CROWDFUNDING REVIEW – Recently, I have been working more with time-lapse photography and videography and researching devices that will manipulate the position of my camera or phone so that it can record at the positions and intervals necessary to create nice footage. Let’s see that this pre-production copy of the Circle Motorized Pan Head which is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, handles the task.
What is it?
The Circle Motorized Pan Head has a built-in battery and is small, compact and very portable. It features an easy to use motorized pan head that lets you create panning time-lapse photos and videos.
What’s in the box
1 x Circle Motorized Pan Head
1 x Micro USB Cable
Design and features
Pan Load Capacity: 1.2 kg
Tilt Load Capacity (centered): 750 g
Minimum speed: 10 hours per turn
Maximum speed: 1 minute per turn
Battery life: 4 hours video, 10 hours timelapse
Connectivity: Micro-USB, 2.5 mm AUX
Dimensions: 90 x 75 x 55 mm
Weight: 240 g
On the front of the Circle Pan Head, there is an LCD screen and 4 control buttons. On the top, there is a 1/4 – 20″ stud.
At the bottom of the pan head, there is a female 1/4-20″ mount. (There are scratches on the device because this is a used pre-production model/sample)
On one of the sides, there is the micro USB charging port and on the other side there is a 2.5 mm port that is not operational on this pre-production model, but according to the manufacturer, it will be able to control the camera shutter release on the production model.
The operation of this pan head is quite simple. Holding down the left-most button for 3 seconds turns it on or off. The 4 buttons are used to set the position. length and interval timing.
The operational steps are as follows:
- Select a starting position
- Select an end position
- Set the time for rotation
- Press start
For the purpose of showcasing the functions and movement of the pan head, I used a short duration of 1 minute. Obviously, when shooting a true time-lapse, the duration of the movement distance would be much longer. This Pan Head can accommodate DSLR and Mirrorless cameras, but because of the size and weight of my Pro DSLR cameras and the lenses that I use, I opted to test this device using my iPhone 10 X Max. Lapsix was nice enough to 3D print a phone mount for me, with flexible mounting options.
The following are videos shot with the Pan Head in both vertical and horizontal positions and there is one video from behind that shows the movement of the head and mount.
The following is the promotional video from Lapsix that shows the Circle Motorized Pan Head being used with DSLR and other types of cameras.
What I like
- The build quality
- The compact size
- The operational simplicity
What I’d change
- Make the 2.5 MM Shutter release jack active
- Include a detailed manual
After testing this Pan Head, I am quite pleased with the quality and the function. It works well with my iPhone and I am sure that it will work well with any DSLR or Mirrorless camera body with a short lens, as long as the combination does not exceed the weight limitations. The Pan Head is small and compact enough to work on any tripod including short desktop tripods. When the shutter release function is enabled on the production model, it will be a complete time-lapse solution. It gets a well done from me!