Camera sliders ensure you capture smooth footage every time with a compelling edge and finesse that creates impact in your videos. And they unlock a variety of angles, pans, and movements that are sure to impress viewers. And for this reason, they become a borderline essential tool in a filmmaker’s kit, right up there with a good video tripod. Not to mention, they also help provide added stability for your camera setup too. And they can create consistent focus pulls when needed.
So gone are the days of hand holding a heavy setup, struggling to keep things stable, consistent, and in focus. Instead, merely attach your camera to the slider, connect the app, set the resistance as needed, then relax as smooth footage unveils.
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But, when it comes to sliders, the options are endless. And the prices, designs, and general capabilities also vary wildly. Should you spend more and get a motorized slider? Or are manual sliders better? Questions like these will quickly rise. So while this accessory appears simple, it can be confusing to sort out how a specific model will help your workflow. So to help in that quest, we’ve compiled a list of the best camera sliders on the present market. And we’ve also included a quick guide on the relevant factors to consider beforehand.
Syrp Genie II 3-Axis Pro Slider Kit
Syrp’s Genie II is an industry-setting release aimed at seasoned filmmakers wanting unrivaled flexibility from a 3-axis motion controller.
This kit features everything needed to get started. In this case, it has a dedicated slider, called the Magic Carpet, and two motorized motion-control heads, the Linear and Pan Tilt. Together, the Genie II kit becomes a powerful 3-axis motorized system, ready to tackle any filming situation. But it also shines in its intuitive app-based functionality, solving a major frustration with most motion control systems. Instead, you’ll control this system with the Syrp Genie app, available for iOS and Android, ready for 8 hours of video recording.
There you can set up complex shots and make tweaks to the various motion parameters like keyframes or use presets. And you can control the speed and timing of each axis independently. After which, Genie follows the preprogrammed maneuver, no matter the difficulty. The slider itself offers a 36 travel distance and supports payloads up to 70 lbs (32 kg). While, the full package weighs 19.9 lbs (9 kg) and supports cameras up to 12.3 lbs (5.6 kg) with a 90º movement. Other bonuses include an onboard LCD, a removable battery, and a carrying bag.
Overall, Genie II builds on the proven successes of the original model. Sure, it’s mind-bogglingly expensive. But, it’s class-leading amongst the competition. And it ups the standards considerably in this space with three innovative products united for outstanding results.
iFootage Shark Slider S1
The iFootage Shark Slider S1 is arguably their best mid-range slider to date and a release that provides massive value to filmmakers.
At 7.5 lbs (3.4 kg), it’s not particularly light. But, it uses a durable aluminum and carbon fiber combination along with long-lasting bearings, thicker tubes, and a flywheel. This flywheel is also dampened, further smoothing its acceleration or deceleration. Additionally, iFootage has installed six long-wearing bearings and a durable drive belt, upping the lifespan fivefold over the competition. So, the added weight has come with advantages, it seems. This slider offers a 25 in (63 cm) travel distance and a max payload of 15.5 lbs (7 kg), making it perfect for small cinema rigs. However, you can unscrew the rails and extend the travel distance to 47 in (119 cm), all on the fly, without needing tools. It also features both 1/4″ and 3/8″ threads too for maximum compatibility and seamless mounting. Plus, it has adjustable feet for added stability. Other bonuses include a carrying case, a flywheel, and extension tubes.
Overall, while pricey, it’s a truly professional package that’s ideal for filmmakers wanting a lifetime of flexibility and genuine cinema quality.
PROAIM Sway Pro
PROAIM’s Sway Pro unveils a new generation of compact expandable sliders. And it’s quite a unique option that breaks the conventional mold.
This slider uses a smart moving hinged design that quadruples the camera’s traveling distance to 1.5 ft (46 cm) with flawless movement. But, you can also perform push-in and push-out moves too. And given its design, it does so without ever entering the frame, saving time in post-processing. Plus, it’s also quite durable despite its compact nature. PROAIM added an aluminum construction powerful enough to support cameras up to 22 lbs (10 kg). Yet, the device itself is lightweight at only 3.3 lb (1.5 kg) and small at 7.5 in (19 cm), making it effortless to transport. You’ll mount this slider to a tripod and ball head via the standard 3/8″ thread. There, you’ll use its all manual design and friction adjustment knob to achieve consistent movements. There’s also a new locking feature to capture static shots. But, either way, there’s no need for lugging around external power or hassling with programming.
Overall, PROAIM’s Sway Pro is ultra-portable and efficient. And it’s the perfect suit for videographers wanting manual control and utmost portability.
MOZA Slypod E
Gudsen’s MOZA Slypod E is a unique take on traditional motion sliders. And it brings outstanding 2-in-1 functionality to boast.
