Inspect-a-Gadget is a monthly segment where we feature a tech toy our editors have been playing with.
Jason Lamb arrived in Shenzhen two years ago with just a neat idea for a camera and the recommendation of a friend that Shenzhen was the place to go to get something built. Having previously been based out of San Francisco as a drone and gimbal maker, he realized that his camera might never be built without a significant amount of funding if he stayed in Silicon Valley.
Thus, he packed his bags and returned to his ancestral home of Guangdong, where some of his family still live in the booming seaside city of Jiangmen. One year after arriving in Shenzhen, Lamb had a working prototype of his idea: Idolcam.
Idolcam is compact, easy to carry and has an image quality of 12 megapixels, which is more than adequate for an MP4 video recorder. Idolcam also comes with a couple of very cool add-ons. The lenses are magnetic and easily detachable and exchangeable, while the package also comes with a magnetic light that can be fitted to the front of the camera to brighten up less than ideal shooting conditions.
Image via Jason Lamb
While these add-ons are easy to carry and extremely handy, there must be something larger at work, right? Some greater selling point? There is, and we’re here to spill the beans.
Undoubtedly the best thing about Idolcam is the incredibly smooth picture that you get while in motion, the result of a three-axis gimbal system that is fitted into the camera. A gimbal is a type of gyroscope which senses the horizon and adjusts itself automatically in order to stay upright, kind of like a three dimensional compass in that it maintains a magnetic directional pull.
In that sense, the gimbal system in Idolcam allows users to be a little more carefree whilst controlling the movement of the camera. The responsibility of keeping the camera steady has been taken out of the user's hands and delegated to the gadget itself.
Idolcam thus allows an everyman with zero camera experience to create a fairly decent video. We tried it out at Huaqiangbei on a crowded Saturday and our only real worry had to do with catching the right lighting and keeping ourselves in the shot. With an adjustable monitor attached, though, this proved to be a relatively easy task.
The usual blur or shakiness that we’ve experienced on other devices was almost totally removed.
Jason is an experienced photographer and vlogger and he envisions this camera working as a tool to help amateur vloggers create quality content. With positive reviews from Naomi 'Sexy Cyborg' Wu, and as Jason told us, Shenzhen-based South African YouTuber Winston Sterzel, we must also agree in saying that this camera is not only a fantastic idea, but also a quality product.
Image via Jason Lamb
USD399 presale, USD599 retail price. Estimated to be on sale in January 2019. To purchase, head over to the Idolcam website.
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[Cover image via Jason Lamb]
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