Hybrid camera system gives your smartphone “super-telephoto” zoom

Beaverlab says that the Excope DT1 “pairs cutting-edge optics with advanced digital technology, transforming any smartphone into a high-performance ultra-telephoto camera”  Beaverlab Tech.

The idea of a hybrid camera system that brings interchangeable lenses to smartphone brains isn’t new, we’ve previously seen established companies like Sony, Kodak and Olympus take a swing, along with startups like Alice Camera.

Now the folks at Beaverlab are having a bash with what’s billed as the world’s lightest super-telephoto camera, the Excope DT1. With successful Kickstarters for a digital microscope and laser engraver already under its collective belt, it’s no surprise that the company has again selected the crowdfunding platform to bring its latest device to production.

The Excope DT1 leverages the power of a smartphone for image/video previews, app-based parameter adjustment and real-time editing.  Beaverlab Tech

At the heart of the main body are a 48-megapixel 1/1.8-inch-type CMOS sensor and Novatek AI processing chip, plus 64 GB of built-in storage, dual-band Wi-Fi for a wireless data transmission rate of 150 Mbps and a 3,000-mAh battery so the device won’t leech your smartphone’s power. Electronic image stabilization and an onboard gyro combine to counter the effects of camera shake.

The system includes the ability to adjust light sensitivity, white balance, exposure, contrast, saturation and sharpness in real-time via the companion app. The camera also boasts DSP algorithm enhancement, can denoise images, supports 4K HDR video at up to 30 frames per second or burst shooting of photos at 25 fps, and includes monochrome night vision chops.

Where other lens-cameras cater for multiple lenses, Beaverlab currently has two proprietary options. The f/4 aperture Lens 40 (with a 40-mm focal length) offers 3.6x optical magnification plus 20x digital, while the f/8 aperture Lens 400 (400 mm focal length) is reported good for 36x optical and 200x digital. Both sport a manual focus ring and are constructed using aircraft-grade aluminum.

Zooming in on distant wildlife with an Excope DT1 and a Wi-Fi-connected smartphone running a companion app.  Beaverlab Tech

A user’s smartphone is gripped by a built-in phone holder that can be tilted up or down for the perfect viewing angle, and there’s a tripod mount for static flexibility. The grip to the side is home to a power button, status lights and shutter release. The onboard battery is topped up over USB-C, and a powerbank can be used for extended sessions away from a wall outlet.

With the Lens 400 attached, the DT1 weighs in at 1.32 lb (0.6 kg) for a relatively easy carry. Since the handset running the mobile app is connected to the device over Wi-Fi, users can also set up the DT1 in a quiet spot and then use the smartphone as a wireless monitor and trigger, to capture elusive wildlife for example. The app also caters for on-device image editing.

The Excope DT1 is currently raising production funds over on Kickstarter, where super early pledges for the Lens 400 kit are still available at US$199. The Lens 40 kit stands at $219 at the moment, and a double-lens kit can be had for $269. The usual crowdfunding cautions apply, but if all goes to plan with the already funded campaign, shipping is estimated to start from July. The video below has more.

What does the World’s Lightest Super Telephoto Camera look like? Excope DT1

Source: Beaverlab  View gallery – 4 images


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