GB2578637A - Camera support - Google Patents

Camera support Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2578637A
GB2578637A GB1817949.9A GB201817949A GB2578637A GB 2578637 A GB2578637 A GB 2578637A GB 201817949 A GB201817949 A GB 201817949A GB 2578637 A GB2578637 A GB 2578637A
Authority
GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
camera
support
handle
camera support
arm
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Pending
Application number
GB1817949.9A
Other versions
GB201817949D0 (en
Inventor
Jolley Richard
Jolley Basmah
Original Assignee
Jolley Richard
Jolley Basmah
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Jolley Richard, Jolley Basmah filed Critical Jolley Richard
Priority to GB1817949.9A priority Critical patent/GB2578637A/en
Publication of GB201817949D0 publication Critical patent/GB201817949D0/en
Publication of GB2578637A publication Critical patent/GB2578637A/en
Pending legal-status Critical Current

Links

Classifications

    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16MFRAMES, CASINGS OR BEDS OF ENGINES, MACHINES OR APPARATUS, NOT SPECIFIC TO ENGINES, MACHINES OR APPARATUS PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE; STANDS; SUPPORTS
    • F16M11/00Stands or trestles as supports for apparatus or articles placed thereon Stands for scientific apparatus such as gravitational force meters
    • F16M11/20Undercarriages with or without wheels
    • F16M11/24Undercarriages with or without wheels changeable in height or length of legs, also for transport only, e.g. by means of tubes screwed into each other
    • F16M11/26Undercarriages with or without wheels changeable in height or length of legs, also for transport only, e.g. by means of tubes screwed into each other by telescoping, with or without folding
    • F16M11/32Undercarriages for supports with three or more telescoping legs
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16MFRAMES, CASINGS OR BEDS OF ENGINES, MACHINES OR APPARATUS, NOT SPECIFIC TO ENGINES, MACHINES OR APPARATUS PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE; STANDS; SUPPORTS
    • F16M11/00Stands or trestles as supports for apparatus or articles placed thereon Stands for scientific apparatus such as gravitational force meters
    • F16M11/02Heads
    • F16M11/04Means for attachment of apparatus; Means allowing adjustment of the apparatus relatively to the stand
    • F16M11/06Means for attachment of apparatus; Means allowing adjustment of the apparatus relatively to the stand allowing pivoting
    • F16M11/10Means for attachment of apparatus; Means allowing adjustment of the apparatus relatively to the stand allowing pivoting around a horizontal axis
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16MFRAMES, CASINGS OR BEDS OF ENGINES, MACHINES OR APPARATUS, NOT SPECIFIC TO ENGINES, MACHINES OR APPARATUS PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE; STANDS; SUPPORTS
    • F16M11/00Stands or trestles as supports for apparatus or articles placed thereon Stands for scientific apparatus such as gravitational force meters
    • F16M11/02Heads
    • F16M11/16Details concerning attachment of head-supporting legs, with or without actuation of locking members thereof
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16MFRAMES, CASINGS OR BEDS OF ENGINES, MACHINES OR APPARATUS, NOT SPECIFIC TO ENGINES, MACHINES OR APPARATUS PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE; STANDS; SUPPORTS
    • F16M11/00Stands or trestles as supports for apparatus or articles placed thereon Stands for scientific apparatus such as gravitational force meters
    • F16M11/20Undercarriages with or without wheels
    • F16M11/24Undercarriages with or without wheels changeable in height or length of legs, also for transport only, e.g. by means of tubes screwed into each other
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16MFRAMES, CASINGS OR BEDS OF ENGINES, MACHINES OR APPARATUS, NOT SPECIFIC TO ENGINES, MACHINES OR APPARATUS PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE; STANDS; SUPPORTS
    • F16M11/00Stands or trestles as supports for apparatus or articles placed thereon Stands for scientific apparatus such as gravitational force meters
    • F16M11/20Undercarriages with or without wheels
    • F16M11/24Undercarriages with or without wheels changeable in height or length of legs, also for transport only, e.g. by means of tubes screwed into each other
    • F16M11/242Undercarriages with or without wheels changeable in height or length of legs, also for transport only, e.g. by means of tubes screwed into each other by spreading of the legs
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16MFRAMES, CASINGS OR BEDS OF ENGINES, MACHINES OR APPARATUS, NOT SPECIFIC TO ENGINES, MACHINES OR APPARATUS PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE; STANDS; SUPPORTS
    • F16M11/00Stands or trestles as supports for apparatus or articles placed thereon Stands for scientific apparatus such as gravitational force meters
    • F16M11/20Undercarriages with or without wheels
    • F16M11/24Undercarriages with or without wheels changeable in height or length of legs, also for transport only, e.g. by means of tubes screwed into each other
    • F16M11/26Undercarriages with or without wheels changeable in height or length of legs, also for transport only, e.g. by means of tubes screwed into each other by telescoping, with or without folding
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16MFRAMES, CASINGS OR BEDS OF ENGINES, MACHINES OR APPARATUS, NOT SPECIFIC TO ENGINES, MACHINES OR APPARATUS PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE; STANDS; SUPPORTS
    • F16M11/00Stands or trestles as supports for apparatus or articles placed thereon Stands for scientific apparatus such as gravitational force meters
    • F16M11/20Undercarriages with or without wheels
    • F16M11/24Undercarriages with or without wheels changeable in height or length of legs, also for transport only, e.g. by means of tubes screwed into each other
    • F16M11/26Undercarriages with or without wheels changeable in height or length of legs, also for transport only, e.g. by means of tubes screwed into each other by telescoping, with or without folding
    • F16M11/28Undercarriages for supports with one single telescoping pillar
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16MFRAMES, CASINGS OR BEDS OF ENGINES, MACHINES OR APPARATUS, NOT SPECIFIC TO ENGINES, MACHINES OR APPARATUS PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE; STANDS; SUPPORTS
    • F16M13/00Other supports for positioning apparatus or articles; Means for steadying hand-held apparatus or articles
    • F16M13/04Other supports for positioning apparatus or articles; Means for steadying hand-held apparatus or articles for supporting on, or holding steady relative to, a person, e.g. by chains, e.g. rifle butt or pistol grip supports, supports attached to the chest or head
    • GPHYSICS
    • G03PHOTOGRAPHY; CINEMATOGRAPHY; ANALOGOUS TECHNIQUES USING WAVES OTHER THAN OPTICAL WAVES; ELECTROGRAPHY; HOLOGRAPHY
    • G03BAPPARATUS OR ARRANGEMENTS FOR TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS OR FOR PROJECTING OR VIEWING THEM; APPARATUS OR ARRANGEMENTS EMPLOYING ANALOGOUS TECHNIQUES USING WAVES OTHER THAN OPTICAL WAVES; ACCESSORIES THEREFOR
    • G03B17/00Details of cameras or camera bodies; Accessories therefor
    • G03B17/56Accessories
    • G03B17/561Support related camera accessories
    • GPHYSICS
    • G03PHOTOGRAPHY; CINEMATOGRAPHY; ANALOGOUS TECHNIQUES USING WAVES OTHER THAN OPTICAL WAVES; ELECTROGRAPHY; HOLOGRAPHY
    • G03BAPPARATUS OR ARRANGEMENTS FOR TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS OR FOR PROJECTING OR VIEWING THEM; APPARATUS OR ARRANGEMENTS EMPLOYING ANALOGOUS TECHNIQUES USING WAVES OTHER THAN OPTICAL WAVES; ACCESSORIES THEREFOR
    • G03B17/00Details of cameras or camera bodies; Accessories therefor
    • G03B17/56Accessories
    • G03B17/563Camera grips, handles
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16MFRAMES, CASINGS OR BEDS OF ENGINES, MACHINES OR APPARATUS, NOT SPECIFIC TO ENGINES, MACHINES OR APPARATUS PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE; STANDS; SUPPORTS
    • F16M2200/00Details of stands or supports
    • F16M2200/02Locking means
    • F16M2200/025Locking means for translational movement
    • F16M2200/027Locking means for translational movement by friction

