In LUUV with pictures
We’ve almost certainly all been there before. You’ve found the perfect place for the perfect shot, but for whatever reason (your hand normally), you just can’t get the photo to remain stable. As a result, you lose sharpness, lose focus and are robbed of that shot you just knew was ‘the one’. The problem is worsened further when it comes to videos. We’ve all had those days where everything you try to take looks amateur and blurry, no matter how good at photography we are… That’s where LUUV comes in.
They have designed a mobile camera stabiliser, especially for these types of dilemmas. Based in Berlin, LUUV have designed a horn-esque device that allows you to record stable footage straight from your smartphone. We caught up with Tim Kirchner, one of LUUV’s co-founders to talk about his love for photography, his love for LUUV and a little about LUUV’s love for the Lumia too.
Can you tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind LUUV?
We built LUUV for our own needs. It all goes back to Felix, who is the inventor behind it. He developed the whole thing for when he was standing on the snowboard. Felix was filming with action cams like the GoPro for many years and was dealing with shaky footage like everybody else. But instead of complaining that it wasn’t possible to shoot steady footage with the action cam or smartphone, he set about coming up with a solution.
Felix sat down, got into topic, tested and analysed all existing systems, went to the workbench and started developing. After some time he had intrigued us other three and together we founded team LUUV. We are currently filming with the 10th generation of prototypes, which are manufactured on industrial 3D-printers.
Who is LUUV for? Is it for professional filmmakers or just your average smartphone user?
It is for everyone.
It's for everyone who wants to shoot steady footage. It's for everyone who is shooting movies with his Lumia or any other smartphone. We have designed LUUV to be as simple and reliable as possible. LUUV is plug and play once you have set it up for your camera. No matter what situation you want to use it for, simply click in your device and you are ready to go. You can control LUUV with just one hand and can use it even in the worst weather conditions. You won’t miss the perfect shot again. You don’t have to be a professional to use LUUV, and you don’t have to be a snowboarder either, even though we had extreme sports in mind when it all started.
The target group is huge. My favourite example is real estate agents, who are often shooting a video of an empty flat and in order to upload it to a platform on the internet. They are walking around in the flat with an iPhone shooting a video with LUUV and it just looks smooth.
What does LUUV add to the mobile photography experience?
Well, for example, with the Lumia… the Lumia is like the next step of mobile photography; is it a smart phone or is it a camera? It's the peak of everything. I think, people who are buying the Lumia because of its photography skills, for them LUUV is a perfect gadget because it improves the good footage of the Lumia. The Lumia makes smart phones and mobile photography better, but LUUV's improving upon that even more, because it's a gadget especially tailored to do so.
We're really interested in the concept of shooting videos 'on the go' - So, what I'm really interested in is how portable is it?
LUUV is not that big. It’s about 25cm tall without a camera attached. It's really light and since we’ve built it to be as robust as possible you don't have to handle it with extra care while carrying it around. It is really portable. You can use it when you want it but it's not disturbing you when you no longer need it.
You can check out the dimensions of LUUV on their Indiegogo page here (hyperlink) https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/luuv-the-first-plug-play-camera-stabilizer-for-gopro-and-smartphones#home.
Are you a photographer yourself?
Yeah - we all have a passion for photography and filming. I used to have a big a street art forum, website and gallery.
What about the future of mobile photography, is there anything you're really excited about, apart from LUUV?
I'm really excited about having a city-based Wi-Fi network so that I’m about to automatically upload of all my videos on the go. What I'm also really looking forward to is mobile devices being equipped with even more high quality cameras and extended features that allow you to do the editing and production on the mobile device. That's a really cool thing
Where do you personally share your videos and images?
If you want to check out some steady footage shot with LUUV and the Lumia you are invited to visit our Vimeo channel. In addition to that, LUUVs adventures can be seen on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Tumblr.
Can you connect just about any device to the LUUV?
You can attach any smartphone, any action camera or any compact digital camera to LUUV. You just have to change the weight set up once. We don't want to confront the user with anything too complicated, that’s why we hide all the precision mechanics inside. When you look on the market for stabilizers, the majority are very complex, time-consuming and require background knowledge to adjust. It can take hours and hours to get them ready and we don't want that for our customers. If you want to change from, for example, a GoPro to the Lumia, you simply go to our website, and we will provide you with a recommended and tested weight setup for your device. One minute later - it's perfectly balanced for the Lumia.
Awesome! When can we get our hands on one?
At the moment, we are selling early-bird LUUVs on Indiegogo - if you buy one there, we promise you that you will get it in September.
What a great insight to a fascinating project. We can’t wait to get our hands on one!
We also sent LUUV a Lumia 1020 to trial and they loved it so much, they made a bright yellow LUUV in its honour.
Pretty cool right? Cooler still – is the video they shot for us featuring one very cute dog indeed!
If you want to get on board with LUUV’s project, you can head over to their IndieGoGo page and pledge your support. You can also follow them on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo. They really are everywhere.
We can’t wait to get our hands on the awesome device and predict big things for the future of mobile photography in LUUV’s safe hands. Above all – we just really want / need / must have a #LumiaLUUV – it is bright yellow after all!