Instagram and Snapchat have turned all of us into photographers. Which pisses off lots of professional photographers—their art form has been co-opted by noobs! Now, the Michron, a new device by VivoLabs, means that amateurs can master even time-lapse photography, once reserved only for tech-savvy experts. Power to the people!
Currently being funded by a wildly popular Kickstarter campaign, the Michron is an intervalometer device that plugs into your camera, but it doesn’t have any of the complicated buttons or screens that usually make time lapse so daunting. Instead, the user interface is the Michron App on your smartphone (iPhone or Android). Michron works with any camera with an external trigger port, which includes almost all DSLR's as well as many point-and-shoot cameras.
"You don’t need to have any idea what you’re doing with photography or time lapse to start taking cool footage using Michron," Greg Horvath of Vivolabs tells Co.Design. The most important part of the device is a patent-pending feature called AutoTimelapse. "This feature, in addition to the price and the smartphone-based user interface, are what make Michron so accessible to a general public," Horvath says.
Most people take photos using the camera’s "auto" settings, often without even realizing it. Time-lapse devices normally require users to take photos in "manual," meaning the photographer has to create all the settings—a complicated deterrent for novices. With Michron, you can take a time lapse in any auto setting on your camera, such as Landscape, Portrait, or Night Time. In addition, you can go into the app and select People, Pets, Clouds, Landscape, Cityscape, or Stars, and Michron will create all of your time-lapse settings.
The device is the first of its kind, according to Horvath and his partner, Steve Hibbs. As a passionate photographer, Hibbs had worked extensively with intervalometers, devices that count intervals of time and are used to trigger exposures in a time-lapse series. "I asked Steve for a recommendation on a good intro-level intervalometer earlier this year," Horvath says. "I wanted something that was simple and effective. He couldn't give me a good recommendation." They found that everything on the market was either way too expensive, difficult to use, or didn't have the features they wanted. So the duo decided to build the device they needed themselves.
"Soon, time lapse will be common on YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, and Twitter," Horvath predicts. "Any place people can post video content is a place where you will start seeing time lapses once it is more accessible." Your kid’s soccer game, a sunset, or the growth of your new Chia Pet’s luscious mane can be captured through this speedy, time-defying lens. To support the campaign and reserve a Michron device for as little as $50, go here.