Abstract

A camera support 10 configurable between a camera stand 10' and a handheld grip 10 for a camera comprising a plurality of support elements (14 fig.1) and a camera attachment means 12 connected to or supported by the plurality of support elements. The support elements together providing a handle 16 in a first configuration, and being movable or spreadable to serve as legs of the camera stand in a second configuration. The plurality of support elements can serve as flotation means (figure 9) in both configurations for enabling the camera support to float in water as a camera stand 10' or a handheld grip 10" when a camera is attached. The buoyancy of the camera support may be provided by the support elements including a sealed chamber of gas and/or a medium that is less dense than water. The camera stand maybe a tripod with three support elements in the second configuration and may be a selfie stick or monopod in the first configuration.

Description

CAMERA SUPPORT
The present invention relates to a camera support which is configurable between a camera stand and a handheld grip for a camera, and which is adapted to float in water whether configured as the camera stand or as the handheld grip.
BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION
Cameras are used to take pictures and/or videos of various moments, such as recreational activities or sports. Instead of holding the camera directly, it may be attached to a handheld grip or monopod, if available, which makes filming easier. Alternatively, the camera may be attached to a selfie stick, to take a group photo more easily than with a monopod, for example. As another alternative, it is possible to attach the camera to a tripod, which is useful to obtain more stable images or videos, or to capture images remotely in a particular location.
If going on a day trip, then all of these accessories may be taken along to cover all eventualities. However, this increases weight and can take up a lot of room in a bag, particularly if a tripod is brought along. It is inconvenient to carry a tripod around when it may only be used once in a given day. It also takes time to transfer the camera between mountings on each accessory.
A smartphone camera (such as an iPhone®) can be connected to the accessory to take photos or film videos, but this may not be ideal if the person using the camera wants to actively partake in the sport or moment being captured. In that case, it may be preferable to attach an action camera like a GoPro® or Garmin® VERB 360 camera instead, particularly if filming on water because action cameras are often somewhat water-resistant. However, if accidentally dropped in the water, the camera will sink rapidly. It is often impossible to recover the camera, and replacing it is costly.
A strap may be attached to the monopod or selfie stick so that dropping the camera does not lead to damage or loss. However, a strap is not always used even if provided. This may be through forgetfulness or because there is too little time to put the strap on when trying to capture a fleeting moment, or because it feels uncomfortable (especially when wet), for example.
It is an object of the present invention to reduce or substantially obviate the aforementioned problems.
STATEMENT OF INVENTION
According to a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a camera support configurable between a camera stand and a handheld grip for a camera, the camera support comprising a plurality of support elements and camera attachment means connected to or supported by the plurality of support elements, the support elements together providing a handle of the handheld grip in a first configuration, and the support elements being movable or spreadable to serve as legs of the camera stand in a second configuration, in which the plurality of support elements are adapted to provide or serve as flotation means in both configurations for enabling the camera support to float in water as a camera stand or as a handheld grip when a camera is attached.
Optional features are presented in the dependent claims.
This provides a single camera accessory which can function as a monopod (or handheld grip) or as a tripod (or camera stand), and which is able to float in water in either configuration when a camera is attached, preventing loss of the device and the associated camera. For example, an iPhone® 6, 7 or 8 or other smartphone in a waterproof case can be attached to the camera support and the device will float, preventing the camera from sinking in water. This is achieved in a minimum volume because the support elements (or legs) are dual-purpose, either being provided together as an ergonomic handle or spread apart to provide the stand. This also minimises the weight of the camera support, thereby maximising buoyancy.
The term camera should be construed to mean a device which is capable of recording an image or images.
The term camera stand should be construed as meaning a self-supporting or freestanding unit for a camera. The term camera attachment means should be construed as meaning a device that is adapted to hold or engage a camera, or as a mounting point to which a camera or appropriate adaptor may be connected. In some cases, mutual engagement means may be provided.
At least one of the support elements may include a sealed chamber. Preferably, each of the support elements contains a sealed chamber. The chamber may contain gas as flotation means. The chamber may include a medium or substance which is less dense than water as flotation means.
The or each support element may be made of a material which can float in water, rather than including a second distinct medium for that purpose. Preferably the material is impervious (or treated to be impervious) to water, so that it does not absorb water.
Each support element may include a colourful or luminous end for enhancing visibility of the handheld grip in water during use. The colourful or luminous end may be provided at the opposite end of the handle to the camera attachment means. The flotation means enables the end of the handle to lie substantially at or above the waterline. When a camera is attached to the support, it acts as a pendulum in water and lies lowest, meaning that the end of the handle is uppermost and so easiest to see for recovering the device.
