If you’ve got a keen eye for film, chances are you’ve noticed how powerful a lateral tracking shot can be. Whether you’re trying to make your product review footage as slick as possible, or trying to make a shot in your indie film more dynamic, the camera slider is as indispensable as a good Monopod or Glidecam. Today we’re going to find you the best camera slider to help you figure out which one is the best to suit your needs as a filmmaker.
- 1 Best Camera Slider – Our Top 5 Picks
- 1.1 1. Best Motorized Camera Slider
- 1.2 Best Camera Slider For DSLR
- 1.3 Best Budget Camera Slider ($80ish)
- 1.4 Best Camera Slider For The Money
- 1.5 Best Cheap Camera Slider ($40-50)
- 2 Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Camera Slider For You
- 3 What Is A Camera Slider?
- 4 How To Make a Camera Slider At Home – DIY Camera Slider
Best Camera Slider – Our Top 5 Picks
1. Best Motorized Camera Slider
This is by far the best camera slider on this list. It’s quite a bit more expensive than all the other options we reviewed, but you’re buying a professional grade slider. Sliders are a really effective tool, but there’s only so much you can do with your bare hands. If you want a perfectly timed precise shot, you will need to incorporate an automated motor.
If you’re planning on doing any sort of moving time-lapse shooting, this is the only choice for you. Moving time lapses require a camera to move at a very slow, precise speed to make sure everything comes out perfect. This particular slider allows you to adjust the sliding speed, dwell time, sliding distance, pause time, and basically everything you need to have complete control over your camera motion. The motor is also completely silent in case you are worried about camera noise when shooting interviews.
The slider has settings with a rotating head, allowing you to do panoramas and parallax shots. The feature that stood out to us the most however was the ability to do tracking shots. The slider comes with a device that can be planted on a subject so that your camera will follow it as it slides through your preset settings. It’s really cool!
Not only does this device have excellent motor functions, it’s also a very well built, high quality slider. It weighs only 5 pounds, is nearly 32″ long, and is constructed from 8 layers of carbon fiber making it very stable despite its light weight. Pretty much every single piece of this slider is adjustable, so you can be sure it will work great in whatever situation you throw at it. It even comes with a great carrying bag and a shutter extension line!
The load bearing weight is 11 pounds, so do understand that if you have a heavier rig you will likely need to go with something much more heavy duty like the Shark Slider S1 that can handle up to a 15 pound payload.
Best Camera Slider For DSLR
Neewer is a brand we find ourselves recommending a lot on this site, because they make great high quality products at a fair price. The Neewer Carbon Fiber camera track is the best pro-sumer quality carbon fiber slider we found in all of our reviews. A staggeringly low amount of consumers have had issues with theirs, meaning it’s a very safe, consistently quality product.
The payload capacity is over 17 pounds! That’s one of the heaviest ones we could find on the site, and that means it will work great with any consumer grade camera and even many pro rigs. The slider is made of carbon fiber resulting in a lightweight yet ridged design that slides incredibly smoothly. Many reviewers stated that they felt like more expensive sliders they bought in the past were a “Total waste of money”, and they wish they just picked this one up to begin with. It even beats out some sliders that can cost up to $800.
The 47.2″ model is obviously the best in terms of versatility and is slightly more expensive, but there are 4 options available at different sizes and price points. There’s a 24″, 32″ and 39″ model, but we think the price difference is not large enough to warrant buying anything but the best one if you care about length. All sizes include a very handy carrying bag for you to easily transport your slider. Did we mention the whole slider weighs less than 5 pounds?
If you don’t need a motor and want the best slider possible for your videos or indie films, this one is your guy.
Best Budget Camera Slider ($80ish)
The StudioFX 40″ Camera Slider is one of the most popular sliders on the market. It’s one of the best choices you’re going to find in the 80-90$ price range, and will definitely not fail to provide you with smooth clean vertical, horizontal, and lateral slides.
The Slider has a maximum load of 15 pounds, which is a bit on the higher end of the devices we’ve looked at. It’s incredibly light at a little over 2 pounds, and uses a very slick ball bearing slide system that reviewers say is very consistent. It is built from Aluminum steel, which typically is supposed to have more issues than carbon fiber, but the reviewers seem to be very satisfied with it in this case.
This slider is more simple to set up than any of the others we’ve seen, and is perfect for those looking for a good slider on a smaller budget. It even includes a nice little carrying bag with a comfortable shoulder strap that has been praised by many!
As this model is on the cheaper side, there are bound to be some trade-offs, but our review deemed them to be quite minimal. The main complaint unsatisfied customers seemed to have was that there was some wobble and lack of smoothness in certain cases. A closer examination determined that if the track is worn in properly by some light usage, the track will begin to operate very smoothly as intended!
