DSLR rigs are mostly about a minimal crew working quickly. Corporate videos, wedding videos, music videos and short films – this is where these systems are used the most.
A dolly is heavy and needs extra manpower to rig. But you want to have a dolly/tracking/trolley shot in a confined space. What do you do? You get a slider or table-top dolly.
A slider is a stationary dolly, where only the head moves (slides).
$100 to $300
$300 to $500
$500 to $1,000
The above can take about 7 kg (15 lbs). This is fine for DSLRs, the BMCC, and the prosumer cameras.
For motorized sliding, add an ElektraDrive Oracle system to your slider.
The CineSlider can go up to 5 feet and can take a load of 36.3kg (80 lbs). And it only weighs about 5 kg. If you want to go even higher in weight, this can take up to 90 kg (200 lbs):
Here’s a video with more info:
Be careful of cheap sliders. If not machined well, they’ll have tiny bumps that will show up such on your cherished footage. Cheap knock-offs also use poorly made alloys, and are usually thinner as well. These deform easily.
There is one potentially serious disadvantage to sliders – you might need two tripods to support a slider at both ends. If you’re working off a flat surface, like a table, then this might not be a problem.
For quick movements in places you otherwise can’t reach, a table-top dolly might be useful. The disadvantage is that you have no control over the level – you are entirely dependent on the surface you are moving on. Furthermore, your range and speed of movement is limited by ergonomics.
They’re cheap. Do I recommend them? Hell, no. If I’m moving the camera, I want absolute control over it. Anything less is unacceptable.
Next, we’ll look at Jibs and Cranes, and finish our round-up of tripod rigs.