6. MOVE THAT CAMERA!
Being able to move your camera when you can’t manually do it yourself opens up a whole new world of possibilities for creative filmmakers. While full-scale robotic camera systems are usually made for things like VR or SFX, green screen productions, or even Hollywood blockbusters, there are much more affordable and accessible options to make your camera mobile. The most obvious choice is a motorised gimbal. While the majority of users focus on handholding, these anti-shake masterpieces of technology don’t have to be used in that way. They can be mounted to a tripod, while the gimbal is controlled remotely, providing pan and tilt motion. If you get the right kit, you can even manually focus the lens from distance. DJI’s RS2 Pro Combo Kit (£839/$999) comes with a follow focus motor and rig. This marries up to a cine lens or manual focus lens with the included toothed-ring adapter. Using a knob that links to the focus motor, you can accurately control lens focus. The kit also includes the Raven Eye image transmission system that relays a 1080p live view to a smartphone up to 200m. This system uses DJI’s ActiveTrack 3.0 focusing system, meaning a simple touch of the screen gives clarity to your desired subject. Most modern gimbals also allow you to program in time-lapse and hyper-lapse features. For something more ambitious than simply panning and tilting, there are plenty of remote-control sliders and cable cams to invest in. Many high-spec professional systems for big productions are on the market, but for more affordable DSLR and small cinema camera options, Syrp offers a whole range of options. The heart of the system is the Genie Motion Control Device (£595/$468). It performs controlled movements on a slider or tripod, and is ideal for time-lapse, as well as motion control. On a tripod, it carries out controlled pans; while fitted to a slider, it allows for controlled movements. The larger Genie II costs £1520/$1663, but adds a motorised pan and tilt head function. Add on the Genie II Linear
OPTIONAL EXTRAS From the awesome Agito (above), to the DJI Ronin gimbal (below right) and Syrp Genie Micro (bottom left), there are lots of different ways of controlling camera movements, at various price points
(£860/$935), and you get full three-axis remote control. And there’s also the Syrp Genie Micro ($99). This is a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth camera, remote controlled via the Syrp App, adjusting ISO, shutter speed and aperture remotely. Time-lapses with custom exposure times can also be set. Syrp also offers its own dedicated slider, as well as cable cam systems that reach as far as 100m/333ft. The Slingshot (£970/$1060) combines with the Genie or Genie II Linear to offer a fully controlled camera movement system. Full kits are available from £2420/$2659. But for amazing flexibility, take a step into the big time with a Motion Impossible Modular Agito Dolly System, used by some of the world’s top cinematographers. There’s a range of fully computerised, remote-control motion systems, even using regenerative braking to dump excess motor power to recharge its batteries. Made in the UK, the heart of the system is a motorised dolly. By changing the track-based dolly wheels to all-terrain, you have the ultimate off-road remote-control camera, reaching speeds of 35mph! Prices are available at motion-impossible.com
“For somethingmore ambitious than panning and tilting, there are lots of remote-control options”
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