edelkrone Motion BOX is an app controlled motion control unit specializing in automated panning and tilting.
edelkrone Motion BOX is an app controlled motion control unit specializing in automated panning and tilting.

edelkrone Motion BOX is an app controlled motion control unit specializing in automated panning and tilting. However, with a few of their innovative accessories, it can be much more than that. The Motion BOX can be a rotating product turntable with the addition of the Product Turntable Kit for $80. When used with the $710 SliderONE PRO, the Motion BOX will work in coordination with the slider to allow for both automated slides and pans from one app.

We got our hands on the Motion BOX and all of its accessories to see how useful they are and if they are worth buying. Modular and expandable tools can do a lot, but they typically aren’t great at much. edelkrone surprised us with how usable most of its functions are.

The Motion BOX in Use

The Motion BOX and all its modules are controlled by a free iOS or Android app. We loaded the app on to our iPhone 7 Plus for our tests. Pairing the device was simple. Once the app opens, you have to choose what configuration you are going to use it in and get to controlling it. You can also manually control the pan in-app.

Being able to get a predictable perfect pan upon command is a great asset on set and should speed up any production used with it.

We tested a basic automated pan by setting an A and B point and the duration of the pan. The resulting video shot looked great. It was both quick and easy to set up and by the results, well worth the time. Being able to get a predictable perfect pan upon command is a great asset on set and should speed up any production used with it.

Along with basic panning, we also tested out the Motion BOX’s other capture modes. When using for photos, you have time lapse, stop motion and 360 degree mode.

Within timelapse you have all of the typical intervalometer controls like duration and delay along with a frame count. edelkrone makes it easy for filmmakers to know how long their timelapse video will be. This is done by telling it what your frame rate is and letting it do the math for you to determine the total duration of the move when made into video. There is also motion and time warper feature that will allow you to change the duration and timing of each shot to add a different feel to your timelapse.

Stop motion has a similar set up but will allow you to either take one picture after another or manually control when the next position captures a frame. The last mode is 360 degree mode, where the Motion BOX spins the camera in one full rotation and lets you capture up to 60 frames during that one rotation.

The Motion BOX itself doesn’t have a power button. It does have a reset button that is handy for quick pairing, but we wish we could turn it on and off with a button. Instead it goes to sleep when not in use.

Testing the Add-ons

After we used the Motion BOX by itself, we used each accessory by itself and then in different combinations and configurations. Our favorite accessory to the Motion BOX is the QuickRelease ONE, though its arguable whether it’s worth $100. The QuickRelease ONE allows you to mount to any 1/4-inch 20 screw with a simple twist. If you go back and forth to different rigs, it’s super helpful. However, if all of your mounts use the same tripod plate, it’s not necessary. It’s very simple to use and very handy.

If you don’t have a head, you can add in the edelkrone FlexTilt Head 2 for $180. Unless you attach the Motion BOX to a tripod head, you will be limited to a flat horizontal perspective. The Motion BOX can be attached to either a 1/4-inch 20 thread or 3/8-inch screw. However, the FlexTilt Head 2 will also allow the camera to get far enough away from your surface  to shoot directly down. Although it’s a nice tool to have, unless you need that capability, you’d be better investing elsewhere.

Motion BOX paired with SliderONE Pro
Motion BOX paired with SliderONE Pro

The best value add-on is the Product Turntable Kit for $80. It’s a great way to get more out of the Motion BOX. The turntable kit offers essentially the same function as the 360 degree mode, but for a different perspective. When the turntable is connected to the Motion BOX, you can get up to 60 pictures over 360 degrees of rotation. edelkrone includes an extension cable so the Motion BOX can control your camera from a distance. The only issue with the turntable is that if you are controlling the camera with the Motion BOX, then a cable will need to go from the rotating turntable to the camera. We had a few times where the cable bound on something. Instead of turning, the turntable was pulled out of frame. Additionally, the shot is limited to one rotation. This limitation is smart because additional rotations would cause even more cable issues. However, it would be nice to be able to do more when not using the camera control cable.

