Insert Coin: 50-Dollar Follow Focus

In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you'd like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with "Insert Coin" as the subject line.

If you've watched HD video footage captured by a DSLR, you've probably wondered why, despite the fact that you own the exact same model, your clips lack the fluid feel of a professional production. One culprit may be the lack of a steady support system to maintain balance as you shoot, like the rather complex Steadicam. That's just part of the equation, however. What you're also missing is the precision handling of an external follow focus. As its simplistic name implies, the 50-Dollar Follow Focus is a cheap and effective solution.

Made of CNC-machined aircraft-grade aluminum, the 50-Dollar Follow Focus includes two belts and two pulleys to accommodate a variety of lenses, and with the exception of your DSLR and a pair of support rails, everything you need to get started ships in the box. Author Wiley Davis teamed up with The Robot, his in-house CNC mill, to develop some early prototypes, before bringing the project to Kickstarter and launching a campaign to raise $10,000 in order to buy supplies in bulk and invest in a more efficient production system. The result looks very slick, and while it adds some bulk to your DSLR rig, the size tradeoff seems to be worthwhile. Ready to buy your own? Hit up the Kickstarter link below to make your pledge, and keep an eye on that mailbox -- these are expected to ship in March. You'll find a video demo just past the break.

Previous project update: Timelapse+, our last Insert Coin project, has already received $78,324 in funding, far exceeding its $20,000 goal. Funding will continue through February 19th, so you still have time to pledge $99 for your ready-to-use device.