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Return of the GorillaCam (Director’s commentary)

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In probably the quietest re-launch ever for an app that has had over 3M downloads, we rebooted our iPhone GorillaCam app in early-February. For those who don’t know, JOBY had a lot of success with GorillaCam when it first launched in Dec of 2009. At one time, it was a top 5 camera download on the Apple app store.

But alas, GorillaCam development stopped because of a number of…well…weird…reasons.

JOBY moved on to creating another iPhone app, Frame x Frame, in April 2011. It had a lot of features of GorillaCam but also included stop motion and time lapse features (check out the Frame x Frame contest that we ran).

But alas, Frame x Frame development stopped because of a number of…well…weird…reasons.

JOBY. Tis a silly place.

People came and went; everybody associated with the app left. And our two apps just sat there gathering dust (and bugs, lots of bugs).

But since our spiffy GripTight phone tripods were coming out in late 2012, a new generation of JOBYians pushed for rebooting GorillaCam. It just didn’t seem right to let GorillaCam wither on the vine. We had to give it a shot, right?

Admittedly, it wasn’t a terribly popular idea at the time. Remember how you promised your mom you wouldn’t forget to feed the goldfish if she just gave you a THIRD chance? Yeah, it was kind of like that.

First off, we had to figure out what we wanted the app to be. Frame by Frame had great functionality, but it was too hard to learn. This was the typical Frame x Frame user experience:

600 shots x 5 second interval per shot x 10 fps = SDFSKLFSJDFDALFK.

GorillaCam had this large following, but well, we didn’t have the code for it. X_x

So, we relaunched GorillaCam with Frame x Frame’s additional functionality as its base but thought about how to make the app a lot easier to use. We wanted an app where beginners could just get started creating their cool photography or time-lapse and stop-motion videos without getting bombarded by a ton of options. For instance…

 

To shoot say a timelapse video in GorillaCam today, you just say how long do you want to record and then how long you want the video to be. That’s it.

Just start shooting

Just start shooting

All of the camera modes are clearly broken out. We’ve grouped the options a lot more logically to make them easy to find. We tried to keep the buttons per screen down to a minimum.

Our first test run of GorillaCam

But we understand that some people wanted those advanced settings so we created GorillaCamPro which has those features. Now, you can set your shots, intervals, fps, time lapse photo series (instead of video) as you see fit for $1.99. To keep GorillaCam free, we had to stick in some JOBY ads in the app to help pay the bills, but hopefully those aren’t too intrusive.

I’d love to say that the GorillaCam relaunch in early February was a smash, but actually it was something of a disaster. We took our lumps from loyal GorillaCam users who were furious for leaving out the tap-screen-to-shoot option as well as the anti-shake option which takes a picture only when the camera is steady.

No good deed goes unpunished.

No good deed goes unpunished.

Ack.

But we’re ready for change this time. Our development goal with GorillaCam now is to introduce small features and improvements over time. Part of it is because of budget reasons. But the other part is that smaller releases let us respond more quickly to bugs or introduce new features.

We managed to re-introduce the biggest missing features (tap to shoot, antishake, beeping on the photo countdown, etc) a few weeks later…

We're sorry! We're sorry!

We’re sorry! We’re sorry!

And then in another update just last week, we overcame the limitations of the old Frame-x-Frame code and greatly improved the resolution of the photos and videos. Your iPhone 4S and 5 for instance can now shoot timelapse videos in 1920 x 1080 HD on the best setting. And we’re already at work on the next set of features.

So, please give GorillaCam or GorillaCamPro a shot, and let us know how we’re doing, good or bad. If there’s some functionality that you want to see, please let us know on our blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or by email at community AT joby.com. We can’t promise that we can build every request, but we do definitely want to hear what you’re thinking and how we can improve!

Scuba Suit for Your DSLR? Check it out on Kickstarter!

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Our friends at Outex just launched a Kickstarter campaign for their new DLSR drysuit with fully accessible viewfinder. If you’re interested in a scuba suit for your DSLR that is flexible, affordable and adorable, check out their project! And, their products are compatible with all GorillaPod tripods and JOBY camera straps!

Check out the video below and find out more information on Kickstarter. Or read up about it on TechCrunch!

Last minute gift? How about a macro photography eBook!

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Need last minute gift ideas for the photo-obsessed in your life? How about a gift that is just a download away! Check out the newly released eBook by photographers Jay and Varina Patel The Workflow Series: Details and Macro, part of their series of eBooks that delves into their photography techniques and how to become a better photographer. PLUS, use code joby6022 for a 10% discount on any ebook order greater than $20! 

In The Workflow Series: Details and Macro, you’ll join professional photographers (and JOBY Pros!), Varina and Jay Patel, as they discuss their vision, their thinking process, and the post-processing workflow they use for six of their most popular macro images.  Learn about circular polarizers, focus stacking, depth of field, and so much more! They’ll show how you can use a wide variety of techniques to create stunning macro and detail photographs!

The Vision – Varina and Jay invite you to join them in the field as they explain their thought processes and the challenges that arise when they are shooting. You’ll find tips and suggestions for improving your own photography! This is the next best thing to learning on location!

The Process – Take a look at rarely seen, un-processed images, and pick up tips and hints as the pros walk you through the process of preparing and finishing a photo!

The Result – When all is said and done, take a look at the finished product. Compare it to the original, scrutinize the changes that were made, and think about the decisions the photographer made in the field and while processing the image.

Check out the sample pages below and take home your copy (or give as a great last-minute gift) today!

 

 

12 Days of Giveaways! Day 5!

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GorillaPods love to party and we think there is no better way to ring in the holiday season than with lots of awesome giveaways! For twelve days starting December 3rd, we’re giving away a different prize every day! Prizes include all of our new products like the GripTight iPhone & Android tripods and Camera Straps,  plus some great gear from Cinetics and Olloclip and GorillaPod and GorillaTorch favorites. Enter for your chance to win a GripTight GorillaPod Stand, UltraFit Sling Strap, GorillaPod SLR-Zoom and more!

Today’s prize …

Our new UltraFit Sling Strap! With one version designed for women and another designed for men, this awesome camera strap is the only camera strap on the market whose length instantly adjusts so you can wear it cinched tight against your body and then extend it to shoot in less than a second. Enter to win one today!

 

Last Day of Our Holiday Sale! Get 20% OFF ALL JOBY.com!

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Today is the last day of our Holiday Sale! This is the best time to get great deals on all of our awesome products, including our new GripTight Stands for iPhone & Android, new camera straps and all the old favorites, GorillaPod, GorillaTorch and GorillaMobile. They make great gifts!

Get your coupon and start shopping today! Not sure what to buy? We’ve got a snazzy gift guide and a list of our favorite products to help you out.

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