Cinematic motion control film gear – SYRP Genie II review

Genie II pan tilt

The SYRP Genie II pan tilt is a motion controlled head that can be used for timelapse and real time video shoots. The device can pan 360° which can be useful for panoramic shots and it tilts 180° which means there are no limitations when it comes to capturing every possible angle. You can watch the 7-minute video review below:

The device has a 65mm quick release plate to mount a camera or ballhead with a ¼” or 3/8” screw that can easily be swapped. Due to the high built quality of the motion head there are no balance issues with both heavy and lightweight cameras as well as bigger camera setups of up to 6kg.

The Genie II can be screwed on most tripods or sliders simply by using a 3/8” screw which means an additional video or ball head is not necessary.

Syrp Genie Ii Downtown Timelapse
Shooting a pan-tilt timelapse in Downtown Frankfurt

Just like most other timelapse devices the Genie II needs to be connected with the camera by using a remote trigger cable that is either plugged in to one of the two USB-C ports or the dedicated 2.5mm camera port in the middle. The device will do a step by step motion and stop before taking a shot to allow blur-free images when shooting at long exposures. The USB-C ports can also be used to charge the removable BP02 battery that is placed above the connection ports which takes around three hours to fully charge. The battery lasts for a good day of shooting which of course depends heavily on the specific settings. Shooting timelapses needs less power than using the head in video mode because it doesn’t need to do a constant motion.

Syrp Genie Ii Smartphone Mobile App 01
Settings keyframes in the SYRP mobile app to control the motion precisely

The SYRP mobile app allows keyframing, ease in and ease out both in video and timelapse mode to get the best results. The three axis can be adjusted by dragging your finger around just like a joystick. After setting a start and end point, interval, final video duration etc. can all be set in just a few a seconds. The motion setups can also be saved as presets so they can be repeated multiple times.

Syrp Genie Ii Smartphone Mobile App 02
Setting the interval, shooting duration etc. only takes a few seconds

Having the option of using the integrated menu in the head itself is a great backup solution in case the app doesn’t connect with the device or if your phone simply runs out of juice.

Syrp Genie Ii Integrated Menu Settings
No mobile app needed: The Genie II Pan Tilt has an integrated menu with all important settings!

A head like this is especially useful because it doesn’t only add higher value to your video but because it can shoot one shot that would have been two if you would only use a static tripod.

A pan-and-tilt-head is also great to reveal a scene by tilting up or down just like in this shot. This looks even better when ramping the speed. For example starting slow and becoming faster.

To get really smooth looking timelapses it’s also best to expose long rather than short especially with fast moving objects. For example, when setting a shutter speed of 1/4000s the motion can look a bit jittery compared to when exposing for one second.

Syrp Genie Ii Riverside Timelapse
Ideal for outdoor nature shoots or tough weather conditions, the Genie II

While there are technically no limitations on where to use it I think this motion head is ideal for outdoor city and nature shoots because of the robust built quality.

Even though the Genie II is easy and fun to use it’s less of a toy and more of a professional workhorse. That also becomes clear when looking at the price of USD 1600. It’s aimed at full-time timelapse shooters and filmmakers that want to invest in reliable gear that can deal with rough weather conditions and that can handle a few years of daily use.

You can order the motion control head at B&H Photo Video by clicking HERE!

Written by filmmaker Moritz Janisch on April 25, 2019

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