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Review: TurnsPro V1-B Motorized Rotating Camera Head

TurnsPro V1-B with Canon EOS 80D

A bit of backstory, I have been wanting to get into video production for real estate. I have been creating ‘mock’ videos from my standard 3:2 photography with the aid of pans and fades, but this is not enough for me, I want smooth 90° to 105° ‘actual’ pans of the rooms. I have looked at many different time-lapse rotating heads, but 60+ minutes to do a rotation is too long per shot, then I found the TurnsPro V1-B.

Let’s start with talking about specs and functionality, the Turnspro can be set to rotate through 15° to 360° in increments of 15° in minimum times from 2 seconds at 15° to 20 seconds at 360° upto a maximum time of 9 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds. Rotation can be set by degrees or complete rotations, while a third option of rotating back and forth at 15° increments is also available.

Operating the unit is very simple, everything is operated from three buttons below the recessed, backlit LCD screen, the middle button powers the unit on and off by pressing and holding for two seconds. The left button changes the values of any given function while the right button commits the setting and moves onto the next setting. The right button doubles as a start/stop button once all settings have been set.

Now, it’s time for my views of its functionality in the real world. This will be a limited use scenario for real estate video production, and you can even argue that the device was not designed for my use case. But, it is what it is; I have no need for the time-lapse functionality, I just need smooth rotation of my DSLR.

I mounted my Canon EOS 80D to the TurnsPro top plate and mounted the TurnsPro itself to my Manfrotto tripod. The 80D is a little wobbly on top of the TurnsPro, but not so much that it feels like it will fall and I noticed a definite 1° to 2° camera lean to the right. Also be very careful when moving the tripod, with the weight of a prosumer DSLR, it can rotate on top of the TurnsPro all by itself while moving the setup.

Rotation is smooth enough if a little clock work ‘tick’ like, and in my testing, once every five or so uses, it’ll get stuck for a few seconds and fails to complete the full 360° turn. I believe this to be weight related as my 80D and EF-S 10-22mm lens weighs in at 2.61lbs and the TurnsPro is rated to hold a maximum weight of 2.2lbs. I can’t criticize the device for this as I am working outside of the recommended use specs.

The TurnsPro comes with a mount for a smartphone, I tested this functionality and it works as advertised as my LG V20 is well under the TurnsPro’s weight limit. So overall, would I recommend it for real estate video use? probably not as it can’t hold anything bigger than a consumer DSLR with kit 18-55mm lens, most higher quality lens will put your DSLR over the maximum recommended weight for the TurnsPro.

That said, for it’s intended use of time-lapse and panoramic photo creation, it works brilliantly, I really cannot fault the TurnsPro for this use case. It works fine for smartphones and smaller point and shoot cameras such as my Canon SX730 HS, sadly I cannot use either of these for real estate as my V20 has major fisheye distortion at its widest setting and my SX730 isn’t anywhere near wide enough.

At 100 US$, it’s a good value compared to other similar devices and offers much more functionality than the majority of time-lapse moving heads on the market. So, for it’s intended purpose, buy it, for real estate, give it a miss as it’s weight limits deem it useless for prosumer and professional grade DSLR’s.

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