Over the recent years, tracking or ‘sliding’ movements have become a popular technique in both video production and time-lapse photography. Every videographer that has worked with a slider will know that it requires a lot of practice to get smooth sliding movements manually. And for time-lapsers, it is virtually impossible to use a manual slider. The solution to achieve those ultra smooth movements is using a professional-grade motorized camera slider.
There is actually quite a number of manufacturers that sell motorized camera sliders and panners nowadays, but it can be difficult to choose the right one for your specific purpose. There is much more on the market that you can look at and the price will depend on the make of the system and what you will use it for.
In this article, we will be looking at the 6 best motorized sliders for time-lapse and DSLR video production. We will compare features, specs and prices, so you can make a well informed decision.
Types of Motorized Sliders
There are several ways of motorizing your slider movements. Some manufactures sell complete kits that include the slider rails and a motor. Others sell only a motor / control unit that can be mounted on an existing slider. The more advanced units even provide a function on the motor to automatically rotate and / or tilt your camera for more functionality.
We will discuss severall types of motorized camera sliders:
Overview: 6 Best Motorized Camera Sliders for Time-lapse and DSLR Video
- All you need in one purchase.
- Excellent price for a good sturdy quality system.
- Able to pan, slide and tilt.
- Not a soundless motor, can be heard in audio videos.
The Cinetics Axis360, a compact, motorized tripod head and slider for dynamic video and time-lapse photography. This is a gear driven stepper motor that spins 360-degrees continuously in one direction. The entire setup weighs 13Ib, the motor can carry a load up to 11Ib and it only weighs 1.4Ib. The Cinetics Axis360 has a CineMoco controller that enables the motor to rotate your camera at different speeds.
CineMoco has a couple of built-in terminals that you can use, you can attach a shutter release cable for a camera that doesn’t have a built-in time-lapse mode. There is a terminal for a micro USB which enables you to connect to a computer and run dragon frame stop motion software.
The battery is a built-in rechargeable battery that runs more or less 6 hours but if you switch to power saving mode you can get up to 24 hours out. In a set up with additional Axis360 and the controller, the controllers can be controlled individually or daisy chained together with a standard 3.5mm stereo cable for synchronized control.
- The slider calibrates itself before each automated move.
- The controller has a separate battery in, it can be used without the AC power.
- Easy to assemble and to operate.
- Belt may catch at a spot but will even out after a couple of runs.
The Rhino Slider EVO is made up of carbon fiber rails that make it a lot lighter than the previous Rhino slider that is made of steel rails. It is easy to assemble and you also receive the motor, the controller and a power adapter in the package. The motor slides into place and it tightens with two screws. A single cable runs from the motor to the controller.
On the controller you will find a scroll wheel that scrolls through the settings and to select the setting suited for your shot, you just press it. There is one other button, it will take you back to the previous screen. When you are happy with your setting you can magnetically attach the controller to the side of the motor.
The Rhino Slider EVO supports loads up to 7Ib, if you are using a heavier load, additional steel rails can be purchased for a more sturdy frame. This is a belt driven slider that is perfect for various shooting needs. Rhino gives you the option to upgrade this slider to a motorized system by purchasing the Rhino Motion. The Rhino Motion captures ultra-smooth, live motion and amazingly precise time-lapse shots with this single motor.
- An easy to use menu.
- Panning and linear motion control with one device.
- 3-hour battery charge gives you up to 12 hours run time.
- Need a good quality tripod with sturdy ball head.
- Doesn’t come with a slider included
Syrp brought out this incredible motion control time-lapse device called Syrp Genie. This Genie is a simple, portable solution for time lapse photography and real-time video. This device is designed to be part of your regular camera kit. The 116mm x 102mm cube takes up very little space and it weighs only 3.3Ib. You don’t have to struggle with any wires, batteries or a controller. The Genie comes with standard preset settings such as stars, people, clouds or you can enter any amount of custom work settings into its memory.