Each support element may include a coloudlfl or luminous side. This may include one or more colourful or luminous elements on or distributed across the side. In the second configuration, the colourful or luminous side may face away from the camera attachment means. The flotation means enables the legs to lie substantially at or above the waterline, providing a highly visible surface (or supramerged) portion of the camera stand in the water. They also individually and collectively have a larger surface area than just the end of the handheld grip, which makes it easier to spot or keep continuous sight of where the camera stand has drifted to in the water. This is particularly useful if it falls from a boat or other waterborne vessel whilst in motion, for example.
The term colourful or coloured is used to mean relatively bright colours such as red, orange and yellow, for example. In particular, it should be construed to mean colours which contrast with or stand out relative to the colour of bodies of water.
The term luminous should be construed to mean fluorescent or phosphorescent, for example. In some cases, the luminous element may be a light which emits light (preferably visible light), as opposed to fluorescing due to incident radiation, for example. In other words, it may be a beacon. This is useful to locate the device in the dark or low-light conditions. The luminous element may be activated remotely by a
suitable mechanism.
A second flotation means may be disposed next to the camera attachment means. The second flotation means may include a sealed chamber of gas as flotation means. The second flotation means may include a medium or substance which is less dense than water as flotation means. This provides supplementary buoyancy to the buoyancy provided by the flotation means in the support elements, so that heavier cameras can be mounted to the camera support and still float in water if dropped.
The support elements may have complementary shapes. The support elements may fit together to provide a substantially cylindrical handle for the handheld grip. The support elements may provide a substantially continuous handle surface when brought into mutual engagement.
An extendible or telescopic arm may be provided. The arm may be extended whether the support elements are together as a handle or spread apart to provide the camera stand. The arm may connect the camera attachment means to the handle. This allows the user to capture a wider scene when taking photos or filming, as well as take selfi es (pictures which include themselves). In conjunction with the camera support being able to float, having the extendible arm allows filming underwater. For example, the camera and support may be left to float whilst the user(s) swim within camera shot underwater.
Locking means may be provided for preventing extension or telescoping of the arm. The arm may include a plurality of members. Each arm member may have a circular cross-section, and locking members may be provided between neighbouring arm members. Alternatively, each member may have a non-circular cross-section (or at least a part which is non-circular). Locking members may be used with arm members that include a non-circular cross-section. The parts may be nested together for telescoping. The arm may contain five members or fewer (preferably three or four members) to minimise weight.
Neighbouring members may be slidable relative to each other in a first orientation. Neighbouring members may not be slidable relative to each other in a second orientation, for example due to a friction lock. This may arise if the parts have non-circular cross-sections, or if locking members are provided between the arm members.
This allows the user to lock the arm in a collapsed state, a fully extended state, or at an intermediate extension between those states.
The extendible or telescopic arm may be made of aluminium or carbon, or an alloy or composite material. If carbon is used, the arm members may have a circular cross-section. These materials are strong but lightweight, so the buoyancy of the camera support is not significantly affected by including the arm.
The secondary flotation means may be provided in the extendible or telescopic arm. 20 The secondary flotation means may be provided in the smallest member or segment of the telescopic arm. That is, the member closest to the camera attachment means when the arm is fully deployed may include the secondary flotation means.
The extendible or telescopic arm may be collapsible into the handle. This reduces the available volume within the handle for providing air or buoyant material. However, the internal space within the arm can be used for the secondary flotation means as above, to offset the extra weight associated with the arm. When the arm is in a collapsed state, the camera attachment means may abut or be disposed substantially next to the handle. This minimises the external dimensions of the handheld grip, so it is compact and takes up little room in a bag. It also reduces the risk of the arm being bent when not in use.
Each support element may include a pivot at or close to its end which is nearest to the camera attachment means. The pivot may include a pivotal axis substantially in a plane which is perpendicular to a central longitudinal axis of the handle. Each support element may be moved between the first configuration (for the handheld grip) and the second configuration (for the camera stand) by movement about the pivot.
The camera stand may be a tripod with three support elements. The base of the handle grip may be configured to allow the camera support to stand upright with the legs together as the handheld grip. The handle can be planted into sand or snow. The base of each leg may have sufficient surface area to avoid the camera stand or tripod sinking into snow when the legs are deployed.
The support elements may be independently movable. This allows the position of each leg to be customised for use on uneven ground.
The support elements may be linked together for synchronised movement between the first and second configurations. This makes it quick and easy to deploy the legs of the camera stand in a single motion.
A plurality of elongate grip sections may be disposed along and spaced apart from each other around the handle. A first part of each grip section may be arranged along the side of one support element, and a second part of that grip section may be arranged along the side of a neighbouring support element. The grip sections may include a strip or a plurality of members of material with a high coefficient of friction. This provides the best compromise between optimal grip and minimum extra handle weight, so that the buoyancy of the camera support is not reduced too much. Tapering the handle also mitigates the tendency of the handle to slip out of hand during use, for example when wet.
The grip sections are preferably ribbed, ridged, knurled and/or made of a rubberised material for providing optimal grip when wet.
