Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Parrot Teleprompter Funded!

The Parrot teleprompter allows you to use your smartphone as a teleprompter for your DSLR, interchangeable lens camera, or almost any camera with a lens that can take a filter.  Unlike some teleprompter kits that place your smartphone beside the lens, this one uses a beam splitter to display the text in front of the lens just like professional teleprompters, so that your subject can maintain eye contact with the camera, while the text is invisible to the camera.

This teleprompter could be useful not just for shooting home videos, documentaries or school projects, but may also be good for taking photos of babies and young kids -- you can show pictures or movies on your phone to get them to look at the camera. :D
It's available for preorder through Kickstarter for delivery in May (free shipping anywhere).  With 6 days to go, the project is fully funded and has even reached its stretch goal of $50,000, which means they will include the teleprompter app for free.  If they reach $65,000 they will include a remote (to pause or adjust the playback speed) for free. 
The Parrot will retail for $150 but is available for preorder for $100 (with one lens adapter of your choice) or $90 (with no lens adapter).  It's not very cheap but it is quite reasonable compared to other teleprompter kits that are currently on the market.  A DIY alternative is a teleprompter mirror (beam splitter) which currently costs $70 shipped on eBay, and is made of glass so it's more fragile.  I preordered the $90 version and ordered adapters separately on eBay.  If you order the adapter separately you'll need to find one that adapts your lens to the 77mm filter thread of the Parrot.
Note: Please note that I'm not affiliated with Kickstarter or the project creator, and I ordered one with my own money and at my own risk. This is a Kickstarter project which means there is no guarantee that the product will be produced.  The creator guaranteed that the product will ship in May and has offered a refund if the project is delayed (a unique guarantee for Kickstarter projects).  But ultimately, backers simply are trusting the project creator.

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