Lumenati CS1 uses retro design to improve your iPhone videography

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The Super 8mm-inspired Lumenati CS1 uses an iPhone 6 instead of film(Credit: Lumenati)

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Smartphone cameras are increasingly taking the place of stand-alone consumer video cameras, and in a lot of ways that makes sense. A phone, however, isn't nearly as easy to hold onto while shooting – its screen can also be difficult to see in bright sunlight. Well, that's where the Lumenati CS1 comes in. It's a videography case for the iPhone 6, and it has the same form factor as a classic Super 8mm movie camera.

To use the CS1, you start by sliding your iPhone into it from the back – not unlike the process of inserting a Super 8 film cartridge, back when that was the way to go.

Running the free Lumenati app, the phone displays its camera's output full-screen, although it also overlays a miniature version of that image in one corner of the screen. That small image lines up with a mirror in the CS1's viewfinder, which reflects the image into the eyepiece. While this does mean that you have to keep your eye up to the viewfinder to see the image (unless you look at the full-screen image from the side), it also means that bright ambient light won't keep you from seeing what's what.


To record, you hold down the trigger on the CS1's pistol grip, releasing it to stop – again, just like you would on a Super 8. That grip additionally had a threaded hole on the bottom, allowing it to be mounted on a tripod.

Instead of just being stuck with the iPhone's one lens, you can swap out interchangeable 58mm wide, macro, fisheye and telephoto lenses. Lumenati sells these, although you can also use your own. As with the viewfinder, a mirror allows the phone's camera to see through those lenses.

Using a cold shoe mount on top, it's also possible to equip the CS1 with attachments such as a shotgun mic, lights or a sports handle. Additionally, the app lets you manually control settings and add filters, plus it lets you edit and share your videos.

Lumenati is currently raising production funds for the CS1, on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$150 will currently get you one, when and if they're ready to go. The planned retail price is $249.

You can see the Lumenati CS1 is use, in the following video.

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