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Genie: Motion Control Timelapse Device

Motion control timelapse device

Genie, by Chris Thomson & Ben Ryan

The Genie! A simple, affordable and extremely easy to use device used for motion control and image capture for Time Lapse Photography + more. The Genie is an all-in-one device used to combine image capture with motion control, capable of either panning or linear movement that’s commonly used in Time Lapse Photography. Simply attach your camera to the top of the Genie, plug it in, and program it to move and shoot to your desired needs.

The Panning and Linear accessories provide ultimate flexibility for a range of movement and it’s transportable size means you will never have to go without the option of motion controlled Time Lapses no matter how constrained your location may be.


Panning or Linear Mode. The Genie can be setup to record either panning or linear time lapses. Attached to any standard tripod head or legs the Genie connects to your camera and is programmed to move and shoot in a panning direction at your desired speed. To switch between modes simply detach the panning accessory and attach the linear accessory. This is commonly used with sliders or dollies so the Genie can now drive in a linear direction along a track to capture perfectly smooth tracking time lapses.

User Presets.

A lot of time has been spent refining the Software on the Genie to make it extremely easy to use. Being able to save presets into the recording menu is one of the key features. This means that if you are happy with your final time lapse then you can simply save your settings into the recording menu so that you can easily revert back to them at another location. The time between setting up your shot and pressing 'Start' is drastically reduced resulting in an increased possibility that you will get the shot you're after.

Preview Mode.

Preview mode allows you to watch your time lapse movement before starting your camera move. Once you have your time lapse settings refined you can simply press preview and the genie will drive at the 'real time' speed of your final time lapse movement. This means you can refine exactly how fast or slow your final speed of movement will be, once again increasing the chance of getting your desired shot. In this mode it is also possible to record perfectly smooth real time video shots such as panning or slider shots. (Note that there are some limitations to how fast the Genie can drive).


Our research and experience with Motion Control equipment indicates that often film makers will put it in the 'too hard basket'. We believe much of this reasoning comes about due to bulky and heavy equipment. It's easy to rule out the option of taking your motion control kit along with the rest of your camera gear particularly in constraining environments such as in the wilderness or around cities. With the Genie all components are packaged into one neat device with integrated screen, keypad, motor, batteries and controller all inside one unit. This allows you to always have the option of Motion Control time lapse whether you need it or not; as it easily fits alongside your camera in a standard camera bag.


The Genie has an interface port that allows users to connect a variety of sensors including light, motion and sound sensors that will trigger the genie to start a recording, take a photo or take multiple photos.

This application will be primarily valuable for Natural History and Nature Documentaries where capturing animals in remote locations is difficult. The sensor port also allows for integration with smart phones providing additional functionality via updateable external mobile Apps.

Smartphone App.

Currently a mobile App for android and Iphones is in development. This will allow full control of the Genie and the various settings from your smartphone.

According to Engadget, Genie will cost $1000.

Visit: Syrp | Kickstarter

Sources: Cinescopophilia | Engadget