SoloShot2 wants to be your robo-cameraperson
A couple of years ago, we first heard about the SoloShot. It's a robotic device that sits between a video camera and a tripod, automatically panning the camera to keep the surfing, skiing, etc subject centered in the shot. The idea is that you can get video of yourself doin' your thing, without calling upon someone else to act as a videographer. The SoloShot2 takes things a step further, most notably by also tilting the camera.
As with the original SoloShot, this model consists of two units – a base and a waterproof transmitter called the tag. Mounted on the tripod, the base moves to track the location of the tag, which the user wears on an armband. The base has a maximum communications range of 2,000 feet (609 m), runs for up to eight hours on one battery charge, and can pan a full 360 degrees at 80 degrees per second. The tag has a battery life of four hours.
The SoloShot2, however, can also tilt the camera 150 degrees in order to follow the action – at a rate of 35 degrees per second.
Additionally, by plugging an optional camera control module into a new accessory dock in the base, users can now remotely start and stop recording via buttons on the tag, plus they can zoom in and out. The tag-wearer can also send "highlight commands" to the camera – these can subsequently be used to more easily locate key moments in the raw footage when editing.
The base is now compatible with most third-party tripods (although a purpose-built SoloShot tripod is still available), along with camcorders or DSLRs weighing up to 5 lb (2.3 kg). It is possible to lock the camera to the base, and the base to the tripod, although users will have to figure out their own method of locking the tripod to an immovable object.
Another change is the SoloShot2's ability to track multiple tags. In this scenario (depending on how it's set up), the base will either lock onto whichever tag is closest, fastest-moving, or that has most recently sent it a "call camera" command. Conversely, a single tag can also be tracked by multiple cameras on multiple bases, allowing for the same subject to be captured from a variety of angles.
While a few different packages are available, the basic one – consisting of a SoloShot2 base and tag – sells for US$399.
You can see the system in use in the video below.