Drawing masterpieces on an Etch A Sketch is not easy. The challenge of scribbling only with a single line may be why it has been a popular toy for almost 60 years. Martin Fitzpatrick doesn’t need to make his own drawings on his Etch A Sketch. Instead, he uses hist to take pictures and lets it draw by itself.
Fitzpatrick built his Etch A Snap around a Raspberry Pi Zero used to control stepper motors, and a custom 3D-printed frame and gearing to control the display. There’s also a basic digital camera on the back. Every photo is just 240 x 144-pixels in a 1-bit color palette of black and white. The image then gets processed, then motors turn the knobs to draw out the image by moving a pen along X and Y coordinates.
It does take between 15 minutes to an hour to process and draw an image, so it’s only good if you have some time to kill. If you want to build one yourself, Fitzpatrick has detailed all the steps of the Etch A Snap camera on his website.
Sure, it may be slower than every other camera out there, but I like it. If cameras had evolved differently, this may have come from Kodak or Polaroid along the way.
It’s surely innovative, although I wonder what the merits are to having a chunk of glass where you’d have a display. The advantages of a display are A. replication accuracy, B. aren’t as fragile as glass, and C. can display things like menus, guides, metadata, but designer Deepak Kumar believes having a curved concave slab of glass (with a curvature that matches the focal length of the camera lens) would result in a more unique experience. The glass slab would have a few obvious pitfalls. A. Glass is fragile, B. You’d have to hold the camera at a specific distance from your face to see things in the viewfinder perfectly, and C. Parallax. You have to look at the glass at an exact 90° angle to see your composition clearly.
Nevertheless, the LUCID camera takes on an approach one would say is analog. I’d honestly love to see a camera with a massive glass viewfinder, just so I could be much more aware while composing my shots, and possibly being rather surprised by what photos I actually end up clicking. This would be a very interesting accessory for a GoPro if someone could build it!
Designer: Deepak Kumar
The idea behind the Evo’s design is a simple, but unique one. 3D cameras and 360° cameras have one thing in common… the presence of at least two lenses. Where those lenses face in relation with each other, and the type of lens determines the kind of media you capture. Lenses that sit side by side (with a rough distance of 2.5 inches between them) can capture two different channels corresponding to the left and right eye, creating a sense of depth, and therefore a 3-dimensional video or image. Lenses (usually at least 180° fisheye) that face in opposite directions can capture an entire scene in 360 degrees, allowing you to create videos or images you can look around in and immerse yourself into. The Insta360 Evo simply creates a mechanism in which these two lenses can fold to either face in the same direction or the opposite, allowing the camera to alternate between shooting in 3D and in 360°.
The Evo can record 3D 5K/30fps video (or 18-megapixel stills) with a 180-degree field of view, viewable using a VR headset that comes in the box, or an innovative HoloFrame case that sits on your phone, turning your phone’s screen into a 3D display. Fold the cameras to face opposite each other and the camera captures 360° videos and stills that you can view in your VR headset, even looking around to see things behind, beside, above or below you.
What’s even more remarkable about the Evo is its ability to not just record, but also stabilize video. Using its 6-axis gyroscopic stabilization system, Evo’s videos are immersive, crisp, and jitter free. The FlowState stabilization system even allows the Evo to capture time-lapses that are incredibly smooth. Whether you’re walking on the footpath or on a bumpy trail, the Evo can capture videos without needing an external gimbal or stabilizer (the gimbal would end up getting captured in 360° videos too). A simple flip/fold mechanism allows you to transition between shooting in 3D and shooting in VR, allowing you to create fully immersive video content, and the Evo even packs kits, headsets, and cases that let you and your audience properly view the content you’ve created!
Image Credits: TuttoAndroid