The Genie allows for panning and linear motion control and can be attached to tripods, dollies, sliders or jib arms. Panning 360-degrees takes approximately 5 seconds and linear movement of 36” takes round about 23 seconds. Although it is lightweight and small in size, it’s compatible with 130 different cameras from nine major brands. It is powerful enough to handle a camera that is up to 44Ib. Inputs include both USB for firmware and a sensor input. The free firmware upgrade enables bulb ramp-in and ramp-out functions and HDR (High Dynamic Range).
- Benefiting small or single-person crew.
- Quick set-up and easy to use.
- Rubberized corner feet for tabletop or ground use.
- Includes Redrock Heavy Load Tilt Head, AC Adapter, D-Tap DC battery cable, one set of adapters for mounting the slider on light stands or c-stands, and a padded carrying case.
- Need more intuitive control system for changing the modes.
The One Man Crew Director is the latest motorized parabolic slider from Redrock Micro. It will transform your static shot into beautiful cinematic motion with unique features. This system will improve your interview and your documentary work without a dedicated operator. The new design has a low noise drive system with aluminum rails for smoother, quieter motion with loads weighing up to 22Ib.
You are able to download the Redrock OMC remote app onto your IOS or Android device for remote control functionality. The app can control the slider and with compatible cameras control the start/stop function, putting its full range of features at your fingertips with new remote-based capabilities.
Unique functions such as “reset for next question”, speed up, and slow down allow you to sync the One Man Crew Director to your interview tempo. A special gesture mode enables solo interviewers to control it without taking your eyes of your interviewee.
- Packaged in a soft carry case with custom foam interior.
- Soundless movements.
- Excellent for day and night time-lapse photography.
- Systems are bought separately.
The Benro MCA01 is bought separately but it works hand-in-hand with the Benro MoveOver 12 slider. The Benro MCA01 or else known as Benro MoveOn 10 brings motion to the MoveOver 12 camera slider.
The MoveOn 10 can be programmed to do repeatable movements from A to B. The motor has a soundless smooth movement that is ideal for time-lapse shots. Its slow setting gives you a 1-meter movement over a period of 24 hours whereas the fastest movement travels 1 meter over 15 seconds. It comes in a convenient carry case that is small enough to go into your kit bag. In the foam interior carry case you get a control unit, motor, motor tray, cables and a power adapter.
The Benro MoveOver 12 can be purchased as a complete kit, equipped with two travel flat tripods, two leveling bases, one S8 flat base video head, one carbon fiber slider, a flywheel with belt driven control and a deluxe rolling case all ready for capturing smooth sliding shots. It’s also possible to only purchase the slider part. The rails are made out of carbon fiber ideal for strength and support. Pulled along by the rubber track belt drive is the carriage that operates using 4 quiet operation bearings that run along the carbon fiber slider rods.
When pairing these two systems together you get the perfect motorized camera slider for time-lapse and video. The soundless movements of the MoveOn 10 and the MoveOver 12 will help you make excellent video productions with audio.
- A Strong motor.
- Works at 45 & 90 degrees with a weight of 8Ib.
- Attaches easy to SlideCam or Varavon sliders.
- The slider is not included in the kit.
- No battery pack included, only the power adapter.
The Motorroid is solid motorized slider system made by South-Korean company Varavon. It includes a motor with an integrated controller and all the parts necessary to mount it onto a slider. In this kit, you have a motor, pulley system and a saddle that you attach the included belt to the camera carriage. The motor is designed to fit the slider rails and allow the legs to move.
The unique saddle provides an easy installation for the belt and connects to the slider without any problems. The belt tension can be adjusted with only a twist of the finger. You have built in limit switches on the motor, and limit clips that you can place on the belt. The limit clips don’t interfere with the slider legs and provides shorter repeatable movements. The limit switches or otherwise known as sensors stops the motor when the camera carriage reaches the end of the rail.
There is a switch that allows you to control the left, right and stop movement, and the speed can adjust between fast and slow. A Timeroid controller can be purchased as an add-on for more programmable movements. The kit has an AC power adaptor but a battery power pack is optional to add-on.