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Tripod adapter that automatically follows with pan and tilt
  • Hi,

    I have a question.

    I have come across a product that is quite fascinating.

    You can see it here:

    The website

    http://www.swivl.com/about/

    Some videos with and about it




    It is a tripod adapter, that has a sender and a receiver.
    Where ever the sender moves, the receiver follows.
    Panning and tilting.

    So if you do not have a cameraman but move in front of the camera, this is ideal.

    The problem is, that it omly works with smartphones, preferably IPhones and light point and shoot cameras up to 6 ounces.

    So my question is:
    Does anybody know of a similar product, that would work with a GH2 ?

    Thanks in advance and happy new year.

  • 14 Replies sorted by
  • Interesting stuff.
    With bigger cameras it needs some very good quality motors, bearings, and preferably, some fluid damping.
    Problem is with a small niche for such product.

    Extremely miniature transmitter and USB based device allowing ultra fast focusing on exact point (with offset specified) could be real saver for small TV projects and series.
    I had few sketches and specifications made.
  • Yes, I really like the idea behind that product and really would like to see a slightly bigger version for our cameras.
  • I prefer to pan and tilt myself. It's cheaper and better.
  • I expect it's possible to do something similar if you're handy with electronics. I'm currently researching how to build an automatic (laptop controlled) follow focus, so if I get that working it might be possible to add panning too.

    One would think that dismantling this device and adding beefier motors and shell would be an easy way to beef this thing up to work with larger cameras.
  • @Brian 202020
    Well, yes, me too, but I do have situations, where I teach and I wantr to record myself during the teaching.
    And then it is hard to pan and tilt at the same time....

    Sure it is only in certain special situations, where this makes sense.
  • Slightly OT but remote pan/tilt or even pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) cameras are really useful if you're doing a mulicamera webcast and you're operating on your own. Feed into a software vision mixer and you have a great one-man video setup where you can both aim and select cameras.

    The difference is that those are remotely controlled rather than auto-tracking so in that situation you don't need great quality bearings or motors since you are only moving cameras while they are not visible on the final output.

    I could possibly imagine this auto tripod with a high-power LED torch clipped to it instead of a camera - you'd get an automatic follow-spot! That could be fun - or it might get annoying after a while!
  • Engaget said it would work with point and shoots, I don't know why it wouldn't work with a GH2 and pancake lens.
  • If you don't mind wearing a 360 degree prism on your head then strap your GH2 to a Robotic Total Station and it will automatically track/follow you at walking speed.
    The Leica Geosystems TS15 will even measure the distance and take a 5MP photo.
    For a slightly cheaper foray into this consider the 3D Laser disto.
  • Any kinect based solutions known? Would be perfect to use open NI driver to track person.
  • My swivl got delivered a couple days ago. Made this video:

    and posted some more thoughts and pics on my blog: http://tvpglabs.com/2012/04/03/swivl-review-with-the-gh2/ The GH2 exceeds the weight limit of the unit by 2x even with a pancake lens attached, but it does still have some functional features when using it with the camera. But you also have to sacrifice some things like the vertical tilt and built in microphone features.

  • I had this very same idea years ago.. never did anything with it.. very cool, wish it were bigger a gopro hd2 may be good on it.. or hacked GF3 may may be small enough with the 14mm 2.5 and some sort of mount to set it back a bit ont he mount

  • Mr_Moore - Thanks!

    Ebacherville, yeah a GF might do better. I don't have one, so there's no way for me to test it. I do like the way the GH2's articulating screen allows you to see yourself as you're shooting.

  • When I first heard about Fleye I pictured that they were doing the same thing. It didn't turn out to be the case, as they simply tag the times when RFID tags are in range of their fixed camera. Regardless, interesting to see the proliferation of robot camera operators in their various forms.