December 20, 2012

New K-CIRCLE is a Wireless/USB Follow Focus and Remote Controller for Your Canon DSLR

There a few neat ways to remote operate your DSLR -- and in some cases, live-monitor as well. Options range from custom Canon control software for your Android tablet all the way to professional, dedicated solutions. Most such offerings are Canon-only, but statistically there's a good chance you're a Canon DSLR shooter anyway -- and there's no reason similar gear won't come to Nikon or Panasonic cameras, too. Pro accessory fabricators LockCircle have just announced a new, advanced option for remote control of your Canon DSLR called the K-CIRCLE -- allowing wireless or USB-tether remote operation of everything from ISO and aperture to focus and digital zoom.

Here's a beauty shot of the new K-CIRCLE:

Here's the full features list from LockCircle's press release:

K-CIRCLE LockCircle Highlights

  • Base Module with integrated wireless receiver works wire up to 50 ft
  • Remote Module works wireless up to 150 ft
  • Proprietary algorithm for controlling focus in three speeds
  • Multicolor led for different functions
  • 12 bottons for multiple functions (stainless steel military specs)
  • Focus knob works on big sealed bearing for extreme smooth operation
  • Focusing can be also controlled by buttons
  • Video or photo priority selectable
  • Open protocol between units, ready for external control and accessories
  • Back-up survival battery pack for long day shooting
  • Functions of the Base Module can be disabled
  • Serial digital data transmission, with encrypted channel, at 868.3 Mhz
  • Software upgrade online (downloadable)
  • Multi channel selection, multicamera control
  • Canon EOS functions controlled: video start/stop, photo capture, autofocus/metering, iso setting, aperture control, shutter setting, exposure compensation, focus rectangle position, digital zoom, mode (M, P, Av, Video... available only on some Canon models), white balance, focusing points memory for rack focus transitions, lock on single speed (slow, fast, faster), acceleration presets, commands for second settings, timelapse ready

Given things like the recent minicopter-shot FIREFLY, K-CIRCLE definitely looks like a robust tool for hands-free (or gravity-free, for that matter) operation, in conjunction with a wireless monitoring system. LockCircle points out that jib or crane work could also be streamlined by including K-CIRCLE into the shooting configuration. Expect availability of K-CIRCLE mid-to-late Frebruary -- and a comprehensive list of supported Canon DSLRs closer to that time.

We don't yet know the price at this time, but I would expect to find out closer to February.

What situations have you guys been in where you could've used K-CIRCLE, or a solution like it? What remote control systems have you previously implemented for hands-free shooting, and how do you feel the K-CIRCLE compares in specs to such a system?

Link: LockCircle

Disclosure: LockCircle is a No Film School advertiser.

Your Comment


Would this work on a RED camera with the Canon electronic mount?

December 20, 2012 at 4:44PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


No, ultimately it's different software.

December 20, 2012 at 9:47PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


You know, I was wondering why anyone would use this. The technology is a great idea, but until you mentioned "Firefly" (which was amazing technically), I was going to pass on this accessory.

December 21, 2012 at 7:32AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


I'm able to do a few of these functions with the LANC remote control on the C100. I would just caution though...don't expect the focusing to be anything like a physical follow focus. It is nowhere near as responsive or accurate even with the three's not even as good as the better focus-by-wire lenses (e.g. Canon's 40mm pancake or all the m43 lenses that won't work on BMCC). What it is useful for is when you have the cam up on a jib or crane or grid or whatever and you can make adjustments without a ladder or repositioning the camera. But if you're thinking you can "follow" focus dynamically like this, expect a bunch of re-takes.

Nearly all new cameras by late next year will probably have built-in wifi and apps for your phone to serve as a controller, so the lifetime of this product is limited. I'm enjoying the app control on the GoPro Hero3 Black, which includes a somewhat lo-fi and delayed image stream from the camera as well.

December 21, 2012 at 8:04AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Thakns for the intriguing comment!

One thing I don't unite understand, probably because I can't read the specs properly -- does the LookCircle operate on radio technology? Ie, you don't need access to a WiFi network to remotely operate? If so, this seems to me far more practical than phone-controlled apps that do.

Also -- what other products on the market do you guys recommend for remote control and monitoring of DSLRs?

December 21, 2012 at 10:21AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


"quite" not "unite". Damn iPad autocorrect...

December 21, 2012 at 10:22AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Not to mention "Thakns". Okay, I'm done now.

December 21, 2012 at 10:23AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Just wanted to cherp in about the phone app thing. I think that the apps in question, when they do eventually surface, would be bluetooth which is, to my understanding, effectivly wireless technology. No expert so I might be wrong.

December 28, 2012 at 1:28AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM



December 21, 2012 at 11:56AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Bluetooth uses short wave radio for their wireless, it's different than a wifi connection.

December 28, 2012 at 7:02PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Peter- did you test this personally? Because it seems like its got quite a few great features that could be utilized, say in a remote time lapse setup, a long panning surfing shot on uneven ground where an AC could watch a remote monitor and pull focus allowing the operator to get footing resulting in a smooth shot... big deal if you have ever shot surfing or hi action sports., long jib arm shots, cable cam setups, car/bicycle rigs, harsh environmental areas and many other potential applications. And it says in the article that it works on its own RF wireless frequency, which to me seems like it probably wouldn't have all too much delay in tracking focus which would probably maintain a decent response time....I personally wouldn't make any allegations untill having played with one in my own hands. Just my two cents folks.

January 1, 2013 at 3:41PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM