Does Anyone Use A Powered Panning Head For Real Estate Video?

October 8th, 2015

PanningHeadBill recently asked:

I would like to ask if anyone is using a powered panning head for real estate video, I am using a slider but sometimes a nice clean pan shot is what I want and I am too jerky for smooth pan.

Powered, panning heads are frequently used to control cameras on poles or for making complex moves while doing time-lapse video. However, for just video panning on a tripod, the way to insure smooth pans is to use a quality fluid video head.

With a powered head you can only make it pan at a fixed rate or pre-program it ahead of time to pan a specific way. Compared to manually controlling a fluid head I think controlling a head like this with a remote controller is very awkward.

Is anyone using a powered panning head other than poles and time-lapse?

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9 Responses to “Does Anyone Use A Powered Panning Head For Real Estate Video?”

  • Hi,
    We used the Mslider system for our video:

    An advantage of the Mslider system is that you can use the axis on the slider or separately

  • Regarding about panning heads for poles and speedlights, here’s a good one:

  • I use a Manfrotto 504HD fluid head and it was a game changer for me. It offers silky smooth pans and because of the variable friction control it is very easy to achieve consistent speed from one pan to the next. I have a motorized slider, Rhino EVO 42″, which is great for slider shots. But, I’m totally satisfied with my 504HD. Additionally, I have Manfrotto 536 sticks and I’m able to place the 42″ slider on the sticks without any additional stabilization – no need for two sets of sticks on each end. BTW – I put a quick release plate on the bottom of my 405 geared head and I put that on top of the 504HD fluid head to improve the efficiency of my shoots. This allows me to take stills and then take a video pan without changing heads… all basically at the same time. I just turn the fan on after I’m done with my stills. I remove the 405 when it’s time for a slider shot.

    Here is a finished production from two days ago with the slider and the 504HD head.

  • That’s gorgeous, Art! Really beautiful. And I really like how you’re using really subtle text.

  • Take a look at DitoGear ( Not cheap.

    for a sample.

  • I haven’t found a need for a powered panning head. As Orlando mentioned the Manfrotto 504HD fluid head makes this a lot easier. That said, you’ll want to practice all your shots. Also try playing with the pan heads friction adjustment. A little friction helps. And with friction I add a thick rubber band to pull my pan. It acts as a shock absorber and is also useful for pulling your slider.

  • I’m with Malia!

    Art, that is a gorgeous video.

  • The panning head Larry showed at the top is super affordable ($100?) but also too fast for pans. If you are technical you can replace the potentiometer in the controller to slow it down. I use the DJI Ronin-M for walkthroughs; it comes with a remote control and a stand. So, if you put it on it’s stand you can use the remote for 3 axis movement which, for me, is much smoother than hand held.

  • These video’s are beautiful. I’m definitely considering to buy one, which head do you suggest for an affordable price?

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