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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old May 22nd, 2010, 10:27 AM   #1
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DP Slider or Glidetrack

Just wanted your input or any user experiences on either product.We are in the process of buying a slider but cannot decide which is better DP Slider or Glidetrack. Our cameras our quite heavy (Sony HD1000u) so we want to take that into consideration.

Thanks in advance for your input..

Kren

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Old May 22nd, 2010, 01:36 PM   #2
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As being the current owner of a Glidetrack, i would shot for the DP slider....

I find that with my glidetrack, the plastic bushings have slop in them, so that when you try to tilt the head on a glide, it loosens up...
Perhaps this wasn't the design intent, but nonetheless, build quality on the DP slider looks first rate...
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Old May 22nd, 2010, 04:55 PM   #3
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I own a DPSlider and I love it. I love the vertical shots I get with it - although you will have to buy a bit of extra mounting gear to use it effectively vertically. I have plates on the end and the middle bottom of it so that I can go from horiz. to vertical very quickly.
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 01:11 AM   #4
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we have a glidetrac and after seeings colleagues DP, I would choose the DP over glidetrack...or one up, the cinevate slider.
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 09:37 AM   #5
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Thanks for your inputs...so far

DP Slider 3 Glidetrack 0
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 11:10 AM   #6
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I'd say forget about both of them and go with a Cinevate Atlas30. They also make a tracking system that will support 200lbs. I have the Atlas30 and love it. It's super smooth every time. Yes, the unit weighs a bit (it uses stainless stell rods), but it's rock solid.
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 06:59 PM   #7
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The solution to the whole question of rigidity isn't weight but good physics combined with good engineering.

I have two Glidetracks, both nicely engineered, but since they're solid they're bound to flex. Chris Harding's solution is the best (and cheapest I think).
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 07:20 PM   #8
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Thanks Philip

Most commercial sliders are actually based on the Igus Linear Track which is designed for moving robotic units around a production line so they really do need to be on a solid surface if you have a larger camera!

As Philip says I ended up making a simple track using aluminium tube ... being an enclosed box section, aluminium tube is the stiffest extrusion you can get so no bending is evident. I just run an 8 wheeled mini dolly on the tube and there are no issues even with an 8lb camera!!

Regardless of which system you buy, be aware that if you suspend it in the middle only on a flimsy tripod it's going to want to bend and fall over!! Most people don't take support into consideration when buying a slider and it's only going to be as good as it's mounting. I personally have ditched the single tripod idea and now use two beefy lighting stands so be aware it does take a while to setup.

Chris
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Old May 24th, 2010, 03:30 AM   #9
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I used to own the glidetrack but later sold it because I was thinking about going with the cinevate carbon system.

I found the tutorial for building the "zaza" slider, which is basically a glidetrack without the nicely machine feet, and constructed a "glidetrack HD compact". It worked great for my application. I never had the issues with it bouncing and what not. I honestly think that some, not all, of the glidetrack complaints are from mis-use and not wiping down the rail once in a while. I've used it in sand, dirt, grass, etc. and have always been happy with it.

Anyway, I purchased a DP slider not too long ago. I was right about to pull the trigger on the atlas 30, but having used a friend's extensively, I was not fond of the weight nor the noise exhibit by the sliding. Some don't mind the noise, but it was a reason for me to pass on it. Now the DP slider was SMOOTH and quieter than the atlas 30, but louder than the glidetrack (although not by much). The catch 22 of the dp slider was that although it was light and SMOOTH, it caused me to sometimes overshoot a mark and have to do it backwards and fix in post or go very very slowly. When you have one take, overshooting a mark due to no friction is harder to deal with than friction. The atlas 30 has much more weight so it doesn't have that problem and the friction from the glidetrack bearings also are an advantage for slowing down easily.

Sold the DP slider to whom the new owner is very much enjoying and am continuing to use my homemade glidetrack. Yes it's heavier than the dp slider, yes it has a bit more friction, but for my shooting style and needs, I'm happy with it. I'm thinking about doing a thorough review of all 3 systems but eh...we'll see.

