Sliders (Camera Grips)

In brief, the best candidate for me seems  to be Kessler’s Philip Bloom Signature Series variant of their Pocket Dolly (actually a slider).  In addition to hand-cranking (with damper) it has the possibility of adding on motorised control, including for timelapse.  On the other hand there is also the Stealth varant, which benefits (in my opinion) from black colour (as opposed to crimson/pink for the Bloom variant) but lacks the crank handle.  I have no experience, hence no idea how useful a crank handle is.  Like the Bloom variant, it can be motorized.

Issues / Requirements (not in order):

  • Length
    • Doesn’t have to be all that long, sometimes only 2 feet (about 0.3 metre) is sufficient.
  • Support
    • Will it mount to a standard tripod?
    • Need it be supported at each end?
  • Strength
  • Smoothness
  • Drive (Possibly):
    • Manual crank
      • Possibly with damping or inertia (most likely a flywheel)
    • Motor
  • Noise
  • Size (can be carried on a plane?)
  • Weight (can be carried on long walks?)

My previous post on this subject:

Further links:

    • People like Kessler sliders, particularly their CineSlider.  There is also the Pocket Dolly and the Philip Bloom Signature version of this, which incorporates some features from the CineSlider.
    • Also Cinevate
    • Also some curiosity about DitoGear:
      • …although one person reported <<It works great, has a good building quality but the noise it makes during “sliding” makes it unusable for shoots with sound recording>>
        • Though (if true) this would only matter if sound was being recorded (at suitably low level) in same vicinity as the slider.
      • while another stated <<the drive cam slider is close to the same price as the Kessler CineSlider.>
  • Candidates initially considered:
    • Kessler’s “Philip Bloom Signature” model, since it combines the quality features of their larger Cineslider with the convenience of their smaller/lighter
      • It can be hired:
      • 1m lightweight precision slide
      • It is … compatible with the Elektra drive and Oracle system meaning you can motorize your movements both in real time and for timelapses
        • (Hiring is almost always a good place to start, for any expensive equipment)
      • BUT can it take the weight?
        • It is clear from “Works With” Tab/Section of that it is really intended for lighter cameras such as DSLRs or “pocket” camcorders.
        • But then at it is stated that:
          • It is able to support cameras up to 15 lbs – an EX3 is only about half this weight. In contrast the next model up – the CineSlider – carries up to 80 lbs, which would be way overkill.
          • Also it is available in two lengths:
            • 2 foot “Traveler”
            • 3 foot “Standard”
    • Kessler’s “Stealth” model:
        • Like the Bloom is a hybrid between the Pocket Dolly and CineSlider, the Stealth is a hybrid between the Pocket Dolly and Bloom.
        • We had a number of requests from customers that said they liked the Bloom, but would prefer it in black. As well we had requests to have a slider with the belt drive and drag, but they did not need or want a crank handle.
        • Like the Pocketdolly V2 the Stealth can be fitted with the ElektraDRIVE motor system for motion control automation. Visit the ElektraDRIVE page for options
        • The Philip Bloom Signature Pocket Dolly 3′ will be supplied in a flight case with the following –
          • Outrigger Feet
          • Flat Mount Adaptor
          • Soft case
          • Manfrotto 577 Quick Release Plate
        • A Pocket Dolly being operated first by directly pushing the carriage and then by the hand-crank.
          • What I saw matched my expectations:
            • The direct-push was less even
            • The hand-crank was more even but gave an “up and down” tilt effect to the camera.
    • Pocket Slider
        • Very basic indeed – but intriguing
        • A motorized carriage, using 8 AA battery cells.
        • A plain bit of slider-metal, attachable toa tripod
        • The slider may be operated in a horizontal, vertical and overhead way.
        • The maximum camera weight in horizontal operation is approx. 6 kg (13 lbs), in vertical/diagonal function approx. 3,5 kg (7.7 lbs) (including head).
        • But the image shows a DSLR, and it remains to be seen if it would be sufficiently stable for an EX3 etc., especially with the moment of inertia of a long lens.

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