Every Photographer or Cinematographer has an endless list of equipment that they would like, or ‘need’ to get. More often than not when purchasing some new gear whether it be a new camera, lens or even a tripod there’s a compromise involved. You may be purchasing your dream bit of kit but there’s always other things you could invest in. This is ever more apparent when you have a young family and money is often spread and better used elsewhere.
Don’t get me wrong I invest wisely and when and where I can I hire or collab with someone that enables us both to benefit from each others skill set or gear. One of these bits of gear that has been on my list for a long time is a time-lapse head. The obvious choice that I will get around to purchasing at some point is the Konova motor kit to go along with my K3 slider. I have spent countless hours looking into this kit and have used it on numerous occasion and even spoken directly to Konova about working with them on a couple of projects. However when i’m looking at dropping £500+ on a bit of kit that has no real value to my clients for my specific work style currently is a waste. I mainly want the time-lapse head for my own landscape work and other pet projects so I can’t justify it as much as investing in the endless requirement for storage, software and other bits. So when I first heard about the Motrr Galileo I was very excited.
Incase you don’t know the Galileo is a motorised head for iPhones or GoPros that can be controlled via your phone using numerous Apps and the price point is around the £100 mark. Now of course I would love to have my DSLR setup on a time-lapse head but for the sake of £100 I could still shoot 4K time lapses with some nice sweeping movements. Plus it’s small enough to easily fit in even my smallest camera bag without being a hinderance. So I took the plunge and purchased it. Like many other purchases I spent ages researching it and did come across some negative reviews online about the customer service and functionality but due to my thirst for time lapses and the portability of this product I took the leap.
It wasn’t long before I realised some massive flaws in the product. Firstly the price of the adapters for different cameras (Namely my GoPro Hero 4) is around £25/£30 for a piece of plastic that could be 3D printed very easily. Secondly there hasn’t been any updates to their App’s in a while meaning that having a newish phone (iPhone 6 Plus) a lot of the features I wanted to use were simply unavailable, meaning I would have to re purchase an iPhone 5 to get access to everything I wanted to use. The drawback being i’d be shooting using an iPhone 5… Not to mention that you have to purchase some of the app’s the gain the extra functionality that should have been included in the price of the hardware itself.
Secondly the slowest movement capabilities of the device are so restrictive that it’s difficult to achieve the kind of time lapses I was after. To discover the minimum speed is a nightmarish trial and error due to no other feedback than ’Galileo can’t move at this speed’ or something along those lines..
Now don’t get me wrong I still love the little guy and even despite the issues i’ve had I really didn’t want to bad mouth it. A little part of me held out hope that there would be updates coming out or perhaps I would receive a reply from customer support either from the email I sent or from the message on Facebook. But it wasn’t long before I saw other users echoing the very same issues I was raising and also without any reply.
As it stands I simply use it with a standard pan by balancing my GoPro on top of it.. Not ideal but to get a quick 4K time-lapse of a landscape it does the job. I will get that Konova motorised slider at some point… Perhaps after the next drone/ camera body/ gimbal/ monitor/ mic…