Video camera towers have come on a long way since they first started to appear. We now have Carbon fiber poles, easy to operate pan and tilt mechanisms, and smaller, cheaper, high-quality video cameras. These are just a few of the innovations that have transformed the modern sideline camera. When you are comparing sideline cameras like Hi Rise Camera and Hipod, though, there is one innovation that might not be as useful as it first appears to be. The new feature of some video camera towers that could have more disadvantages than advantages is the motorized pan and tilt head. Here’s why you should think very carefully before you buy a video camera tower that has a motorized, or robotic, camera head.
A motorized camera head is not as fast as a manually operated head. That’s why manufacturers that sell Sideline camera systems with motorized heads also sell a manual alternative. If you want to film fast-moving games, like soccer, basketball or rugby, you will find it very difficult to keep up with the game if you are using a motorized pan and tilt system.
More Parts to Fail
Like every piece of equipment, the more components there are, the more there is to go wrong. A manually operated video camera tower uses nothing more complicated than a pulley and lever system, and swivel base. There isn’t a lot that can go wrong with a manual system and, if a part does fail, it won’t be very expensive to replace. When you add the complexity of a motorized head into a sideline camera, there are more components that could fail. Replacement parts will also be very expensive.
More Prone to Damage
Whether you buy a video camera tower with a motorized head from Hipod, or a manual pan and tilt sideline camera from Hi Rise Camera, you can be sure that your video tower is going to get some rough treatment. When you transport equipment from one venue to another, it will invariably get dropped a few times. Or, thrown roughly into the back of a vehicle. A manual system will take the knocks a lot better than the delicate components of a motorized system will. That could make the difference between a system that works when you get to an away fixture, and one that does not.
The difference in cost between a manually operated video camera tower and one that has motorized pan and tilt can be substantial. A top of the range Hipod system with motorized pan and tilt will cost you $2,000 more than the manually operated Sky 200 GC sideline camera tower from Hi Rise Camera.
You Don’t Need a Motorized Pan/Tilt Head on a Sideline Camera
The main reason that sideline camera towers should not have a motorized pan/tilt head is simple. They don’t need them. By adding motorized head to a video camera tower, you are adding cost, complexity and weight. All for something that will make no positive difference whatsoever to the quality of video footage that you get.