Object of Desire: Swivl

February 27, 2013

By Dan Havlik

A Kickstarter product that drew a lot of attention (and crowd funding) when it first launched in 2012 is back with a new version that adds some important photographic functionality. Called the Swivl, the device is a multipurpose motion and tracking platform for imaging, teleconferencing and other applications. Where the original Swivl, which was a top vote-getter in 2012’s Last Gadget Standing at CES, was mainly designed for iPads, iPhones and Android devices, the new version adds support for digital SLRs, letting you place a camera on the Swivl and use it as a motion-controlled tripod head.

The roving device offers 360-degree, continuous pan and 20-degree tilt, letting you track a subject (such as when photographing wildlife) or create smooth tracking video shots with your HD-DSLR. You can also use it to automatically follow you for self-captured video.

The new version of the Swivl (which had easily eclipsed its Kickstarter goal at the time of this writing) lets you use an iPad as a wireless controller for shooting stills and video. With the Swivl DSLR control app, you can create multiview shots with remote preview, frame an image and adjust settings (including ISO and exposure), and then fire the shutter with a touch of your iPad. Photographers can also use the Swivl to produce panoramic or moving time-lapse videos, or just as a stabilizer for long-exposure images.

Price: $149