Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Advantages of Motion Control Camera Equipment

Motion Control Camera Equipment

 VZCINEMAPRO-K2 motion control cameraCreating a professional, high-quality product is important in virtually every industry, but for film it’s a must. There’s no easier way to ruin picture perfection than by having jerky, shaky shots.

In the early years of cinematography, keeping the camera perfectly still was necessary when one wanted to capture a picture in clear focus. Invented by Louis Augustin Le Prince in 1895, the earliest portable film cameras couldn’t really be moved at all without running the risk of completely ruining a
take. Today, we’ve come a long way in developing cameras and motion control camera equipment that allows for a wide range of movement while keeping things extremely steady.

Benefits of using motion control camera equipment include:
  • Superior Smoothness – unless you’re going for a Blair Witch Project effect, the smoother the shot, the better the end product will be. 
  • Precise Repetitive Motion – with motion control camera equipment, you can better ensure that each take has the same camera movement. 
  • Aids in the Creation of Special Effects – the point above helps in the compositing process and addition of special effects. 
  • Reduces Workload in the Editing Room – the smoother and more precise each shot, the less work and editing that will have to be done post photoshoot. In a world where time equals money, this is extremely important. 
While some motion control equipment has been around for decades (like the dolly), there’s a new crop of camera motion control technologies that are revolutionizing how DPs use their equipment.

Using Remote Pan Tilt Head for Motion Control

Welcome to the world of remote technology. From drones used in the military to motion control camera equipment used in the film industry, the concept of remote control offers its users capabilities that just weren’t possible before. As you can imagine, remote operation significantly expands the number of shots you can get, but the benefits go far beyond that.

With a remote pan tilt head like VariZoom’s CinemaPro models, cameras can be programmed to pan, tilt, focus or zoom to precise specifications, giving DPs the ability to remove human error from the equation. However, programmed movement isn’t the only amazing thing that a remote camera head can accomplish. They can also:
  • Track actions at any speed
  • Create custom motion limits so the camera stays within set parameters
  • Control movements independent of each other to achieve the exact movement needed
  • Wirelessly control the camera from a distance – up to a mile away
  • Be used with a crane or jib for enhanced control when the camera is out of reach
A remote pan tilt head is the ultimate way to stretch the boundaries of camera operation, making it easier than ever to operate a camera. Many systems, such as the VZ-CinemaPro-K4, utilize a joystick (called a jibstick in CinemaPro models) to effortlessly control movement as well as focus and zoom.

As remote technologies become more commonplace, high-tech motion control camera equipment is becoming more and more affordable. Companies like VariZoom are now able to create remote camera head equipment that is budget-friendly enough to be used by smaller productions, but technologically advanced enough to meet the most stringent of requirements. At the rate technology is improving, in the near future we wouldn’t be surprised to see motion control camera equipment being used by DPs who are nowhere near the set.

About the Author: VariZoom manufactures lens control systems, remote camera heads, and motion control camera equipment like the CinemaPro and CinemaPro Jr. series. Professional film equipment from VariZoom is built with quality, care, and attention to detail to give customers cutting edge film capture technology at surprisingly affordable prices. VariZoom’s product selection can be viewed at

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