Each support element may include a hollow body. Each support element may include a cap. The cap may form an airtight seal with the hollow body, or be connected to the hollow body in a way which provides an airtight seal. This provides a sealed chamber inside the support element (for containing gas or other buoyant material). The seal may be considered to be watertight, because the chamber is sealed against ingress of water.
The cap is preferably ultrasonically welded to the hollow body. This creates a solid-state weld. This technique is useful where the support element is made of plastic, or where the cap is a different material to the hollow body.
Magnets may be provided in complementary positions in each cap. The magnets keep the support elements (or legs) in the handle form, so that they do not inadvertently splay apart. The magnets may also provide or serve as mounting points for attaching secondary components in the camera stand configuration. For example, ground spikes or adhesive pads may be releasably attached via the magnets. Using the magnets in this way allows the camera stand to be securely attached to a paddle board, for example.
According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provide a kit comprising a camera support according to the first aspect of the invention, and one or more adaptors as auxiliary (or alternative) camera attachment means. This is useful to accommodate different types and sizes of camera, if the camera attachment means is not adjustable or universal.
The kit may include a camera or electronic device capable of recording images.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
For a better understanding of the present invention, and to show more clearly how it may be carried into effect, reference will now be made by way of example only to the accompanying drawings, in which: Figure 1 shows a cross-sectional view through a camera support according to the present invention, including a telescopic arm in a collapsed state; Figure 2A shows a side view of the camera support of Figure 1; Figure 2B shows a partial perspective view of a lanyard attached to the camera support of Figure 2A; Figure 3A shows a cross-sectional view of the camera support of Figure 1, where the telescopic arm is in an extended state; Figure 3B shows an enlarged partial view of a top end of the camera support of Figure 3A, Figure 3C shows an enlarged partial view of a central portion of the camera support of Figure 3A; Figure 3D shows an enlarged partial view of a base end of the camera support of Figure 3A, Figure 3E shows a further enlarged partial view of part of the base end in Figure 3D; Figure 4A shows a side view of the extended camera support of Figure 3A; Figure 4B show a cross-sectional end view through a handle of the camera support of Figure 1; Figure 4C shows a cross-sectional end view through the handle of the camera support of Figure 1; Figure 4D shows another cross-sectional end view through the handle of the camera support of Figure 4A; Figure SA shows an end view of the camera support of Figure 4A, where the telescopic arm is locked in the extended state; Figure 5B shows an end view of the camera support of Figure 5A, where the extendible arm is unlocked and able to telescope; Figure 6A shows a perspective view of the camera support of Figure 1 configured as a camera stand; Figure GB shows a perspective view of the camera stand of Figure 6A where the telescopic arm is in an extended state; Figure 7 shows a front view of the camera stand of Figure 6A with a camera attached; Figure 8 shows a perspective view of a leg of the camera support of Figure 1 in isolation; Figure 9 shows four independent side views of the camera support floating in water, the camera support being respectively configured as a camera stand or a handheld grip with a telescopic arm in an extended or retracted position, and with a camera attached; and Figure 10 shows a perspective view of a second embodiment of a camera support, including a removable remote control unit.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
Referring to Figures 1 to 10, a camera support is indicated generally at 10. The camera support 10 is interconvertible between a handheld grip 10" as shown in Figure 2, and a camera stand 10' (see Figures 6A and 6B). The camera support 10 includes a camera mounting 12. The mounting point 12 is adapted to receive a camera 100 (see Figure 7 and Figure 9) or an adaptor (not shown) for holding a camera. The mounting point 12 includes a pivotable head 12a, best seen in Figure 2. An adjustable screw 102 is provided for holding the camera 100 in place (see Figure 7).
The camera support 10 includes three support elements or legs 14. Each leg 14 is substantially identical to the other legs, except where otherwise indicated. The legs 14 have substantially complementary shapes so that they fit together and provide a substantially cylindrical handle, indicated generally at 16, when the camera support 10 is configured as the handheld grip. The handle 16 tapers slightly inwards with decreasing distance to the camera mounting point 12. This makes the handle 16 more comfortable to hold.
Each leg 14 includes a body 14a with a recess or chamber. A cap 14b closes the recess, so that the recess is a sealed chamber or air pocket 14c. Each chamber 14c includes a section which is curved substantially in the shape of an arc (see Figures 4B and 4C). This creates a space in the handle 16 between upper ends of the legs 14.
The leg 14 is shown in isolation in Figure 8. The chamber 14c is a substantially similar shape to the external shape of the leg, but smaller than and completely contained within the leg 14. The overall shape of the chamber 14c may be considered to be a third of (or a vertical section or wedge of) a frustoconical body including a third of a cylindrical recess extending partway into a top of that body. The third of the cylindrical recess contributes to the arc-shape of that portion of the chamber. The term third is intended to refer to the angular extent of the leg around a longitudinal axis of the handle 16 when the leg is part of the camera support 10 and parallel to that axis. When three legs are brought together as the handle 16, this provides a substantially frustoconical unit with a substantially cylindrical recess in the top.
It will be appreciated that the angular extent of each leg is affected by the number of legs in a given embodiment. For example, if there are four legs, each leg may be a quarter of a frustoconical body with a quarter of a cylindrical recess extending down from the top.
