Syrp is just about to release the Genie Mini as an addition to it’s family of motion control devices but I got my hands on one early to test it out and share with all of you. I have had the opportunity to use the Mini by itself and with the full-size Genie for a dozen or more time lapse photography shoots in the past few weeks and I was really impressed with the outcome.
First off, what is the Genie Mini? It is a pocket-sized motor for panning time lapse and video shots controlled by a phone app. Add it to the Syrp Genie motor and you have a smooth, 2-axis move that will bring your time lapse to the next level.
Full disclosure here, this is a paid sponsorship but I am going to tell you my true thoughts on these Syrp products and how they have worked for me.
My favorite thing about this motion control system is just how easy it is to setup. Put your Genie or Genie Mini on a tripod, add a camera on top, plug it in and you are ready to capture side to side panning movement. Really, that is pretty much it. Add a ball head adapter to the top for more adjustment options but the camera will mount directly onto the motor.
The Genie has an easy-to-use menu on the back that offers presets or full customization for the motion. Tell it how far it should move and how long you want it to take, then preview the movement with a real-time play button. The same menu is available for the Genie Mini through a phone app available on iOS and Android.
For a dolly move, snap the Genie onto a slider. It will work on any slider or rail system but I have been using it with the Syrp Magic Carpet because, again, it is so easy to set up. Now, instead of side-to-side panning, the Genie motor will dolly. Add the Mini into the mix though and this is where that 2-axis move I mentioned earlier comes in. The Genie Mini screws on to the top of the Genie and now you have the ability to both dolly and pan through the movement. The whole unit can be controlled from the menu on the Genie.
I saved the best for last. The best part about this setup is the affordability. We have seen setups similar to this for 1- or 2-axis moves but they were so expensive. This setup is not in that world. The Genie Mini is only $249 and is a great entry point for someone just getting into time lapse. If that is you, I recommend getting the Mini to get you started, but pretty soon you are going to want to upgrade and get the full-sized Genie as well. Added to the Magic Carpet slider and you can have an entire motion control system for about $1500.
I was initially concerned with the height of the whole unit. The Genie, Genie Mini, a ball head mount and the camera all sitting on a slider seemed too tall. I haven’t experienced any issues with this in using it, though. It is all very secure and the camera did not wobble or shake during the time lapse. I don’t know what the weight limit is here, but it worked fine with a Canon 5D Mark III with a 24-70mm lens. I imagine though that in a high-wind situation there is a potential for swaying.
The only other issue I had was to noise of the motor. It is a bit loud if you are trying to record audio so this setup would not be ideal for an interview setup but there are certainly work arounds for that.
Truly this is a great line of products from Syrp. I cannot wait to get out and use it some more and really recommend that you check out the Genie Mini, Genie and Magic Carpet. Let me know what you think of these pieces in the comments below. Keep those cameras rollin’ and keep on clickin’.
Hi, this is Jay P. Morgan. Today on The Slanted Lens we’re going to review a new slider motion series by Syrp. Not syrup, but Syrp. Let’s take a look, see what it can do.
This is a paid sponsorship, but I’m going to give you my true feelings about this equipment and how it worked for me. I’ve used it several times now. I’ve got a pretty good sense of how it works. So let’s break this down and see what we’ve got here.
This is a slider called the Magic Carpet, you know, bloooo ooo, Magic Carpet. Well it’s just cool because it’s a hard slider, double rail, it’s got a carriage that goes across it. You can slide the carriage on from the end. The carriage has ropes, the ropes pull when you put a motor on it.
But here’s what’s nice about this system, is it comes with this plate on the slider. Now I simply take what’s called the Genie, the Genie drops onto this plate. As soon as I get it to pop into place. I don’t see any red, then it’s in place. This now will drive the slider back and forth. You’ve got a one axis move here.
Or I can pop this off and it comes with another plate, same plate as it is on this slider. This now goes on my tripod. And when I snap this onto my tripod it now becomes a panning device. So this is going to give us our motion back and forth, then we can just simply put ball head on, we’re ready to go.
They do have a thing that’s called the Genie Mini. This does the very same that this does on a tripod, in that you can just simply…it’s got a three-eighths on the bottom of it, you can put it on the tripod, and now you’ve got a one axis, panning, time lapse device. You bring this up on your phone. You pair it to the app on your phone. You set how far you want it to pan, like how far you want it to go. You set the interval, you set all those things up. This is the whole thing. This does what this does, for one axis move, a panning move.
