In January 2015 my third Kickstarter project was for the Pico by Mandarin. My Pico arrived today 23rd February 2016.The Pico allows a DSLR to take time lapse pictures. This feature is not yet standard across Canon DSLRs and I wanted to experiment with time lapse photography with my existing kit.
The project has had a troubled existence as it ran very late and encountered a lot of criticism from backers (including myself) about not only the delay but the lack of communication. Shipping was supposed to have started in December 2015 but a recent update from the creators explained that there were ongoing difficulties with production so the Picos were being sent out in batches over an extended period of time.
I was notified on the 8th of February that my Pico had been shipped and would be delivered to the UK’s Royal Mail for onward shipment.I checked from time to time via the tracking number to see ‘where’ it was and once it arrived at the Royal Mail I could track it no further.
While we were away with our grand children the Royal Mail attempted to deliver the package but as we were away they couldn’t collect the fee. Fee? UK Customs had decided that as the Pico was a ‘Photographic Accessory’ valued at 55 US Dollars that VAT had to be paid and this was for 7.77 UK Pounds. The Royal Mail added a further 8 UK Pounds as their cost for collecting the Vat so all in all I had a further 15.77 UK Pounds to pay. I did this via the web and the package was delivered on the 23rd.
Here is the outer packaging of the Pico.
Opening up the bubble wrap envelope the contents were loose.
As I have Canon DSLRs my cable is the type to connect to my EOS DSLRs.
And here it is connected to my Canon EOS.
The Pico can be set up using either its Manual Mode or via a Smartphone app, in my case from the iTunes app store.
Manual Mode is the simplest mode, simply connect the Pico to the camera and hold down the button to determine how many seconds between each picture.
Smartphone ModePlug the Pico into your smartphone while it is running the app.
Create a program and send to the Pico and then connect to the camera after 5 seconds the Pico will start executing the program.
The Smartphone App
The app gives a lot more control to the Pico using the API provided by Canon into the camera.
Tapping ‘Duration’ and ‘Interval’ is the simplest way of programming the Pico, the app shows how many images and the duration in a feedback line at the bottom of the screen.
The alarm clock sets the time of the program to start other than 5 seconds after the Pico is connected to the camera.
HDR is to set the program to take HDR images and to set the +/- exposure values.
I particularly interested in trying out the ‘Bramping’ option (or bulb ramping) where the camera’s exposure value is maintained throughout the timing interval.
And lastly ‘Speed Ramping’ allows for the adjustment of the time within the time-lapse to add a slowing down or accelerating effect.