Just a quick look at the Konova K3 and K5 sliders. Average users won't notice the difference, but the K5 is overall heavier, has a larger inside rail, and larger bearings inside the carrier. So the new upgraded legs with the unusual platform design was something Konova planned several months ago (way back in November). The notched out platform on each end of the new sliders are used for attaching future upgrade kits such as the Crank Pulley system and (not yet released) Motorized Upgrade Kit.
If you don't already have the new legs, you can purchase the upgrade kit from Konova's website. The new legs should also come with the new Carrier stage that is designed to align with the Crank Pulley belt guide (as in the video). If you are planning to upgrade the legs on your slider, you might want to wait until the Crank Pulley system is officially available to see if they might offer some type of 'Upgrade Legs + Crank System Bundle'. The new Crank Pulley system should be available in a few weeks, and I have no exact pricing yet. Some are saying it might run approximately $150 dollars.[Update] The new Crank and Pulley system is Available Now.
Whoa, this new Olympus LS-100 Portable Audio recorder looks crazy. I believe it's a bit overkill for something like basic DSLR video work, but some people believe 'There's no such thing as Overkill'. Then again I don't really record Rock Concerts, so maybe something like this could come in handy for some shooters. BHPhotoVideo.com has this nice video review, and writes up a short article about the specs from the new Olympus LS-10 8-Track Portable Audio Recorder (found here). It certainly has a more modern look than the Zoom H4n. If it's something you find as a must have, it's already available for under $400 bucks (click here).
Olympus 8 Track XLR Phantom Power Portable Audio Recorder
Konova released a series of videos showing off some of the update kits available for their current sliders. One video gives a sneak at how their new Crank handle will attach to existing sliders. Oh and yes it was pointed out that they incorrectly spelled Crank handle to 'Clank Handle'. Hopefully they correct that soon. [Thanks Kelly]
Wondlan seems to be on a roll with releasing products, but not so much when it comes to pricing them against already successful existing products on the market. This time they are offering a new DV Mini Slider Rail (not really mini), so far in lengths of 80cm and 100cm (32 inches & 39 inches). The new Wondlan Slider Rail probably wins for the 'most unflattering pair of legs' i've ever seen on a slider, but I guess they wanted solid support for their low Vertical positions.
Wondlan DV Mini Slider Rail
Now the pricing isn't per say 'terrible', and it is around the same pricing as the smaller Konova units. But in my mind, unless you have something very different to offer, Konova's slider is leading with a huge head start and proven performance. Konova has also laid out some future groundwork and have been showing motorized and crank additions to their K3 and K5 sliders that should be backwards compatible.
Even Varavon has released their latest Mini Lightweight slider, that appeals to the Micro camera market. The only thing that could possibly make a difference is the bearing carrier design for Wondlan. The Konova carrier can be a bit finicky and takes some adjustment, and Wondlan's does appear to be different. We'll just have to wait and see who's got the better slide. You can find those new Wondlan Sliders online following the link (click here).
I get it. Sometimes you fly a stabilizer around and need to take a pause for a long static shot. These things can get quite heavy, so being able to stand on it's own could be beneficial for event shooters. Varizoom offers a Monopod / Stabilizer called the FlowPod (seen here), but when used as a stabilizer, it didn't really work out very well. Varizoom also makes a Crossfire Stabilizer (seen here) that doubles as a small Tripod too. None of them I think work very well, mainly because of the Gimbal setup they are using.
Wondlan also recently showed a Carbon Stabilizer that can be extended to work as a monopod, and they used a better Gimbal system like the Glidecam type stabilizers. I think they fell short a bit here because the sled was a little too small. If you think you need a stabilizer that doubles as a stand, here YouTube member NitsanPictures shows how it could be possible to modify your own with a Glidecam, and possibly even the Flycam by connecting to the 1/4" female thread under the post. It seems to work pretty good, but I think there are other Monopod designs that would make it easier to telescope when needed. [Thanks Nitsan] If you guys haven't seen a Glidecam Stabilizer in use, check out some of my old videos.
Earlier this year Wondlan released a Carbon Fiber Stabilizer that doubled as a short monopod when you're not running around. A neat idea, but so far we haven't seen any real solid tests of perfect flight capabilities. Now Wondlan throws in a much smaller unit made from Aluminum to support cameras in the same range as a Glidecam HD1000 (found here).
There's a few image comparisons between their larger Carbon Monopod / Stabilizer and new Mini Stabilizer fully extended and collapsed. Wondlan makes some pretty cool products with good build quailty, but this Mini Stabilizer is being offered for slightly more than a Glidecam HD1000. For such a small unit, it's even priced more than Flycam's new Carbon C5 Stabilizer (here).
My advise is to just go with what works, and has been proven for many years. I honestly don't see anything new being brought to the table here, so why jack up prices? If you're curious to see more images and specs, the new Wondlan Mini Stabilizer can be found online (click here).
YouTube video from Fstoppers shows some features of the latest Pocket Wizard Plus III Transceivers (same unit can transmit and receive). They are really stepping up their game, and it's an entirely different unit compared to earlier version Pocket Wizard Plus system. The new Pocket Wizard Plus III was just recently announced, but is already available for pre-order (click here).