The x-y Easel

Posted: March 29, 2012 in Overview: The x-y Easel


What is it?  It’s an x-y easel – an easel that moves up and down, and side-to-side by remote, wireless control (either hand-held or from the computer).  For artists, it’s the ultimate in ease and convenience.

For photographers it allows predictable, repeatable stepping of the painting, moving the work, not the camera.  The x-y Easel holds the painting safely and securely, and by moving the artwork on a horizontal and vertical axis, requires you to only light the shooting frame of the camera.  This gives you the ability to light more precisely, more evenly, and control the quality and resolution of the capture as never before.

To learn more about the advantages of the X-Y Easel, take a look at the video below.

We build the x-y Easel by hand, in two models: the x-y Basic, which you move up and down, and side-to-side manually.

The x-y Power is motor-controlled, allowing remote positioning while viewing through the camera or with the computer through tethering software.

The x-y Easel is a classic H-frame artist’s easel design.  It holds paintings up to 60 lbs safely and securely, with or without a frame.

  • Painting mounts securely to support bracket using classic artist’s easel top/bottom support.
  • Motor drive will raise and lower paintings up to 60lbs. effortlessly.
  • Precise screw-feed raises and lowers precisely and safely – manual on Basic version, motorized on Power version.
  • Maximum painting dimensions without repositioning: Studio/shooting space-limited width x 80″h on Basic.
  • Compact, portable design allows use in-studio or on-site (Basic).
  • Total weight of Basic: 50lbs.  Power: 100lbs.
  • Suggested capture frame dimensions: 24″w x 16″h (optimum, dependent on resolution requirements).


Models and styles available

We build every x-y Easel to your custom specifications, with several options available.

The x-y Basic:

  • The same sturdy construction as the x-y Power
  • Front mounted hand crank for raising and lowering the art
  • Manual horizontal movement on virtually unlimited sectional track
  • Natural wood or ebony finish (add $150 for ebony)
  • A perfect solution for x-y capture on a budget

The x-y Power:

  • Sturdy hand-rubbed oil finish, Baltic Birch plywood construction
  • Remote control wireless operation
  • Horizontal movement on virtually unlimited sectional track

The x-y Power can be controlled with a simple, (Windows only, at this time) software package and USB wireless controller.

For more information, see the x-y Basic here, and the x-y Power here.


I have done some comparisons with the Betterlight and the Pentax K1 +(x-y Easel) with the same art. While I still need to work through choice of lighting, lighting technique and raw conversion settings, I’m pretty certain that I can get a nicer and better refined image with the Pentax K1 +(x-y Easel) option… I know, you’re not surprised 😉

Certainly, larger paintings (40″x60″+) will be better with the Pentax K1 +(x-y Easel) approach…lens and lighting are troublesome at this scale… Yes. I could use a combination of the Betterlight +(x-y Easel)…at this time I’m just not interested. I’m more interested in exploring the newer sensor technology with the expanded color space, dynamic range etc…

Even now, this capture combination (Pentax K1 +(x-y Easel)) has reduced my proofing time. I can’t point my finger to just “one” thing that is making printing easier. Really it’s the combination of newer camera sensor, technique (Pentax K1 +(x-y Easel), change of lenses, and lighting technique that when pulled together is making printing easier and better looking.

I’m very happy with how the (x-y Easel) is working out for me. I’m especially thankful for the help with getting started and the follow up help you have provided. Thank you!

Kind regards,

Mark Niznik, BAMBAM GRAFix


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