The Konova Smart Head Setup Tutorial and Review

SliderIn the 8 months since I posted my Pagosa timelapse short film, I have become even more obsessed with shooting timelapses.  For most of the weddings I film, I now bring along my Konova motion control rig and try to shoot a few timelapses of every venue.  It adds an amazing dynamic to the video, and makes for some really unique shots.  The setup has been quick and easy, and I can often program it and leave it to run while I film other things.  I’ve really begun to wonder how I shot timelapses without it.  With that in mind though, I still come across shots and angles where a better perspective is needed than even the slider allows.  This is where the Konova Smart Head really shines.  Konova sent me one a while back and I have been bringing it along to the weddings I shoot.  The Smart Head has been great for adding two extra axes of motion to my current setup.

The best part about the Smart Head, aside from it allowing for panning and tilting in timelapses, is the integration with other Konova products.  It was purpose built to mount to my slider, so it all works in harmony.  This is ideal for cinematographers that build up their equipment over time.  You can start off with a slider, then add a motion control rig to it, and even later you can add the Smart Head.  I can even expand further if I purchase one of the Konova Slider Jibs.  If you didn’t want to buy a slider first, you could just buy the Smart Head and Smart Motion Controller and use those together on a tripod for great results as well.  All this expandability has been great for my business because I’ve had people begin hiring me specificially because I have a motion controlled timelapse rig now.  It isn’t financially feasible to spend a lot of money and buy everything at once, but the ability to expand and upgrade exactly when I want is great.

The Konova Smart Head is a great choice, especially if you already have a Konova slider and Smart Motion Controller.  NAB is coming up in a few months, and I am excited to see the future video equipment that Konova releases.  I’m sure it will be great and integrate well with my current rig.  As always, I am not being paid by Konova for any of this, but they did send me the Smart Head for testing and review purposes.

Interested in having me film a review of your company’s gear?  Please contact me!

  1. There are two things that confuse and frustrate me with this smart head set up. Maybe you can shine some light on these…
    1. Most day-to-night timelapses (or night-to-date) I would shoot in Av mode. That way i end up with sharp people/cars/movement transitioning to smooth light streaks as the light goes down. But that also means that shutter speed will often go from around 1/100 at 5pm to 20-30sec by 7.30pm . And the konova head doesn't seem to understand that the shutter has changed, and with a short interval setting, the whole head and slider will move during actual exposure, more than once at times. And I don't want to set interval to 30+sec from the start, because then the day shots come out jarring and also i would need to start the timelapse couple hours sooner to get enough frames…

    2. Secondly – the damn pan/tilt head moves too fast. There's a clear difference between 1% and 100% when shooting live action, but during timelapse, even if i set it to cut angle of 0.2 (slowest possible, i understand?), it's still too damn fast. I generally want just enough movement to give nice sense of motion – not to completely reframe my shot. Meanwhile, this head goes flying. It takes some 10-15min only for the camera to go from looking at the sky to looking at the ground. That's with ramp feature – without that it's even faster. This makes it impossible to shoot a 2-3hour sunset timelpase with a nice smooth tilt/pan… So why can't the angle be lesser than 0.2? With ramp setting at 100%, the head does move gradually slower/faster, so obviously this is possible from the technical side…

    any ideas would be appreciated. I got a big shoot for a client starting tomorrow, and i'm already anticipating having to shoot all my timelapses manually – as those issues are just getting on my nerves…

  2. Awesome man,
    An impressive and interesting information about Konova smart head, it's features and specification is too much.
    Thanks for sharing and great effort or enjoyed to reading this article.

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