Sometimes a new product arrives at the studio for review, and I’m so excited that I take it out for a spin the very next morning, rain or shine. No, literally. You’ll see what I mean! (Thank you, El Niño).
The Syrp Timelapse Genie Mini is an ultra-compact, simple, affordable , timelapse motion tool for photographers. It’s a tad larger than a can of tuna, weighs only 230g / 8.1oz, and retails for just under $250. But, does it achieve the impossible by also delivering quality construction and an awesome interface / user experience? Read on to find out, and watch our quick initial opinion video below!
[RELATED: ORIGINAL SYRP GENIE FULL REVIEW]
INITIAL THOUGHTS ON the syrp genie mini
As I stated in the video, timelapse photography has been around for a long time, but adding motion to your timelapse has often been a very expensive and laborious task. A few products have recently begun to overcome these obstacles by being both affordable and simple to use.
About two years ago, Syrp, based in New Zealand, produced the original Genie which is a bigger device that can do both panning and sliding, though not both at once. About one year ago, another company called Alpine Labs (based here in Southern California) created the Radian, a compact and affordable device that broke the sub-1lb barrier at 15 oz.
There have been other new timelapse devices worth mentioning, however, I believe everything can be clearly put into one of two categories: Either they’re advanced, complex, and a bit pricey, or they’re compact, affordable, and effortless to set up. Unfortunately, aside from the two devices I mentioned, the “compact and effortless” category has been rather neglected up until now. Fortunately, the Genie Mini is a great leap forward in this regard!
SYRP GENIE Mini Specs
Dimensions: 40mm x 92mm (1.57″ x 3.62″)
Weight: 230g (8.1 oz)
Panning Load: 4kg (8.8lb)
Tilting Load: 3kg centered (6.6 lb)
Max Speed: 360° in 33s
Minimum Resolution: 0.005°
Li-Ion Rechargeable battery
Timelapse: 48+ hours
Video: 5+ hours
Charge Time: 3 Hours
Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy – to Syrp App (iOS, Android)
Camera Port – 2.5mm
Accessory Port – 3.5mm (Dual Genie mode + IR cable)
SYRP GENIE MINI Pros
- The overall quality is great, it feels strong and supportive even when mounted with two ball heads! (But, a sturdy tripod is recommended!)
- The rubberized exterior feels nicely resistant to the elements and grippy.
- The interface is amazingly simple and intuitive to understand, and effortless to set up.
- At ~8oz and less than 4″ wide, you have no excuse to leave it at home!
- Compatible with additional Syrp timelapse products for advanced movements.
- Includes necessary cables for standard USB charging, at least one type of camera cable, and one 1/4-20 tripod thread adapter, plus a lens cloth.
SYRP GENIE MINI-Cons
- I’m not sure how long-lasting the cork finish on top and bottom will be, depending on repeated mounting and un-mounting of plates and tripod heads.
- I’d like two 1/4-20 thread adapters depending on the intended use, or just to have one as a backup. (They’re easy to lose, especially in a sand dune! I strongly advise doing any such setup work back at your car / basecamp, because in-the-field fiddling with plates or screw adapters is a show-stopper).
- I could use a built-in bubble level, like the original Genie, or a separate accessory bubble level, like the Alpinelabs Radian.
Considering that so far my cons can easily be negated by a couple dirt-cheap accessories and/or being mindful of how I work with tripod plates and heads, my initial opinion is that the Syrp Genie Mini will be a great buy for any beginning or serious photographer who wishes to get into timelapse photography without the intimidation of complicated equipment setup. It will also prove useful to outdoor photographers who need something compact and lightweight, that they can carry with them anywhere for quick timelapse B-roll, or astro-landscape photography while backpacking in the wilderness.
Stay tuned for our full review and final verdict coming soon! As always, with any type of gear that is intended for outdoor use, I like to heavily use (abuse?) any equipment that is given to me, before offering up my final verdict. So although I’m confident that the Syrp Genie will prove to be a winner, I’m excited to take it on some more adventures and see how it holds up over time.