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TCC & Shift 4 Kit Review – Sliders

In the search for more creative and interesting shots, film and programme makers often turn to  jibs, track and dolly, gimbals and other equipment traditionally known as grips. No doubt, they add a lot of production value but they can often be difficult and time consuming to set up and operate, especially as a one man crew.

For the second blog post in our series, Shift 4 suggested we focus on sliders as there are now so many on the market that are easy to use, easy to transport and suitable for low budgets. There’s so much more to a slider than just moving the camera horizontally as we found out when looking at 3 different models with the help of Shift 4’s Technical Manager Paul Kendler.

Ronford-Baker 3ft slider

This 3ft slider is incredibly sturdy and perfect for smooth slider shots with large camera set ups. Shift 4 send it out with Moy fittings for the tripod and head. It’s 5ft model is also available.

Neill Francis“It’s an absolute beast! It is perfect for giving that slight movement to a shot rather than having it static. It’s evident that a lot of thought has gone into it, as shown by the incredible sturdiness and ability to hold heavy duty cameras. I probably wouldn’t use it because I do more ‘run and gun’ type of productions on a smaller scale but certainly for larger scale productions with a bigger camera then I would go for this slider.”

Peter Cartwright “As Neill said, this is one hefty slider and because of that weight it is extremely smooth which gives you a lot more control over its movement and lets you set the tempo. It is exactly what you want and it is clear that it’s intended for high-end productions. You could put an amateur on this slider and they would still get amazing results! It looks and feels the business, what a smashing bit of kit.”

MYT Works 4ft Glide Slider

This is a 4ft slider system with anodized aluminium track, gliding head with spirit level and removable 100mm bowl hi-hat. The track can be mounted on Manfrotto multi legs and 2 monopods or on stands. It fits DSLRs, camcorders and shoulder cameras to a maximum load of 36.3kg.

Neill Francis “This is much more portable than the Ronford slider. I am much more likely to take this on a job, especially with the wheelie bag it comes in for transport. It has a very smooth motion and I love the handle as it makes sliding the camera a more natural movement rather than holding on to the gliding head. Usually, I am not the biggest fan of sliders, as I usually shoot on my own and they can take a while to set up. It can also be difficult to slide and pan at the same time to give your shot more motion but after seeing the sliders that Shift 4 have to offer, I may reconsider my love-hate relationship!”

Peter Cartwright“This slider definitely stands out, with the wood and the bling design! It is quick to set up and once it is set up it is still easy to adjust and move the slider to exactly where you need it, even if you are doing it all by yourself. It doesn’t have the weight of the Ronford and therefore sacrifices the ease and smoothness, which means if you are a little bit rusty you may need several “runs” to get the feel of the kit. It can take a relatively heavy camera such as an ARRI ALEXA or AMIRA which makes it versatile in comparison with the smaller sliders in terms of load bearing and also cost. If any part gets damaged, you can also replace single parts instead of sending the whole slider off for repair, which can be an issue with the larger ones. Overall, it does the job well and although not silent, it makes up for it with its lightweight design and ease of setup.”

Sk8plate Camera Tracking System

This slider system to brand new to Shift 4 and proving very popular. It’s versatile enough to support cameras over or underslung, to work as a table-top skater off its track or as a hi-hat without its wheels. It also offers smooth time-lapse tracking using its programmable motion controller.

Peter Cartwright “The Sk8plate seems well built and massively versatile. It can take 75, 100 and 150mm bowls and if you’re looking to achieve a time lapse the motorisation is a plus point. Also you can angle the plate meaning you can tilt the camera when underslung without it having to be upside down – very smart.”

Neill Francis“The biggest selling point of this is the ability to motorise this slider. Being able to support a camera underslung is another nice feature”

About Shift 4

Shift 4 are one of the UK’s leading facilities hire companies. We supply cameras, camera accessories, lenses, lighting, grip and sound equipment to commercials, drama, broadcast television and corporate productions. We carry the latest models as well as reliable favourites and a number of unusual and hard-to-find items. We’re a trusted authority when it comes to technology.
We pride ourselves on our immaculate equipment. We take quality of service to the next level: our processes are slick and seamless and our unrivalled attention to detail means problems are pre-empted and solved. Our skilled staff, high calibre of in-house engineering and 24/7 technical support are designed to give peace of mind.
We provide free professional training and equipment demos through the Shift 4 Academy. We have a broad, loyal and ever-growing client base including production companies as well as crew.
00 44 (0) 20 8809 8680

Unit 3, Crusader Industrial Estate
Hermitage Road
N4 1LZ