A pretty cool accessory for panoramic photos and 360º video.
Over the past few years, I’ve been working hard to compile a strong collection of video equipment. I have a full-frame DSLR, a consumer-grade DSLR, a smartphone with HD video camera built-in, and an action camera that shoots 4K video. I’ve been working diligently to add accessories and gear that will provide unique shots and add to the overall quality of my videos, but until now, I didn’t have an option to shoot 360-degree video or dramatic panoramic still photos. The Mini Electric Panorama Tripod Head from Kamisafe has provided me with the tool I needed for shooting these types of scenes.
Even though the brand ‘Kamisafe’ is found throughout several different online shopping sites including Amazon, I was unable to track down the actual physical website for this accessory. So, the details I have provided below regarding the Tripod Head are compiled from what I could find on Amazon’s product page.
The MRP01 Mini Electric Panorama Tripod Head is small. It measures 2.8 x 2.7 inches in size and it only weighs 7.4 ounces without any attachments. Despite its compact size, the tripod head can bear the following loads:
- Pan Max. load: 500g /17.6oz.
- Tilt Max. load: 200g /7.1oz.
- Vertical Max. load: 200g /7.1oz.
- Inverted Max. load: 300g /10.6oz.
It’s intended for use with smartphones and action camera, but could also be used with point-and-shoot size cameras, too. The Tripod Head is rechargeable and comes equipped with a 750 mAh battery preinstalled. It charges via Micro USB connection (cable included) and will provide approximately 9 hours of continuous working time with 12 hours of standby time (NOTE: I cannot state whether this is accurate as I only used the tripod head for about an hour of continuous shooting time during a setting). The MRP01 Mini Electric Panorama Tripod Head will connect to smartphones via Bluetooth (Android 2.3.6 and above, iOS 4.0 and above) for remote shutter control.
The Head offers precise and smooth movements. It has an adjustable rotation speed from 2 to 5 circles per minute. The MRP01 Head is designed to work with other camera accessories easily. It comes equipped with a 1/4″ universal screw on top and a 1/4″ bottom screw hole for mounting on tripods, stands, or other accessories. It comes with two mount accessories: a mobile phone clamp and an action camera mount.
The Panorama Tripod Head arrives in a simple, but sturdy branded box. I was actually really impressed with the box and packaging because it’s all black with subtle designs on it. There is very little information on the box, but it is well identified. On the inside of the box, you will find the tripod head, a Micro USB charging cable, a carrying pouch, a remote, and two different camera attachments. An instruction booklet is included, but it doesn’t give very detailed instructions. It’s more like a description of the parts rather than a ‘how to’ guide. The instructions are bi-lingual — English and Chinese (I think).
Initial setup is pretty straightforward, but it does depend on your particular use for the tripod head. I opted to first use it with my smartphone (iPhone X) and mount it using the smartphone clamp that came with the head. I could have pulled out any number of smartphone mounts that I have, but I decided to keep things simple for a first run. The clamp screwed into place easily. My only issue was that the rotating head doesn’t lock into place. Therefore, it continues to turn while you are trying to tighten the clamp on it.
Since I wanted to use the head autonomously of any other camera gear, I simply folded out its legs — like flower petals — so that it has its own stand. Once that was completed, I started the head rotating using the remote control. The movement was very fluid and I didn’t notice a whole lot of motor noise, which was refreshing. Starts and stops were very smooth — even when I changed direction.
The remote will control both the panorama head controls and the shutter the camera on your smartphone if you connect it via Bluetooth to the head. I did connect my iPhone X to the head so that I could control it with the remote and I found that it worked pretty well. Range did become an issue since it’s a simple RF remote and line of sight had to be established in order for the head to pick up the remote’s signal.
I think the hardest part of using this device is deciding where you want to shoot. Mounting my phone in the clamp attachment was not difficult. I did feel that it was a little unstable at first, but once it locked into place, my phone was secure. The remote worked well with the tripod head, but the range on it wasn’t very good. If I had to make a recommendation for this product, it would be to improve the remote and maybe upgrade it to a Bluetooth remote since Bluetooth is already apart of the head’s infrastructure.
Even though you can take some pretty epic still shots with this device, my main purpose for acquiring it was to beef up my video content. I took several different videos and even though 2 circles per minute isn’t particularly fast, I thought it was a bit too quick to capture certain 360-degree shots. I have included a short demo of the how the Kamisafe MRP01 captures video. In this demo you will see not only how fast the slowest setting is on the tripod head, but also how well it changes direction.
All in all, I really like the MRP01 Mini Electric Panorama Tripod Head and I’m really glad it’s apart of my collection. I believe I can get some really great video and still photos with it in the future.