November 21, 2011

Okii Releases MC1 USB Mini Controller for Canon DSLRs

There are a couple of USB follow focus controllers out there -- the Okii FC1 and Helmsman come to mind -- but not all controllers are follow focuses. Instead, some simply let you start/stop recording, adjust exposure, and change settings. Here's a preview from HD Cam Team of the Okii MC1 USB controller (though at the time of the video the brand had yet to be revealed):

Here's the feature list.

  • Initiates video start/stop, image capture, digital zoom, autofocus, and live view
  • Controls ISO, aperture, and shutter speed (while not recording)
  • Optional 11-minute recording restart
  • Does not interfere with HDMI output for external monitor or electronic viewfinder use
  • Uses standard mini-B to A USB cables (the same cable for connecting a Canon camera to a computer)
  • Non-powered USB extension cables extend range to 25+ meters
  • 30+ hour battery life on two AAA alkaline batteries
  • Compatible with lithium and rechargeable AAA batteries
  • Three 1/4"-20 threaded mounting points on the top and sides
  • Constructed of CNC milled 6061 aluminum
  • Approx. 3" x 1.5" x .75" dimensions and 3.4 oz (96g) total weight with included batteries
  • Made in the USA

Link: Okii MC1 USB Mini Controller

[via Notes on Video]

Your Comment

13 Comments

It looks like it will serve a good purpose. Smoother focus pulls and more ergonomic controls amongst them.is there a way to set focus marks?

November 21, 2011

0
Reply

As far as I understand that it is not a focus unit but just a "start-stop" controller

- Sebastian

November 21, 2011

1
Reply

looks awesome.

but makes me wonder why they didnt just craft this into an independent handle that can mount to all camera rigs, replacing the current handle.

Attaching a bulky box on the side of my handle just seems annoying.

November 21, 2011

0
Reply
Chris Hubbard

Probably because it really doesn't need to be touched constantly during filming in comparison to something like a Microforce controller. I don't see much use for it on standard tripods (at least in my head) but handy for jib arms.

November 24, 2011

0
Reply
Angelo

Whoa! Finally, something pocketable and start and stop...

I have been using a DIY infared remote for almost a year, definitely going to pick one of these up.

November 21, 2011

0
Reply
Tom

so does the Optional 11-minute recording restart simply helps you start a new clip without touching anything? basically I could leave a camera recording and this will help me restart a new clip before the 12 min limit mark?! this is great for events and weddings then!

November 22, 2011

1
Reply

Hi there!

First of all thanks a lot to Koo for posting this information and including the link to our site and video. Sorry guys for not showing the prototype mounted on a rig, but I didn't have any near me at the time of recording this video.

Regarding the new MC1:

It's compact and very solid (not cheap construction), not bulky at all. According to the manufacturer this controller was designed for professional use, especially to be mounted on rigs as the main target. But, as mentioned in the video, you can of course use it as a traditional remote to control your camera mounted on a crane, tripod, etc.

One benefit of not crafting it as a whole handle, is that you can mount it wherever you want on your rig, cage or any kind of support, hence, lot more flexibility.

@Tom: I experienced the same, and I had to deal with sunlight unexpectedly triggering my camera! No more issues like that when using this device.

@Daniel Salazar: Yes, the 11 minutes auto restart function will automatically start a new video clip without the need to touch anything.

IMHO it’s a great accessory, even essential for serious amateurs and professionals who shoot video. For those who want to also control focus (before and while recording) and more sophisticated features, then Okii Systems offers the enhanced FC1, which is another great controller: http://www.okii.net/product_p/ct-001.htm

The MC1 and FC1 are different products in size, features and price, but both are extremely handy and useful. You can use an external monitor or EVF, mount any of these controllers wherever you want and control many functions of your camera on your rig of from the distance.

I've used the FC1 to control the camera when it's mounted on a car support, crane and slider, it's great.

Regards.

November 23, 2011

-1
Reply

I'm glad to see this come out, as I was the one who suggested simply running a timer to stop and restart the video after about 11 minutes.

However, I'm still waiting for this capability to be included in the Okii Follow-Focus -- I want both capabilities!

The new Canon 1D-X will apparently extend the recording time to 29:59, presumably by doing the same stop/start technique. It will be interesting to see how long the drop-out is, which is caused by the obsolete FAT32 file system.

But even 30 minutes isn't long enough if you are recording a lecture or something similar, and in particular if you can't be popping up and down to restart the video manually. So I hope that Okii will provide some way of controlling and extending the timing function, which would also be useful if you are not recording in 1080P.

November 25, 2011

0
Reply
Robert Jueneman

Hey guys, just wondering - why isn't there an app (and I mean it not strictly in iOS terms) that connects to DSLRs and controls the focus while shooting video? I know EOS from canon does NOT do that, as well as onone software's DSLRRemote (iOS) app. If people are actually building a unit to do that - isn't an application a good idea as well? I would love to use my MacBook as a FULL controller while shooting video on my 5D Mk II. (just to be clear on that - I don't mean the video to be transferred to laptop AND I wouldn't mind the usb cable. I mean an application to FULLY CONTROL the camera, mainly focus pulling)

November 26, 2011

-1
Reply
Adi

There are numerous limitations to using the focus motors built into the lens. If you have ever used the EOS Utility to change the focus on your camera, that is as GOOD as it gets I'm afraid. There is a slight stutter when changing focus in the EOS utility. This is not any limitation other than that of the lens. This manufacturer "Okii" does make a USB controller to control the focus, it does basically EVERYTHING you can do with the EOS Utility software... but a lot more portable as it is round and 2.5 inches across.

When it comes down to it, there is a reason true electronic follow focus' cost so much. ($3000) It is because they are smooth racks.

November 27, 2011

0
Reply
Fred

Thanks Fred, but what I actually was pointing at was the the EOS Utility is quite lacking in features. It seems someone should should build a better designed small app to enable one to shoot video and control (as best as possible as you pointed out) focus and all rest - all from the comfort of your laptop... Everything I see in the market currently is only half made and seriously failing. If I had some knowledge in such stuff I would certainly jump at it... :-)

November 27, 2011

0
Reply
Adi

What features are you lacking?
The Okii FC1 seems to be your best solution... read about it a bit. Everything is there.
http://www.okii.net/product_p/ct-001.htm

November 27, 2011

0
Reply
Fred

it would be great if this had a Y out connector at the end and could be used on 2 cameras at once to shoot 3D... The Lanc Shepherd, http://www.ledametrix.com/lancshep/index.html
has this and is made for 3D duel camera start/stop/ record and zoom control, and has a digital read out telling you within 10,000 of a second how close the shutters are in sync. It is not a genlock, but will tell if you are close enough to shoot 3D and get good results.. The Lanc will not work on canon DSLRs, and i wish someone would make something that did. This is so close and such a tease...

November 27, 2011

-1
Reply