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What's one of the best parts about being a video professional? All the cool gear! In this weekly series, Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman team up to discuss the latest and greatest equipment for video production and post. They talk about the newest cameras, like the Blackmagic 4K, pocket cinema cameras, and GoPros; accessories and adapters that will make your shoots run smoother; and the great tech being invented every day. And because they keep both cost and quality in mind, you'll never have to worry about blowing your budget or compromising production value. Come back every Friday for a new tip.
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- Hi, my name's Rich Harrington. - And I'm Robbie Carman. - Welcome to this week's episode of Video Gear Weekly. We're going to take an in-depth look at sliders, both for time lapse and video. And, Rob, we've got three different ones here. - We do. And sliders, like any other piece of video gear, are going to come in a huge variety. I mean, you only have to look at YouTube and Vimeo these days to know that sliders are everywhere. Over the past five, six years, I think sliders have become ubiquitous with video. I mean, everybody's using them. They were kind of popularized in mass right around the same time as the DSLR revolution launched.
And people realized, "Oh to get professional results, "I need to put my camera into motion." And things of that nature. And now you can buy sliders that are uber-simple and pretty cheap. To motorized remote sliders that you can do robotics moves with for crazy time lapse and video work. So they do run the gamut. And I think, Rich, this week we kind of wanted to set the stage about what's possible with sliders. Talk about some of them. How they basically work, and go from there. - Yeah. And the first thing I want to cover before we jump into actually choosing the rails, is when to use a slider.
Now, I've gotten my favorites. And I think we should just trade turns. For me, one of them is time ops. The ability to get a strong foreground object, while the background is stocked further away. You get this parallax effect. And it's just awesome. Like this shot here when we're tracking across the surface of the rock. It just really adds a sense of dynamic energy that you can't get shooting off a tripod. How about for you? - Well, I think that interviews are a really good use of sliders. I think that one of the things that I find is that static interviews are just kind of boring. You know, locked out on a tripod.
I do a lot of political ad work, and one of the things I love about political ad work, really, the only thing I love about political ad work, - High production right? - Is high production value. And that movement, that sort of subtle movement back and forth, that sort of floating camera look, really gives a unique look to it. But I also like the slider look when it's intentional to kind of reveal things. I think sliding just for sliding sake is kind of played out. But I like when DPs and other camera operators use a slider to reveal things in a shot that a normal pan or a normal tilt really wouldn't show.
It just gives it a different kind of movement to reveal that thing. - Which is great. There's lots of different options to sliding. As you see here, can move side to side. We're going to talk about the different kinds of rails. But all in all, my feeling here is that a good slider can add a sense of energy. And as you learn more about it, you're going to discover things like setting them at diagonals. Or, using it to be more of a push in an out by physically dollying forward and back. Not just tracking side to side. - Yes. And again, sliders these days are so customizable for what you need to do.
From the uber-basic, just kind of pushing the camera along a set of rails. To the motorized and mechanical hand-crank ones, and things of that nature. And you are right, Rich. They can be used on tripods. They can be used on tabletops or on the ground. I mean, I guess if you really want to get fancy about it, and you had a big team, you could put a slider, I don't know, on a jib or something like that. And have it sliding and jib motion at the same time. But the point is, is that they add a lot of dynamics to your shot. But like anything else, Rich, we've said this numerous times here on Video Gear Weekly, they have to be motivated, and you have to do a little practice with it.
Just sort of sliding for sliding sake, people will be able to tell that because we're so used to that sliding movement now. So, if you do get into sliders, just take a little time to practice the movement. But I think, Rich, we should probably start out by talking about sort of a base configuration of sliders. And that's picking some rails.
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