It seems like every week I read about a new piece of camera gear that makes things easier to film. Oftentimes, the new equipment is expensive, and within a few months it is copied by many companies until it gets incredibly cheap. Take the Movi Camera Stabilizer that came out in 2013 for example. New, it was $15,000 and offered unparalleled electronic stabilization and smoothness in an incredibly light body. Now two years later, there are at least 10 different camera stabilizers on the market that function similarly to the Movi for a fraction of the cost. Even with all the different options for stabilization available, I still use a Glidecam HD-4000 for most of my work. Why? Because I mostly film weddings, and my ideal piece of gear is something that is easy to setup, tear down, and transport. I have yet to hear that said about the Movi or any of these other electronic stabilizers. If I can’t get equipment unloaded and running in 5 minutes, then I will probably miss something during the wedding day.
Recently, Konova sent me a piece of equipment that I believe will fit perfectly into my current wedding workflow. It’s called the Master Pan, and it integrates with Konova’s entire line of camera sliders. If you’ve looked at my previous Konova videos, you may have seen my review of their Radial Dolly; a cool piece of equipment that lets you rotate smoothly around a small object, or an entire room. It works perfectly for filming a wedding ring on a table, or rotating around an entire dance floor as people do the Wobble. The Radial Dolly comes with a big caveat that affects all tabletop dollys, and that is that is must have a completely smooth surface. Your best bet for using it is on a smooth table or dance floor, otherwise the footage looks shaky and rough.
The new Master Pan is Konova’s solution to the shortcomings of all tabletop dollys. It attaches to any Konova Slider and allows for precise, easily replicated, and smooth panning while sliding. Unlike a tabletop dolly, I’m hoping that I can just put my slider on the ground without worrying about the terrain, and get awesome ring shots and other cool shots that require the tripod head to rotate while sliding. I have a few weddings to film in the coming weeks and I will be testing the Master Pan extensively. Expect my full review soon!