Best Camera Slider For The Money
We think this is the best slider you can get on this list in terms of the cost to quality ratio. The Imorden ball bearing camera slider is one of the most popular camera sliders on amazon, and has very strong reviews.
The plate on the slider features a bubble level to help you make sure your shots wont end up unintentionally canted. There are holes on both ends as well as the middle of the track to give you multiple mounting options with either one or two tripods. The small legs on each side are actually coated with rubber to prevent sliding and scratching; a touch we really liked that most other sliders neglected.
The slider is available in 3 lengths, 32″, 40″, and 48″, with all having an excellent maximum payload of 15 lbs. This load capacity is definitely on the higher side and will support any consumer grade camera rig. It comes with a very handy nylon carrying case with an adjustable strap, and even a microfiber cloth for maintaining your equipment!
If you’re on a budget and want to make sure you’re getting the best camera slider for the money, go with the Imorden camera slider. I’ve quoted many reviewers saying that it is the “perfect entry level slider” and that it’s an excellent value for the money. The company has also been constantly praised for their excellent support and customer service, so this slider is a really safe bet!
Best Cheap Camera Slider ($40-50)
If you’re completely broke but still want to be able to achieve smooth lateral motion, this is the best choice. This product brings a functioning slider in a much more affordable, albeit heavier, form. The quality is nowhere near that of their carbon fiber offering, but it still seems to function quite well.
It’s able to be mounted onto a Tripod through holes on both ends and also in the middle, allowing you to use 2 tripods or 1 to stand it upright. It also includes two pairs of legs to raise the slider up to 2 inches off of the ground. It comes in several sizes ranging from 24″ to 48″, with the cheapest model available for under 40$! That’s the most accessible slider we’ve ever seen.
The payload support is on the lighter side, only rated for around 11 pounds of camera gear. However, if you’re working with that heavy of a camera rig, chances are you already have the budget for the more hefty carbon fiber option.
As we’ve already praised Neewer in this article, this slider is of very high quality despite its cheap price. There are a few complaints we did notice in our research that pertained only to this cheaper model. A few users remarked that the metal and other materials feel a great deal cheaper than the ones on the more premium models. This effects the weight, and in some more defective cases, can make the ability to get smooth slides a bit inconsistent. Bear in mind these complaints are still relatively rare and the vast majority of consumers are still very satisfied.
Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Camera Slider For You
Here are some of the key points you should examine when determining which slider you should get!
This is the most important factor you will need to take into consideration. Longer sliders are pretty much objectively always better. Unless you’re shooting in some ultra-specific situation where you can only fit a small slider, longer ones will always give you more options. However, longer camera sliders are also more expensive, so if you’re on a tight budget and just need a small amount of movement, the shorter sliders will do you just fine.
Build Quality / Material
Like the Boom Poles and Monopods we’ve taken a look at in the past, all of the sliders we reviewed were either constructed from carbon fiber, or an aluminum alloy. Carbon Fiber tends to be much lighter and also more ridged than aluminum, but also comes at a higher price. We noticed a trend while reviewing these sliders – there were much more complaints of smoothness issues with the aluminum sliders than the carbon fiber ones. Don’t worry though, The aluminum alloy ones perform just fine in our tests.
Depending on the material used in the construction, each slider will have a different payload capacity. If this capacity is exceeded, the slider may fail to slide smoothly and it will defeat the purpose. The capacity also tends to be lower for motorized units, so carefully consider how heavy your camera rig is going to be before making a purchase. A DSLR by itself is just a couple pounds, but larger camera rigs with tons of accessories can get quite heavy quickly.
Some of the camera sliders we examined came with free accessories like stands and carrying cases! While these are always excellent tools, some people may already have equipment containers or dedicated stands that they plan to use with their slider. If you don’t need accessories, you may potentially save money by buying a
What Is A Camera Slider?
A camera slider is a device comprised of tracks that are placed upon a set of tripod legs, a light stand, or even the ground. These tracks are equipped with a small carriage that can mount a camera or other device to achieve smooth motion. The device allows you to slide your camera in a vertical, lateral, or even diagonal motion that will completely eliminate choppiness if used properly.
We think that the slider is one of the most necessary and versatile tools in any production kit. In film school, I often used a skateboard as a substitute when I did not have access to one, but that will only take you so far.
Here’s a video we found from Cinecom.net’s YouTube channel that illustrates 10 really cool things you can do with a slider. Buying one of these will massively expand the variety of shots you’ll be able to get.
How To Make a Camera Slider At Home – DIY Camera Slider
If even our cheapest option is still too much for your budget, we’ve found this YouTube video from Film Riot that will show you how to make a camera slider at home! It only comes out to about $10!