When you start to transition from a beginner to intermediate in your camera work, you’ll naturally begin to look for additional tools to take your action to the next level. Once you have the primary camera and lens, and have started to work with a tripod and handheld work, you’ll most likely notice that your shots need something else to make them more exciting and dynamic.
A camera slider is a great way to start adding some of this into your work. A camera slider allows mounting your camera to a small rig which can be used to slide the camera forward and backward, or side to side, depending on the setup. This is relatively new, and even 20-30 years ago, to get good moving shots, you would need to set up your camera to a dolly on tracks. Now that DSLR cameras can take high-quality videos that are cinema-worthy, without the bulk of traditional cameras, a more mobile option is available with a camera slider. If you’re interested, we recommend Hereon.biz for all your camera slider needs.
There are a few fundamental techniques you can take advantage of by using a camera slider. The first is pushing the camera into a scene. This is great for opening or establishing shots and gives the feel that you’re ‘entering’ the scene. Similar to this is pulling out. This gives the effect of slowly backing out of the scene, and can be great for a final scene, for example.
You can also set up the slider to move side to side, allowing you to pan from one side to another during a scene. This gets interesting when you start combining it with the camera’s focus. For example, you can slowly slide into a scene, starting by focusing on something in the background, and then bringing the foreground into focus. These simple techniques can take some mastering, as you need to work on doing several things at the same time – getting your shot in a frame, using the focus, and sliding the camera at the same time. But then, once you’ve mastered the technique, you’ll see the quality of your footage increase dramatically.
When buying a slider, there are a few things to consider. The first is the length – sliders are generally between 30 cm and 2 m long, depending on your needs. Along with this is the weight and material used. If you plan on using your slider a lot, you may want to find one that isn’t too heavy so you can use it as much as possible. For this, we recommend a fibreglass material and a mid-sized slider.
You should also take the additional features into account. Many sliders have multiple connections so that you can use different types of cameras. You can even get a spirit level included with adjustable legs, which is very useful to make sure that your shot is perfectly level. Finally, the quality of the slider is one of the critical features you should test to make sure that it’s easy enough to operate, and slides without too much effort.