Follow the leader feature in combined camera setup?

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Unfoolishly
Posts: 177
Joined: June 24th, 2020, 2:43 am

September 3rd, 2020, 4:21 pm

Hi All,

Question: is it already possible, in the Unleashed App and Unleashed, by using the Unleashed App and multiple Unleasheds to trigger camera's from another camera, making the actual shutter button of the camera the trigger button of the App which causes the other camera's to trigger as well? Sort of "follow the leader" setup?

Camera A - Leader
Camera B - Follower 1
Camera C - Follower 2

When user presses shutter button of camera A, the Unleashed on that camera sends a signal to the Unleashed App, which then signals the Unleasheds of the other camera's B and C, which will take a photo too. That way you don't have to keep the smartphone in your hand to trigger all the camera's but use the camera you are holding in your hand to trigger the other camera's. Maybe even with some extra programmed/set up delay time?

That would be really great, because then I can leave the smartphone in my pocket/photobag and control the other camera's from the camera I have in my hand while the other camera's are on a tripod.

Thanks in advance.

Greetings,
Unfoolishly
Caution: I am an extremely well pleased Unleashed customer. So I might be a bit biased here 8-)
Unfoolishly
Posts: 177
Joined: June 24th, 2020, 2:43 am

September 3rd, 2020, 4:31 pm

Hi All,

Extra note: this is also related to this topic which addresses micro delays between multiple camera firing.
This feature of "following the leader" will come in handy!

Greetings,
Unfoolishly
Caution: I am an extremely well pleased Unleashed customer. So I might be a bit biased here 8-)
Oliver
Posts: 487
Joined: October 9th, 2018, 4:17 pm

September 4th, 2020, 12:18 am

Nope, this is not possible.
Also, it would be very difficult to implement, and would require a small delay (as a necessity, not a feature), as the Unleasheds are not connected to each other, but just to the app. therefore all info would have to pass to the app first, then from there be propagated to the other Unleasheds.

Also, half-and full press information is only transmitted to the Unleashed on Nikon Pro DSLRs (ie the ones where the N1 fits), and the Z series. on newer prosumer bodies only the shutter open signal is available to the Unleashed. On canon it's similar - only newer, higher end cameras tell the Unleashed the halfpress/fullpress/shutter open state.

So it would be a half-baked feature at best with lots of edge-cases to handle, and lots of cameras to exclude, which in turn have to be explained to the user - how would you like to read about this feature only to find out your cameras don't support it? And yeah, your D7100's wouldn't be able to support it...
Founder & CEO of Foolography, Hardware & Firmware developer.
Unfoolishly
Posts: 177
Joined: June 24th, 2020, 2:43 am

September 4th, 2020, 1:47 am

Oliver wrote:
September 4th, 2020, 12:18 am
Nope, this is not possible.
Too bad.
Oliver wrote: Also, half-and full press information is only transmitted to the Unleashed on Nikon Pro DSLRs (ie the ones where the N1 fits), and the Z series. on newer prosumer bodies only the shutter open signal is available to the Unleashed. On canon it's similar - only newer, higher end cameras tell the Unleashed the halfpress/fullpress/shutter open state.
I didn't know this. It sure looks to me that the camera designers never thought about sharing this kind of information through an external interface of the camera, probably because they never realized that somebody else might be interested in such signals coming from the camera. Too bad :-(
Oliver wrote: So it would be a half-baked feature at best with lots of edge-cases to handle, and lots of cameras to exclude, which in turn have to be explained to the user - how would you like to read about this feature only to find out your cameras don't support it? And yeah, your D7100's wouldn't be able to support it...
A general case of "wishful thinking" on my side :-(

Thanks for the info and explanation. It would be too half-baked for a lot of camera users indeed. Making them happy with a solution that just would not work for their camera, although the Unleashed firmware could have had the implemention on board, it would be a 'broken promise' anyhow.

Greetings,
Unfoolishly
Caution: I am an extremely well pleased Unleashed customer. So I might be a bit biased here 8-)
Andy
Posts: 172
Joined: October 4th, 2018, 4:18 pm

September 7th, 2020, 9:44 am

We did think about implementing something like this, but it wasn't for the purpose you mentioned. We thought about implementing this to extend the connection range of the Unleashed, i.e. you could have a camera 30 m away, the next one 60, the next 90 and so on. One Unleashed would connect to the other and would tell it to trigger when the app told the "main" Unleashed to trigger.

There were also lots of design and development challenges to implement this and, again, for a feature with very limited use cases.
Andy
Firmware developer at Foolography
Unfoolishly
Posts: 177
Joined: June 24th, 2020, 2:43 am

September 7th, 2020, 11:27 am

Andy wrote:
September 7th, 2020, 9:44 am
We did think about implementing something like this, but it wasn't for the purpose you mentioned. We thought about implementing this to extend the connection range of the Unleashed, i.e. you could have a camera 30 m away, the next one 60, the next 90 and so on. One Unleashed would connect to the other and would tell it to trigger when the app told the "main" Unleashed to trigger.

There were also lots of design and development challenges to implement this and, again, for a feature with very limited use cases.
Hi Andy,
Ah, I see what you mean: daisychaining the Unleasheds in terms of connection distance, making the Unleasheds a forward repeater for overlapping distances not reachable within the default Bluetooth range (10-40m). Cool feature!

