Zocus allows you to wirelessly control the Zoom and Focus of your DSLR Camera, via the Bluetooth enabled ZocusApp, on iPad or iPhone (Android coming soon).
It was originally developed for James Dunn, who is passionate about photography, but who also has a condition called Epidermolysis Bullosa, which makes his skin to be very sensitive to even slight pressure - causing him pain and frustration when trying to operate fiddly camera buttons or scroll/jog-wheels. James wants to master this art, and feels it is not enough to take pictures on his smartphone - he wants full creative control of a professional DSLR camera, to frame and focus the world as he sees it.
Although there is a staggering amount of Follow-Focus gear out there, it is often struggles to fulfil James' brief:
- Both Focus and Zoom must be controlled button/dial-free.
- Turning the Zoom ring on a lens is often far more difficult, (high torque) than only the Focus ring.
- Many Follow-Focus rigs are controlled via a large wheel/dial, which James cannot operate.
- Many Follow-Focus rigs are for professionals only, and so are costly (£thousands).
- Very few (if any) have free Apps which work with tablets/smartphones.
The Zocus' Electronics cost less than £90, which means if you have access to a basic Soldering & Electronics Equipment - and 3D Printer (local maker spaces or hobby clubs often have them) it is quite cheap to build for yourself or someone who needs one! However, if you do need to order 3D Printed Parts, this can be done from companies like Shapeways, for around £110, bringing the total to around £200: This reduction is cost may also be attractive to enthusiasts and film-makers who are working on a tight budget.
This first version of Zocus is featured on the BBC2 Documentary - Big Life Fix. It has been designed and documented here to allow others to improve on this idea through Open Source sharing of the both the 3D Printable Hardware, and Software.
I was fortunate enough to make this project with a 3D Printer I won on Instructables a few years ago - so please vote for the competitions listed here if you liked it. Many thanks! Who knows what'll be next...