The SYRP Slingshot is a wirecam setup that adds dynamic motion and expansive length to time-lapses at an affordable cost. Have you ever wanted to capture longer motion timelapses where a slider track just isn’t long enough? Enter SYRP Slingshot, a wirecam package that can reach distances of up to 300 feet (100m) with up to 3-axis camera movement using the SYRP Genie and Genie Mini. The SYRP Genie works as the motion control device, moving the carriage along parallel wires of your desired length, whether that’s 25m or 100m. Inter-operable with your camera, the Genie moves the carriage with the time-lapse function to create smooth and unique perspectives that can’t be achieved without the need to spend lots of money. Some of the time-lapse shots in their demo video are incredible! SYRP have designed the Slingshot with simplicity of setup and control in mind, with two mounting brackets, straps, wires, carriage and Genie all fitting into a compact bag. The maximum payload of 8kg is enough for a weighty camera and lens combo. The example video shows a Canon DSLR and lens weighing around 4kg which should give you an idea. It seems that as the Genie controls the intervalometer for movement, a continual move along the wires might not be possible. However, for time-lapse photography, it certainly goes above and beyond what you can normally capture with a static shot or even short distance movement. The SYRP Slingshot is available in a number of packages, with the standard ‘Slingshot’ package consisting of – 1 Slingshot (25m Slingshot rope and 25m Genie rope). 1 Slingshot carry bag That kit comes in at $989.00, a very affordable package compared to, for example, the Kessler Second Shooter. Of course, you’ll need a SYRP Genie to actually move the carriage, so you can get a bundle with a Genie, the link cable and ball head for $1887. The Slingshot is available now! Are you looking to shoot expansive time-lapse scenes and need a setup like this? Let us know in the comments!Read more
The Rollocam Hercules motorized slider stirred up quite a hype on Kickstarter when it was launched last year. But has it lived up to it? I got my Hercules a few months ago, and here are my impressions. The Rollocam Hercules – A Mini Motorized Slider The Rollocam Hercules is branded as ‘the worlds smallest motion control device’; it has a motor inside a metal tube that drives a wheel to make the device move. In terms of its features, it has various speed settings, stop motion control using magnetic sensors and a timelapse mode that moves the device in steps. It runs on a single AAA battery, and the motor device itself is no longer than a phone. I personally backed the Rollocam Hercules campaign as I thought it might work great as a ‘second-shooter’ for interviews, so that a wide shot can slowly move left and right without needing a bulky motorized slider like those from Kessler or Rhino Gear. Using motion in interviews can add something dynamic to your subject and scene. It makes for an interesting ‘go-to’ b-cam shot. But does the Hercules have the capability to compete against the other devices on the market? In my opinion, no. Here’s why. The Hercules has sat on my desk like an expensive paperweight since it arrived a few months ago. I was impressed with it’s functionality, and quickly mounted my iPhone to it and shoot some tests, but attaching a camera to it proved difficult. You’ve got to make sure the camera is balanced correctly or it will just tip over or the wheels won’t get enough contact with the surface. This was a big let down as I mostly shoot run and gun style, needing a quick setup. Having to fiddle with the Hercules to set it up correctly just took too much time. The menu system is confusing, but I’m sure with practice and repetition it would become second nature to scroll through the features, using only one button and corresponding flashing LED lights. The issue with this is scrolling past the settings you want to use, having to reset the device and start again. I backed the motorized slider package that also included the magnetic sensor and track, both of which are also fiddly and time-consuming to set up. The magnetic sensor works by placing a tiny magnet underneath the ‘O’ of the Rollocam logo on the device, which then starts the movement. When the Hercules reaches the second magnet, it reverses the movement back to the other magnet, going back and forth like a second shooter or motorized slider. While this is a very compact and cheap version of higher end products, it certainly doesn’t replace the need for one. The magnets are tiny, and will be easy to lose, but more importantly, you need to be really accurate with the positioning of the magnets to make the motion activate and reverse. The motorized slider track which was included in my package is very light but feels like it would bend easily. I tried attaching it to a tripod and using a magic arm to support the other end of the track, but this didn’t suffice to keep the track straight. It also increased my filming footprint: I might as well have used a slider. Of course, if you didn’t get the track option you could use the Hercules on a flat surface like the floor, pavement or table top. It has to be very smooth for uninterrupted movement, so iron out your table cloths or choose a surface that doesn’t have any bumps. I’m sure image stabilization will rectify some bumps, but larger ones will make it hard for the Hercules to roll over. In the below video shot on an iPhone, I used my laptop as a surface. Lastly, it is noisy when you mount a heavy camera on there and have it rolling at the highest speed. Probably not noticeable if you’ve got a good audio setup, but with just a camera or phone on there you can definitely pick up the motor noise with the camera’s internal microphone. So far, I have only shot a few test videos, mainly with the iPhone. I’m sure if you have time to set it up correctly your results and opinions would vary dramatically. For other applications like filming with a phone or action camera, I’m sure you’ll disagree with many of my comments, but for what I was expecting, the Rollocam Hercules didn’t live up to it, and this is very honest! We’re keen to hear your thoughts on the Hercules and see any videos or footage you have of it in use, so please drop us a comment in the section below!Read more
The Korean company Motionnine is fairly new to the equipment market, but has come up with quite a few inventive camera accessory ideas. One of the newest gadgets they showed off at IBC 2015 is an affordable compact slider that we liked. The new compact slider goes by the name Motionnine Single Linecam and is available with a length of 60 cm and 80 cm. The slider has a break and simplistic dampening system that worked quite well when we tried it at the booth and will be available in October for $185. Find out more on the Motionnine website.Read more
edelkrone is a company that keeps fascinating us with their affordable, inventive gear ideas. Also it seems they’re in a habit of doubling the size of their booth each year. In 2014 they’re taking an impressive center position in the production hall.Read more
Kessler used to call themselves “Kessler Crane”, but when they really became famous for their very well-made and popular range of sliders – so they dropped the “Crane” from their name at some point, and rightfully so. If there is one tool that adds a lot of production value without a lot of effort, it’s without a doubt a slider. I bring my Kessler CineSlider (3 foot) to almost every shoot (here’s my original CineSlider review video “Awakening” shot almost 3 years ago). I have shot countless establishing shots of documentary scenes, entire corporate films and interviews with it, and clients love the look. If it’s not motivated by the story it at least adds perspective to otherwise dull shots – and that’s something you have to deal with in corporate environments day in and day out.Read more
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