I love photography. There’s something about the challenge of framing a perfect image that appeals to my artistic side. Although I have had great success with capturing everyday subjects like people, landscapes and flowers, I will be the first to admit that I have not been overly successful when it comes to photographing objects in the night sky.
Part of that is my utter lack of good night photography technique and part is my general negligence in owning the proper equipment. That’s why I became particularly excited to read about a successful crowd-funding project by a company called TinyMos, which has the definite potential of solving all of my starry-sky photography woes.
TinyMos was started by Gray Tran after he became increasingly frustrated with his efforts to capture high-quality images of the Milky Way. As a professional photographer with years of experience shooting a Nikon D4 DSLR, he was still unsatisfied with the disparity between his pictures and the actual view of the night sky as he saw it in real life. He decided that it was time to create a hand-held camera that was built specifically for astrophotography.
After launching an IndieGoGo fundraising campaign in 2014, TinyMos reached its funding goal of $100,000 in just under four hours. Since that initial campaign, funding for the project has exceeded over $438,770. The first product to be released by TinMos is the Tiny1; a particular astrophotography camera that is small enough to fit into your pocket. The first public product release date is scheduled for May of 2017.
What makes Tiny1 so special are the included smart and social features that cannot be found in any other astrophotography setup. Tiny1 comes equipped with a built-in star map to assist users with locating celestial objects. Based off of real-time astronomy data, the software within Tiny1 has a number of favorite presets in addition to a feature that allows you to pre-plan the timing of your night shoot. The built-in labeled star map sits virtually atop the touchscreen viewfinder, making it the perfect tool for newbies and amateurs who are still learning their way around the night sky. Images can be shot using a WiFi connection to your smartphone. This eliminates shakiness; a real problem that is especially prevalent in night photography. Images can then be shared via the built-in social networking features. Social networking allows the user to stay up to date on upcoming celestial events and to locate star parties that are happening nearby or to plan and host their gathering.
Tiny1 also comes with built-in high-tech instant image processing. Image processing can be disabled or customized to meet the user’s needs. Capture time-lapse, panoramic or close-up images by attaching any commercially available lens to the Tiny1 body. Tiny1 comes with an adapter that makes it compatible with DSLR lenses, mirrorless lenses, and telescopes. By attaching a 200mm telephoto lens, Tiny1’s imaging power becomes equivalent to that of a 1400mm telescope.
The body of the Tiny1 is built out of aircraft grade aluminum. This makes the camera incredibly durable and also acts as a heat sink to reduce thermal noise during image capture. TinyMos has equipped Tiny1 with a patent-pending algorithm that automatically adjusts imaging to reduce background noise further. They also provided this little powerhouse of a camera with a back-illuminated sensor to make it especially sensitive when capturing low-light images.
The final icing on the cake is that the designers at TinyMos included a feature that allows Tiny1 to switch from night mode to day mode, making it a versatile camera for daytime use as well as nighttime shooting. There are even built-in audio recording and video functionality.
With a starting price of $449, Tiny1 is an incredible breakthrough for individuals who are longing for a better way to shoot photos of the stars. For more information on Tiny1 and to get excited about the great work that TinyMos is doing, visit their website at www.tinymos.com.