- Small, lightweight, and easily portable
- Intuitive and simple to use
- Fantastic companion app for wireless control (with more features on the way)
- Loaded for bear with features
- Quick and easy setup
- Swappable batteries between units
In this Syrp Genie II review, I offer my take on the Syrp Genie II Linear and Syrp Genie II Pan Tilt motion control devices. I utilized this rig on my recent trip to Norway and have based my review primarily on that experience.
As I've mentioned in recent articles on PhotographyTalk, I'm really getting into video creation.
For the most part, I'm focusing on gear reviews and photography tip videos, but timelapse work is in the mix as well.
I've created a few timelapses over the years, but have never really gotten into it because I have so much else going on.
Syrp Genie II Review: Ease of Use
The first thing you need to know about the Syrp Genie II devices is that they are incredibly easy to use.
I mean, even if you have zero timelapse photography experience, you can set these things up and create some pretty epic stuff.
On the hardware side, the Genie II Linear can attach to any slider on the market. It'll attach to cable cam systems as well - up to 328 feet in length, in fact.
Meanwhile, the Genie II Pan Tilt can attach to a tripod or a slider. Using the two devices together gives you three-axis motion control.
That's a huge bonus because you can quickly upgrade your ability to create timelapse videos (and real-time videos too) and do so without having to lug around a bunch of heavy gear.
On the software side, Syrp has created devices that give you tons of control with easy-to-use features.
The Genie II Linear, for example, has key-framing, B-roll, and timelapse features at present, with future features to include live view shooting and camera control for ramping exposures.
The Genie II Linear is wirelessly controllable from any Android or iOS device as well.
Just like the Genie II Linear, the Genie II Pan Tilt comes pre-loaded with software that enables you to create key-frames, real-time videos, and timelapse videos.
The built-in screen is handy if you need to make quick adjustments and can't reach your phone, and the built-in joystick allows for fast setup and repositioning of the device.
You can also create multi-row panoramas with the Pan Tilt. That means that high-resolution gigapixel images are easily within your reach! You'll can control panoramic shooting from the Genie II App as well.
Future firmware updates will add the functionality of full live view camera control and motion control via the app, as well as automated bulb ramping and timelapse compiling. That means that as good as this thing is now, it'll only get better in the future!
See the Genie II App in action in the video above.
Ready to gear up for timelapse videos? Get the Syrp Genie II Linear today.
Syrp Genie II Review: Build Quality
As noted earlier, the Genie II Linear and Genie II Pan Tilt are both small little things, so you can get motion control in the field without being weighed down with a ton of heavy gear.
The Genie II Linear is scarcely more than 4.5-inches wide and 2.75-inches tall and weighs only two pounds. The Pan Tilt is 5.5-inches wide, about 8.5-inches tall, tips the scales at three pounds.
In other words, these two devices can easily fit in your backpack or camera bag without taking up too much room.
Aside from being small and lightweight, both of these Genie II devices are built like a tank.
As I noted in the introduction, I took these rigs to Norway in the dead of winter, and they performed beautifully.
The weather was great (albeit cold), so I didn't test them out in snowy conditions, though I suspect a few flakes wouldn't hamper these devices in any way, shape, or form.
When looking at the Genie II Linear and Genie II Pan Tilt, you can tell that the folks at Syrp spent a lot of time considering the build quality and design of these devices.
They feel solid in the hand, and as I can attest, they can stand up to lengthy intercontinental travel without issue. There were some bumps and bruises along the way, but as any photographer does, I had these things secured safely in my padded camera bag so they came through unscathed.
Best of all, these units are heavy enough to not be wobbly as they move through the motion sequence, yet they're light enough to add in your camera bag without feeling bogged down with a ton of weight. That's a great combination!
Add pan and tilt capabilities to your kit with the Syrp Genie II Pan Tilt Head. Get yours now.
Syrp Genie II Review: Performance
In field testing in Norway, I was pleasantly surprised at how well the Genie II components performed.
Though they can be used independently of one another, I used the Genie II Linear and Genie II Pan Tilt together for three-axis motion control.
The units are super easy to put together and setup.
The Pan Tilt shows its position in degrees for both axes on the built-in screen, and is accurate to 0.01mm. If you use the Genie II App, you can easily connect via WiFi or Bluetooth to change and review settings quickly and easily.
The Genie II Linear, meanwhile, has a quick-release plate with varying thread sizes so it can be mounted to a camera, a ball head, or as I did, to the Pan Tilt.
It has a built-in joystick (shown above), just like the Pan Tilt, so you can make quick adjustments to the device. It's also controllable via the Genie II app.
Regarding the Genie II App, it's also very easy to use and performs well in the field.
The app is user-friendly and intuitive to use, and comes preloaded with various shot settings to get you started with timelapses. You can also set up new settings of your own making.
I had the Genie II devices set up on a slider, but you can add the Genie II Linear to a cable cam or a dolly. The Syrp team has even produced videos in which the Genie II Linear is sitting on a skateboard!
In my setup, the Genie II components moved smoothly, even in the frigid temperatures.
In fact, the only issue I had was that the Pan Tilt's battery showed a "low charge" error. However, I removed the battery, reseated it, and the error went away.
Had the battery been dead, it would have been easy to swap in another battery (both devices take the same battery). Alternatively, the Pan Tilt has three USB-C ports and the Genie II Linear has two USB-C ports, so charging the devices that way would have been an option (both devices will also work while they're charging, which is convenient).
Other than that, this setup was quick and easy to use and performed beautifully.
Syrp Genie II Review: Final Thoughts
I had the opportunity to use the previous versions of the Genie and Pan Tilt, and they were fantastic.
But the second iteration of these devices is even better, with smoother, quieter operation and an upgraded app experience that truly makes creating videos a breeze.
Like I said earlier, I'm not a terribly experienced timelapse videographer, but these Genie II devices made me feel much more confident and capable while I was in Norway shooting timelapse videos of the Northern Lights.
As far as the advantages of these devices go, there are many:
As for the downside, honestly the only issue is the price. The Pan Tilt starts at $1,599.00 and the Genie II Linear is $899.00, so they aren't exactly cheap devices.
That being said, you can easily spend much more than that on less capable motion-control setups. Besides, you really do get what you pay for and it shows. These things are worth every single penny if you ask me!