Dr. Carl Koch was sick of fiddling with his tripod to get his camera level, so he spent the next four years inventing and designing the Acadalus, a self-leveling tripod head. Instead of adjusting knobs and levers until the little spirit-level bubble sits obediently between its lines, you just pop the camera onto the Acadalus and wait a couple seconds.
Modeled on an airplane flight-simulator, an inclinometer measures just where the head is and then uses stepper-motors to acquire a level-plane. Further adjustment can be made manually by using the D-pad like buttons on the side.
The Acadalus can be used in the studio, plugged into the mains, or you can hook up the 2800 mAH 18.5 V lithium ion battery which should last you for a day of shooting (or two hours of continual use if you are, we suppose, on a ship yawing and rolling in a stormy sea).
So how much is this five-pound, Swiss-made behemoth? A whopping $5,000 for the studio kit, plus another $500 if you want the battery and charger. If you need both the power cable and the battery option, you’re looking at yet another $100, nickel-and-diming you up to $5,600. No wonder the PDN article which led us to the Acadalus shows it supporting the Leica S2, a camera that costs $26,000 body-only.
I don’t know about you, but I’d be willing to spend a lot of hours in Lightroom using the crop tool to level my drunken, off-kilter snaps before I’d drop this cash, but I imagine that there may be somebody out there who really, really needs a level camera. Good luck if your subject is wonky, though.
Acadalus [Acadalus via PDN]
Source: Gadget Lab