New Zealand-Based Company Launches New Accessory for Motion Controlled Time-Lapse: The Genie

New Zealand based company Syrp Ltd, has officially launched the Genie, a new film equipment accessory set to "revolutionize motion controlled time-lapse." Following a hugely successful product launch on early last year, the Genie is one of those few products that is actually making it to market.

The idea for the Genie came to life in early 2010 after Syrp founders Chris Thomson and Ben Ryan had become frustrated with other motion controlled time-lapse gear on the market finding products to be extremely costly, very complicated, and uncomfortably bulky. As a result, designer Chris and filmmaker Ben have designed a product that is affordable and straightforward to use for combining motion control with time-lapse photography. The Genie is capable of either panning or linear movement commonly used in time-lapse photography and also for real-time video shots.

“Our concept consists of a box that moves a camera under its own power and adapts to attach to any existing film equipment, allowing users to rise above standard filmmaking, by acquiring standout and vibrant footage,” Chris said.

The duo chose to raise funds for production of the Genie via, as opposed to seeking out investors or sponsorship, and in April 2012 set about launching the device on the popular crowd-funding platform.

“After launching the Genie on Kickstarter it soon became apparent that the demand for the device was really strong. After two months of raising funds we finished the project with $800,000 NZD to kick start the business and get manufacturing underway.”

Since the conclusion of Kickstarter the pair have been working tirelessly through the manufacturing process.

“It has been a very challenging six months since finishing Kickstarter and we have spent a lot of time working with our factories at every step of the production process to ensure the end result is top quality,” Chris said.



Kickstarter backers, many of which had supported the project by pre-ordering the Genie, were kept in the loop throughout the manufacturing process and informed of the challenges every step of the way via a private Kickstarter blog.

Ben said this was one of the big differences between Kickstarter and other funding options.

“Our backers know about every speed bump we came up against and they really are a part of the whole process.It’s been a huge learning curve and we’ve faced all sorts of challenges along the way, but you learn from all your mistakes and we are looking forward to taking it all on board for the future.”

The Genie unit alone retails for $990 US, with their ball head also available for $110 US. You can read more about the Genie on Syrp's really sweet HTML5 website. So what do you think? Interested? Let us know in the comments below.

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THE GREAT ZEEE's picture

ive been waiing for this :)

I don't do timelapse but this looks very cool and well thought out.

Tam Nguyen's picture

With that price, I'd rather get a Dynamic Stage 1 or Kressler.

As another possibility; i backed the Astro system last year on kickstarter:

Might be worth looking into that one as well if the "Genie" is too expensive for some.

Benicio Murray's picture

Just one problem with the Astro; every time they get one step closer, they take two steps back. They're further away from end product now than they were 12 months ago.

Ah yes, I remember the Astro. What's the problem with that? They are well off the mark with their shipping target if they haven't started already.

I guess 400,000 dollars wasn't enough incentive!

Seshan's picture

Well if you want a Astro, they have to be made first. And at this rate I don't think it will ever happen. (I backed it)

$990 is not "affordable". There are so many time lapse devices you can get for that price or less.

What kind of camera do you use if S990 is not affordable for you?

Seshan's picture

That's stupid to say. Just because some one might have a nice camera doesn't mean they have $900 to spend on a limited use device. Some people save up for years to get a nice camera, slowly upgrading from cheaper cameras. $900 is not affordable for a device like this for the average photographer. Specially for some one that does it as a hobby.

Brilliant point Stefan - you must be nostalgic for the days when being a filmmaker took more than a $600 SLR, mismatching clothes, and a bad haircut. For a multi-purpose motion timelapse device, $990 is very reasonable, especially as an entry price. If you want some real sticker shock, hang out on the Kessler site for a couple minutes....

Great stuff, reminds me of the "House of Cards" opening, though I think they used RED to film that show? Probably too heavy for this little gadget.

beautiful. I was hoping around the $400 range but I suppose this price is reasonable.

Ya, this is a clever piece of kit, but they are deluding themselves when they say 'affordable'

I hope the move-shoot-move will be less jerky than what's shown in the video.
It looks like there would be some vibrations left in the camera from the abrupt and sudden stops.

Warp stabilizer might be great for reducing those small vibrations, but It's easy to tell when it has been used on a video.

Seems awesome until we know it's $990

Nice to see a drive mechanism that will really work for long tracking shots. Some complain about affordability, if the shot is worth it, the tool is too!

Kelly Shipp's picture

Nice. But, agreeing with everyone else, the price tag is Shocking. You can get much more bang-for-your-buck with the dozens of other timelapse devices out there. It's hilarious that they're selling the point that it fits in your camera bag. It's HUGE! It's larger than the camera. That's not a selling point. If it were smaller and under $300, I would be tempted. I'll stay with the DP and the Astro.

What bag is that at 1:00 i really like it, i am looking for a goodlooking not to big camera bag for some time now but i can't find a good one, or not over-priced

Am I the only one that thinks the timelapses in their videos looked a little "janky".. The device seems pretty badass though minus the cost.

$990 isn't "affordable" for many photographers, in fact many photographers may consider a new lens over this. You could also build your own system at home for that amount of money.
Not saying it isn't a good idea, but I wouldn't see myself getting one until it's at a lower price point.

Tobias Solem's picture

Why would I ever pay a thousand bucks for a plastic cube that rolls some rope slowly?

The price is not the big issue with this device! Its the limitation of Panning or Linear Movement or Tilting! For 1000$ i want to be able to do all 3 of these at the same time!

What?? I thought the Genie can do both linear motion and panning at a time? Sorry but just for one its wayyy too high priced. Looks nice and the idea with that rope is awesome for longer tracking shots but not at 990!

Very affordable within the context of professional video production. True it's not so affordable for those who's entire status as a "filmmaker" depends on their ability to purchase a cheap digital slr for a few hundred bucks - but then again, there are thousands of products already out there for them. This is a great mid-level device and a bargain at $990, especially when you look at the cost of some of the other options out there that do tracking only (no pan/tilt). This is a groundbreaking step, and with like all new technology/ideas, I'm sure the price will drop in the future for those who spend a great deal of time pondering whether to spend $50 upgrading their lens or just to buy 9 cups of coffee. :D