Movement in video always gives more dimension to it and makes it more interesting. After using several DIY solutions to create some nice panning in both time-lapses and real time video, we decided to get this little awesome device by Syrp called “Genie Mini”. Priced at €279,- it definitely isn’t the cheapest solution, so before talking about this product, let’s look at some of the DIY solutions we used to (and still do) use.

DIY Panning

To add some smooth motion to your video or time-lapse doesn’t have to be expensive! The cheapest, and probably most obvious and simple solution, is to mount your camera to a tripod, shoot in 4K, and then edit it in 1080P. Scaling the footage down to 50% still covers the whole screen. So if you scale your 4K footage to (let’s say) 70% you still have some room left on all sides. This gives you room to change the position of the video over time. Add a keyframe at the beginning for the starting position and a keyframe at the end of your video/ time-lapse where you change the X-axis a little bit. Voila. Post-production panning.

As for real DIY solutions. If you have a GoPro or (light) compact camera, you can simply buy an Ikea Ordning (or any egg-timer with a flat top) and stick a mounting plate to the top of it and attach it to your camera. This can do a 360 degree rotation in 60 minutes. This will cost you around €10 euros and is very effective for time-lapses. However, this won’t be great for real-time video and of course you can’t change the speed or play around with different settings.

Syrp Genie Mini

Of course these cheap DIY solutions have their flaws and we felt it was time to bring our productions to a next level. We wanted different camera’s to work with a panning device. We wanted to mount them to several different tripods/ monopods and gorilla pods. We wanted a device that felt rugged and was easy to use. We wanted control over the angle, rotation, start and end (ease in/ out) etc.

Eventually we didn’t go for products like the TurnsPro (this one still looks promising though!), GoPole and Rollei ePano. We went for the Syrp Genie Mini and it hasn’t left our camera bag ever since. Check out the video review we made!

Conclusion

We love the Syrp Genie Mini. At first it made us quite frustrated because:

Yes, it’s quite expensive.
Yes, it sucks that you have to buy a link cable seperately.
Yes, sometimes you wish you didn’t need a App to actually make it work (especially with bad weather).
Yes, it has it’s flaws (app randomly freezing / firmware not wanting to update).

But on the other hand, it’s such a nice device that really does help make you better films! It’s easy to set up and has enough different options to create the motion you like for your video or time-lapse. It’s really one of those things you will always carry around and is just fun to play around with.