Each leg 14 is substantially made of plastic or a polymer. The body 14a is made by injection-moulding. After the body 14a has been injection-moulded, a rubber layer is applied or painted onto its outer surface for improving grip in use. In this case the rubber paint is grey. Each leg 14 also includes first and second ridged grip sections 15a, 15b arranged along its side edges.
The cap 14b is injection-moulded. The cap 14b is made from a polymer including a bright pigment. In this case the pigment is orange, but any suitable colour may be used.
When the legs 14 are spread, a side of the cap 14b faces away from the camera mounting part 12. The cap 14b is shaped to have a second recess which maximises the volume of the sealed chamber 14c. As seen in Figure 3E (which is an enlarged section of Figure 3D), the cap 14b includes a sonic weld element 14d. The element 14d is provided on a lip under the cap 14b, so that the element 14d fuses the lip to the body 14a during sonic welding.
The cap 14b can thus be ultrasonically welded to the body 14a in this embodiment.
However, any suitable means for securely sealing cap 14b to the body 14a may be used, provided that an airtight chamber is formed.
Each chamber 14c narrows or tapers from the cap 14b towards the camera mounting point 12. Each chamber 14c is disposed longitudinally along the leg 14. The chambers 14c are together spaced around a longitudinal axis of the camera support 10.
In this embodiment, each chamber 14c contains air at atmospheric pressure. The air is trapped inside when the cap 14b is fitted to the body 14a. However, in other embodiments, another gas such as nitrogen or helium may be contained in the chamber.
The gas in one or more of the chambers 14c may be provided at greater than atmospheric pressure where this would improve buoyancy.
Each leg 14 is releasably held in the handheld grip arrangement by magnets. In this case, each cap 14b includes a pair of magnets 18a, 18b. The magnets 18a, 18b are over-moulded as part of the injection moulding process which forms the cap 14b. The magnets 18a, 18b may be considered to be in an asymmetric arrangement.
Each cap 14b includes a projection 20a and a recessed part 20b so that the caps 14b fit together in the handheld grip. One of the magnets 18a is in the projecting part 20a and is arranged such that its north pole faces away from the cap 14b it is located in. The other of the magnets 18b in the same cap 14b is in the recessed section 20b and is arranged such that its south pole faces away from the cap 14b it is located in. This ensures that the magnets in neighbouring caps 14b attract each other when brought together.
Referring to Figure 3C, a hub or neck 22 is provided for the legs 14. The hub 22 is disposed at the same end of the camera support 10 as the camera mounting point 12. The hub 22 is made of a polymer. The hub 22 is formed by injection moulding. Each leg 14 is pivotally connected to the hub 22. In this embodiment, a stainless steel pin is provided through the upper end of the leg 14 and the hub 22 to act as a pivot 24 for the leg 14.
Each leg 14 is individually hinged to the hub 22. Each leg 14 can be pivoted between a first position substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis of the support 10, and a second position which is at an angle to that axis, to form a camera stand 10' (see Figures 6A and 6B). The angular range of each leg 14 is from 0 degrees, i.e. parallel to the longitudinal axis of the support, to 45 degrees (and any angle in between). This allows the camera stand 10' to be set up stably on an uneven surface when the legs 14 are spread apart from each other. In other embodiments, the maximum leg angle may be 35 or 40 degrees.
The neck 22 includes an aperture or hole 22a for attaching a lanyard 22b (partially shown in Figure 2B). The lanyard 22b includes a small loop connected through the hole 22a. The lanyard 22b also includes a larger loop of material for looping around a wrist during use. The loop size may be adjustable in some embodiments if a loop adjusting mechanism is provided.
In some embodiments, the lanyard 22b may include a foam or other buoyant material 20 to provide auxiliary flotation means. The lanyard 22b may in some embodiments include a weight to serve as a counterweight for the camera stand in windy conditions, for example.
As seen in Figures 3A and 3B, an extendible or telescopic arm 26 is provided. The arm 26 can be considered to be a monopod assembly. The arm 26 connects the camera mounting point 12 to the legs 14. In this case, this is done in conjunction with the neck 22. A cap 25 is provided on a lower end of the arm 26. The cap 25 serves as a stop for the telescopic arm so that it cannot slide out of the camera support 10 (that is, not disconnect from the neck 22). The mounting point 12 is connected to the top end of the arm 26. The cap 25 is bonded to the arm 26 in this embodiment. However, it will be appreciated that any suitable securing or fixing means may be used.
The arm 26 is able to telescope in each direction through the hub 22. The arm 26 is collapsible into the handle 16, into a space between the legs 14, such that the camera mounting point fits against the hub 22. The camera mount 12 includes a circumferential plate which fits flush to the top of the handle 16. The space is provided by the tapered shape of the legs 14 and internal chambers 14c. The collapsed length of the arm 26 is less than the length of the handle 16. In this embodiment, the collapsed length of the arm 26 is about three quarters of the length of the handle 16.
The arm 26 includes three telescopic sections 26a, 26b, 26c in this embodiment. The sections 26abc are made of aluminium in this embodiment, although it will be appreciated that other lightweight and/or buoyant materials may be used. The section 10 26abc may be formed by extrusion.
The sections 26abc get incrementally larger in diameter towards the handle 16 in Figure 3A. This is to allow the sections 26abc to nest inside one another when collapsed. The sections 26abc are each about the same length. The smallest section 26a includes a secondary sealed chamber 28. The secondary chamber 28 is sealed at one end by the camera mounting point 12 (see Figure 3B). The chamber 28 is sealed at the other end by a bung 30. The bung 30 is made of a polymer in this embodiment.
The secondary sealed chamber 28 is filled with air in this embodiment. As with the sealed chambers in the legs 14, this chamber 28 may instead be filled with another gas or a buoyant material in other embodiments. The same alternatives are considered to be applicable here and not repeated for brevity.
