The TINY1 Is A Tiny Astrophotography Camera That Takes Selfies Too

TINY1 astrophotography camera

The TINY1 Is A Tiny Astrophotography Camera That Takes Selfies Too

I don’t know about you, but my night-time photography sucks.

I see a beautiful moon, take out my phone and snap it, thinking that my picture will blow minds.

I upload the photo to Google Photos with great anticipation, only to be greeted by this:

Yes, there is a moon in that picture. It looked a lot better WITHOUT my photography skills
Yes, there is a moon in that picture. It looked a lot better WITHOUT my photography skills.

There’s been a growing disgust among professional photographers over the last few years and I suspect it’s fueled by guys like me, although none of my pro-photography friends would say it to my face.

“No, your night photos are, um, amazing. Wow, just look at that… What exactly were you trying?”

The dysphoria from the upper echelon of photography is understandable.

True photography is an art, and no matter how many people shout, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” an ugly photo, like the one above, is still just that.

But there’s a new kid on the block. One that should cause even more anxiety among professional photographers, especially those who fork out big bucks for their gear.

It’s the TINY1 astrophotography camera.

The TINY1 astrophotography camera takes your photography to new heights, even if you’re an amateur
The TINY1 astrophotography camera takes your photography to new heights, even if you’re an amateur.

The “Tiny” in the name is no mistake.

It’s a Lilliputian camera, considering what it offers the user.

It packs a punch.

Let’s see what makes the TINY1 astrophotography camera stand out from the crowd.

Size

At 113mm x 69mm x 22mm, the TINY1 is roughly the size of a modern smart phone.

At the back, the part you’ll be staring at a lot, is a 4.3 inch multi-capacitive touch IPS panel that takes up most of the space.

The back of the TINY1, showing the built-in presets that help you easily capture a variety of celestial objects. The MESSIER OBJECTS menu item does not refer to taking photos of your child colouring in your walls or spilling milk on your carpet, just by the way. Although, it can take pictures of that too
The back of the TINY1, showing the built-in presets that assists in capturing a variety of celestial objects.

As you can see, there is no viewfinder, only a humongous screen reminiscent of a smartphone’s. That should make any tech-savvy user (and even less tech-savvy users) comfortable with the TINY1.

Material

The TINY1’s brains are inside an aerospace grade aluminium mono-body. Everything is enclosed inside a one-piece frame, which means your TINY1 won’t spill its guts or get bent out of shape.

A brushed one-piece aluminium casing keeps the TINY1’s insides together
A brushed one-piece aluminium casing keeps the TINY1’s insides together.

Capabilities

Take a look at some of these pics and tell me they’re not beautiful. I dare you.

Marina Bay, Singapore, captured at night with the TINY1 camera
Marina Bay, Singapore, captured at night with the TINY1 camera.
The Milky Way, photographed with the TINY1 camera. Full cream, no sugar needed
The Milky Way, photographed with the TINY1 camera. Full cream, no sugar needed.
Spectacular photo of the moon, taken with the TINY1 camera. Is that Lance Armstrong’s cycle tracks? I mean, his brother, Neil’s footprints?
Spectacular photo of the moon, taken with the TINY1 camera.

Only 4 MP? This thing sucks…

Hold on there, cowboy.

You’ve been scammed by marketing.

Actually, you’ve allowed yourself to be scammed by marketers, if you believe that the mighty MegaPixel is the only thing that matters.

MegaPixel count refers to the size you can blow up a photo before it pixelates.

If you have a smartphone with a 5 bajillion MP camera, and your pics blow up to the size of the moon, I’m happy for you, but if the picture is all noise, this means you have a huge photo, but it still sucks.

In others words, the sensible way to look at it is to be content with a LOWER MP count, if it means your photo will be more crisp.

The TINY1 camera gives you crisp photos. You can’t blow them up to the size of a tennis court, but your photos are clearer than when you use a phone, because a phone is not optimised to shoot at night.

Besides, give it time.

I’m sure they’ll start using higher resolution once the product is selling well. Remember the first generation GoPro, and how you thought it was awesome?

It shoots RAW

The TINY1 shoots raw images. The camera currently supports .DNG and .RAW formats, but the developers aim to add support for the .FITS format in future.

