Many years have passed since the Syrp brand began to make its way into the world of cinema thanks to its products. In this article I will review both the Genie 2 Linear and the Genie Mini 2.
The motorized system of Syrp guarantees control up to 3 axes, all comfortably controlled by our smartphone or tablet via the dedicated app, available for both Android and iOS systems.
Using this system for the creation of timelpases only, I decided to start with a system that would guarantee control on two axes simultaneously, reducing overall dimensions and weight, while at the same time maintaining a competitive price. These features, from my point of view, are extremely important during long treks, as well as the simplicity of use and assembly. Based on your needs, you can evaluate which combination of devices is best suited to your needs.
Right from the start the impression was extremely positive, the design turns out to be refined and functional, conveying a feeling of robustness despite the small size. Let's now see in detail the two devices and the various accessories inside the package.
GENIE 2 LINEAR
Compact, attractive design and with numerous details that make it functional and easy to use. Before going into detail let's see the main features. Compared to the previous version, we find numerous differences, most of which make the product even more attractive. First of all, the weight has been reduced from 1.5Kg. to 890gr. (including the cable for movement). The dimensions have also decreased, in particular the height, giving greater system stability. A joystick has been added that allows you to move the Genie 2 Linear directly along the slider, an extremely useful feature in many situations. Compared to the previous version, however, there is no longer a display that allows you to set the various work parameters directly from the device, in fact now everything will be set directly from the app from the mobile device. Furthermore, it will no longer be possible to use it to make a pan movement which is instead possible in the first version.
To connect our video camera, two different input ports have been provided, the first an Aux port while the second is a USB Type-C port, which will also be used to recharge our device.
The Genie Linear 2, unlike the Genie Mini 2, is powered by an interchangeable 11.1V and 2600mAh battery, positioned in the dedicated housing under the removable top plate. In the latter we have the possibility to decide whether to use a ¼ "or 3/8" fixing screw according to our needs through a quick coupling.
On the side below we find a 3/8 ”hole which is used to attach it to our slider. To facilitate the operation, a wheel has been prepared on the side which allows the device to be locked in the correct position. If we are going to use the original Syrp slider you will have the possibility to use the quick coupling provided on the lower profile of the Genie 2 Linear.
In fact, it will be necessary to correctly orient the Genie Linear 2 so that the towing cable is aligned with the slider (on the instructions in the package it will be illustrated what the correct positioning of the cable is). Two universal supports can also be supplied which can be fixed to your slider if you do not use the original one, so that you can easily fix the tow cable.
Dimension: 11.5x11.5x6.5 cm;
Compatibility: Genie Mini II, Genie Mini (prima edizione), Genie II Pan Tilt, Slingshot, qualunque tipo di slider;
Battery life on time-lapse mode: 14 hrs;
Battery life on video mode: 8 hrs;
Linear load: 7,5 Kg;
Vertical load: 2,5 Kg. (4 Kg. with balanced);
Min. resolustion: 0.01 mm;
Max. linear speed: 110mm/s.
In the package we find the following components:
Genie 2 Linear;
2 universal slider supports;
USB Type-C cable;
USB-C male / USB-A female cable;
¼ "- 3/8" adapter;
Connectors for charging via wall socket (Euro / AU / NZ / USA / UK standard);
Micro fiber cloth with the Syrp logo.
GENIE mini 2
The feature that struck me most was the compactness. In fact, the Genie Mini 2 fits comfortably in a trouser pocket, allowing us to take it anywhere even on short trips and weighs only 250 gr. In addition to the button dedicated to the ignition, we find: a USB Type-C port dedicated to charging the device and an Aux port necessary to connect our video camera instead. In some cameras, the connection can also be made via the USB-C port. In the upper part we find a ¼ "screw, while on the opposite side we will have a 3/8" female hole.
Dimensions: 9.2x9.2x4.6 cm;
Compatibility: Genie Mini (prima edizione), Genie II Linear;
Battery life on time-lapse mode: 15 hrs;
Battery life on video mode: 6 hrs;
Pan load: 4 Kg;
Tilt load: 3 Kg;
Min. resolution: 0.005°;
Max. speed: 10.7°/s.
The package also includes: a USB Type-C cable required for charging, a USB-C male / USB-A female cable, a microfibre cloth and finally the instructions for use in English.
After a series of evaluations I chose to buy a third party slider. This is made possible by the fact that the Syrp system can be adapted on any type of slider, even on home-made solutions. As length I opted for the 80 cm one, which I think may be the right compromise, especially in the case it will be used during trekking.
