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With smaller and more capable high quality video cameras, there's good reason to lighten up the rest of your equipment. If you're looking for one of the smallest 3-Axis motion control sliders to compliment your shrinking gear, then you may be interested in the new iFootage Shark Slider 'Mini'.

The modular tool-less design allows the Shark Slider Mini to pack small, but you have the option to quickly add sections to the slider for longer movements. When not used manually, a drive motor snaps quickly into the carrier (with no external wires or tedious connectors). The unique belt-less motion control system works by traveling over geared teeth that have been designed directly along the center of it's tracks.

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A separate 2-Axis Moco (motion control) head offers Pan and Tilt, and can be used independently for simple yet effective dynamic timelapse setups, or to create extremely high resolution images through a sequence of stitched photos (think GigaPan-ish).

ifootage shark slider mini photo stitching

Once you program the movements through the smartphone App via Bluetooth, you can disconnect and it will continue to carry out it's program, so there's no worry about keeping your phone tied down. The system is powered using Sony NP-FW50 batteries (generic batteries are included), so there's no worries about proprietary power and is easily accessible for consumers to purchase more.

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Target Control is probably my favorite features with the iFootage Shark Slider Mini as it allows you to maintain framing on a subject as the camera slides left to right. This is often desirable for small crews looking to add dynamic camera movements to a b-cam during interviews, or to simply create more interesting visuals with products or cooking related videos for example.

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Overall it's one of the cleanest, smallest, and easiest 3-axis sliders i've had the opportunity to work with. No belts, no external motors, and no dangling remotes. But from my brief experience, I would recommend it be used with the smaller camera setups, especially when using the 2-Axis MOCO Head.

It definitely won't handle a camera setup such as my Ursa Mini Pro. The system is also not 'completely silent', but should not be a problem if you've programmed slow movements and have the slider set a short distance away from any microphones. Obviously sound is never an issue when it comes to Timelapse photos.

For more info about the iFootage Shark Slider Mini, Bundles, and Accessories you can visit the Camera Motion Research website (here).

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Here's a look at the new S1A1 (single axis) Motion Control System that can be added to the iFootage Shark Slider and expand it's functionality. With the S1A1 Motion Control add-on you can now wireless control the movements of the Shark Slider and also program the system for advanced Time Lapse functions.

To keep this video somewhat short, I'm not going to show you instructions on how to program the S1A1 unit. Instead i'm just showing you some of the features and how it performs. Check out the video below.

At slow speeds the motor is near silent which means you can use it for live interviews without interfering with audio. If you're looking for that slider shot and work as with a minimal crew, the S1A1 can be programmed to 'loop' and will continuously travel back and forth. If you have specific points along the slider that it needs to travel, you can record your movements and play them back to repeat once, or loop infinitely.

For advanced timelapse the S1A1 can be peformed to do a slow crawl, or move at set intervals and exposure times. A wireless receiver can also be used to trigger your camera's shutter so that it is in sync with the S1A1 System and does not move during your exposure.

The menu is a bit confusing (at least it was for me), but once it's been explained, it's pretty easy to navigate. And because that instructional part of the video could be lengthy, i'll post up a separate video on how to enter those features in to the software. If you'd like to find out more about the Shark Slider and the new S1A1 Motion Control System, please visit Camotionllc.com (click here).

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Just received a review unit of the new Varavon Slidecam EX Premium Video Slider that uses a weighted belt driven flywheel pulley to eliminate hard starts, hard stops, and offers consistent motion throughout your slide. Even if you have unsteady hands, it's pretty hard not to get smooth shots.

A video posted by Emm (@mrcheesycam) on

To be fair, Varavon is not the first to implement such an idea. Other sliders on the market like the Shark Slider or Cinevate's latest 'Hedron' slider are using the same principle. The way Cinevate talks about the function of using a spinning weight with the slider has been described as 'inertial dampening'.

The spinning weight requires a gradual start and slowly builds up speed, and as you near the end of your movement, the spinning weight has to gradually come to a halt. The spinning weight will also ensure the motion across the slide is fairly consistent. Varavon has taken one it's higher end 'EX' model video sliders and has incorporated this feature. The results are very smooth and I should have something to show towards the end of this week.

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[Tip] Here's a cheap way to get smooth fluid pans while keeping a subject centered. Adjust angles between two sliders on each side to change the amount of panning.

A quick reminder that Varavon's website pricing changes this Friday. Right now you can save hundreds of dollars off many items listed on their new website. The Birdycam2 3 Axis gimbal is currently discounted -$375 OFF regular price and many of the Armor video cages for the GH4, Sony A7s, BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera are discounted, as well as external battery power solutions to keep your cameras running all day. So before the weekend, make sure to check out the website at Varavon.com for a list of all the current deals.

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