Does the same thing that the Genie does, the Genie Mini, but you run it from your phone. This one all has menus on the back, and you run it from the menus on the back. Now when you combine these two together, you now have a two axis setup which is fabulous.
You can just put your camera on here. Its got a quarter-twenty, it’s got the five-eighths inch sleeve on here right now, but it has a quarter-twenty. Put your camera right on top of there and just let the camera pan back and forth, or just let it dolly back and forth. Or we put this on, ball head gives us a little more adjustment, so we can adjust the angle of the camera. And the camera goes on top, ta da.
The thing that’s fabulous about this is we’ve seen this kind of equipment for years, but it’s always been very, very expensive, this is not in that world. The Genie is just under $800. The Genie Mini is under $300. So for under $1500 you’ve got a complete time lapse kit, you can take out on location.
But the nice thing about this, and we’ll go into it when we do a lesson on this, is you just have to play with the menus. On the Genie the menus are fabulous. You get to go in and you get to set what kind of interval you want. You set the length of time you want it to go. It tells you how long your time lapse is going to end up being. It’s just extremely easy to use. I’ve had other sliders, and other slider kits, and its always been very difficult to make that happen.
You have to test it and figure it out. Probably my favorite feature, and I used it over and over and over again when I was out shooting with this thing is they have a play button, it shows me the entire move.
So I just simply put my camera in video mode, on the back I hit play, and it shows me that the camera is going to go from here to here, and then the camera is going to pan up here, with the Genie Mini, and I see exactly what the time lapse is going to cover. Then I hit back to start, it moves back to start. I put my camera back on photography, I hit start and it starts my time lapse.
It may take three hours to go that distance, but I can look at in real-time, really quickly, see exactly what it’s going to cover, gives me an idea of what I’m going to get. That feature I thought was fabulous.
As much as I love the Genie, I love the Genie Mini even more. That’s something you can throw in your camera bag and you’ve got this wonderful time lapse. Get it on your phone, you can see exactly what you’re going to do with it.
Concerns I had were the height of this and I thought, “Is this going to give me some kind of motion?” But you know what? I’ve had no problem with that whatsoever. I’ve shot 15 or 20 different time lapse sequences with it now, and I’ve had not motion issues whatsoever. It’s very tightly connected, it works without any problem. It’s not flopping around on me.
Second one was I was worried about the motor being a little loud, and you know what, it’s a little loud on set. You kind of have to back it away from your setup just a little bit and not get it right in next to where your microphone’s at. You know, quite frankly, it’s no louder than the light we’re using on set right now. So those were the two things I was concerned about and I feel like they’re certainly situations you can work around without any problem.
I’ve had no trouble with weight limit with either of these devices. I’ve used the Mark III with a 24-70 millimeter lens on the Mini and on the regular Genie. Worked flawlessly. I know if you put it in a total vertical lift that this motor will only be able to lift about three pounds. But that’s why they have the green pulleys on the end so you can counterweight the camera. So it’s not trying to lift all that weight and it allows you to lift the camera as well. So there’s work arounds for that situation. I’m not sure how heavy you can get on this. I just know I’ve used the Mark III with a 24-70.
Also, it’s important to know that you can put the Genie on any slider. I can put it on my old Kessle Semi Slider. It’s got Velcro straps that go on each end. Uses a cable to pull itself back and forth, riding on the carriage of whatever slider that you own. So it’s a great motor device to put onto any slider that you already have.
So the guys at Syrp did a great job putting this together, at absolutely more than two thumbs up. I think it’s an economic entry point for people who want to do time lapse; that is not only inexpensive, but it’s also extremely easy to use. You don’t have to have a ton of experience doing time lapse to be able to make this work for you.
And I think that’s really its greatest advantage. If I were you and you’ve never done any time lapse and you just want to play with it, buy the Genie Mini. Just throw it on your tripod, take it out and start doing some lapse using the app on your phone, and you’ll find it a simple way to get started and kind of play with
that world. Pretty quick you’ll be buying the Genie because you’re going to want that two axis setup, but take a look at it and see what you think. So keep those cameras rolling, keep on clicking.
Don’t estimate alone, don’t stand out in the cold all by yourself trying to put together an estimate, go to theslantedlens.com/estimating. I’ve got a digital download that will teach you everything you need to know. You don’t have to be alone any longer.
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