Kessler CineShooter – Interview with Eric Kessler

January 28th, 2021 Jump to Comment Section 6

The Kessler CineShooter is the company’s latest and most advanced motion control system. We had the chance to talk with Eric Kessler, CEO and founder of Kessler, to learn more about the features and capabilities of this impressive tool.

We first heard about the Kessler CineShooter back in July 2020. In short, the core of this system consists of a nodal pan and tilt head that can be wired or wirelessly controlled to create camera movements, which you can program and repeat indefinitely. This system’s real magic happens when you combine the head with a slider, FIZ motors, and turntable motors to create 5-axis movements.

The Kessler Crane CineDrive. Image credit: Kessler Crane

Kessler motion control systems

Kessler’s first motion control system, the CineDrive, was introduced back in 2013, during the big Canon 5D Mark II era. With an initial price tag close to $6,000, the system was not cheap, nor was it easy to carry and fast to set up.

The Kessler Second Shooter. Image credit: Kessler Crane

Later in 2014, Kessler released the Second Shooter, a more affordable and portable option, primarily made for real-time stop motion and time-lapse applications.

These products are still great and are heavily used worldwide; the Second Shooter Pro was even upgraded last year. However, with the new CineShooter, you can access a fusion of the Second Shooter Pro and CineDrive, with more capabilities and a new design from the ground up.

Image credit: Kessler Crane

Kessler CineShooter – features

With the CineShooter, you can control up to 5 axes: 2 internal (pan/tilt) and 3 external axes by connecting the head to a slider motor, a FIZ system, or turntable motors. You can also set up up to 10 keyframes with its on-board control surface.

If you want to control more axes for very complex moves, an additional Wireless Expansion Module increases the number of axes to nine, and no cables will be needed to operate any of these motors from the head.

The Kessler CineShooter nodal head supports cameras that are up to 8 inches/20.3cm wide with a maximum payload capacity of around 15lbs/6.8kg.

Kessler CineShooter Heavy Duty Support Module. Image credit: Kessler Crane

If you need more, there’s an optional heavy-duty support module that increases the maximum payload capacity to 25lbs/11.3kg. With an all-aluminum chassis, the CineShooter head on its own is 5.4lb/2.2kg.

Image credit: Kessler Crane

The CineShooter head has an onboard control surface with a joystick and display interface. With WiFi and Bluetooth built-in, you can also control the head via the Kessler kOS software, the CineShooter Remote mobile app (available for iPhone, iPad, and Android), a web server, and even a PS4/XBOX controller!

The Kessler CineShooter system is powered via a 12V DC LEMO 2 Pin Power connector. You can use a MagPak via its 12V barrel connector or a V-Mount/Gold Mount battery if you purchase the optional battery plate for more portability.

Image credit: Kessler Crane

Kessler CineShooter – perfect fusion

As Eric Kessler told us, the CineShooter sits between and is like a marriage of the two – more affordable, lightweight, more functions, and high precision:

The nodal head look of the CineShooter comes from the CineDrive platform, while the main drive system and some of the components come from the Second Shooter system.

Image credit: Kessler Crane

But, the CineShooter also has clear changes on the inside with a secondary control board that offers more memory and expandability options. It’s an extremely versatile ecosystem with a lot of room for expandability and integration with third-party accessories, like the Alpha Wheels to control it and even Dragonframe.

According to Eric Kessler, the system is pretty silent at low speeds and is perfectly usable for interview shooting situations, with its new gearing on the inside.

Kessler kOS system. Image credit: Kessler Crane

With the Kessler kOS system, which is available on Mac/PC and soon Apple M1 Macs, you can now have up to 20 keyframes per axis, with a new event mode that can record and recall complex moves with a click of a button.

Finally, one impressive feature of the Kessler Remote App on iPhone is that you can have facial recognition and tracking. The CineShooter head communicates with your iPhone, to follow the subject and keep it in the frame.

Price and availability

The Kessler CineShooter head is now available, and made in the USA, for $2,800.

For more information, please visit Kessler Crane’s website here.

What do you think about the Kessler CineShooter? Did you ever use any Kessler motion control system? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

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