I’m here today to tell you about a new
product from a familiar company eMotimo. Last year, I reviewed this little box
right here. This is the eMotimo TB3 Black. This is a two-axis camera robot. It
can do panning and tilting. It’s programmable, and it also has a built-in
intervalometer. As video producers, we won’t necessarily be using an
intervalometer a lot, but it is great for moving a camera with smooth motion from
point A to point B and not have to worry about having large equipment, heavy
equipment, expensive equipment. You can have something that is relatively cost
effective that you can throw in a bag and take just about anywhere. Or have it
in a cabinet in your studio and be able to pull out when you need it without it
taking up a lot of unnecessary room. Now I’ve already reviewed the TB3 itself in
the past. Last year, I reviewed it with a four foot
rail system from Rhino Camera Gear which is very similar to the new product we’re
going to talk about today, but a little bit different. And you’ll see some of the
differences in a few minutes. If you want to see the review of the TB3 with the
Rhino rails, you can search in the search box of Streaming Media Producer up at
the top of each page. Just search for TB3 or eMotimo, and it will come up there.
Today, we’re going to be looking at the eMotimo Cart. This is a product they
introduced in early 2015, and it is similar to the rail system, but it’s
distinct. First of all, this thing does not have to be tied to a specific place.
It doesn’t have to be used in conjunction with a tripod or feet. It’s
got its own set of wheels, and it’s got its own power. So you can set an angle
with this large nut here to determine what kind of arc you want for your shot.
You can go in a straight line or anywhere from here to 90 degrees in
either direction. The construction is high-quality. It’s machined out of
aluminum it’s got a nice semi-matte black finish. And it’s easy to put
together. When it comes in a box, you’ve got each wheel separate. And then you’ve
got the axle and the main body that simply go together with a couple of
washers o-rings for traction and then these wing nuts here.
So putting it together is easy. Getting it ready to go is easy, so let’s just
talk about how it performs. Once the power’s hooked up, you’ve got your cable
connecting here to the motor on the Cart. That uses the aux motor port on the TB3.
Once everything is powered on and hooked up, if you’re gonna be doing a time-lapse
where you want the box to control the camera, you’ll use a camera cable that’ll
plug into another port and go into your camera shutter cable port. If you’re not
going to be using one of those then you don’t need to worry about it. If you’re
just gonna shoot some real-time video, you don’t need to plug anything into the
camera from the TB3 because it’s just going to move the camera. Once it’s
powered on and connected to your controller, you simply advance to the
second screen and then you’re ready to set your first point of motion. So you
can then control the Cart’s position taking care not to run over any cords if
you have AC power. And your tilt and pan is controlled with the joystick on top. So I’m just gonna set up a simple A-B,
point one to point two shot here. So I’m gonna start with kind of a low angle. Make sure this is locked good and tight,
and I’ll set that as point A. Now I’ll move the Cart… to point B. And I want to be tilting up
during this and then maybe panning a little bit. So I’ve got my program set.
Now, all I have to do is finish going through the other settings including the
ramping that I wanted to do the easing in and easing out. And then I’ll tell it
to run the program. Now the Cart is not going to be a perfect solution for
everything. You can’t take it everywhere. You can’t
shoot everywhere with it. You’re limited by the wheels that have to be on the
ground. So even if you’re on an asphalt driveway, there’s gonna be too many bumps
and ridges in there to shoot something smooth. If you’re planning to use it on
an imperfect surface, you will have to also plan on doing some stabilization in
post. However, if you have a nice smooth concrete surface like I have on my porch
or many of you have in your studios you’ll be fine. However if I move the Cart
just a few feet behind me onto the wooden slats I’d be out of luck except
if I ran them in the direction with the slats that they weren’t going over the
bumps between the boards. The bottom line is this. At less than $400 the Cart can
make a good addition to your camera gear whether you already have a TB3 or not.
But there’s gonna be a lot of instances where you’ll really just want a set of
rails or a dolly instead of something that has to go on the ground.