Plastic inserts 32 are provided between adjacent sections 26abc of the arm 26. The plastic inserts 32 allow the user to increase friction between the neighbouring sections 26ab or 26bc to restrict relative movement or telescoping. This is done by rotating one section relative to the other, for example in a clockwise direction.
The largest section 26c is connected to the neck 22. In this embodiment, this is achieved by using an integrated insert 34. The insert 34 is made of metal. The insert 34 is over-moulded in the injection moulding process that forms the neck 22. A friction lock component 36 (seen in Figure 3C) is also provided for locking the arm 26 in an extended state, a retracted state, or a partially extended state. The friction lock component 36 is made of a polymer. The component 36 is assembled after the injection moulding of the neck 22. The component 36 acts in a similar way to the plastic inserts 32, to lock the largest section 26c in a particular position.
Referring to Figures 4B to 4D, cross-sections through the handle 16 are shown. Figure 4B shows that each section 26abc of the arm 26 has an eccentric profile. The insert 34 also has an eccentric profile. Figure 4B shows a section where the arm 26 is collapsed into the handle 16, taken at the equivalent position to the region marked 4B in Figure 4A.
The profile of each section 26abc may be considered to be a distorted circle, where a first half of a circle is slightly offset from a second half of the circle. This provides two nubs or locking members 27 on each section 26abc (only illustrated for one section on Figure 4B). Rotation of one section relative to another causes the nubs 27 to bear on the plastic inserts 32.
As seen in Figure 4D, each cap 14b includes a rounded face 42 which faces inwards in the handle configuration. When the legs 14 are splayed in the tripod arrangement (see Figures 6A and 6B), the rounded faces provide better grip and stability.
Locked and unlocked positions of the arm 26 are illustrated in Figures 5A and 5B respectively. Lock symbols 38 and arrows 40 are provided on the neck 22 to indicate locking and unlocking states and the direction of rotation to switch to a particular state. A marker 42 is provided to indicate the current lock state. The marker 42 rotates with the arm 26. The symbols 38 and arrows 40 do not rotate with the arm 26.
Figures 6A and 6B shows the camera support configured as a camera stand or tripod, indicated generally at 10'. The legs 14 are movable or pivotable between their spread positions as a tripod and their positions in the handle arrangement 16. The arm 26 is shown in a retracted position in Figure 6A. The cap 25 on the bottom end of the arm 26 is not ground-engaging on a relatively planar surface when the legs 14 are spread apart.
The arm 26 can be extended to any degree whether the camera support 10 is arranged as a stand or a handheld grip. This may be necessary on an uneven surface to prevent the lower end of the arm 26 from touching the surface or ground. Figure 6B shows the tripod 10' where the arm 26 is at full extension.
In Figure 4A, the length of the monopod with telescopic arm fully extended is about 23" (about 58 cm), and correspondingly less when the legs are spread to provide the tripod 10' in Figures 6A and 6B, depending on the angle they are spread at. If the tripod 10' is deliberately put in water in this configuration, it is possible to film by the same amount underwater. Lights (e.g. on the camera) may be activated to provide enough illumination, if sunlight is not sufficient to illuminate the scene. The camera or mobile phone support 10 is buoyant enough as both the handheld grip 10" and as the stand 10' to float in either configuration, including when a camera is attached to the mounting point 12.
Figure 9 shows the camera support 10 with the camera 100 attached to the mounting 12 in four different configurations: handheld grip 10" with retracted arm 26, handheld grip 10" with extended arm 26, camera stand 10' with retracted arm 26, and camera stand 10' with extended arm 26. The camera support 10 floats upside-down in each of these arrangements.
A modified version of the camera support is illustrated in Figure 10. The features are the same as the previous embodiment except as follows. A remote control unit 200 can be releasably connected or clipped to one of the legs 14. A holder 202 is provided on one of the legs 14 to enable this (near the top of the leg 14 in this embodiment). In other embodiments, the unit 200 may include a clip itself rather than a separate holder being mounted to the leg, or the unit 200 may be integrated into the handle 16 for example. The weight of the unit 200 and holder 202 are insufficient to adversely affect the ability of the support 10 to float.
The remote control unit 200 wirelessly connects to the camera 100 regardless of the degree of extension of the arm 26. The remote control unit 200 also wirelessly connects to a further device (not shown) such as a computer or smartphone, enabling the camera to be controlled or activated remotely. The unit 200 may also remotely control or activate or deactivate features of the camera support 10, such as a beacon for example.
Other modifications will be apparent to those skilled in the art. For example, instead of a gas-filled chamber, one or more of the legs may include a buoyant material such as cork or aerogel, for example. In further embodiments, one or more of the legs may be made (or predominantly made) of such material, rather than containing it in a chamber. This can further enhance buoyancy where the material is substantially sealed against absorbing water (or naturally does not absorb water at an appreciable rate). The telescopic arm may include carbon sections, for example. In some embodiments more than three telescopic sections may be provided, to make the arm longer.
In some embodiments, bright pigment or luminous/fluorescent/reflective material may be provided in one or more places on the underside of each leg (where the underside faces away from the camera mounting in the tripod configuration). More than three legs may be provided in some embodiments; for example, four or five legs may be provided. If the camera mounting point is not suitable for connecting to a particular camera, one or more adaptors may be provided as part of a kit with the camera support. This can be useful if a protective casing around the camera renders a compatible camera unable to connect in place securely.
The embodiments described above are provided by way of example only, and various changes and modifications will be apparent to persons skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.