We were also able to use the Motion BOX with the SliderONE PRO. Both the Motion BOX and the SliderONE Pro can be used alone or together. Using the same app, you can control them both at the same time. The SliderONE PRO is $710 on its own and offers only 7.9 inches of travel, so if the shot is big, the SliderONE PRO will be too small.

The last three configurations are the StandONE for $200, the Tilt Kit for $120 and the Skater Kit, which edelkrone lists on its app, but not on their website. It is, however, mentioned in the how to video for the Motion BOX. The StandONE is a quadropod for mounting your camera low to the ground or on uneven surfaces.

Onto the Tilt Kit, if you want to mount two Motion BOX’s together with the Tilt Kit, you can control both Motion BOXes simultaneously with the app for panning and tilting without a slider. However, if you want to add the SliderONE Pro for auto pan, tilt and slide movement, the app doesn’t offer that configuration, so as of now, it’s not an option.

Finally, the Skater Kit makes the horizontal movement vertical to make an automated skate slider for rotating around something. It’s very smooth and creates a very compelling shot. For all of these tools, a small subject will make for better shots.

Marketplace

edelkrone is quite unique when it comes to the modular capabilities of the Motion BOX. However, there are a few other brands that do something similar. Syrp is another brand that makes single products that can be used in combination to get more complex shots. The Syrp Genie Mini costs $250 and can be used as a tilt or a pan tool. Just like the Motion BOX, the Genie Mini can either tilt, pan or both. It has a 8.8 pound limit and can work with sliders from other brands, though you lose the ability to use them in coordination. Next up, the Rhino Arc is $400. It can work with the Rhino ecosystem, but not outside of it. It supports up to 15 pounds. Last but not least is the AutoPan from ShooTools for $750. Because of its design, it can work with any slider. Using a wire, it detects its location and auto pans accordingly.

Final Thoughts

The Motion BOX is easy to use and has lots of ways it can be configured and used. The app is easy to operate, and pairing the Motion BOX with your mobile device was simple. For a base price of $360 without additional modules, it’s not the cheapest option on the market, but it’s not the most expensive either. If you plan on getting other parts of the edelkrone ecosystem, then the added cost might be well worth it. If the Motion BOX is going to be used on its own without the additional accessories, the price tag doesn’t fit. However, when combined with the Product Turntable Kit and the SliderONE PRO, it shows a lot of value.

edelkrone

www.edelkrone.com

PRICE: $359

Strengths

  • Modular
  • Easy to use App

Weaknesses

  • Camera control cable rotatesaround turntable

Recommended Users

  • Narrative Filmmaking
  • Documentary Filmmaking and

Journalism

  • Corporate and Event Videography
  • Marketing Video Production
  • Online Video Production

TECH SPECS:

MOTION BOX

Size: (L x W x H) 3.90 x 3.75 x 1.48 in (99 x 95 x 37.5 mm)

Weight: 18.3 oz (520 g)

Recommended camera load:

Pan: 15 lb or less (centered). 5.5 lb or less.(with FlexTILT Head.)

Tilt: 8 lb (3.6 kg) or less (centered).

Mounting options: 1/4″-20 on top. 3/8″-16 on bottom.

Minimum resolution: 0.005°

Max. speed: 360° in 40 sec

Motor type: DC motor with x2 ultra high-res encoders.

Battery life: Up to 1 hour in active pan/tilt while in top speed. Up to 48 hours in time-lapse

Charging: 6 hours.

Mobile device connection: Bluetooth low-energy communication.

App. compatibility: iOS 9.0 or later. Android 5.0 or later.

SliderONE Pro

Weight: 2.1 lb (0.958 kg)

Recommended load: 20 lb (9 kg) or less

Mounting Options: 3/8″-16 mounting screw on top. 3/8″-16 mounting port on bottom

Camera Travel: 7.87 in (20 cm)

Min. speed: 27 µm (micrometer / sec)

Max. speed: 1.57 in / sec (4 cm / sec)

Motor type: Coreless DC motor with ultra high-res encoder

Power input: LP-E6 type battery (Battery NOT included)

Battery life: Up to 12 hours in active slide* (average speed)

Up to 99 hours in time-lapse mode*

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