A DSLR slider is perhaps one of the most important pieces of equipment to today’s digital photographer. Perhaps the most exciting thing about today DSLRs is that they not only allow us to create breathtaking photos of a better quality, they also let us expand our creative horizons into ultra high-quality video projects. Photographers have always wished or a way to bridge the gap between photo and video easily and with a DSLR that is finally able to be done.
Of course, to create high-quality video projects that have stunningly smooth movements and interesting angles of shot, one has to have a quality DSLR slider. The slider lets the camera move smooth and steady over a surface giving professional dolly work results. Choosing the best DSLR slider for your needs shouldn’t be a simple matter of choosing one at your favorite camera supply retailer that looks good or has a nice price tag. This is a key element of your work and you need to choose the one (or more) that will fit the specific needs of the kind of work that you are going to be doing. Let’s take a look at a few of the best DSLR sliders on the market.
10. NEEWER® Rolling DSLR Slider
This DSLR slider does not have a built-in camera rig, but we’re willing to forgive that since it has a lot of other great features. The large wheels have double ball bearing movement, and the whole device costs only $19.99. The rig is lightweight and has a relatively small footprint that makes it ideal for any project where you may need to go across a tabletop or into a tight location on the ground. The ¼ male quick thread is ready for most DSLRs on the market today. It’s a great small and basic slider for almost any project.
9. Pico Flex Dolly “Only” DSLR Slider
By contrast to the slider talked about above, this DSLR slider ($39.99) is a bit more rugged. While still a great size and weight for use on a table top or other limited space shooting environment, it has more substantial weight, which makes it great for heavier rigging such as a camera and light rig combination setup. The wheels here are a little bit larger and while it does not he the double ball bearing system that the NEEWER above does, it has a fluid glide system that make the movement seamless even in the most trying of shots.
8. StudioFX Pro Ball Bearing DSLR Slider
For $99,99, this DSLR slider is great for almost any application. The ultra smooth ball bearing system is ideal for getting the smoothest, most fluid shot you can to fit the vision you have in mind. The 40” track offers a nice long travel for the camera and with a weight capacity of 15 pounds you can easily handle every setup that you could imagine. T
he male ¼ thread is ready for industry standard equipment. Use on a tripod to provide the perfect smooth gliding movement to your shot at any height. You will also receive a carrying case to keep the slider clean and ready to use anytime you need it. The best thing about this unit is the fact that is so convenient. This is without a doubt the best track slider on the market today for general application work.
7. Koolertron Aluminum Alloy DSLR Slider
Yes, the StudioFX 40” mentioned above is a great slider for general work where you need a track system to get a nice long flow show. But this is a bit more of a workhorse for those shots that are going to test your patience. This slider ($53.62) is more substantial and as such can carry a bigger weight load, perfect when you need to include a lighting system or for use with larger heavier lenses.
This unit like the one above it is also tripod mountable, just make sure that you take into account the weight of the rig along with the weight of the slider when selecting a tripod. The nicest thing about this unit is the fact that it not only includes the screw mount for industry standard ¼ inch equipment, but also a screw mount for 3/8” cannon equipment. The length is only 32” but still more than enough to work with your shot easily.
6. Pangshi 24″ DSLR Slider
This slider ($54.99) is a bit more basic than some of the others that we have talked about so far, but don’t let the “basicness” fool you. This slider has some hidden gems in it to be sure. First off there are multiple mounting holes that support both ¼” and 3/8” threaded screw mounts. The unit is tripod mountable and also includes extension feet that can raise it a full 2” above the ground. Even sitting flat on the ground the ultra glide track system makes the movement of the carriage head smooth and steady.
The unit can be fashioned with a fluid head to ensure stable horizontal positioning. One of the nicer features of this unit is the multiple angles that you get, use it as a crane on a tripod, flip it over for overhead shots using two tripods or an archway rig, angle it own for great horizontal shots and even place it vertically on a tripod for rising shots.
5. Vidpro Professional Skater Dolly for DSLR Camera
This great slider ($68.95) is a perfect choice for any video project that requires precise camera movement combined with the limitless options provided by a true dolly. The slider rides on fours large plastic and rubber wheels and features a long drag handle with hand loop for easy movement.
The wheels are adjustable for the precise angle of travel with gradients on to help set everything up properly with no fuss. The rig can carry up to 25 pounds so no matter what kind of equipment setup you need, you can be assured that this slider can tote the load. The large footprint makes it easy for setting up even a complex shoot. You can define any travel angle from as small as a 7” radius. The unit comes setup for 1/4” standards but has a 3/8” adapter.
4. Glide Gear Stabilizer and DSLR Slider
What we love about this simple but very useful slider ($89.00) is the unique feature of having a phone adapter built in. This all aluminum slider is perfect for small-scale work such as a table or counter top. Not a lot of things to talk about, simple, fluid glide system with adjustable feet, 23” track. What makes this a winner is the phone mount which allows you to use any of today’s high definition video-capable smartphones as a camera in addition to your DSLR.
3. Kamerar Pico Flex DSLR Slider
This skate slider ($89.99) is ideal for students and those on a limited budget that need a highly versatile slider that they can use for a wide range of products. What makes this unit very nice is the included 11-inch magic friction arm. There is also a nice carry case that keeps the unit clean and safe. You will be able to set this up in less than 30 seconds once you are familiar with it and can accommodate up to 15 pounds.
2. NEEWER® DSLR Shoulder Mount with DSLR Slider
This is a very unique slider ($61.99), and also one that we will all want in our gear storage pretty soon to be sure. This shoulder mount system makes working with your DSLR for video over long periods easier and more comfortable. This system gives you the convenience of a slider mount system with the most stable and versatile travel system ever devised, a pair of human legs. The easy to grip handles maintain a comfortable position while the c-cup shoulder mount makes even hours long projects seem like a breeze.
1. Pro 48″ DSLR Slider with Carrying Case
And now for a personal favorite. Why choose between a skate slider and a track slider when you can have the best of both worlds for $90.95? This hybrid slider is ideal for any project and gives you the chance to create a truly professional looking multi-motion shot with little to no effort. The main unit is a traditional track slider that has a fluid level head and ultra glide travel system that gives you precise and smooth motion at every angle.
You can mount this unit on a tripod and used in various configurations to give you the utmost versatility. What makes it particularly unique, though, is the fact that it is also a skate dolly slider. The four large rubber and plastic wheels move the entire unit smoothly and easily anywhere that you need it to go. Attach a draw handle or any type of pull system and get precise travel angles, ultra straight lines and even perfect curves for every reset.
These are just a few of the great DSLR sliders on the market today. The important thing to keep in mind before you buy one is to understand exactly what the needs are for the projects that you will be undertaking. A little forethought now and planning for the future will make selecting the slider that is best for you a lot easier and as such give you the best results for all of your finished projects.