Our recent post on the Redrock microRemote made it pretty clear that the desire for an even more inexpensive wireless follow focus solution is very real. As it would turn out, there is a very affordable alternative with significant momentum on Kickstarter -- the Lenzhound Wireless Lens Control System. Going for under $400, the Lenzhound is also notably based on the Arduino open source electronics system. With these powers combined, Lenzhound might just be the most affordable wireless lens control system aiming for 'pro.' Read on for the Kickstarter video and more details.
Thanks to several of our commenters for bringing Lenzhound to our attention! First, here's the pitch video for Motion Dogs' Kickstarter campaign -- which is already 96% funded with a whole month of pledging left to go:
The Lenzhound 'stand kit' consists of the DB-1 motor unit (named for the shape of one of its primary parts), a single-channel controller, drive belt, latex lens band, and a 12v 3800mA lithium battery with charger. Right now 'regular' delivery of this full package is pledging for $360:
Like many pieces of affordable tech, there are going to be significant ways this unit does not stack up to far more expensive solutions -- the Kickstarter campaign specifically mentions filling a need of the DSLR-budget level shooter, after all. Most obviously, the Lenzhound operates pulley-style instead of using a direct gear drive mechanism. There also looks to be some lag in the system, though it's difficult to tell how much at the moment. This may be a deal-breaker for some, though it's possible latency could be minimized by the time the unit is shipping (or perhaps later, in programming).
That said, it's pretty amazing to think any wireless lens control system in this price range is (or soon will be) an option, and its level of performance may very well suffice depending on the need and application. The 'freerun,' 'playback,' and 'Z-mode' set of functions make for solid value out-of-the-box, which can be further customized with accompanying software. That added bonus of being open source really shouldn't be overlooked. For more details, be sure to check out Lenzhound's page on Kickstarter.
Considering this product is almost definitely Kickstarted (and then some), who out there thinks this may be the affordable wireless follow focus system they've been waiting for?