It shoots video

The TINY1 shoots video too. Here’s the lowdown:

  • 2688 x 1520 60FPS/30FPS
  • 1280 x 720 (binned) 180FPS/120FPS/60FPS/30FPS
  • H.264 MPEG/AVI

It takes any lens

The TINY1 comes with a standard CS mount. You can attach any lens, including DSLR or mirrorless, to the TINY1. It even takes telescopes.

The TINY1 being attached to a telescope
The TINY1 being attached to a telescope.

Of course, you’d need the correct adaptors to make it work. It doesn’t simple click to any lens automagically.

But no camera automagically snaps to a wide variety of lenses, so this is not a bad thing.

It shows what you’re shooting

It’s great to take pics of the stars, but it’s even better to know what you’re taking pictures of. It makes you look like more of a pro.

The TINY1 has a built-in real-time star map, like Sky Map or Star Chart for mobile devices. You can download a demo of the app from the Google Play store.

The TINY1 camera features a built in star map to help you understand what it is youre snapping
The TINY1 camera features a built in star map to help you understand what it is youre snapping.
Here’s a screenshot of the demo app, from my phone, at daytime
Here’s a screenshot of the demo app, from my phone, at daytime.

Affordable and easy to manage

To call yourself an amateur astrophotographer, you need the following equipment:

  • A digital SLR or Interchangeable Lens camera body (starting at $650)
  • A wide-angle lens (starting at $250)
  • A tripod (starting at $49)
  • A headlamp (to shed light on what you’re doing; starting at $32)

That’s the BARE minimum. And they’re bulky items to lug around. Once you start adding larger lenses, it becomes even more difficult to manage.

(Thanks to Lonely Spec for the breakdown.)

With the TINY1 setup, you need the following:

  • A TINY1 camera (starting at below $500, as per their website, and early bird backers receive significant discount)
  • A tripod (starting at $49)
  • A headlamp (to shed light on what you’re doing; starting at $32)

The TINY1 is a much more affordable option and a lot less hassle than a standard DSLR.

Ditch the bulky photo equipment in favour of something more lightweight
Ditch the bulky photo equipment in favour of something more lightweight.

How to use

Because the interface is like a smartphone’s, it should be a breeze to learn how to operate this camera, even for the most stubborn of technophobes. Also, it’s a touch screen and the OS offers you large buttons.

If the demo app is anything to go by, this camera should be a joy to use. Much better than some of the cameras I’ve tried to use.

The menu button in the bottom left corner takes you to all sorts of goodness
The menu button in the bottom left corner takes you to all sorts of goodness.
You can set a timer, turn the camera to night mode, add a level to your pics, choose the picture format, adjust the video frame rate, set the video size, activate grid lines and toggle manual or automatic mode, all from the app. Remember, this is just the demo. The camera’s built-in OS is the same
You can set a timer, switch the camera to night mode, add a level to your pics, choose the picture format, adjust the video frame rate, set the video size, activate grid lines and toggle manual or automatic mode, all from the app. Remember, this is the demo. The camera’s built-in OS is the same.

Links with your smart phone

The TINY1 camera pairs with your phone. This means that your phone and your camera can have a whale of a time and discuss all sorts of things without you breaking a sweat over whether the relationship will work or not.

Send pics you take with the TINY1 to your favourite social network, almost immediately.

A match made in heaven.

This is one time your Cupid ain’t stupid.

The TINY1 loves your smartphone, and your smartphone loves the TINY1
The TINY1 loves your smart phone, and your smart phone loves the TINY1.

Daytime use

With the flip of a switch you can activate the IR cut filter and use the TINY1 like you would use your normal camera or your smartphone camera.

Perfect for selfies, if that’s your thing.

Operational temperatures

The camera is designed to work between the -10 to 55 degree Celsius range. Anything colder and it’ll probably get frostbite. Anything warmer and it’ll probably get skin cancer.

Final thoughts

The TINY1 will be making anything but a tiny impact on Instagram, Facebook and other social platforms.

You should witness a rise in quality of photos posted to these and other social media platforms, if the TINY1 takes off.

Find out more about the TINY1 at the TinyMOS website.

Leave a Reply

WhatsApp
Share
Tweet
Pin
+1