The Unleashed launches on Kickstarter: foolography’s beautifully designed, tiny Bluetooth module gives photograhers complete control over their DSLRs from their smartphone: you can change settings, take photos, videos or timelapses, get thumbnail previews and geotag your images.
Berlin, August 31, 2016 – German niche camera accessory maker foolography GmbH is crowdfunding their latest product “Unleashed” on Kickstarter starting today, August 31 at 4pm CEST (Berlin). After seven years in the business, foolography builds on their two award winning product lines, and now appeals to a much broader market with their new Unleashed. This small and inconspicuous Bluetooth add-on allows photographers to remotely change all the important settings of their DSLR, trigger the camera, start and stop video recording, take advanced interval shots, geotag in-camera and preview results – all wirelessly from a professionally designed app on their smartphone.
The Unleashed is unobtrusive, keeps the hot-shoe free, doesn’t need long cables and can stay on the camera at all times, even when packing it away. It uses minimal power from the camera, doesn’t need to be charged, and automatically reconnects to the photographer’s smartphone, so it’s always ready to be used. Thanks to Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), setup is simple and reconnecting is a breeze, very much unlike other remote control apps that require reconfiguration of the smartphone’s Wi-Fi settings on each use.
“I tried using several Wi-Fi-adapters for a while, but they would often lose the Wi-Fi connection. So I was constantly switching between my iPhone’s Wi-Fi settings and the manufacturers app, unplugging and replugging the adapter, changing networks and resetting the app. It was nothing but frustrating! I knew there had to be a better way!”
– Oliver Perialis, founder and CEO of foolography
“The smartphone as a controller replacing interfaces of pretty much any technological device is a great thing. But without good UX design, the advantages are made worthless. That’s why we made it one of our primary design goals to have an intuitive and attractive app design. I’m confident photographers will love using the foolography app.” – Ken Jochmann, CMO of foolography
The app promises to be intuitive and simple to use while keeping the photographer informed of all important settings, with the possibility to change any one of these after a single tap.
In addition to the remote control functionality, the Unleashed packs even more features: thumbnail transfer for image review and checking exposure. Direct geotagging in-camera using the smartphone’s location or an external GPS Receiver. Controlling multiple cameras at once. And an advanced intervalometer with many options.
The lower bandwidth of BLE might not allow live-view or full image download, but the Unleashed cleverly extracts the lower resolution thumbnail for basic checks: did everyone stay in the frame for that selfie? Is the image well exposed? This is additionally assisted by the histogram that is also available.
Geotagging, the main feature of foolography’s first product also made its way into the Unleashed. It embeds the smartphone’s or external GPS receiver’s location directly in the metadata of the photos, the instant the shutter is pressed. No additional steps are required and most photo management software, like Apple Photos or Adobe Lightroom will display those photos on a map, for easy searching or sorting by location.
The Intervalometer is great for all interval shots such as startrails, but it shines when shooting timelapses. foolography’s app lets you manually set all the settings or calculates them for you based on the resulting timelapse’s length and frame rate. The Unleashed also enables exposure ramping for smooth day-tonight transistions – the “holy grail” of timelapses. It’s even possible to set up and start the interval shot, then go out of range or turn off the smartphone while the Unleashed continues to control the camera. Reconnect at any time to check on its status or make changes.
To fit snugly on the side of most Nikon and Canon DSLRs and to avoid cables, the Unleashed comes in a few models with slightly different form factors, for different groups of cameras. Functionally the same product, the dimensions vary from just 18x13mm over 23x20mm to 13x45mm with a very flat profile. For some older cameras and for some of the many functions, a very short and flexible cable with small, right-angle plugs is connected between the Unleashed and a second port on the camera. Even this cable is designed to stay out of the way, rest flat on the camera’s side and is as short as possible.
“At some point I realized I hardly ever use accessories that I separately have to plug into my camera or need to remember to charge” – recalls Ken Jochmann, CMO of foolography – “so I’m really glad the Unleashed will stay on my Canon and isn’t buried somewhere in my camera bag.”
Founded in 2009, foolography is a team of passionate photographers based in Berlin. They went from makers to manufacturers and create high quality niche camera accessories, completely Made In Germany.
It all started when Oliver Perialis wanted a solution to geotag all his photos effortlessly on his travels, but there was nothing viable on the market, even though his Nikon D200 supported direct geotagging.
“I saw all these small inexpensive Bluetooth GPS receivers on the market – designed for navigation with PDAs and Laptops, before PND’s became popular and smartphones had hit the streets. I knew that was
the way to go, so I made a small Bluetooth module to connect to my camera that would wirelessly get the GPS data from the receiver that I could keep in my pocket.” – Oliver Perialis, founder and CEO of foolography remembers.
Oliver made prototypes of a Bluetooth module for geotagging for himself and friends, but got so much interest online and at photokina 2008 that he founded foolography GmbH, built and launched the Unleashed’09 in 2009. It won the DIMA 2009 Innovative Digital Product Award at PMA’09 and is still the smallest direct geotagging solution available.
After 7 years in the business and a second award-winning product line (foolography’s Barcode Edition won the DIMA 2010 Innovative Digital Product Award, Retailer Hot Pick and Pro Photographer Hot Pick at PMA2010), as well as thousands of happy customers, foolography recently moved to Berlin. With a leadership team of Oliver Perialis and Ken Jochmann, a completely revamped design and brand new website, foolography is ready to take on a bigger market with their new Unleashed.