Here’s a really smooth pan-tilt assembly that Jacob Richards put together. The first video after the “read more” is a really well put together showcase of it in action. Around 0:40 is especially interesting when it shows the custom controller moving the camera around. The second has more explanation of how this DIY motorized pan-tilt device works.
If you wanted to build your own, the second video should give you a nice overview of everything. What’s even better, is that Jacob was nice enough to provide DIYTripods with a CAD model (in IGS format) and a bill of materials. According to Jacob, the cost should be around $240. The Arduino code apparently is no longer available, but he would be willing to explain the concepts to anyone that needs assistance!
You might notice from the video that the tools he used included a CNC plasma cutter, CNC router, and 3D printer. You may not be able to get ahold of all of these devices, but the concept should be solid, and maybe there would be a way to do something similar with more off-the-shelf parts.
He also mentions that Servocity motors are used on his project. I’ve used Servocity in the past, and they’ve even sponsored several giveaways on my blogs!
The camera he’s using looks like a higher-end point-and-shoot Cannon camera. If you’d like something a little less involved to do with your Cannon, why not try out CHDK (Cannon Hack Development Kit).
Or maybe you really want a motorized pan-tilt fixture, but this one looks like too much work. One option would be the Servocity fixture that I reviewed here, although there will probably still be some work involved. Alternatively, a quick search of Amazon revealed this motorized pan head that got pretty excellent ratings and doesn’t appear to need any modification… But what’s the fun in that?