Idea is great, development cost even greater. It's fun to implement if you are a millionaire and have too much time to implement it.

I do think that the use cases are not a limiting factor, because when it would be possible to have such feature, people will come up with new use cases in which they applied their creativity to the next level. You see this happen all the time: something was not possible in the past, gets developed and released to the public, and people find ways to use it in such a way that the manufacturer hadn't planned for at all :-)

Greetings,
Unfoolishly
Caution: I am an extremely well pleased Unleashed customer. So I might be a bit biased here 8-)
Andy
Posts: 172
Joined: October 4th, 2018, 4:18 pm

September 7th, 2020, 11:36 am

Unfoolishly wrote:
September 7th, 2020, 11:27 am
Idea is great, development cost even greater. It's fun to implement if you are a millionaire and have too much time to implement it.

This feature in particular is not as hard to implement as you may think, but again decent UI/UX for setting it up and informing the user about what's going on is quite a challenge.

In general, we have other things in our backlog with much more common use cases that we believe many more people would appreciate and enjoy. I just mentioned the "Unleashed-to-Unleashed triggering" feature to show that we are constantly experimenting and having new ideas to improve the Unleashed, but unfortunately we have to have priorities.
Andy
Firmware developer at Foolography
Unfoolishly
Posts: 177
Joined: June 24th, 2020, 2:43 am

September 12th, 2020, 12:34 am

Oliver wrote:
September 4th, 2020, 12:18 am
Nope, this is not possible.
...
Also, half-and full press information is only transmitted to the Unleashed on Nikon Pro DSLRs (ie the ones where the N1 fits), and the Z series. on newer prosumer bodies only the shutter open signal is available to the Unleashed. On canon it's similar - only newer, higher end cameras tell the Unleashed the halfpress/fullpress/shutter open state.
...
Hi Oliver, Andy,

Is it possible to get the "half-pressed" and "full-pressed" signals from the hot-shoe signals (both on Nikon and Canon)? That way you could detect in all cases if the camera user is half-pressing the shutter button or full-pressed the shutter button. Maybe not really the nicest solution (occupies the hot-shoe, even with an adapter), but you sure get those signals and use those signals to trigger other things, like other BT accessoires.

You could keep the hot-shoe "free", by putting a hot-shoe pass-through adapter on it that signals with some small Bluetooth chip these signals towards the Unleashed, so that the Unleashed can take appropriate actions according to the signals given.

Here are two possible hot-shoe candidates:

- wired:
hot-shoe-adapter-wired.jpg
hot-shoe-adapter-wired.jpg (31.69 KiB) Viewed 1135 times
- wireless:
hot-shoe-adapter-wireless.jpg
hot-shoe-adapter-wireless.jpg (28.3 KiB) Viewed 1135 times
I know you don't prefer occupying the hot shoe at all, that is why you invented the Unleashed in the first place. But if the only option is to get the "half-pressed" and "full-pressed" signals from the hot-shoe interface, then that is an option to consider as well.
You can use the Unleashed as the heart of the smart camera accessories, and have a hot-shoe-to-bluetooth translator sitting on top of the hot shoe for when the Unleashed user wants the extra's, like "follow the leader". You would only need ONE hot-shoe accessory for ONE camera/Unleashed and let the other Unleasheds be controlled by the App.

I am not sure if the hot-shoe provides power to the flash, or other accessories. If it does, you only need a small adapter that fits a small BT chip to hook up with the Unleashed. If it doesn't, you can create an adapter that is powered by a small coin cell battery.

It is just an idea... I really do like to have the option to command with the camera the other camera's. And yes, I don't like it when the hot-shoe is occupied by a device that blocks its use for an external flash too. Having a BT version of such pass-through adapter, you stay away from adding more wires to the camera body.

Maybe you could consider creating such small accessory as well? Would be a nice-to-have anyhow :-)

Greetings,
Unfoolishly
Caution: I am an extremely well pleased Unleashed customer. So I might be a bit biased here 8-)
Oliver
Posts: 487
Joined: October 9th, 2018, 4:17 pm

September 14th, 2020, 10:55 pm

Hi,

no, the hot-shoe does not provide that info. In some cases (but also not all) it does provide the info when the shutter opens (which can be very different from the time of a full press). It also doesn't provide power.
Founder & CEO of Foolography, Hardware & Firmware developer.
Unfoolishly
Posts: 177
Joined: June 24th, 2020, 2:43 am

September 20th, 2020, 8:45 pm

Oliver wrote:
September 14th, 2020, 10:55 pm
Hi,

no, the hot-shoe does not provide that info. In some cases (but also not all) it does provide the info when the shutter opens (which can be very different from the time of a full press). It also doesn't provide power.
Hi Oliver,
So Nikon and Canon did a "great job" in not publishing those signals in any way possible for us to determine "half-pressed" and "fully-pressed" shutter buttons :(
What else are they hiding from us? (I am currently in paranoid mode ;-))

This is really too bad. I wish they had given this more thought years ago, for the prosumer bodies as well.

Greetings,
Unfoolishly
Caution: I am an extremely well pleased Unleashed customer. So I might be a bit biased here 8-)
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