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Shell64

The camera slider is underrated

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I love slider shots. And it feels like today there is an obsession with gimbals. Honestly the shots most people do with gimbals looks boring now a days, and even when trying to keep the gimbal steady, the camera obviously looks like it’s floating.  I like the look of a slider. It looks like a gimbal moving, but without the “floating in the air thing.”  They aren’t used too much, and one can make beautiful camera movements with one. There is something about the camera being locked down and moving compared to a gimbal where the camera is “floating and moving.”

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3 hours ago, Shell64 said:

There is something about the camera being locked down and moving compared to a gimbal where the camera is “floating and moving.”

Up until about eight years ago, we said the same thing about the difference in the solidity of the look between a dolly and a Steadicam.

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I don't bother with gimbals, they tend to look expensive and frustrating. A good old handheld and tripod is the best for me. Sometimes I don't even use tripods but instead stack boxes and books to place a camera on. I have tried to keep up with the shoulder rig phase that some of us have had, but it got too expensive and cumbersome.

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I agree.

Part of the problem with gimbals--especially low priced electronic ones--is that they are so easy to get started with, many people use them without enough practice. Experienced steadicam operators make shots look completely locked down.

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A big reason I liked the Oly EM5II when it came out is because I could do quick slider shots handheld.  You basically just adjust your body do a Tai Chi shift/drift and you can move the camera easily for an emulation of a slider.

I also do this with my GH5, but Oly is still better at IBIS.

But honestly, it's not so much the difference in IBIS as it is considered shot selection and disciplined technique.

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1 hour ago, fuzzynormal said:

A big reason I liked the Oly EM5II when it came out is because I could do quick slider shots handheld.  You basically just adjust your body do a Tai Chi shift/drift and you can move the camera easily for an emulation of a slider.

I also do this with my GH5, but Oly is still better at IBIS.

But honestly, it's not so much the difference in IBIS as it is considered shot selection and disciplined technique.

Yeah I have tried that technique. I have had varied success, and some shots look just like a slider, while some did not turn out great. It may be that my camera has no ibis. And you can’t pull off the same thing as a slow movement with a real slider. 

I also love the look of a steady cam. It looks much more organic than a gimbal. 

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2 hours ago, Shell64 said:

It may be that my camera has no ibis. And you can’t pull off the same thing as a slow movement with a real slider.

No, not without IBIS --and you need a good one like from Oly.  But with it, it's possible and actually rather easy.

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Gimbals are great, don't get me wrong, but I've largely eliminated my usage of them in favor of a shoulder rig. I prefer the natural handheld look more and more, especially now that everyone over uses gimbals. I really like how my GH5 footage looks with IBIS and a cheap $60 shoulder rig. 

I have been looking for an affordable motorized slider to use for interviews. I think at this point I'd get more use out of it than my gimbal 

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Gimbals are annoying but there are some shots that are hard to do without them. Especially with longer focal lengths.

The new Weebill S looks interesting to me but I would prefer to not have one at all! I would prefer to just grab a future GH6 or EM1.3 or an S1H2 or a EOS R mk2 and shoot the same shots with near the stability of a gimbal in 90% of circumstances.

The hand held look is great and can make a scene appear more frantic or intimate but I think it’s harder to pull off well. I like somewhere in between; a smooth organic feel but not slider smooth for everything. 

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21 minutes ago, Video Hummus said:

Gimbals are annoying but there are some shots that are hard to do without them. Especially with longer focal lengths.

The new Weebill S looks interesting to me but I would prefer to not have one at all! I would prefer to just grab a future GH6 or EM1.3 or an S1H2 or a EOS R mk2 and shoot the same shots with near the stability of a gimbal in 90% of circumstances.

The hand held look is great and can make a scene appear more frantic or intimate but I think it’s harder to pull off well. I like somewhere in between; a smooth organic feel but not slider smooth for everything. 

True. Although there is something about a slider shot that I like better than handheld, or tripod pans sometimes. It looks...unique. A subtle but locked down movement with parallax. Handheld looks nice too. I just don’t like how gimbals look anymore. 

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I seem to recall the giant complaints about "every video has a slider reveal shot" /  "I hate slider shots" / "every shot is a damn reveal shot" just a few years ago.

The more things change, the more they stay the same...

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12 minutes ago, scotchtape said:

I seem to recall the giant complaints about "every video has a slider reveal shot" /  "I hate slider shots" / "every shot is a damn reveal shot" just a few years ago.

The more things change, the more they stay the same...

I never felt that way about sliders, as they're great for establishing shots. Using one just for the sake of using one though is obnoxious. 

Everything in moderation! 

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Sliders are great for wides & establishing shots. I love the subtle parallax motion they introduce. My problem was that they just don't last; I've been through several sliders due to the conditions I shoot it (outdoors, salt water, dirt, etc). The tiniest bit of dust in the bearings can introduce all sorts of wobble or catching.

Gimbals are heavily overused right now (along with drones) but that will hopefully pass soon, when the next new toy comes along (automated robot-legged tripods?). However they'll still have their place for certain situations. I think what separates gimbals from sliders is that you can use them for nearly every shot, so people get lazy and do just that. With sliders, they're too cumbersome to be used on every shot, so they get used sparingly for the shots that really deserve it.

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