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If you’re into Videography or time lapse photography, chances are you’ve either already got yourself a slider or are considering making that purchase. Smooth camera movement can really add major production value to your footage and the key word here is ‘smooth’. Having your camera glide through space like it’s floating on air gives a huge boost to any kind of footage.
Enter the Rhino Slider Pro 4ft from Rhino Camera Gear, currently priced at $550. As the name suggests, this is a four foot wide slider, onto which you can attach your camera or take things a step further and add a robotic tripod head for a three axis solution of motion control awesomeness.
The most important thing to consider when thinking about buying a slider is the smoothness of the sliding action. This is where the Rhino slider excels. The sliding motion of the carriage on to which you place your camera is as smooth as silk. Once you’ve set the tension on the outer wheels of the carriage, you’re good to go and you can rely on a super smooth slide every time.
There is a huge difference between the build quality of a sub $300 slider and what you’re getting with the Rhino. This is a sturdy, well built unit, that performs well in all kinds of conditions. Sliders are a bit like tripods, if you buy a really cheap one – it’ll probably end up in the trash. Spend a little more and you’ll get a unit that delivers the goods and lasts a long time. All of the Rhino slider parts are well machined and have that solid, reliable feel to them.
Of course, all of that stability comes at a cost of added weight. The product page on the Rhino Camera Gear web site says that the Rhino Pro 4FT Slider weighs around 10 pounds (4.54 kg). That might not sound like much but by the time you’ve strapped on your camera bag, tripods and any other gear, you’ll be carrying the Rhino slider in its case and holding it in your hand. Talk about a forearm workout. Turns out you can’t have your cake and eat it.
The test unit I received from Rhino Camera Gear came with the Rhino Armor – Slider Carrying Case 4ft, which is an additional $100. Let’s be honest, you’re not very likely to be dragging a 4ft slider into the bush without the carry case so you might as well consider it a foregone conclusion that your total cost will be $650. On the plus side, the carry case has space for extra rails so that you can extend the length of your slide. Having more rails means more weight, so I’d definitely opt for the carbon rails.
I found the case to be just a little too short. It was difficult and fiddly to fit the slider back in the case due to the four legs on the ends of the slider. If the case had been an inch longer I reckon this would have been much easier. I’m guessing they make it super tight so that the slider doesn’t shift in the case during transport but there’s tight, and then there’s this.
Having looked at the prices of similar sliders that boast the same build quality, the Rhino slider is looking like a bargain at $550 (+ $100 for the carry case). Before shelling out the dollars though I’d like to test out the carbon fibre rails to see if they perform as well. If the whole rig could be made lighter, that would eliminate my worst grumble and make this a near perfect product. If you’re not too bothered about the weight of those stainless steel rails, I think you’ll be extremely satisfied with the build quality and smooth sliding action of the Rhino Slider Pro 4ft from Rhino Camera Gear.