What happened to the Craft Camera? Just over a year ago, a new video camera with modular design was announced and threatened to take the independent film and video production world by storm. That is, if it could live up to the hype.

A cool website showed the Craft Camera in realistic digital renderings assembling together, effectively highlighting its versatility. Two camera options were available, each with similar customization options. A full 1080p HD version and a 4K version. Both, highly affordable even fully customized. Interest in the Craft Camera started to wane, however, as months went by without any detailed specifications and, more importantly, sample footage.

The question of whether this camera existed at all began to come into question, as their Facebook page followers began to become frustrated and agitated. One can only speculate that the developers of the Craft Camera were unable to meet the specs they promised and/or ran out of capital.

Perhaps hope is not lost, as their letter to pre-order holders says the following: Dear preorder holder, Unfortunately, due to multiple constraints Craft Camera will not be manufactured in the foreseeable future. Therefore we will be refunding every preorder. The refunds will be processed in the order they were placed. We will begin issuing refunds in batches starting on February 14th and will continue until February 28th. At that time every order will be refunded. You will be notified via email that your refund has been issued. Please allow 2-3 days for the refund to post. Thank you for believing in the product and showing your support! – Craft Digital Systems Inc.

Maybe hope for a camera like this still exists as they did not say it was completely dead in the water. This highlights the power of social media. Craft Camera created a nice buzz and ample pre-orders without a tangible product to show. They only proof of its existence was on their very attractive website (no longer active), where nice animations and 3D imagery were used to tell of its coming.

The takeaway from this is twofold: One, you can certainly generate buzz and hype on a product still in development. Two, before you generate the buzz and start writing up pre-orders, make sure you can deliver.

If the Craft Camera makes another go around, will it be able to create that same buzz? Sure. They’ll just need to climb uphill a bit to win back audience trust.