using a smartphone app (both iOS and Android platforms are supported), which automatically detects the number of connected capsules and configures it, so that you can perform different functions. The connection is established wirelessly via Bluetooth to avoid messing with cables. With the app, one can create custom motion paths using a smartphone and the Capsule360 will repeat that motion as many times as desired.
You can use the product to mount everything from a lightweight smartphone, to a full-size DSLR. Depending on the setup, up to 7 kgs of total load is supported, which is plenty for most needs.
Obviously, to be able to do all this, each Capsule360 module will need to have a built-in battery. The supplied battery is capable of running for at least 8 hours of continuous use in most modes, and up to one week if you are shooting timelapses. And if that’s not enough, one can even hook up an external USB power source for continuous use.
Surprisingly, MIOPS engineers were able to achieve this in a very small and lightweight package. The Capsule360 measures just 105mm at its longest side and weighs a total of 250 grams. This means that you can pack a few capsules in your camera bag without worrying about space and weight issues.
The Capsule360 has many more features and I’m sure the MIOPS team is already working on other ideas to make it one of the best trackers and sliders on the market. I’m excited to test the MIOPS Capsule360 when it is released – we will post our review as soon as we get our hands on a sample!
Pricing and Backing the Project
The pledges for the current MIOPS Capsule360 Kickstarter campaign start from $199 for a single standalone pack, all the way to $979 for a premium pack. To back this project and order the MIOPS Capsule360, please visit their Kickstarter page, where you will find a lot more information.
If you have any questions about the MIOPS Capsule360, please feel free to ask in the comments section below!