Alright, this next post is going to break a few hearts out there. I'm talking about the hearts of companies making Video Camera Sliders. Camera sliders are a big deal as one of the most sought after DSLR Video tools. When used properly it can add a Cinematic effect that's very hard to replicate. Unfortunately, the good ones are out of small budgets, and the cheap ones are under par. For those just starting out, there's the mostly sloppy but capable $99 dollar mini slider based arond 80/20 extruded aluminum. No bearings, just plastic over metal and lots of play in the mount. I have one, it works, and you get what you pay for. You gotta just accept it, and move on.
For those with a bit more of a budget and some DIY skills, you can go the DIY IGUS camera slider route. For the IGUS route, you can get away with a decent slider that's lightweight and sturdy for about $150 dollars. I have that too, but to save on this piece, you'll need some DIY skills. If you lack DIY skills, there's other companies loosely based around the IGUS Drylin rails that sells ready made sliders, but now you're looking at over $300 dollars (without shipping). After the IGUS stuff, you're looking well over $600 dollars for the next best thing.
Here's where it gets real interesting. A long time ago I posted about a new slider that was first introduced by Varavon. I'm not sure if that's their baby or a rebranded product, but you can find that old school article here: http://cheesycam.com/varavon-profinder-angled-lcd-view-finder/. Now in my last paragraph of that old article I stated that introduction price was going to be a killer. I believe that slider was being offered at over $$600 dollars at the time. Guess what people - I called it, and sure enough that slider disappeared and was just about never heard from again.
Well here's the heartbreaking news (for cam slider companies). It's just resurfaced and with a bit of a face lift too. Sometimes going under Varavon, CamSlide, SlideCam, bbosasi, or Konova - This time she comes back online at a more affordable price. Filling the void between the sloppy $99 dollar versions and the ready made $300+ sliders, this guy sits somewhere in between. Unlike even the $300+ dollar ready made sliders, this one comes with with actual roller bearings. A design that's only available in higher end $500+ dollar camera sliders. A few more additions is the design that only requires one tripod with a ready to mount tripod plate in center, or for extra stability comes with tripod mounting plates on each end. It also comes with it's own legs and adjustable feet to be used without a tripod and on any uneven surface. It can also be vertically mounted, which is something you'll never find anywhere near this price range. If you've done your research for a good slider, you know this is a crazy amount of build quality and features being offered at this price.
So what am I really trying to say about this slider and this price? Well, for starters this slider is back from the dead and that's an important note. This single tool is looking to penetrate the DSLR market and get more exposure. It's being offered at less than half the price of it's previous induction. Is this price set? Will prices get cheaper? You never know, and i'm hoping that it does. But honestly my gut feeling says no. It looks like it's a marketing move to drive exposure to this product. Once the world knows about it, then it's all a game of supply and demand. Like the Z96 LED video light, prices haven't fallen - Instead prices went up. So even though it's a bit of heart breaking news at this price, don't fear Camera slider companies from abroad, I don't think it's going to last long.
For the shooters out there who might be looking for a quality video slider with roller bearings, vertical mounting, and the other many features, this one is much better than the IGUS stuff. This might be a price that's not going to last long. I know how fast deals can disappear after posting anything on this blog, and you bet your &^%$*! I ordered one at this price. I'll get a review on as soon as it drops in....
[Update Update Update]!! In just about an hour, there were 17 sliders purchased. Not sure if anyone noticed, but the price just jumped $10 US dollars.
Camera Slider with Roller Bearings, Adjustable Feet, Vertical Mounts