The 10 Best Robotic Camera Mounts
This wiki has been updated 12 times since it was first published in January of 2019. Robotic camera mounts allow you to grab smooth shots along a variety of axes. Instead of having to rotate your camcorder by hand, these devices have built-in motors that control one, two, or all three of the following: pan, tilt, and roll. Depending on the model, it may be operated by an attached joystick, a tethered remote, a wireless remote, your smartphone, or even automatically. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
November 11, 2020:
This update was primarily about bringing the list up to our current editorial standards, though we did make a few substantive changes based on our research of the market. Since the term "robotic camera mount" covers a number of different types of motorized heads, we wanted to feature as many of these functionalities as we could. A few items were removed and replaced by more versatile options, since we felt they offered similar quality at a higher value.
If you'd like a mount that offers automatic tracking, the Move N See Pixio boasts an impressive range and is effective at keeping subjects in frame, though it can be cost-prohibitive, especially with the narrow list of cameras it can be paired with. For those working on a budget, the Pivo Pod Silver works with most Android and iOS phones to automatically keep people or objects in frame using an app that comes with the purchase. It isn't quite as precise as the Pixio, though it does come with a remote as well, so if need be, you can make your shot adjustments manually.
For photographers looking to create composite photos, the FeiyuTech Qing comes with preset modes that make it easy to collect the precise shots you need to create sweeping panoramic shots or time-lapse photo sequences, though you'll need a sturdy tripod to ensure the mount's movements don't cause too much shaking. It also functions as a fairly effective gimbal, though the lack of roll control does limit its utility in this capacity. If you're primarily concerned with having a gimbal for steady handheld video or smooth control when mounting on a jib, the Zhiyun Crane 2 and Moza Air 2 are traditional 3-axis options that should offer a good deal of stability.
February 25, 2019:
Robotic camera mounts come in a variety of price ranges. While professional models often cost well into the thousands, we found some units that offer functionality equal to those used on Hollywood film sets, but at a fraction of the price. These include the GigaPan Epic Pro V, Zhiyun Crane 2, Vidpro MH-430, and TigerTilt Motorized. All of the options on our list can be tripod or crane mounted, but some are also suitable for handheld use, such as the Zhiyun Crane 2, FeiyuTech AK2000, Moza Air 2, and Zhiyun Smooth 4. As smartphone cameras continue to increase in quality, more and more people are recording videos with them, which is why we included the Zhiyun Smooth 4. Those on a very tight budget who don't require as much functionality and simply want smooth panning shots can consider the Bescor BEMP101KIT and Zifon YT-260. We included the Move N See Pixio because of its ability to allow one person to film themselves by utilizing its extremely powerful tracking capabilities, but other than having that feature, it does seem overpriced considering the limited overall functionality.
Vinten FHR-155 Industry professionals looking for precision control of their camera's movement and a motor that is almost completely silent should definitely consider this motorized head. It supports up to 155 pounds, which is more than enough for almost any rig, it has integrated software that allows it to track its location in a 3-dimensional space, and it has an ethernet port to connect to robotic pedestals, making even the most complex camera movements completely replicable. vinten.com