Product Roundup: 11 Video Rigs and Sliders
November 9, 2015
Want to expand your video capabilities? Or simply improve the production value and ease with which you shoot video? Then check out these rigs to help you deliver silky-smooth video when shooting handheld. For slow, smooth, stationary pans, add a slider to your toolbox, too.
This unique stabilizer and control system provides a compact and lightweight solution for handheld and remote shooting. The stabilizer weighs a mere 3 pounds (4 pounds with handle bar), has a load capacity of up to 5 pounds—perfect for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras—and comes with a stand for use with the optional Kinetic Remote. The BW05 can also be mounted on cars and other surfaces for the adventurous filmmaker. The intuitive remote is equipped with position sensors and is used to adjust the camera’s position in tandem with your movements as you frame the shot on a monitor. Pack the entire system in a custom Pelican case and slide it into an overhead bin when traveling. The basic kit comes with the stabilizer, stand, handlebar, custom Pelican case, mini ball head monitor mount, battery and charger. The complete kit adds the Kinetic Remote, a Paralinx Adapter and an extra battery.
Wooden Camera Shoulder Rig v2 (Mid, Brown Leather)
Taking its cue from the original version, this updated shoulder rig from Wooden Camera offers several improvements including the ability to adjust the crossbar left and right on the NATO rail. The two rosette arms are adjustable as well, as is the injection foam shoulder pad. Slide the shoulder pad forward or back to perfectly balance the camera or remove it altogether. With multi-sized threaded holes on the shoulder pad, crossbar and handles, this rig can handle pretty much any accessory you throw at it, from monitors and rod clamps to cheese plates and battery mounts, to name a few. The rig is based on ARRI standard dovetail and rosettes. It comes with two rosette handles, two rosette arms, a shoulder pad, clamp, crossbar, safety dovetail and tools.
Featuring eight high-precision steel ball bearings, Manfrotto’s newest sliders will help you nail your smooth panning shots. You can adjust the friction of the carriage to dial in your desired resistance. The slider wheels are made from a high-performance polymer to ensure fluidity, durability and quiet operation. The sliders are sold in two versions—a 24-inch model and a 39-inch version. Both feature a 3/8-inch head and can hold up to 22 pounds of camera and lens. You can buy either slider in a kit with a fluid head to pan and tilt your camera.
Flashpoint ZeroGrav Stabilizer III
The Flashpoint ZeroGrav Stabilizer III combines the stability of a tripod, the smooth movement of a dolly shot and the convenience and flexibility of shooting handheld. A free-floating gimbal with a 360-degree spin and a jib-like arm for low-angle shots add to this stabilizer’s versatility, as does its telescoping center post, which extends from 22.8 inches to 31.5 inches. The stabilizer weighs 8 pounds, has a load capacity of up to 6.6 pounds, and comes with six counterbalances. Cameras can be attached directly to the ZeroGrav’s platform or via a quick-release adapter. Flashpoint promises stability and smooth moves whether you’re walking, running or following your subject up a set of stairs.
Tiffen Steadicam M-1
The latest big rig professional sled, the M-1 is the successor to seven generations of Steadicam rigs. With its open architecture, this modular system utilizes industry rods and connectors providing extensive options for demanding camera operations. The M-1 can handle up to a 70-pound payload and features a sturdy, indexed carbon fiber post. Because it’s modular, you can start with the basics and add to the M-1 as your needs grow and change.
Prices: from $20,715 (fully configured)
The Comodo Orbit is a twin-grip, mechanical gimbal camera- stabilization rig. You don’t need weights, batteries or motors to prepare the Orbit for shooting, which simplifies setup. And, thanks to easy-access adjustment screws, balancing the camera is fairly straightforward, too. Dual handles reduce user fatigue and allow for a smooth transition between camera operators when changing scenes or shooting tricky scenes such as moving through windows. While the rig weighs only 4.4 pounds, it can handle gear that weighs up to 11 pounds.
Edelkrone Pocket Rig2
Stabilizer rigs don’t get much smaller or lighter than this 1.5-pound device, which measures 5.7 x 2.3 x 2.3 inches. Attach it to the bottom of a DSLR or small camcorder via the 1/4”-20 thread, unfold the adjustable support arm, and you’re good to go. There’s also a belt groove for monopod-style support or you can mount it on a tripod. Dual 15mm rods unfold for accessories such as follow focus and matte boxes. It’s especially useful for travel or run-and-gun shooting, but it’s equally at home in a studio.
Redrock Micro One Man Crew Director
Ideal for the single operator, the One Man Crew has been updated to a Director edition for quieter and smoother operation. The Director easily adds movement to static shots with its always-in-focus curved rail system and, when set to interview mode, the device is practically silent. The OMC Remote App for iOS and Android has a special gesture-based option to allow a single operator to control the camera’s movements while maintaining eye contact with the subject during an interview. The Director features a load capacity of up to 22 pounds and is available in a complete kit with camera head, travel bag, power cables, stand adapter and mobile app.
Glidecam VistaTrack 10-48
With its 48-inch track, this track and dolly system has a load capacity of up to 10 pounds when supported by the integrated, adjustable legs or attached to a single tripod. Add a second tripod and its load capacity triples to 30 pounds. The system comes with two quick-release plates—one for mounting the camera, the other for attaching the track to tripod legs; pick up optional QR plates for times when you need the support of a second tripod. The VistaTrack comes in a range of sizes, but we think the 10-48 model is a good balance between size and cost.
Zacuto Next Generation Recoil
The key to the latest iteration of Zacuto’s Recoil rigs is the VCT universal baseplate, which can accept any camera on the market that has a flat base—from compact mirrorless models to pro-level video cameras. The base plate provides an adjustable 7.25-inch range for sliding the camera forward or back for perfect balance. The Next Generation Recoil also sits lower than its predecessors, with a 0.75-inch rise over the shoulder. Also improved is a new Z-lock system that provides additional security over screw attachments but allows users to simply flip the lever to remove the camera or other accessory. The Next Generation Recoil is available in a wide variety of configurations, from the entry-level Docu rig to fully equipped versions capable of supporting cinema cameras like the Sony FS7 (pictured here).
Prices: from $950 (universal rigs)
Benro MoveOver Slider
From the entry-level and portable MoveOver4 with a load capacity of up to 8.8 pounds, to the sophisticated MoveOver12 that supports up to 26.5 pounds of gear, Benro offers seven options in its slider series. The budget-friendly MoveOver4—which comes in two lengths—is easy to set up, includes multiple threads for mounting, removable, articulating rubber feet and a built-in bubble level. The top-of-the-line MoveOver12 features a flywheel, two travel flat tripods, two LBA2 leveling balls, an S8 video head and a rolling grip case. If your needs (and budget) fall between the two, there are other models as well.