I might bang on a bit about manual knobs and dials, but sometimes they are the perfect and simple solution to a complex problem. Who wants to dig around in menus when you can just twist a ring and get immediate feedback on the result?
So it is with the Astro, a tripod-top time-lapse controller with all-manual – and all-awesome – controls.
The Astro Kickstarter project launched when I was on vacation last week, but as there’s still over a month left to go, it’s worth a mention. The Astro is a squat aluminum and rubber puck which sits between camera and tripod, and has three spinning rings to control it.
The top ring sets the length of the time-lapse. The second selects how many degrees the camera will move, and the last controls the interval between exposures. The tripod screw up top doubles as a power buttons, and once you’re set you just hit the start button (one to pan left, one to pan right) and go hit the nearest bar.
The Astro plugs into the camera via cable for shutter release control, and there are iPhone and Android apps in the works. The specific brands of controlled by the Astro are yet to be announced, but you can probably rely on there being cables for at least Canon and Nikon bodies.
The minimum pledge to get an Astro is $180.