I would recommend building your own igus/zaza slider and seeing how you like it. Or if you're not too handy with tools, a drill press, and a thread tapper, purchase a glidetrack. One thing I can't comment on is how the weight of your camera will affect the glidetrack as I've only slid XH-A1s, HMC150, and Canon 5dmk2/7D. Thinking about your particular situation, maybe a DP slider would be good for you because of your heavier cameras and you won't have the overshooting of the mark issues I did. I'm just so used to the friction from the glidetrack I guess :S.

Cheers.
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Old May 24th, 2010, 11:58 AM   #10
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In my extensive experience with the Igus built slider (glidetrack/pocket dolly/zaza slider), I have found that I spend way more time trying to make the shot smooth and re-aligning bearings than I do getting good consistent shots out of it. The plastic bearings are what cause the problems. The bearings can get "sticky" or "mis-align" quite frequently... for example, you will be sliding smooth for about 5"-10" then you hit this "sticky" spot in the rail and the carriage wants to just stop. You can add more pressure and keep going, but then you will most definitely get jumpy looking footage. I'm looking into building an alternative slider or getting the DP Slider. I have tried out the DP Slider at a video conference and it was AWESOME to say the least (I cannot vouch for anything but the rigidity, smoothness, and features of the slider). It would be nice if it had adjustable friction on the slider to control how much pressure is needed on the carriage to move it... but just like a glidecam/steadicam, it takes practice to master it and hit your mark every time. The Atlas is great for certain uses I believe, but for a slider I think there are too many parts, it's too heavy, it's too loud, and you have to use two tripods or two supports because of the design. This has the best friction and smoothness of all sliders though. Like I said, for certain users it will be perfect.

I know I don't really have a great recommendation here, but do yourself a favor and save the stress for something else other than a sticky, non-consistent slider. Figure out what features are important to you and that should help you decide.
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Old May 24th, 2010, 03:31 PM   #11
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Thanks for all your feedbacks...
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Old May 24th, 2010, 05:44 PM   #12
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I don't know what others have done to to their glidetracks to help alleviate the stickyness, but from the start, I had the carriage looser than normal and found that it has more play which helps give it some leeway as far as gripping goes. Maybe that's the reason why I almost never had the jumping/stickiness others have had.

As far as hitting marks and practicing, in regards to having used a dp slider in actual wedding environment, I was always able to hit marks with glidetrack and atlas 30 first crack and found it much more difficult due to the DESIGN of the dp slider. The DP slider's lightweight and smooth slide make it hard to hit marks if you're doing a "shooting out" slide very quickly as the inertia being generated is hard to slow down by hand without having the push back shake at the end of the shot. Granted, I've only used it for 2 full day events so maybe with more time I could have gotten the same proficiency as a glidetrack/atlas30 in that regard. A solution I had to that issue was I put a small piece of foam from my pelican case pluck and pick into the end of the track so it would provide cushion as well as a dampened stop.

And agreed, I think a slider with adjustable bearing preload would certainly be the way to go :).

Cheers
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Old May 24th, 2010, 10:31 PM   #13
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We had the Glidetrack and sold it and purchased the Cinevate Heavy Lifter LTS with 48" rods...love it. Then was introduced to the DP Slider and love it. I now use the DP Slider almost exclusively because of the portability, vertical option and is solidly built.
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Old May 24th, 2010, 10:56 PM   #14
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I bought the first version of glidetrack (1 meter) and I found that it was too long for me. I found my self only using the middle part. And because of destination wedding, the track bended a bit which causing it to stick a lot more. I then bought glidetrack compact and HD compact. They also stick but as soon as I loosen up the bearings, it then went pretty solid. But I cannot do a lot of tilting with it or focus pulling because it would then start to be unsteady.

I have been wanting to buy the cinevate atlas but the weight was a deal breaker for me. Although it is very very smooth and steady, I needed something more portable. Then DPslider came in with the hot chicks parade and vertical slide branding

DP slider allowed me to do focus pulling, tilting/panning as I glide left or right. without the help of an assistant. this is great stuff... the only downside is that its not that great when you want to slow down to a point (as discussed before) but then again, I just used it for one shoot. We'll see how we go in later shoots.

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Old May 25th, 2010, 01:31 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Panado View Post
I don't know what others have done to to their glidetracks to help alleviate the stickyness, (snipped)
I use WD40 to lubricate the bar before taking it out. Also helps the car start on damp mornings ;)
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