The slider is supplied with the respective case to protect it and facilitate its transport. Although it is not of a noble brand, it has a simple but refined design and has all the necessary features to guarantee excellent versatility.
It is made of anodized aluminum alloy. The tubulars that act as guides are made of carbon fiber, which make the entire structure rigid but light. There are also 60/100/120 cm versions of the same brand. On the sliding slide we find a small level to simplify its correct positioning. In the lower part there is a plate for fixing to the stand with 3 3/8 "holes and 2 1/4" holes. The slider is equipped as standard with 4 adjustable feet positioned on the two on the ends. In correspondence with the latter we find a 3/8 "hole and two ¼" holes extremely useful for fixing the slider to a different stand or support.
In summary, the internal system weighs "just" 2.7 kg:
Genie 2 Linear = 890 gr. (including the tow cable);
Genie Mini 2 = 250 gr. Connection cable = 15 gr.
Slider 80 cm = 1.55 kg (excluding the transport bag);
The bag supplied with the slider weighs about 400 gr., While the two universal cable tents that we find included with the Genie Linear 2 weigh 35 gr. each.
Once the entire motorized system has been assembled, we can start the proprietary Syrp app from our mobile device. As soon as it starts, two windows will appear, the first one in which we will be asked to activate the Bluetooh, which is necessary to connect to the system remotely, while in the second window we will be asked to activate the GPS.
In the initial screen we will find the various devices to which we can connect, in my case the Genie 2 Linear and the Genie Mini 2. (FIG.1). For each device, the installed firmware version will be displayed (there may be a notification of a new update available) and the battery charge status. We can also assign a personalized name to the various devices, a function that can be convenient in case you want to control numerous devices with the same phone / tablet.
METHOD OF USE
Once we have connected our devices, a window will open listing the various modes of use available:
If you have connected both the Genie 2 Linear and the Genie Mini 2 at the same time, as in my case, some modes will be deactivated (FIG.2). In fact, to program a Time-lapse or a Video we will have to go through the Keyframe panel. While the panorama and Turntable modes will be available if we have connected only the Genie Mini 2 (FIG.3.).
Once in this mode we will find ourselves in front of a first screen (FIG.4) where there will be default presets. Obviously we will not be forced to use them but we will be able to create a new one based on our needs, which will be possible to save it later, and then use it on future occasions.
As you can see, each preset will feature a transparent icon indicating the type of recording mode, Video or Time-lapse.
Now let's analyze how to set up a new configuration. First, click on the NEW SETUP icon at the bottom left. The screen shown in FIG. 5 will open where we will have to go to set the starting and ending point of recovery using the two joysticks present:
one for horizontal movement (red): marked with the Linear letter L;
while the second for the rotation of the Geni Mini (blue): marked with the letter P of Pan. It will also be possible to use it for the movement of Tilt.
After this first phase, we press DONE to go to the next step.
In this new screen (FIG. 6) the trends of the movements that the two different devices will have to perform are represented by two straight lines. From here we can go to choose whether to make a timelapse or a video through the appropriate icon located at the bottom. Very intuitively, for the time-lapse the icon will consist of a clock, while for the video there will be a video camera. Before going into detail about the two different modes and the various parameters that characterize them, let's see how to insert keyframes in case we wish.
But what does this feature consist of? A Keyframe, or "key frame", is a point where we can decide to make a change of speed of the movement that our motorized system will make. At first glance it might seem a complex thing but after a brief explanation and some tests you will realize that it is extremely easy.
First of all we will have to choose on which axis of movement to insert our keyframe. To do this, just click on the relative icon on the left, which will activate (FIG.7), and as long as it is activated we will have control only on that axis of movement.
We move the cursor along the straight line to the point where we want to insert the keyframe, which will be added once we click on the icon and press the icon on the bottom left. At this point, simply move the new control point on the straight line up or down to change the speed of movement between the two sections (FIG. 8). The more the line is pending the greater its speed. It will also be possible to modify the acceleration / deceleration with which the speed variation will occur through the Ease IN / OUT panel (FIG. 9). This last operation will allow to have a gradual variation of the speed, which corresponds to having a curve between the two straight lines separated by the keyframe instead of an angle.
In the same way, we can also add keyframes to Pan's movement. The final result is visible in FIG.10. It will be possible to add all the keyframes we want, and in case you are wrong or have changed your mind, they can be removed.
After completing this phase, we will have to go to set the parameters for the execution of our timelapse or for shooting the video. So let's start to see in detail the various settings that characterize each of the two modes
In the upper area of the main screen we find the first 3 parameters to be set (FIG.11):
RECORD TIME: ie the actual recording time;
INTERVAL: which consists of the interval between one shot and its next;
PLAY TIME: which is nothing more than the duration of our sequence based on the frame rate we are going to set.
