December 15, 2014

Shooting Timelapse Just Got Insanely Simple: Meet the Pico Timelapse Controller

Pico Timelapse Controller

Timelapse has never been particularly difficult. You set exposure, figure out an interval, program an intervalometer to snap off a photo at that interval, and then you wait. As easy as that is, a startup called Mindarin is streamlining and simplifying the process even further with the Pico Timelapse Controller, which packs all of the features (and then some) of a traditional intervalometer into a tiny device that interfaces directly with your smartphone. Check out their Kickstarter video below.

What sets Pico apart from the absurd amount of timelapse controllers on the market is both its size and its ease of use. As you can see in the above video, the Pico has two distinct modes of operation. The first, and most intriguing, is the advanced mode in which the Pico plugs directly into your smartphone. You can create timelapse profiles that include all of the basics parameters, as well as more advanced functionality like speed-ramping, HDR, and bulb ramping, which is used to compensate for changes in light during your timelapse. Once the Pico has been programmed by your smartphone, you just attach it to your camera with the included cable and it starts your timelapse.

Pico also works as a standalone device with no need to be programmed by a smartphone. In this mode of operation, Pico is easily the simplest and most foolproof intervalometer on the market. All you have to do is plug it into your camera and press and hold the button on the device in order to set your interval, and then Pico does its thing. Of course, you lose some of the advanced features in this mode, but it still affords you the ability to capture timelapse videos in the absence of a physical or firmware intervalometer.

Although many high-end intervalometers these days offer more advanced functionality and customizability than Pico, and some cameras have basic timelapse functionality built into them, the Pico controller is small enough, powerful enough, and inexpensive enough at $50 to warrant a place in the kit of timelapse pros and amateurs alike, even if it's just as a backup to more expensive gear.

If you're interested in learning more about Pico or picking one up for yourself, head on over to their Kickstarter page    

Your Comment

16 Comments

I have a new rule - I only support products once they are out in the open and have been tested. I have been burned so many times in the past on this Kickstarter ideas. In the past - you had a good idea - you took a loan. And you released the product on your terms. Not in a rush to satisfy kickstarter backers. I think a lot of people feel like me. It's a harder route to raise the capital ahead of time, but it's a route that's existed for thousands of years. And I think it calms everyone down.

December 15, 2014 at 8:55PM, Edited December 15, 8:55PM

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Ed David
Director of Photography
1697

I agree with you. But I keep my mouth shut and let other people fund projects that I'll buy once released.

December 15, 2014 at 9:28PM

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cee dee
151

Ed, I get your skepticism, this is our second Kickstarter launch and we certainly learned a lot from our first time, successfully delivering Astro. Pico is in late stages of development (you can read an actual review: (http://www.tuaw.com/2014/12/09/pico-use-your-iphone-to-program-dslr-time...)

One of the best things about kickstarter is that it allows you to fine-tune your product to better meet your customer's needs, instead of developing in a vacuum and hoping that someone will like it exactly as you envisioned.

There are many other advantages of kickstarter for both backers and creators and I think they outweigh the disadvantages. Specially now that creators are figuring out how to do it properly. Don't loose faith on kickstarter, great things are born there :)

Carlos from the Pico team.

December 15, 2014 at 10:01PM

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Carlos
86

Thanks Carlos but I can remember a lot of great innovator film products before Kickstarter. ENG RIG, indie dolly, zacuto pretty much all their innovation - the Guerrilla 35 adapter, the Letus 35, the Redrock m2 adapter, small hd monitor- all these were super innovative tools in the world of indie filmmaking and they all existed before kickstarter. And I trust these products much more people the inventor reached out privately to people to figure out what they wanted. If they make revisions, it still can be revised after the fact. I can't think of a single filmmaking invention in the past 3 years that has been as revolutionary as these 35mm lens adapters. I wish I hadn't been burned on over 10 projects I supported on kickstarter. I'm sure your product is going to be great - but I will wait till it comes out and there is a review. Then I will go for it, just as I did for the indie dolly and the Kessler Crane and Dana Dolly.

December 16, 2014 at 8:44AM

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Ed David
Director of Photography
1697

If they made Hardy write a column without "insanely" in it, I think he'd drive off a bridge.

December 16, 2014 at 12:14AM

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Hey now, I haven't used "insanely" in a headline in over a month. I have to ween myself off of hyperbole, because if I go cold turkey I'm bound to have a horrific relapse.

December 16, 2014 at 1:51AM

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Rob Hardy
Founder of Filmmaker Freedom
4503

Hey, I really appreciate your articles!
You state your articles the way that I'd say most of this stuff to my friends or the guys I work with. Charlie may not have friends or people to work with...

December 16, 2014 at 10:36AM

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Josh Paul
Most often DP, Direct or Gaff
1099

I'm sure it was a joke...

Anyway, it made me laugh. :-)

December 16, 2014 at 4:57PM

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I only do it because I love you so much it's insane. Keep up the good work.

December 16, 2014 at 4:55PM, Edited December 16, 4:55PM

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Hahahaha...

December 16, 2014 at 6:32AM

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This is actually one of the few kickstarter projects I've seen recently that I'm actually excited for (and backed). Brilliantly simple execution in a small package - which is the only downside I see (possibly losing either the cable or the device. Any word if it will ship with it's own bag/case?

December 16, 2014 at 9:37AM

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Michael Carney
Director of Photography, Commercial Video, Stills
288

I've done the same: brilliant idea, inexpensive, they already done a Kickstarter campaign.

December 17, 2014 at 2:05AM, Edited December 17, 2:05AM

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Ugo Laurenti
Musician
104

I Like It!!!

December 16, 2014 at 4:31PM

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Wentworth Kelly
DP/Colorist/Drone Op
2361

can someone make a reasonable priced interface for the Gh4, for Hdmi/SDI out, Xlr in?
Even 200 us$ will be profitable I guess!

December 17, 2014 at 8:33AM

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Ahhh.....convenience. Why would I pay $50 for this when I could buy an intervalometer for $10-$15? Better yet, if you're a Canon guy/gal, as I am, Magic Lantern has a built-in intervalometer in their firmware for FREE. Fortunately for PICO, the worst sin in the western world is INCONVENIENCE. Good luck with it all the same!

December 18, 2014 at 12:44PM

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Drew Staniland
Actor/Videographer/Writer/Director
275

I have used the Magic Lantern hack for time-laps on major a TV show. It works great! no need for this. But I guess if you dont have a Canon camera you might need this. Why all cameras don't come with this built in beats me. Its such a simple thing for them to do.

December 18, 2014 at 9:13PM

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Hunter Senftner
Director/DP/Editor
133