Review: Bescor MP-360 Motorized Pan & Tilt Head

Bescor MP-360 Video Motorized Pan Head

I have been on the lookout for an affordable motorized rotating head for my real estate video work. Previously, I had bought a TurnsPro V1-B, which is excellent and feature rich, but it’s payload capability is not enough to hold a full frame DSLR camera and lens, or even a 1.6x crop sensor camera like the 80D, which I owned at the time of purchasing the TurnsPro V1-B, you can read my views on the V1-B here.

Since buying the TurnsPro, I have bought the full frame Canon EOS 6D mkII and EF 16-35 F/4L, which is heavier than the EOS 80D and EF-S 10-22mm USM, being a full frame camera, so I definitely needed a more robust motorized rotating head. And, I took a punt on the Bescor MP-360, which is a modified version of the MP-101, the difference being that the 360 rotates 360° while the 101 stops at 340°.

Let’s get the bi-product of the modification out of the way, the degrees switch no longer does anything, so when auto rotate mode is activated, it will continuously rotate until you stop it, or the batteries run flat. If you need to auto stop the rotation after 45, 90 or 340°, buy the original Bescor MP-101 instead.

The MP-360 is powered by four AA batteries, which seem to have a more than sufficient life in the unit, I have used it on three real estate shoots, 70 to 100 90° pans, and I’m still using the original set of Amazon AA batteries. Rotation speed is between 40 and 90 seconds for a full 360° using the included wired remote, an automatic 360° rotation is the same as the faster remotely controlled speed of 40 seconds.

In addition to rotation, the MP-360 can tilt +/-15°, which for my use case is redundant, but might be useful for leveling out shots for stills. Using the remote, it is possible to pan and tilt at the same time.

When recording video during rotation, I would definitely recommend using 60fps, if your camera allows. I tested using 30fps and 60fps, using 30fps, the rotation seemed a little jittery, and very noticeable when using the 40-second rotation. While using 60fps, it is buttery smooth, even when using the faster rotation speed. Using the slower 90-second rotation, the jitter is lessened, but still noticeable using 30fps.

Your camera connects to a fixed plate via a 1/4in screw mount and to a tripod via a 1/4in screw hole. The unit can also be powered by 6 volt DC adapter, which is not included, I would think a generic multi-voltage adapter would work just fine, obviously making sure it is set to 6v DC power before plugging in.

Finally, we come to the reason I could not use the TurnsPro V1-B, the payload carrying ability and the MP-360 works brilliantly in that regard, it can hold a camera and lens weighing in at up to six (6) pounds, which should cover a large range of cameras and lenses, with the exception of larger mega-zoon lenses.

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