While in Maui last week I took the Sony NEX 7 out with the new Varavon Slidecam Lite Video Slider to capture a few test shots and finally get a feel for the 24″ slider. My first thoughts were how light the unit was to carry around. I was able to sling the portable case over my shoulder and it felt like I was wearing next to nothing. I brought 2 Canon FD lenses with me: a 50mm and a 20mm and Rokinon’s 35mm. It was raining so some shots were more difficult to capture than others and I found myself limited at times in terms of where I could shoot.
A few helpful attributes about the Slidecam Lite that I discovered: First, the feet are extremely easy to attach and remove and adjust on uneven surfaces. The middle of the slider has both a 3/8″ and a 1/4″ female threading. I was able to use my tripod at either end of the slider or in the middle. I used a monopod to add additional stability where I needed it.
To achieve the crane type shot, there are threads on each end of the slider. Not below the track as you normally see but at the ends rather. This enabled me to screw the monopod into the track and choose the orientation that best suited my vertical shot.
I made sure to get the sliding shots near objects that would give context to the slider itself. Using the foreground to exaggerate the sliding movements really helps when you’re shooting with a wide lens or from afar. The sliding shots don’t always have to be so busy either. Being able to detect just a slight bit of movement is enough in some cases.
The Varavon Slidecam Lite is one of the lightest roller bearing sliders available, and Varavon loves to tout that this light weight slider can even support heavy cameras. We haven’t tested that out ourselves, but Varavon also offers other more heavy duty sliders (click here).
The Slidecam Lite is available in 24″ (2 feet) and 32″. Some question whether these sizes is sufficient for creating the sliding shots they desire. Consider this, when editing, you only use pieces that are about as long as it takes to slide across 24″ if not less. Anything over 3′ in my opinion becomes overkill. But I do understand that this also depends on the nature of your shooting. You can find the Varavon Slidecam Lite cheapest following the link (click here).
Varavon Slidecam Lite 24″ and 32″ Portable Video Slider
By the way, Sony had a very hard time delivering the Sony NEX-7 and has been unavailable for quite some time. It seems they finally have their production running and the Sony NEX-7 has been shipping. You can pre-order the item and it seems like it should ship sooner than later (click here). If you’re super super impatient, there’s a bunch already available via auctions. Just make sure you choose the correct version for your country to match video framerates. (Click here to find a Sony NEX-7).
Sony Alpha NEX-7 24MP Digital Camera