The use of camera sliders can already be classified as a ubiquitous practice in the realm of indie filmmaking. While these devices can vary in price and technologies, motion controlled sliders in particular have been notably increasing in popularity, despite the increased price tag for the motor-based controls.
In the next video, Emm of CheesyCam goes over a relatively new motor controlled slider: the iFootage 3-Axis Motorized Motion Controlled Shark Slider Mini. Priced at around $419 for the standard version and ranging up to $1,340 for the complete kit, the iFootage Shark Slider aims to provide users with a somewhat affordable motorized motion controlled slider experience at a price that is significantly lower than other well-established brands, all without compromising functionality and feature set.
The device itself is constructed of a dark-grey aluminum alloy which makes it agile enough for rough shooting conditions. It has a total length of 460mm and an overall usable length of 220mm. The payload for the shorter version is 11 lbs or 5.5kg; and 8.8 lbs/4 kgs for the longer one. The Shark Mini also has a pair of adjustable flip-out rubber feet at both ends, allowing you to adjust the height on the ground. This is an extremely neat feature, especially if you are shooting in uneven terrain.
On the bottom of the unit, there are several 3/8 inch and 1/4-20 inch screw holes that allow users to mount the slider to light stands and tripods. Additionally, you’ll find an adjustable base (for uneven terrain), base release lever and base lock lever on the top. The base also has a 1/4-20 inch screw for you to mount your camera or compatible tripod head. Furthermore, the Shark Mini uses a seamless track extension mechanism to eliminate the groove where the two parts of the track meet.
iFootage Shark Mini Highlights
Lightweight and Belt-less Track design
2 sizes – 460mm/840mm
Payload up to 11 lbs / 5.5 kgs
X2 Mini – Plug & Play motion control module
Manual control – via joypad in Dedicated app
Variable Speed Control
Seamless Track Connection Mechanism
Starting at $419 up to $1,439
As you can see from the video, the slider uses a belt system versus a four-wheel or friction-based system found on most lower-end sliders. The belt system is utilized so that the motor can fluidly control the movement of your camera. If you are planning to operate the device without a motor, you should attach the included flywheel to the side of the slider base to ensure ease of movement.
In case you want to enable the motor-control function, you will need to attach the included motor carriage, which is powered by Sony FW50 batteries. While the latter handles left and right movement, setting up the X2 Mini Pan and Tilt head is required to motorize the remaining two axes of motion. It’s also worth noting that all of the motor functions including timeline control, manual control, target control, and stitching are accessible through the iFootage app found in the Apple App Store. Thanks to Bluetooth ALE4.0, the Shark Mini comes with an instant connection to your mobile device without the need for an external controller.
In terms of extra accessories, iFootage includes camera cables for specific cameras so that the slider, in combination with the mobile app, can trigger the camera to take photos for shooting complex motion timelapse videos.
Ultimately, iFootage offers several accessories that can be purchased separately including a sturdy black carrying bag and additional tracks allowing you to extend the length of your slider while still taking full advantage of its portability and a brand new motorized fluid head. To learn more about the product, head over to iFootage’s website here.