Camera Sliders for All Budgets

Manfrotto MVS060A

Sliders are something that can really make you work or make your work easier. Between getting smooth motion and fighting with a slider you may find yourself in a spot where you end up hating to use a camera slider manually. That's were motorized options come in, but those are pretty pricey when it comes to implementing them into your workflow. 

That being said, the Manfrotto MVS060A camera slider is probably the only slider that needs zero practice and definitely doesn't need a motor to get really smooth shots. It is by far the best slider I've used to date and it is something I would love to have had the opportunity to own. It does have one negative; it's a heavy slider and portability is hurt by how heavy it is. It's a great length, but it's heavy and you'll more often than not pass on taking it out with you because of how heavy it is.

edelkrone SliderONE

My next favorite slider - which is currently one of two sliders I own - is the SliderONE by edelkrone. This pocket-sized slider is one of the most unique and useful tools in my workflow. It screams: "TAKE ME WITH YOU!" when you go out to shoot some B-roll.

It definitely lives up to the claim of being the worlds smallest slider, as it fits in the palm of your hand. There have been some people that have told me it isn't as smooth as they would like, as it has some jerkiness to it, but I personally haven't experienced any of these claims. Is it the smoothest slider ever? Absolutely not! Does it work for me? Hell yes it does! Coming it at $250, it's not the cheapest option, but it's not too hefty either. And for it being super portable, I'm willing to pay that price.

Konova K2 (60cm)

The Konova K2 was my first every ball-bearing based slider and it's a damn good one at that. It functions extremely well and is portable considering its size and counterpart offerings on the market. The benefit of buying into Konova, is that is a really well know brand and the slider is extremely modular. There are plenty of upgrade options out there for the Konova systems so if you ever wanted to add a motor to your slider at a later date, you can!

The K2 is probably the best bang for your buck out of the sliders listed in my article. At around $200 you can't beat it. It features outstanding build quality and will last you a very long time. I owned my K2 for a year and never had any issues with it. The Konova served me well and definitely helped me capture more interesting shots in my content.

Glide Gear Cobra 235 and DEV 235

Rounding out my list are the most budget friendly and well build sliders I've had the opportunity to test. I started my slider experience on the DEV 235 (friction-based) slider and it helped me learn about sliders and what I should expect from them. The DEV 235 holds a special place with me because it helped me identify what I wanted from my sliders performance and build quality.

Then the Cobra 235 was announced and for an extra $10 you get a far superior sliding experience. The folks at Glide Gear turned its popular DEV 235 friction-based slider into a bearing-based one, all while maintaining high standard, build quality, and sliding experience. The Cobra 235 is my recommended slider to those individuals on a tight budget.

Conclusion

If you want a portable sliding experience, the edelkrone SliderONE is your choice. If you want perfect manual slides right out of the box with little to no practice, the Manfrotto MVS060A is your choice. If you're on a really tight budget, the Glide Gear Cobra 235 is your choice. If you want a modular slider that can be upgraded and improved over time, the Konova K2 is your choice.

They are all great sliders. Feel free to leave comments, questions, or suggestions down below!

Sony Alpha 7RII (a7RII)

My affinity for Sony's Alpha line started a while back. When decision time came to upgrade from my Canon T4i the Panasonic DMC-GH4 had everything I needed at the time. More specifically, 4K internal recording. The Sony A7S crossed my mind, but came in a distant second when I made this decision. It's low light was very impressive, but it was missing that internal 4K feature that I wanted.

Speed up time about seven or so month Sony began announcing Mark II versions of the Alpha line and the RII really caught me by surprise. For one the price, coming in at $3200 at launch; it was a hefty cost to be able to carry, but totally worth it for all the options you were getting in my opinion. I waited to see what the SII would hold for users, unfortunately it wasn't anything I was super interested in, so the RII was for me. The SII just didn't have all the things I wanted and the big kicker was the full frame shooting mode only. This meant I couldn't use my favorite lens of all time (the Sigma 18-35mm Art lens). It was full frame or nothing with the a7SII.

Don't get me wrong I will miss the slow motion features and incredible low-light capabilities of the a7SII, but I can live with the low-light of the a7RII and if I really want the slow motion features I could just save up for an Atomos Ninja Assassin.

As much as I tried to down play on social media, secretly I was saving up money to make the jump. I could simply not ignore the hardware features these cameras where offering.

Now I've made the leap this holiday season and I could not be happier. The low-light capabilities of the Sony a7RII are surprisingly great. At any rate check out my first impressions of the RII. I'm extremely satisfied with my purchase and would do it over again in a heartbeat.

I was lucky enough to score this camera 'Used - Like New' on Amazon. If you're interested in pricing and availability, I'll link it below. 

$3,198.00

RØDE VideoMicro Review and Test

The RØDE VideoMicro is probably the best bang for your buck when it comes to improving the audio of your camera. It's definitely a huge improvement over the onboard microphone of most, if not all, cameras and camcorders. The microphone itself is super portable, does not require any external power, and comes in at around $70.

Some of the technical specifications include:

  • Acoustic Principle: Pressure Gradient
  • Active Electronics: JFET impedance converter
  • Capsule: 0.50"
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid 
  • Address Type: End
  • Frequency Range: 100Hz - 20kHz
  • Maximum SPL: 140dB SPL (@ 1kHz, 1% THD into 1KΩ load)
  • Sensitivity: -33.0dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (22.00mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz
  • Equivalent Noise Level (A-weighted): 20dB-A
  • Connection: 3.5mm headphone jack

The VideoMicro is one of my favorite pieces of gear and RØDE is really giving you a lot for your money. For $70 you get a ton of stuff, check out how awesome this thing really is:

Interested in hearing how this performs with some of the included accessories attached and how it works in somewhat of a "real-life" setting? Take a look at this video:

Using Adobe Media Encoder to Improve Your Workflow

Since upgrading to a retina MacBook Pro without dedicated graphics and making the jump to 4K video I've been in search of a way to improve my workflow. Also having read about the GH4's ability to mash out 10-bit, 4:4:4 color without the use of an external recorder. Panasonic is practicing some sort of witchcraft in their R&D lab with these options (now if they could only give us some respectable low-light functionality, the GH4 would be the camera to beat).

If you shoot with a GH4 the video below will have two benefits to you:

  1. Improved workflow.
  2. 10-bit, 4:4:4 color footage to work with.

Let's face it, 1080p footage is easier to edit than 4K on the majority of systems. Pushing pixels during editing can slow down your ability to chop up your project in a timely manner. Usually you have to scrub your footage back a 1/2, 1/4, or even horrible 1/8 playback resolution in Premiere. With this trick you can playback at full resolution on machines that don't have dedicated graphics. This alone is worth the extra step in my opinion.

Being a self-taught content creator, I'm always looking for new ways of working with footage in hopes of improving my workflow further. If you have any other tips please share them in the comments section below. There is so much awesomeness out there and I look forward to reading the comments.