Okii's USB Follow Focus for Canon EOS filmmakers
By Alan Brandon
February 11, 2011
With the Okii Systems USB Follow Focus, photographers and videographers can remotely control their Canon EOS HD DSLRs. The compact remote device uses Canon’s built-in USB capability to operate many camera functions including focus (even while recording video), record start/stop, shutter release, and more. Built in a rugged, compact case, the Okii USB Follow Focus eliminates the need for a bulky mechanical setup or being tethered to a computer.
The device is less than 3 in. (7.6 cm) in diameter and weighs less than 5 oz (142 g), including the required two AAA batteries. It features a central knob for controlling camera focus by way of the autofocus motor found in Canon USM lenses. The focus can be controlled in any Live View mode, so it is useful for both still photography and shooting video. The Follow Focus remote also allows you to save and return to up to four focus points.
Located around the focus knob are nine buttons that control other camera functions such as record start/stop, shutter release, autofocus on/off, and adjustments to camera settings like ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. The USB Follow Focus does not interfere with the HDMI output of the camera, so you can use both the Follow Focus and an external monitor at the same time. Because the Follow Focus works over the EOS USB connection, Okii points out that the device does not have the response and feel of a mechanical focus puller.
The Okii USB Follow Focus works with many canon EOS DSLR models including the EOS 1D Mark IV, EOS 60D, the entry-level EOS 550D/Rebel T2i/Kiss X4, and others. Okii claims a run time of up to 30 hours on a set of batteries, and they have tested the controller with USB cables measuring up to 10 meters (33 ft).
The USB Follow Focus is priced at US$400 and Okii Systems is currently accepting preorders. First shipments are expected at the end of February.