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Spark Camera Remote - The easiest way to control your camera!

About this project

 

Spark is the most versatile camera remote on the market. With three different modes of control, Spark was built to adapt to whatever situation you are shooting in. Whether you're taking a fun group photo, capturing a long exposure of the stars, or settling down and setting up a time lapse, Spark gives you instant control. With your phone or without it.

 

 

 

 

Spark combines the speed of infrared triggering, with the reliability of a traditional wired trigger, and the power and feature set of smartphone app control.

 

 

 

Spark can communicate with your camera's infrared sensor to command it to take a photo every time you press Spark’s button. This allows for easy group photos and selfies, without having to try to outrun your camera’s built-in timer.

 

If you've dreamed of capturing beautiful, sharp images in low light at night, Spark is made for you. The ability to trigger your camera without touching it allows for a perfectly still exposure, meaning even long shutter speeds come out crisp. So whether you are traveling to foreign landscapes, or trying to catch a family photo in fading light, you will be amazed at the photos you can take with Spark.

 

Many photographers know the experience of coming back from a trip or a family gathering only to have lots of photos of friends and family, and none of themselves. With Spark, you can control your camera from wherever you are standing and get great photos of yourself as well.

     

 

Spark connects to your camera through the external trigger port and is compatible with hundreds of DSLR's, mirrorless cameras, and even some point and shoots.

Compatible brands include Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, Fujifilm, Pentax, Contax, Samsung, Hasselblad, Sigma, Kodak, and Konica Minolta. To see an exact list of camera models please see the FAQ on Camera Compatibility. 

 

Spark's long exposure feature allows you to capture scenes the human eye cannot see and gives photographers a huge amount of creative control. With the ability to trigger manual Bulb photos like a traditional wired trigger and do timed long exposures through the app you can fine tune your star trails shot and have the perfect timing while light painting.

 

  

 

Five years ago, we launched our first product on Kickstarter, a motion time lapse device called Radian. We've been making time lapse and camera control gear ever since, and Spark is our most refined product yet. We started with everything we've learned over the years about app enabled camera control, and added phone-less time lapse programming for ultra quick setup. Just set your interval between photos by pressing and holding Spark's button, and Spark will take enough photos to create 10 seconds of timelapse footage.  

 

 

The free Spark Camera Control app instantly connects to Spark over Bluetooth Low Energy, and gives you access to all of Spark's advanced features. Set up a Bulb ramping timelapse, take a minute long exposure of the stars, or just set up a quick photobooth sequence of you and your friends - all from your phone. The App will be free and available for both iOS and Android as soon as Spark is ready to ship. 

 

Spark is designed to go where you go, including your biggest adventures. Ultra lightweight and super low profile, Spark can travel on your camera or in a small pocket. Spark's portability ensures that you can have it with you anytime you have your camera.

 

Spark will last for over 2,000 hours of use and automatically go to sleep when you’re not using it. To wake Spark up, simply press the button. And if the battery does run out, pop open the case and replace it with a new coin battery (the same standard one that watches use).

 

Sometimes it takes more than one camera to get the shot. With Spark you can trigger up to three synchronized cameras at once, so you can get multiple angles of the same moment with one press of the button.

 

 

When we first started Alpine Labs, we were inspired to make better photography tools for motion time lapse so that we could capture the beauty of Yosemite. We launched our first product, Radian, on Kickstarter in 2012. Since then we've released, Michron, Radian 2, and Pulse, all through the Kickstarter community. Over the years we started tinkering with remote camera control and exploring what that allows you to capture with your camera. 

Last year we shipped Pulse, the most powerful way to control your camera from your phone. Now we are back on Kickstarter to introduce Spark.

Inspired by what we had done with Pulse and excited about the possibilities of infrared triggering and Bluetooth 4, we started working on a product that combined the power of app control with speed of infrared triggering. We learned from our backers and looked into how we could design something that totally changed expectations on battery life and versatility.

Thanks to our team's experience and our work with Pulse, the electronics prototypes matured quickly. Size is a big challenge, so fitting Spark electronics into the form factor we designed took time and some PCB (printed circuit board) trickery. Overall we are excited to have such refined prototypes and to already be working on DFM (design for manufacturing)

From early literal cardboard mockups, to 3D prints, to the prototype used in the Kickstarter video, these are just a few steps in Spark’s mechanical design.
From early literal cardboard mockups, to 3D prints, to the prototype used in the Kickstarter video, these are just a few steps in Spark’s mechanical design.

 

Spark wasn’t our first rodeo, and as you can see, we were able to nail down the electrical design very quickly.
Spark wasn’t our first rodeo, and as you can see, we were able to nail down the electrical design very quickly.

 

In 2012, Alpine Labs was born on Kickstarter. Fueled by a passion for time lapse we launched Radian, a compact device that allowed you to add motion to your shots and control it from your phone. Five years and four products later, we are back to launch Spark. We love being a part of this community. The support of backers like you has allowed us to bring our ideas to life and make some of the best photography gear on the market. We hope you’ll join us in the next step of the journey.

Risks and challenges

Making hardware is challenging, and as with any project there are a huge number of tasks and hurdles that need to be completed. That said, we have a focused team that has run and delivered on 4 successful Kickstarter campaigns. We have a plan and a schedule to do the same with Spark.

We take pride in being open with our backers, and have a history of being transparent. We understand that regular communication is key, whether things are going great, or not so well. We also love this work, and we'll do our best to make this process educational and entertaining for you as well. So in addition to keeping you up to date on general progress, we will also strive to give you an in-depth look at the process of refining and delivering a real product. And if you are curious, we encourage you to check out updates from our previous campaigns!

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