Pivo Max + Essential Kit Review: An Elegantly Simple Content Creation Tool

The Lowdown

Do I recommend the Pivo Max + Essential Kit? Yes, this is an elegant solution if you are looking for a device to handle shooting for you while you create demonstrations or create content for social media or other uses.



  • Ease of use
  • Excellent tracking
  • Elegant design
  • Flexibility of use
  • Helpful related apps


  • The Essential Kit should include a horseshoe mount

Pivo is a California-based company that makes a line of content creation tools, including camera tracking pods and related accessories such as lights, microphones, and tripods. They offer three versions of their main product, the AI-powered Pivo Pod: Pivo Pod Lite, Pivo Pod, and Pivo Max. In this review, we’ll be looking at the Pivo Max + Essential Kit.

Pivo Max + Essential Kit filming a man working out in a gymThe differences between the various products include more types of tracking, increased rotational speed, six speed modes as opposed to three, the ability to carry heavier devices such as tablets and cameras, 10–12 hour battery life as opposed to six, the inclusion of a remote control and the addition of the LED ring light.

The Pods are available for purchase independently or in kits specialized by activity type, such as the Equestrian Pack. For this review, we are looking at the most capable of the pods, the Pivo Max with the Essential Kit, which sells for $349.99.

The Pivo Max + Essential Kit includes a wireless remote control, a smart mount, a travel case that holds the Pivo Max and the remote control, and a tripod. Depending on your intended use, Pivo offers several accessories, including a Power Bank to charge your mobile devices during shooting, various mounts and cases, lights, and wireless microphones.

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What does the Pivo Max do, and why do you need one? The Pivo Max is an AI-powered camera tracking device that keeps the subject in frame, in focus, and zoomed in automatically.

The tracking is achieved using your smartphone or tablet, which can be in landscape or portrait orientation, depending on the use of the video or photos being shot. You can also add a DSLR or mirrorless camera, including their lenses if they are within the acceptable weight range. Even my Canon 6DMk2 with a mid-sized lens worked fine.

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Please note that you will still need a horseshoe mount to use the smart mount to hold your smartphone over your camera. It is also important to note that while the Pivo can control the shooting functions of connected smartphones and tablets, it cannot communicate in that way with cameras.


The Pivo Max is a blast to use. The design is intuitive and elegant. The construction is solid, and the materials have a great feel, but by far, the best part is how easy it is to get great results. Once unboxed, you simply screw your Pivo Max to the tripod, download the Pivo+ app to your smart or tablet, pair your device with the Pivo and you’re off.

There are many gimbals on the market that can handle larger cameras and can accommodate more than the horizontal-only movement of the Pivo, but they are typically more expensive and more complicated to set up and use. The true beauty of the Pivo Max is its simplicity and focus on the tasks that it is intended to do. Besides the tracking function, the Pivo Max also enables some very smooth panning using the remote control.

Pivo Max + Essential Kit Review: An Elegantly Simple Content Creation ToolPivo offers several other apps, each for a specific task, with the Pivo+ app being the central one for typical use. With this app, users can select the type of tracking they prefer, including face, body, horse, and dog. I have tested all but the horse function and can confirm they all work well. You can intentionally move too fast or jump out of the frame if you try, but in my use, all regular motions were smoothly followed.

Other Pivo apps include the free Pivo Play for social media content creation and the Pivo Tour for the creation of virtual reality tours for the real estate market.

With Pivo Play, users can take photos using smart capture using voice, gesture, pose, or action capture. The app includes many special effects perfect for social media, including 50/50, many me, motion timelapse, double take, tiny planet, and panorama.

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Pivo Tour creates 360-degree virtual tours of interior spaces with a click of the remote. Pivo Tour can help you capture, create, and manage the entire process of creating interactive 3D models for a one-time fee of $499.99. This also covers the cost of hosting the online models that you can integrate into your websites or share with others.

Up to the end of August 2023, Pivo had a few other apps, including Pivo Cast, Pivo Live, and Pivo Present. These have been discontinued, and their functionality has been added to Pivo+ and Pivo Play.

The Pivo Max is a CES Innovation Awards Nominee for 2023

Pivo Max Specifications

Supported devices: Android or iOS smartphones and tablets, cameras
Movement axis: Horizontal pan only
Rotation: 360 degrees
Battery life: Approximately 10-12hrs
Weight: 356g
Max payload: 2kg

Do I recommend the Pivo Max + Essential Kit? Yes, this is an elegant solution if you are looking for a device to handle shooting for you while you create demonstrations or create content for social media or other uses.

The device and related hardware are very nicely designed and feel solid. Depending on your intended uses, there are alternatives. Some systems provide higher quality, increased distances, and the ability to carry video cameras. Some include special software that can analyze your video footage, but these increased features come with costs.

For $349.99, the Pivo Max + Essential Kit provides powerful capabilities with ease. The system is expandable and, again, so easy and fun to use.

On its own, the Pivo Max sells for $249.99, and combined with the Essential Kit, it sells for $349.99; the Pivo Max is available directly from the manufacturer and other retailers, including B&H Photo and Amazon.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review samples

What I Like: Ease of use: Excellent tracking; Elegant design; Flexibility of use; Helpful related apps

What Needs Improvement: The Essential Kit should include a horseshoe mount

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About the Author

Charles Kliment
A lifelong gearhead, as a teenager Charles was obsessed with high-end audio and musical instruments and through the years has focused on computers, mobile devices, 3d printing and drones. Both in his career and hobby, he employs a wide range of video, still and VR cameras. An avid gamer, dog lover and father of three adult sons, Charles is married to Jane Randel and lives in New Jersey.

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