What is Panning in Video Production?

Panning is a camera technique used in video and film production, where the camera is moved horizontally from one side to another on a central axis. This is often used to capture a panoramic view or follow a subject as it moves across the field of view. The term originates from the panorama, a wide-angle view or representation of a physical space.

Understanding Panning and Its Importance

Panning is a critical aspect of film making and video production. It is used to give viewers a broader perspective of the scene, or to follow an object or character. The speed of the panning shot can dramatically affect the mood and tone of the scene. Slow pans can create a relaxed and contemplative mood, while faster pans can create a sense of action or urgency.

Implementing Panning in Your Videos

Here are some tips to execute a good panning shot:

  • Use a tripod: This will help to ensure a smooth and level pan.
  • Plan your shot: Before you begin panning, consider what you want to include in your shot.
  • Practice: Like with any other camera technique, practice makes perfect.

Common Panning Mistakes to Avoid

While panning can greatly enhance your videos, certain mistakes can detract from the viewing experience. Here are some common panning mistakes to avoid:

  • Panning too fast: This can disorient the viewer and make the scene difficult to follow.
  • Not following the subject: If you are using panning to follow a subject, make sure you keep them in frame.
  • Overusing the technique: While panning can be effective, it should not be overused as it can become distracting.


Panning is a valuable technique in video production and filmmaking. When done correctly, it can add depth and dimension to your videos, enhancing the viewing experience. As with any technique, it takes practice to master, but the effort can yield significant rewards in terms of the quality of your video production.

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