Of these parameters it will be necessary to set the shooting interval and at least one of the other two, and the rest will automatically update accordingly. My advice is to set the first two values, since in post production we will have time to choose only one portion of the clip in case it is too long or to speed it up. Obviously each of you will choose at your pleasure how to proceed according to your needs and what is most comfortable or binding.
After completing this step, we must access the extra settings using the icon highlighted in FIG.11. Here we can go to set 3 different parameters (FIG.12):
Type of movement (Move-Shoot-Move / Continuous), for the time lapse mode it is necessary to use the first mode in order to avoid that the photos can be moved;
Delay time in case you decide to use the Move-Shoot-Move mode. This value essentially corresponds to the time interval before the system moves to reach the next position. We will therefore have to set a value at least equal to the exposure time.
From this last screen we can also save the entire preset to be able to use it again in the future or at a later time.
Once this last phase has been completed, all we have to do is start our time lapse using the red icon (REC) that we find on the right of the screen.
Unlike the Time Lapse mode, here we will have to go to set only the recording time (REC TIME) and the desired frame rate in the extra settings section.
In this mode, we can also decide whether the movement is performed in a "loop", ie once the system reaches the set point it ends, it brings the camera back to the starting point.
Our choice will fall on this mode when we want to control the motorized system live, moving the shot at will. There will be two "joysticks" available, one that will allow movement along the slider while the second for pan / tilt (FIG.13). Obviously the number of axes, and consequently the directions, that we can control will depend on the devices that will make up our motorized system.
Using the icon on the bottom left of the screen, you can access the advanced settings (FIG.14). in this second screen we can go to set three parameters for each motor:
SPEED: that is the maximum speed that the movement can reach;
SMOOTHING: this parameter represents the acceleration and deceleration that the motor will have to reach the desired speed. The settable value goes from 0 to 10, where 10 corresponds to the maximum "softness" with which you get the desired speed;
DIRECTION: allows you to reverse the direction in which the movement takes place with respect to the joystick on the main screen.
If you want to make large panoramas with rather long focal lengths, this mode will be very convenient. First of all, it is possible to use it even with a Genie Mini 2, however you will be able to make the most of its potential through the use of two Genie Mini 2 so as to have control on two axes.
First we need to set some basic parameters so that the system can calculate how many shots are needed to get the overview.
We will have to enter the following parameters (FIG.15):
SENSOR SIZE (sensor size);
FOCAL LENGHT (focal length);
ORIENTATION: here we will have two possibilities, landscape (horizontal) or portrait (vertical).
Moving on to the next screen we will have to go to set the starting point and the final point, that is the shot of the first shot and the last one.
Once the first phase is completed, we will find ourselves in the screen that you can see in FIG. 16, where the number of shots that will be taken to obtain the desired overview will be represented.
At the top we will find the angle of view covered by our overview and the waiting time between two shots (WAIT TIME). At the bottom of the screen there are several icons, the first of which allows you to change the percentage of overlap that must be between two frames (FIG.17). The other icons will allow you to access the settings menu to change the values of the previously set parameters.
At this point we can start the execution of the overview through the red icon that is present on the right of the screen. I would like to point out that the system allows you to make a series of shots that will then have to be combined in post production to get the overview.
In the event that one or more of the photos that make up the panorama should be moved or there is an element of disturbance, we can consider returning them to shooting. To do this, just click on the box that corresponds to the photo to be redone and click on the red icon on the right (FIG.18).
This mode allows us to go and make a series of photographs of an object at 360 °. To use this mode you will need a Genie Mini 2, above which we will have to place the object we want to photograph. It will be possible to purchase separately a support to be placed between the Genie Mini 2 and our object in order to have a better support surface.
As we can see from FIG.19, we will be able to set the number of shots (PHOTOS), the interval between two shots (WAIT TIME) and the direction of rotation (CW clockwise, CCW anti-clockwise).
Obviously it will be necessary to place the fixed camera on a tripod and connect it using the appropriate cable to our Genie Mini 2.
I can say that Syrp's new motorized system is a professional product, flexible and suitable for most uses, allowing it to be used in many situations thanks to the wide range of pre-set modes and the possibility of expanding it according to your own needs. need.
Light, compact and high quality;
Flexibility of use: modular system and possibility of using any type of slider or funicular systems;
Limited possibility of using external intervalometers (only TimeLapse + VIEW);
There is no possibility to change the focus during shooting.