16 June, 2013

NewYork time-lapse using CamBuff

We were in NewYork on Memorial Day and made some interesting time lapse videos using CamBuff. The first one was made on the City Line cruise. The cruise goes in a semicircle around the lower Manhattan and during the last 10 minutes of the ride we can see the Freedom tower receding. Second time-laspe is made from Top of the Rock observatory, facing the Empire State building. We tried to capture the lighting changes as the sun goes down and city lights come up. The shots cover a duration from 7.30 pm to 9 pm.

The videos were compiled on iMovie along with some other  panorama pictures of the city. The time-lapse was assembled in an app called Sequence. It's a sweet simple app which takes all the pictures, assembles them, even deflickers the video and adjusts the white balance.

05 May, 2013

CamBuff - DSLR wireless control with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

Indiegogo Campaign link for pre-order

CamBuff is a tiny gadget that lets you use an iPhone/iPad/iPod touch as a remote for your DSLR. We tried to make CamBuff as easy to use as possible. Just plug the device into the DSLR, open the companion iOS app (Will soon be available for free on the iTunes store) and you are good to go.

With CamBuff, you can control settings like Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO, White Balance, Auto focus mode, Preview mode, etc. You can also view the disk space, picture quality and battery level of your camera.

CamBuff also allows you to perform programmed tasks. You can run a Timed bulb shot, take Time Lapse images and Exposure Bracketing.

To continue further development on CamBuff and get the device into your hands, we have an Indiegogo campaign.

Further details about CamBuff can be found at our Indiegogo campaign. Please feel free to get in touch with us at [email protected] for any queries.

The Backstory

About an year ago (The last blog post i.e.), we started experimenting with Bluetooth Low Energy Technology for creating iOS accessories. We created a DSLR remote demo with the Bluetooth chipset we were working with back then. After a video and a blog post on the remote, we received several emails expressing interest in the device. So we set out to create an advanced device that lets you do a lot more with your DSLR wirelessly.

07 April, 2012

Bluetooth Low Energy prototype showcase - "iPhone 4S - Canon DSLR - Remote"

The last few weeks we have been working with some very cool Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy designs. Our prototype boards came in from the assembler about a week ago and we are happy to announce that they work perfectly :).

First the demo video of the iPhone 4S controlling the DSLR:

Why we thought this is a good idea?

  • Currently the DSLR remotes in the market are mostly directional.
  • Carrying an extra remote is always a pain when your phone can do better.
  • This adds extra functionality over a conventional remote by enabling you to program the camera into clicking automatic pictures.
  • App updates will be pushed via the Appstore to add extra functionality to the remote over time.
  • Depending on interest - we might open source the protocol in the future to connect to the DSLR dongle and you might be able to whip your own funky remotes.

Bluetooth 4.0 Proto-board with an Indian Ten Rupee Coin for size comparison.

Bluetooth 4.0 is amazing for us for the following reasons:
  • No extra hardware needed for iPhone 4S/the new iPad for connecting to the accessories.
  • No MFI license needed from Apple for producing these accessories.
  • The battery life on these accessories is amazing - a single coin cell can last for about 6 months. 

Our current proto-board along with our in-house software enables us to quickly put together neat accessories - It took us little over 2 hours to create a dongle for our Canon 400D to remote control the camera via an iPhone 4S [ The demo video took about 8 hours though :) ]

We are currently open for collaboration - If you have an interesting idea or want us to design something for you, get in touch with us at - [email protected]

05 April, 2012

Hello World!

The last few months have been rather fun and busy at Buffer Labs. We moved to Bangalore in November - Finally Launched our site and have a workflow setup that gets us from design to prototype in 2 weeks.

Here are a few things that we noted over the last few months that might help others setting up shop in India:

  • Prototyping is an expensive affair in India - If you are a new startup make sure you have adequate budget set aside for whipping out at-least 4 new designs a month.
  • Its way easier to deal with PCB fabrication plants that supply proper design rules than dealing with lower cost PCB manufacturers who dont provide design rules.
  • It might be cheaper and more time efficient to get your boards done from a manufacturer abroad ( Our current favorite being Seeedstudio ) than to get it done here in India - We had a turn around time of 9 days from submitting the Gerbers online to getting the PCBs with us in Bangalore.
  • Its always handy to have a trusted local PCB assembler - Our current turn around time in Bangalore for PCB assembly is 4 days for reasonably complex RF circuits with QFN components.
  • Have good support teams for handling your accounts (Read CA on speed dial) and office refreshment needs [ :D ].
  • Lastly, friends and family before work - You never know when you might need moral/financial support [ ;) ].

tl;dr : We can make custom hardware designs in roughly 2 weeks and we are damn good at it  [ :D ]