We first took a look at Shootool’s AutoPan system at NAB this year (video below) and were impressed by the simplicity with which the system worked. It’s an electronic add-on module that sits on top of your existing slider system and allows you to control panning movements automatically as you slide.
The unit has now been officially announced and there’s some more information on the Shootools website.
AutoPan works with manual or motorised sliders up to 3m in length, and Shootools say the internal battery is good for two days (!) of continuous use. There are four different modes of operation, although I suspect the most useful one for news shooters is going to be ‘Targeting’ where the system tracks a specific point as the camera slides. You can see this demonstrated from around 0:56 in the video above.
The motors feature encoders for smooth, precise movement and it’s possible to set the system up using a phone-based app. The unit will also ship with an HPRC hard case for protection.
No word on pricing or availability yet – it’s still listed as ‘coming soon’ on the Shootools site – but if the price is right when it launches the Autopan could be a handy addition to your arsenal if you’ve already invested in a slider or dolly system you’d like to get a little more mileage out of.
More information (and a €50 discount) available on the Shootools website.