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Choosing the right equipment for a remote controlled camera setup

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Jacob Giacometti
Choosing the right equipment for a remote controlled camera setup
on Mar 31, 2015 at 8:13:43 am

Hello guys,

I really need your opinions regarding a setup I'm building. I hope you can give me your personal equipment choices/models for this setup, I will really take it in consideration when buying.
I need 3 cameras + lens (approx 24-70). But here is the important part. They must be controllable by a remote. Focus, zoom, shutter speed, iris etc… The autofocus should also work on the lens. I am thinking of DSLR cameras, or maybe the Black Magic Cinema. The lens should be exchangeable, but allowing control by remote. If possible, I would like one controller for the 3 cameras, allowing to switch control from one to the other.
These cameras need to be attached on a silent and smooth motorised pan @ tilt head, with a remote as well.
Budget for each camera, lens + head would be 3500 € max.

Basically, the idea is to create a 3 camera studio setup, controllable by one person.
What models of cameras, lens, and motorised head would you advise me to look into?

Thank you very much and good day to all of you!


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Vince Becquiot
Re: Choosing the right equipment for a remote controlled camera setup
on Apr 1, 2015 at 12:03:12 am

Hi Jacob,

At this point you are looking at PTZ or Robocams. Sony and Panasonic each have their lineup. A single controller can control up to 8 cameras usually.

The expensive part is the camera, but it depends on the quality you are after and what you're e shooting.

You'll have to balance quality and smooth control vs budget. I personally prefer the Panasonic controller because of its rocking zoom control vs Sony's approach which is built in the joystick.

Vince Becquiot

Indigo Live | Kaptis Media

San Francisco Bay Area


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Jacob Giacometti
Re: Choosing the right equipment for a remote controlled camera setup
on Apr 1, 2015 at 5:49:08 am
Last Edited By Jacob Giacometti on Apr 1, 2015 at 8:02:19 am

Hey Vince,

Thank you for your feedback,
Do you have experience in PTZ cameras yourself? I always had the impression that these cameras had a way lower image "beauty"/quality than for example DSLR cameras... Like aren't they more often used for conferences, meetings etc... but not necessarily for shooting good looking video content in studio... I mean at least the 3500$ range ones...?
That's why I was trying to figure out an equivalent system but using controlable DSLR camera/lens and head... :-o


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Vince Becquiot
Re: Choosing the right equipment for a remote controlled camera setup
on Apr 1, 2015 at 9:11:33 am

I do have experience with higher end PTZ. You are correct that you are not going to get DSLR looks from a PTZ camera. While you can get a tilt / pan remote head and controller that will work with any camera, getting any other function to work for a one man remote operation is going to be close to impossible without engineering your own.

Vince Becquiot

Indigo Live | Kaptis Media

San Francisco Bay Area


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Jacob Giacometti
Re: Choosing the right equipment for a remote controlled camera setup
on Apr 1, 2015 at 9:20:19 am

Your input is so useful man thank you.
I understand what you mean. A lot to control for only 2 hands... especially with 3 cameras.

How about if the camera is on autofocus though? Once all the other settings are made (iris shutter speed etc...), the only thing you would need to control is the zoom, and pan/tilt on the robot head remote... Doesn't that sound feasible to you?


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Vince Becquiot
Re: Choosing the right equipment for a remote controlled camera setup
on Apr 1, 2015 at 9:47:39 am

The problem is that I don't think anyone really makes a controller that will handle all that unless you have a studio camera. Good pan / tilt systems are also expensive. Cheap ones often have one speed, or they move very roughly. You could also look into jib controllers but again that would mean one controller per camera and they are not designed for DSLRs.

Vince Becquiot

Indigo Live | Kaptis Media

San Francisco Bay Area


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