Timelapse videos have been exploding over the last few years and the web is filled with great examples. While most timelapses are shot with a DSLR sitting on a tripod there are ways to get more dynamic shots: Using a slider or a pan-tilt-head is a good way to create more dramatic and professional looking shots.
We have been using the Konova K5 slider and the Smart Head this year on different projects. Sometimes for real time shoots but also a lot to shoot timelapses. Konova offers to control devices: The Basic Controller is made for real time movement and the Smart Controller is designed to program timelapses but can also be used for live action.
Watch our new timelapse film “Frankfurt Moving” in Ultra HD below in which we used the controller for certain shots:
I am talking about shooting timelapses using the Smart Controller in the video below:
If you want to know more about the pan-tilt-head or the motorized slider itself you can watch the video we did a few months ago below. It features the Basic Controller which is the more affordable control device:
Back to timelapsing:
The main reason to use the Smart Controller is the variety of options it offers. When we are shooting timelapses we use DSLRs only. Why? Because the image resolution is so high – around 5K – and most of the time we are mastering the final clip in 1080p which allows a few adjustments like cropping or re-framing. Another reason is that the stills are being saved as raw files which allows me to grade the files the way I want to without quality loss. And this is where the controller comes in. It triggers the camera via a release cable that is connected with the so called Connect Box which is also connected with the controller to transmit the data. The slider plate or the Smart Head will only move when the camera is not taking a picture to avoid blurry images. This is great for long exposure timelapses at night.
You can set the interval, delay and the number of photographs you want to capture. Depending on which tool you are using you can for example set the distance the slider plate should move as well as the direction. It’s the same with the Smart Head. You can decide if the head should pan to the left or right and how far.
The best but also most complex feature is that you can mount the Smart Head onto the slider and combine all features in one timelapses. For example: The slider plate moves from the right to the left side while the head is tilting down from the sky with a bit of panning to the right.
These shots require a bit of patience and training because different elements have to work out. Othwerwise the movement might look great but the action is happening somewhere else because the head is panning too slow or too fast.
In case you are confused by the options in the menu don’t worry, Konova includes a little guide to explain the names in the menu and how to set up a timelapse.
The price varies depending on which bundle you choose. Head over to the manufacturers website to find out the exact pricing: KonovaPhoto.com
Written by Moritz Janisch