Claims (23)

  1. CLAIMS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.A camera support configurable between a camera stand and a handheld grip for a camera, the camera support comprising a plurality of support elements and camera attachment means connected to or supported by the plurality of support elements, the support elements together providing a handle of the handheld grip in a first configuration, and the support elements being movable or spreadable to serve as legs of the camera stand in a second configuration, in which the plurality of support elements are adapted to provide flotation means in both configurations for enabling the camera support to float in water as a camera stand or as a handheld grip when a camera is attached.
  2. A camera support as claimed in claim 1, in which at least one of the support elements includes a sealed chamber of gas and/or includes a medium which is less dense than water as flotation means.
  3. A camera support as claimed in claim 2, in which each of the support elements includes a sealed chamber of gas and/or includes a medium which is less dense than water as flotation means.
  4. A camera support as claimed in any preceding claim, in which each support element includes a colourful or luminous end for enhancing visibility of the handheld grip in water.
  5. A camera support as claimed in any preceding claim, in which each support element includes a colourful or luminous area or side which in the second configuration faces away from the camera attachment means for enhancing visibility of the camera stand in water.
  6. A camera support as claimed in any preceding claim, in which a second flotation means is disposed next to the camera attachment means.
  7. 7. A camera support as claimed in claim 6, in which the second flotation means includes a sealed chamber of gas and/or includes a medium which is less dense than water.
  8. 8. A camera support as claimed in any preceding claim, in which the support elements have complementary shapes for fitting together as a substantially cylindrical handle for the handheld grip.
  9. 9. A camera support as claimed in any preceding claim, in which an extendible or telescopic arm connects the camera attachment means to the handle.
  10. 10. A camera support as claimed in claim 9, in which locking means is provided for preventing extension or telescoping of the arm.
  11. 11. A camera support as claimed in claim 10, in which the arm includes a plurality of members in which each member is able to slide relative to a neighbouring member in a first orientation, and is prevented from sliding by a friction lock with at least one neighbouring member in a second orientation.
  12. 12. A camera support as claimed in any of claims 9 to 11, in which the extendible or telescopic arm is made of aluminium, carbon, a metal alloy, or a composite material.
  13. 13. A camera support as claimed in any of claims 9 to 12, when dependent on claim 6, in which the secondary flotation means is provided in the extendible or telescopic arm.
  14. 14. A camera support as claimed in any of claims 9 to 13, in which the extendible or telescopic arm is collapsible into the handle such that the camera attachment means abuts or is disposed adjacent to the handle.
  15. 15. A camera support as claimed in any preceding claim, in which each support element includes a pivot at an end of the support element closest to the camera attachment means, and each support element is movable between the first and second configurations by movement about the pivot.
  16. 16. A camera support as claimed in any preceding claim, in which the camera stand is a tripod with three support elements.
  17. 17. A camera support as claimed in any preceding claim, in which the support elements are independently movable.
  18. 18. A camera support as claimed in any preceding claim, in which the support elements are linkable together for synchronised movement between the first and second configurations.
  19. 19. A camera support as claimed in any preceding claim, in which a plurality of elongate grip sections are disposed along and spaced around the handle.
  20. 20. A camera support as claimed in any preceding claim, in which each support element includes a hollow body and a cap which forms an airtight seal with the hollow body, to provide a sealed chamber inside the support element.
  21. 21. A camera support as claimed in claim 20, in which the cap is ultrasonically welded to the hollow body.
  22. 22. A camera support as claimed in claim 20 or claim 21, in which magnets are provided in complementary positions in each cap.
  23. 23. A kit comprising a camera support as claimed in any preceding claim, and one or more adaptors as auxiliary camera attachment means.
GB1817949.9A 2018-11-02 2018-11-02 Camera support Pending GB2578637A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB1817949.9A GB2578637A (en) 2018-11-02 2018-11-02 Camera support

