I had been looking at Edelkrone motorized sliders for hours, researching something that would hopefully last me a few years, and do all the cool stuff they'd show on their videos. Their advertisements are enticing by the way, the marketing team should be commended. But it'd be thousands of dollars with everything said and done, so it was still going to be a while before I'd be able to complete the system. Still the sale was 30% off, and modular so I could build some pieces here and there.
But then I happened across a video by Gerald Undone of Youtube that compared his Edelkrone system with the one from RhinoGear. It honestly changed my mind about the Edelkrone system, especially since I fell for the tabletop unit and found it lacking in practice.
On a whim, I checked Amazon for 2 axis motorized sliders, and found something for $599! This is the full title description and link to the one I got: 2-Axis Motorize Camera Slider 32'' Electronic Video Slider 360 Degree Rotate Auto Loop Track System Shooting Equipped with Wireless Controller Tracking Shooting Video Slider,Load up to 22lbs.
How could that be when the competition charged almost twice that on the lower end, with even less capabilities. I checked Youtube for some reviews, but only came up with one that didn't really go into the details, but was generally positive.
We are all under shelter-in-placed quarantine so I had extra time on my hands. Minutes later, I ordered one to try. Free returns anyway if it doesn't work out.
Two weeks later it had arrived, in decent shape. The case it came in looks impressive in pictures, but turns out to be not very durable, and not suitable for professional day to day use, and transport. This would be a theme as I continued with the testing.
Its made of carbon fiber tubes, meter end pieces and mounts, plastic motor housing, and a heavy rotating head that also serves as the structure for the 3D version of this (which was not available on Amazon at the time I ordered.)
Some more features direct from the Amazon page:
- "Precise rotation of pan and tilt motors - Supports 360 Degree panoramic shooting, This video slider solves the shortcomings of the traditional motor camera slider, which without the need to adjust the focus manually. The two axis Angular offset can more accurate focus on the objects you are shooting When you moving.
- Perfectly steady and silent motor - Ultra silent step motor driving technology, you will get the precise positioning with accurate shots. Create a super quiet environment, it's perfect for smooth and silent tracking shooting, panoramic shooting, time lapse, video capture, freely set start and end points.
- Professional wireless Bluetooth Control - The camera slider equipped with a wireless controller for easy operation while you could easily adjust camera moving speed, direction and pause, you could control the pan, tilt and rotate simultaneously from the wireless controller, or control it separately.
- Persistent and continuous battery power - You can charge the battery without interrupting the running of the slide track, which supports the running of a single battery. It means the slide track battery can be replaced one by one. Battery could last for almost 10 hours under the shooting modes of time lapse.
- ➤Good compatibility - the video slider is compatible with Most camcorder and micro-camera for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, Samsung camera shutter release cable*6 pcs. If you don't know how to control the slider, we have provided the operation video of slider on the product image, including tracking shooting, panning shooting, Bluetooth connecting video, decibel measurement video."
While they went cheap with the case, they didn't go cheap with the accessories. Mine came with two F batteries, 6 cables for most cameras, battery charger, and a separate bluetooth remote control. Wow.
OK, the remote feels like a cheap remake of a game controller, the plastic housing on the slider motor actually wasn't put together properly. (I had to snap it into place.) But overall, for something that supports up to 22 lbs, it seemed about right.
I did a few tests for an upcoming video about Samsung phone cases and quickly found some of the shortcomings inherent to something thats so much cheaper than the competition.
1st Problem. The UI. Its not intuitive. I had to crack open the user guide to see how to connect the remote to the unit via bluetooth. It seems to not come paired, nor did it come about intuitively. Sometimes it connected, sometimes it didn't. 6 tries later, and it maintained the connection throughout the remainder of my testing (thankfully).
2nd Problem. Wow was the motor(s) loud. Loud compared to my current motorized slider, the Benro MoveOver (which costs almost twice as much and only slides). Also the controls were very rudimentary. Not being able to adjust the speed of the slide while in the slide, was disappointing.
3rd Problem. About an average of three or four full slides later, the remote or unit would lose connection or crash. Not good. I had to reset both units and reconnect to get it working again.
4th Problem. The rotation tolerance allows 1-2 degree free movement, which is not good for closeup shots. Particularly those that have a few programmed shot coordinates. Everything after point B could end up being 1-2 degrees off.
Not exactly a problem, but a disappointment: The slider system supports multiple points of coordinates in a slide. Awesome! But... it pauses at every single point programmed. Also the ramp up and down is not configurable so what you get, is what you get. Somewhat jerky motion at every point programmed. Point A to B is fine. But I tried, A,B,C,D,E,F and I definitely can't use it in one cohesive shot.
Who is this for then?
- Budget, indie film makers.
- Timelapse photography.
- Amateur film makers.