On this week's Reel Rebel episode we share another common filmmaking technique that's often used by professionals to capture smooth, cinematic looking shots – through the use of a camera slider. Professional camera slider systems can be quite pricey and until recently, affordable systems were just poorly made in comparison. Thankfully, Stephen has discovered a new, affordable slider for DSLR cameras called the Rhino Slider.
Camera Slider/Dolly Systems
If you’ve ever wondered how filmmakers follow the action with those smooth tracking cinematic shots, the most common answer is through the use of a dolly slider system for camera rigs. Generally speaking, a camera slider is a dolly that is simply slimmed down and usually mounts on a single tripod. The base of the tripod slides along a track and enables you to shoot a moving subject with ease. The purpose of a dolly is to give you more dynamic shots with the least amount of effort. It allows you to get that camera moving in tight spaces where you can’t get equipment that is big or bulky.
Most sliders fit into one of these two categories:
- Friction-Based Camera Sliders - This type of slider is typically inexpensive and affordable. However, the problem with this type of slider is that is going to be much less smooth than the next type, roller bearing sliders.
- Roller-Bearing Camera Sliders - This type offers a much smoother movement, but comes at a cost and some may consider them cost-prohibitive.
The Rhino Slider Review: Affordable DSLR Camera Slider
The Rhino Slider is a new slider that was launched as a kickstarter project and seems to be the answer to achiveing the smoothness of a roller bearing slider at an affordable price. This type of slider is friction based, but has six rollers at the base of the camera sled which allows for smooth gliding. It is lightweight, and can adapt to any environment or camera (GoPro, iPhone, DSLR or RED). It is a 48″ camera slider that uses 12 bearings inside of six rollers that are self lubricating. There is so little friction that you can just use gravity to move your shots.
Using the Rhino Slider is simple. You just mount your camera to the carriage, set up your shot, and start filming. Having an extra foot or two makes a huge difference. A four foot range of motion gives you plenty of space. It helps to give you a big, cinematic-looking shot.
The system comes with locking all-terrain legs which help you to get really low shots, and help you go places where you might not be able to get a tripod. It includes micro adjustable rubber feet that can fold up for travel. In fact, the entire system can be disassembled for cleaning and storage with only four fasteners that don’t require tools.
There is a Rhino Slider Carbon version (at $475 USD) and a Rhino Slider PRO version (at $550 USD). The PRO can hold up to 35 pounds of camera gear with its solid stainless steel rails. And, it isn’t heavy as it weighs only about 10 pounds. The PRO version includes a center mounting plate if you're using a single tripod. Future enhancements are said to include both a motor for time lapse and expansion with linking rails.
Question: Do you use a slider? If so, what tips do you have for using it effectively?
View The Full Video Transcript:
Hey I’m Stephen Schweickart with this episode of the Reel Rebel. We’ve been giving you a lot of tips recently on how to not suck at editing so we’re going to switch it up a bit this time around and do an equipment review of the Rhino Slider!
Before I tell you what the Rhino Slider is, you should probably know what a plain ole slider is, right? Right. So a slider is simply a slimmed down version of a dolly that usually just mounts on a single tripod. It’s purpose is to give you more dynamic shots with the least amount of effort, and allow you to get that camera moving in tight spaces where you can’t get big, bulky equipment.
The downside to affordable, friction-based sliders though is that they stick. They’re cheap, yeah, but you get what you pay for (such as my haircut). Getting smooth motion out of sliders like this is a gigantic pain. On the other end, smoother sliders are much more expensive and even for the price they tend to be loud, making it impossible to collect audio during your shots.
Enter the Rhino Slider. The brainchild of Kyle Hart, this piece of equipment will bring the quality of your footage up a few notches. The Rhino Slider sheds the friction-based idea and has six rollers at the base of the camera sled which smoothly glide the camera along 48” stainless steel or carbon filled rails, depending on which version of the product you buy. That’s a four foot range of motion, plenty of space to give you the big, cinematic looking shots your piece is most definitely lacking. Let’s face it, you’re the one shooting it.
Set up is a piece of cake. You can mount the rig on two tripods, mount it on one tripod if you picked up the single-tripod mounting bracket, or for really cool shots set one end on a tripod and the opposite end on the ground giving you double the motion for zero extra effort. In this case, using the slider pulley is a must, to help give you even smoother motion when moving the camera at these strange angles.
If you’re looking to get really crazy, use the all-terrain legs to get really low shots, and to take you places where you may not be able to get a tripod. They even provided a set of suction cups for the Rhino Slider, so you can suck less, which will let you mount it places you would never be able to without them, like the hood of a car, or the mirrored ceiling in my bathroom. I shouldn’t have told you that...
Anyway, people are still developing add-ons for the Slider, including a smart phone-controlled motor. When this thing comes out, it’s going to be a very exciting time for amateur videographers like yourself.
Let us know what you think of the Rhino Slider in the comments below, and don’t forget to slide on over to the like button and the sliiiide on up to subscribe to our channel for more reviews coming soon to a Youtube near you.