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB1817949.9A GB2578637A (en) 2018-11-02 2018-11-02 Camera support

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
GB201817949D0 GB201817949D0 (en) 2018-12-19
GB2578637A true GB2578637A (en) 2020-05-20

Family

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Family Applications (1)

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GB1817949.9A Pending GB2578637A (en) 2018-11-02 2018-11-02 Camera support

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Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20100084524A1 (en) * 2007-08-13 2010-04-08 Sagi Faifer Grip with bipod
US9004783B1 (en) * 2013-10-15 2015-04-14 Gopro, Inc. Camera mountable arm
CN105240671A (en) * 2015-10-20 2016-01-13 深圳市信毅科技有限公司 Selfie rod with tripod and mobile phone support and vehicle-mounted support used in cooperation with selfie rod
CN204986327U (en) * 2015-07-14 2016-01-20 陈晓娜 Roll over receipts formula from rapping bar
US9298066B1 (en) * 2014-10-28 2016-03-29 Eagle Fan Multi-functional support assembly
CN206647728U (en) * 2017-03-02 2017-11-17 深圳市泰迅数码有限公司 A kind of foldable multifunctional self-shooting bar

Patent Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20100084524A1 (en) * 2007-08-13 2010-04-08 Sagi Faifer Grip with bipod
US9004783B1 (en) * 2013-10-15 2015-04-14 Gopro, Inc. Camera mountable arm
US9298066B1 (en) * 2014-10-28 2016-03-29 Eagle Fan Multi-functional support assembly
CN204986327U (en) * 2015-07-14 2016-01-20 陈晓娜 Roll over receipts formula from rapping bar
CN105240671A (en) * 2015-10-20 2016-01-13 深圳市信毅科技有限公司 Selfie rod with tripod and mobile phone support and vehicle-mounted support used in cooperation with selfie rod
CN206647728U (en) * 2017-03-02 2017-11-17 深圳市泰迅数码有限公司 A kind of foldable multifunctional self-shooting bar

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