Smartphones are getting smarter all the time and their camera functions are improving too. With 13MP+ cameras becoming common in phones, it is possible for anyone to capture stunning photographs. The only requirement to get those shots just right is to have steady hands – especially with panoramic shots. However, gadgets such as the Spinpod and Hobie are now available to take care of that. These are portable motion control unit making it easier to create panoramas. At the same time, you do not have to spin on the spot holding your smartphone.
Independent time-lapse panoramas
You can use the Spinpod for shooting motion time-lapse videos. A simple device with a rotating dock holds your smartphone in the proper position, while allowing it to rotate with a continuous motion. The rotation is smooth and you control the pace, which means there are no more overlaps, disruptive seams and lost pixels, all so usual with handheld panoramas.
Although the slot is 64×13 mm, it fits most Apple and Android phones and a thumb-wheel locks the phone in position. Smaller or larger phones can also be fitted with adapters. Users can use these adapters for holding their smartphones horizontally also. After the device is locked in position, controlling the Spinpod is simple, as it has capacitive touch buttons and LED indicators.
For shooting difficult panoramas, you can delay the start of rotation by 5, 10 or 15 seconds. That gives you ample time to place the Spinpod in its proper position to start the panoramic selfie. In the time-lapse mode, you can set the device to rotate in steps of 0.5, 1, 2, 5 or 10-second intervals. The re-chargeable battery can last for 10 hours of panoramic shoots or 100 hours of time-lapse photography.
Tilted time-lapse photography
However, when you want to tilt your smartphone at any angle for the panoramic shot, you will have to use the Hobie. Looking more like a modified kitchen timer, Hobie is a smartphone-holding gadget that allows users to capture panning time-lapse photos at almost any angle.
According to Mattia Ciuccaiarelli, the designer of Hobie, using a kitchen timer for time-lapse photography is like giving an existing product a new life. However, Hobie does include some clever features and functionalities.
Hobie comes across as a large static wheel mounted atop a kitchen timer. The wheel holds a crossbar with bungees that can rotate 360 degrees. You use the bungees to secure your smartphone (8 cm and below only) in place – that means, no phablets. The rotating crossbar allows the smartphone to be angled in almost any angle, overcoming the limitations of products such as the Spinpod.
As the timer operates on its wind-up mechanism, no batteries or charging are involved. However, you cannot alter the speed of rotation – it always takes 15 minutes to turn 90-degrees. With Hobie on the kitchen timer, you can take still pictures or moving time lapses.
Hobie is a simple, cheap and portable means of capturing time lapses and panoramas with a smartphone. Expect it to start shipping this November.