Polaroid Rechargeable Panorama Pan Head (Review)
The Polaroid Panorama Pan Head (Pan Head) is a tripod-mountable, remote control panoramic head attachment. It features still shots, 360-degree continuous motion panoramas, a 75-degree sweep mode, and a 10 second delayed 5-degree slow movement option.
In the box:
- Panorama Pan Head Ball/Tripod
- Remote Control Unit
- GoPro Tripod Attachment
- Phone attachment
- UBS to microUSB cable
- Instruction booklet
- Carrying bag
The head unit is a fully rechargeable, stand-alone unit, meaning that it requires no wires or other attachments to make it work. It requires a few hours of recharge time, but once charged, the charge lasts up to three hours or more depending on conditions and usage.
The whole unit is coated with a non-skid coating that also won’t mar furniture or other delicate surfaces.
The bottom of the Pan Head has a female 1/4″-20 standard tripod mount and the top, where the panorama takes place, has a male 1/4″-20 tripod mount. The phone attachment has a padded inner surface so that you won’t scratch your screen or the rear surface, but be careful to only snug the phone in place. If you over-tighten, you can crack your screen.
My box didn’t ship with the GoPro nut that securely attaches the included GoPro tripod mount to the male tripod screw. I had my own, so it wasn’t a problem, but just be aware that it might not ship with one.
Using the Pan Head is a lot of fun and using the three attachments (tripod mount, phone mount, and GoPro mount) is easy. I’ve used this unit with my GoPro, my iPhone 5, and my Canon T3. I didn’t try it with my Canon RF H600, but I’m sure that it would work well too. Since the Pan Head can easily hold up to about a pound’s worth of camera, it can easily support old school film cameras, such as my Canon AE-1, Diana, Smena, or any of the other Lomography type cameras that are all the rage.
I used the Bluetooth connection between the Pan Head and the iPhone. It worked perfectly every time. You actually pair the powered-on Pan Head with your camera although it is the remote control unit that fires the camera. I assume it does so through the Pan Head. Since creating the review video, I have tested the unit with starting and stopping videos and it does work. Press the camera button to start video on your phone or remote device and press it again to stop video. Worked every time.
One thing to note: Infrared (IR) is line-of-sight, so be sure that you test your aim at the Pan Head from the Remote Control unit prior to attempting to take real photos or video. The IR receiver on the Pan Head is not the red button–the red button is the power button. The small black window is the IR receiver and you must be able to beam to that for the functions to work. Be patient with your aim and the response from the Pan Head–as it is not instantaneous. There is a short (half-second or less) delay between pressing the button and the reaction from the Pan Head. Don’t press twice, because either you’ll undo what you want to do or you’ll speed up or slow down the panorama head.
Using something like a Gorilla Pod, you can get some cool angles and panoramas. iPhones have a built-in Panorama photo function, but with this Pan Head unit, you’ll get perfect panorama shots every time and you can do them remotely. The same goes for time lapse shots.
Why it’s Frugal: The Polaroid Panorama Pan Head is frugal because for $50, you can have a real remote controlled panorama tripod head attachment that is also a tripod itself. Hardware with comparable functionality costs hundreds of dollars. This unit is affordable, durable, and a good investment for any level of photographer or videographer.
I really like the Polaroid Pan Head. In fact, I love it. I’ve wanted one of these types of units for many years and now there’s an affordable one. Before this, they were just out of my financial range–good ones at least were and still are. The ball shape and flip out “wings” are very innovative and compact. I really love that the ball head is a tripod itself as well as a tripod head.
I think every photographer, phoneographer, and videographer should own one of these. Seriously, to be able to move your camera’s perspective remotely is extremely valuable. And to be able to start/stop video or take photos remotely is just too cool for school. Yes, I know, I just carbon dated myself with that saying, but seriously, this is a big bargain for an extremely practical photographic accessory. I’m glad to see that Polaroid is still innovating and still has its finger on the photographer’s creative pulse. I can’t wait to see what else Polaroid has up its sleeve. Now I’m going to have to dig out my 600 series Polaroid camera, buy some Impossible film, and get to shooting again. Thanks Polaroid, my wife will love you for the inspiring me to purchase instant film after all this time. I knew I saved that camera for some reason.
Recommendation: Every photographer, phoneographer, and videographer should own at least one of these. Strong buy.
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