The Slypod E debuts with a unique design that does away with the traditional four-legged design used by conventional sliders. Instead, it looks more like a monopod, with a single stable carbon fiber base that glides the camera along a center pole. This design makes it stable in the wind and weatherproof against the elements. It’s also highly adaptable, with a simple construction that locks and unlocks for quick setups or tear downs. Yet, it supports devices up to 20 lbs (9 kg) vertically or 9 lbs (4 kg) horizontally, easily accommodating anything from a smartphone to a compact cinema camera. And it offers a travel distance of 11 inches (28 cm) in both directions. Yet, the device itself is light, coming in at 1.6 lbs (0.75 kg) and fully collapsible to 23 in (58 cm). As such, it’s perfectly apt to create traditional sliding shots along with jibs and overhead shots too. You’ll control this device from the MOZA Master app, available for Android and iOS. There you can program its speed and travel distance. And it’s ready for 2 hours of runtime. But, thankfully, you can charge it via a USB power bank for non-stop shooting if needed. Other bonuses include a rainproof bag, and the device doubles as a working monopod.
Overall, Gudsen’s MOZA Slypod E is clever, powerful, and innovative. And it combines traditional motion control into a new package with high amounts of stability, making it a standout amongst the crowd.
Great Video Maker’s J80D aims to combine a broad range of automatic functions while remaining more affordable than rivals.
This 32-inch slider offers a robust carbon fiber construction weighing only 5 lbs (2.27 kg). But, its newly designed motors offer a max load rating of 11 lbs (4.99 kg). As such, it’s a great option for larger DSLRs with cages or mid-range cinema cameras. And it offers a travel distance of 29 in (74 cm). But, crucially, it offers a wide selection of movements from straight (called the common shot) to time-lapse, a parallax tracking shot, and 120º panoramic shooting.
GVM also bundles a remote, letting you adjust the start or endpoints, motor torque, slip speed, interval, stop-time, and the number of photos. Thus, there’s no need to control or move the camera manually whatsoever. Instead, it can capture time-lapses at set intervals automatically. Or the parallax feature produces smooth and precise movements to track a chosen subject for you. Plus, you can even set up the slider to auto loop for hands-free operation, making it great when a second operator isn’t available. Outside of that, it also has adjustable non-slip feet and several 1/4″ and 3/8″ screws for convenient mounting. And other bonuses include a carrying case and a warranty.
Overall, the GVM J80D is an excellent option for videographers who want a motorized slider. But one that’s feature-packed, straightforward, and affordable.
Rhino Camera Gear ROV PRO
Rhino’s ROV Pro is a high-end motorized slider that’s the perfect suit for those after a more premium option. But one that’s also portable, lightweight, and surprisingly affordable.
This slider uses a unibody design coupled with a lightweight aluminum body weighing only 1.3 lb (0.6 kg). Yet, it’s also exceptionally portable, measuring just 17 in (43 cm) long. Even so, it manages a battery life rated for 24 hours of operation and a max payload rating of 5 lbs (2.26 kg). This slider comes ready to take both DSLR and mirrorless cameras using its integrated quick-release ball-head. But, Rhino also includes a phone mount, letting it interface with compatible devices. There, you can install the ROV app, available for Android and iOS, to control the device and camera movement via Bluetooth. Either way, you’ll get a travel distance of 8 in (20 cm). But its motorized nature and built-in folding legs will ensure you get smooth footage, despite rough, uneven terrain. Other bonuses include a 2.5mm port that triggers the camera’s shutter for time-lapses, a backpack, a variable ND filter, and a warranty.
Overall, Rhino’s ROV PRO is an excellent option if you want an automated slider system, well suited to both professional filmmaking and mobile videography. And one ready to add professionalism to anyone’s modern-day adventurers.
What to Look For in Camera Sliders?
Manufacturers make sliders out of either carbon fiber, aluminum, or steel. And each has its pros and cons when it comes to weight, durability, and load capacity. But, if you want something lightweight and strong, carbon fiber is best. However, if you want a slider with the highest payload rating to accommodate a large camera setup, aluminum and steel are best.
You can find sliders with a wide range of lengths, ranging from 12-70 inches. But, generally, the longer the slider, the more unwieldy it becomes and the more strenuous the setup. So it’s essential to consider how you plan on using it beforehand. If you want something portable, look for sliders that are 24-inches or less. Otherwise, the longer units will require more balancing and be cumbersome in the field. But, they will provide more shooting options and adaptability.
Manual or Electric
You can find both manual and electric sliders, controlled by Bluetooth or a dedicated remote. Each has its pros and cons. Manual camera sliders are generally more robust and straightforward to operate. But, they do require technique and experience to use. So, for beginners, electric sliders are the best, and they’ll let you achieve high-end effects immediately. Otherwise, manual sliders continue to be the industry-standard given the amount of control they provide.
Sliders range in the amount of camera equipment they support. And you can find sliders supporting anywhere from 5- 30 lbs. So, it’s essential that you weigh your heaviest setup before selecting the appropriate slider. The rule of thumb is to choose your largest camera body, heaviest lens and rig it as normal with accessories. Then use that setup as your absolute maximum.
The last consideration is the weight of the slider itself. You can find sliders ranging from 1-15 lbs. Lightweight slides, less than 5 lbs, are ideal to take when traveling and offer quick setups. But, they’re not as stable and generally have lower load capacities. So consider the portability and stability you want.
Last Updated on September 10, 2023 by Photography PX Published May 15, 2021