Zhaowei Machinery & Electronics Co., Ltd.

Motorized Tripod Head Empowers Future Shooting

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The popularity of short videos has changed the way people obtain information and has enriched people's lives. In this era where everyone can become a video creator, shooting high-quality videos has become the focus. Sports shooting and aerial photography have gradually increased, giving tripod heads new definitions and needs. When the camera is moving, a problem that needs to be solved is how to maintain the stability of the picture while eliminating low-frequency jitter. Fixed tripod heads can no longer meet the demand, and motorized camera tripods for stabilization have emerged. They are commonly known as stable tripod head or stabilized tripod head.


Want to be your own director? Apart from acting know-how, you’d need a command of shooting skills as well. Some users have tried to combine virtual reality (VR) and 360-degree panoramic (surround view) shooting in aerial photography. However, the 360-degree aerial image tends to shake during flight, and the video quality is unsatisfactory. To improve the situation, ZHAOWEI Machinery & Electronics Co., Ltd. (ZHAOWEI) has designed and developed a motorized pan-tilt head gear motor. The transmission drive system has a built-in three-axis mechanical pan/tilt, which not only provides shock absorption for panoramic shooting, but can also be installed on aerial cameras, electric vehicles, or used for hand-held shooting. It can be described as a 3-in1 machine!    

tripod head gear motor

With the increasingly stringent requirements for image stability in film and television shooting, the tripod head is constantly evolving. Phone photography using artificial intelligence will be purer, and even videos shot on a mobile phone can create the texture of a blockbuster. The unsatisfactory thing is that the picture is occasionally affected due to jitter. For regular people shooting with mobile phones, the most difficult thing to overcome is the jitter caused by heartbeat, breathing, and road vibration. The emergence of a hand-held tripod head breaks the limitations of the laws of physics and viewing angles. ZHAOWEI provides geared tripod head transmission solutions for cameras and mobile phones. The motorized camera tripod drive allows the tripod head to rotate horizontally and vertically, so that the camera can focus and capture the desired target from a wide range. The micro drive control system controls the tripod head to rotate left & right, and up & down, allowing the camera to quickly, and effectively, achieve "panoramic" shooting.  

gear motor for pan tilt camera

According to the survey, the product demands of the core consumer groups of motorized tripod heads are affected by two types of consumer motivations: career development and hobbies. They have two characteristics: deep professionalism, and pure entertainment. Professional consumers are more concerned about the pivot angle, endurance, price, adaptation effect, and stability effect. Other consumers have more concerns about the "troublesome debugging process". Both groups of people have a common, higher degree of concern regarding "insufficient pivot angle".   

The motorized pan-tilt head itself is a digital product with multiple electronic components, and requires strong industrial design capabilities and integration. A stable supply chain is required to improve the quality of parts, and stable production capacity to maintain market competitiveness. Together, they establish competition barriers in the hand-held tripod head industry. Industry experts, such as Zhiyun and DJI, already have software and hardware design, strong industrial design capabilities, and full supply chain management. The load-bearing capacity of the tripod head should differ between cameras and protective covers. The internal space of the tripod head is limited. In order to achieve the compact size and high torque transmission requirements of gear tripod head, ZHAOWEI used the gearbox design platform to carry out a reasonable distribution of correction coefficients, and optimized the calculation of meshing angle, slip rate, and coincidence degree. This improves the efficiency, noise, service life, and gear motor degree for the tripod head.   

gear motor for pan tilt camera 2

The drive equipment for adjusting camera positions need to meet specific requirements. The ideal drive must provide high performance in minimal space. Since the ideal shooting view angle requires free movement, the drive requires high degrees of efficiency to utilize limited capacity from the lithium-ion battery. The accurate correlation between the control command parameters and the actual movement of the drive mechanism is essential for precise positioning. This way, the motor with an integrated encoder can bring a better field signal. Finally, regardless of weight and installation mode, all operations must be performed in the same way. It is not easy to manufacture a camera tripod head transmission system. The camera tripod head gear motor must possess these two characteristics: stability and long service life. These two factors test not only the R&D strength, but also the precision and combination of the micro gearbox manufacturing and the yield of the motor. Many PTZ cameras now use DC motors, which have low operating noise and are relatively stable, but come with high production costs, a relatively complex control system, and a short service life. ZHAOWEI uses a "planetary gear three-stage transmission structure", combined with a stepper motor to drive. The stepping motor has a low manufacturing cost, accurate positioning control, and long service life. The multi-stage planetary gearhead structure reduces the speed of rotation, increases the output torque, and simultaneously increases the resolution of the encoder on the output shaft of the reducer. This reduces the image jitter during the state of low speed and high magnification. Its variable speed rotation can capture moving targets; automatic rotation solves the following problem of missing moving targets.  

gear motor for tripod head camera

The technological innovation of motorized tripod heads require global market support, a sense of responsibility to consumers, and system capabilities. The future of 5G technology will undoubtedly provide a powerful demand for short videos, provide a broader platform, and more substantial dividends for motorized tripod head manufacturers. With the continuous developments of micro transmission systems and precision gear components, the parameters, functions and components of the motorized tripod head will continuously be adjusted and optimized. The motorized tripod head industry will become more mature. We are excited to see how the motorized tripod head industry will develop in the future, and how ZHAOWEI’s smart transmission systems for motorized tripod head will develop when it matures.

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