Founder response to the DIY Photography spectrum review
Good overview – Hits on our high points and talks about pluses and minuses for choosing our system. Leading with the fact that we are turned for video highlights the fact that we are new class of motion control, where control in a live setting is paramount. Overview is very fair, but there are a few areas, I want to expand a bit.
Getting your slider moving
“However, I did have a small problem with the 5:1 stepper motor stalling on the dolly during full speed movements.”
5:1 motor is a good fast motor for live action. In Firmware B003 (what was reviewed) we have been using very low power conservation modes. As we are getting feedback from the field, we are starting to turn up the M3 and M4 port to allow for more torque and lower chances of stalling (we can easily control this with software!). Some of the challenges with this stem from the fact that we like to integrate to third party sliders (Dynamic Perceptions, Rhino V1, Kessler) and each has their own characteristics. At eMotimo we have always embraced connecting to other vendors to enable a lower overall cost of ownership for the customer. That being said if you are in the market for a new slider, we are now offering a preferred integration with the inexpensive and capable iFootage S1. This is just out but we are excited about how portable and fast it is. Having a preferred slider allows us to tune up the spectrum to balance our performance with battery life with presets that takes away guesswork. Future versions of the firmware will not only have the ability to tweak your power and speeds for whatever slider or accessory you want to plug in, but presets that just work perfectly with accessories that eMotimo provides.
“It’s not small and it’s not light weight”
That is unless you compare it to anything else with similar capabilities on the market. So you don’t sell us short, make sure you compare capacity, control, number of axis, ease of setup and results. If you are just shooting timelapse or simple interviews, there are a few other products on the market that can do the job for less. There is nothing with this reach anywhere close to the price.
“The Spectrum is not really designed for panorama, 360 degree or gigapan photography – but I feel like it would not take much to add this functionality as a firmware upgrade.”
You bet we are going after it. Software is coming this month and makes quick work of 360 VR work as well as long lenses gigapixel work.
“You can record and playback exact Live Motion movements for up to eight seconds in duration”
The current version of firmware expanded on the Rec/Playback functionality considerable allowing you to chance times, framerate for both playback and record. This is getting better and better. A great feature currently enabled is called Live 2 Timelapse – where you capture your move live and then run it as a timelapse capture. Under the hood this is like setting up 500 keyframes and enables you to capture smooth, comples, organic timelapse moves in the field without the complexity and time of setting up lots and lots of keyframes.
“In case you are wondering, there is no bulb ramping feature.”
(According to the eMotimo team, they felt that bulb ramping was a complicated feature to include and felt that their development time was better spent perfecting the Spectrum’s core features instead).
We aren’t including bulb ramping, but actually implementing bulb ramping isn’t complicated at all.
WHAT – WHY DON”T YOU DO IT?
Here’s why – Bulb Ramping by just changing exposure is easy. The spectrum can do that easily. Result from Bulb ramping that allow you to transition from Day to Night is hard and requires a dynamic range and Aperture shifts, and ND filters, and a whole lot of time to get it right. We have worked and plan to work with specialized vendors of exposure solutions to enable our customers to really get results.
Don’t believe us – try this Look for any customer results of day to night from bulb ramping from a solution integrated into motion control. You won’t find anything good or automated because just ramping exposure isn’t going to allow you make this transition smoothly. Solutions that actually work monitor the exposure of the camera, integrate to the USB of the camera and run complex algorithms to try to smooth exposure cleanly. The post process usually involves flicker cleanup and exposure compensation and you still have to get lucky.
Could we put a bulb ramp as well or better than other motion control products and make a marketing claim that we do it? Yes. Will it enable you? Nope.
At eMotimo, we want our solutions to exceed your expectations rather than have you feel duped by marketing claims.
Notes to really solve problems – If you want to do day to night transitions, creating some simple repeatable shots is one way to accomplish this and look great!
If you love day to night and have Sony A7 Cameras, there are auto modes that will blow your mind too without making you crazy.