September 6, 2016

Smooth out Your Videos with Camera Sliders

Trevor Holmes

Creative

To start things off on the right track, here’s a tribute to sliders everywhere:

It’s not every day that we break out a slider or a dolly here at Wistia. Most of the time, we use a tripod, monopod, or another bare-bones setup for the videos we create. But every now and then, we have a need for controlled motion, whether it’s to make B-roll more motivated, or to bring to life video concepts that fit perfectly with a slider theme.

And for those times, we rely on these sliding devices to give us that cinematic, smooth-looking feel. The following silent video loop is a compilation of slider and dolly shots from some Wistia videos.

Sliding outside of Wistia

For many video producers outside of Wistia, sliders are considered an essential part of a video toolkit. They’re used regularly for real estate videos, wedding videos, testimonials, event recaps, and B-roll in general. Really, any time you want to show something in a more dynamic way, a slider is a great go-to tool.

Sliders around town

Sliders are usually attachments that go on your tripod. They can be anywhere from 1-4 feet, depending on what your preference is, and they come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, including sliders with ball bearings, tracks, and wheels. Sliders take little time to set up, and they’re generally easy to move around. They’re also relatively light, making them ideal travel companions.

We’ve compiled a small list of our favorite sliders (and a dolly system) to help you give your next video some motion!

Cheap option: Kessler Pocket Slider

The Kessler Pocket Slider is a great option for slider beginners. It’s easy to set up – all you need is a Quick Release Plate to go on top of the slider.
Quick tip: Watch out for slider tilt! Since this slider is 38 inches long, it tends to tilt as the camera gets close to each end.

Expensive option: Edelkrone Slider Plus

Edelkrone has got the lock down on making really dependable sliders and slider add-ons that can take your cinematic slides to the next level. It’s a little more expensive, but totally worth it if you’re looking to build a slide rig that is portable and versatile.

Edelkrone makes a variety of accessories that integrate with the Slider Plus, so if you’re in the market, be sure to check those out!

Our favorite: Rhino Slider

The Rhino Slider is our tried-and-true here at Wistia. It’s lightweight, portable, and easy to set up. There’s no fancy side to this slider, but it doesn’t need it because it’s so smooth. We personally have the Carbon Fiber 24-inch Rhino, and it’s proven to hold up well after years of heavy use. If you’re looking to build a slider rig, Rhino has a ton of upgrades and different slider kits with features like time-lapse mode and exchangeable rails for creating unique shots.

Slider’s colleague, Dolly: Glide Gear track and wheeled tripod

A dolly system is made up of a set of rails coupled with a wheeled attachment. For those times you need a little extra roll in your shot, look no further than a dolly.

The setup time is a little longer, but instead of being limited by a 4-foot slider, you can keep sliding, as long as you have the rails to do so. We’ve used this system in more stylized video concepts at Wistia. You can achieve a similar effect with a camera stabilizer, but the dolly provides you with even more control.

We’ve had the 12-foot Glide Gear system for a couple years now, and it’s kept us looking pretty smoooooooooth.

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