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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old July 8th, 2015, 07:18 AM   #1
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camera slider

Is a camera slider an essential piece of wedding equipment? At what price level is it expected at? I've got a wedding coming up and I've got a 2nd shooter doing steadycam is that enough?

I was looking closer at demo reels I liked and realized a lot of the shots use a slider. I know people complain when something becomes affordable and comes into style it gets over used but I'd rather not get into an argument about that.

What do people here use that's affordable, light, and easy to setup?
Can you get away with dslr on short slider around 24" mounted on a single tripod?
Is it feasible to do manual slides or do you need motorized to achieve smooth motion?
What do people think when you setup a slider at a wedding?

Last edited by Pete Cofrancesco; July 8th, 2015 at 09:32 AM.
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Old July 8th, 2015, 07:23 AM   #2
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Re: camera slider

24 inch perfect, don't over do it, depending on your style you may need one, just use them at the right time as well as the glide-cam. Konova 24 inch very good. Tripods never work as the slider goes down and up on the way back..Steve
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Old July 8th, 2015, 07:43 AM   #3
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Re: camera slider

I have a sliderplus from edelkrone but I never take it with me at weddings, I work solo and I find a slider too cumbersome to drag along, my blackbird steadicam however gets much more usage and has become a essential piece of gear starting from the reception.

A slider can create some great looking controlled moves which people might associate with "film" but I would only take it with me if I had a second shooter that would take care of all the eyecandy stuff but I don't consider it as essential as my steadicam.

Also, don't do what others do, find your own path, if others start using a drone doesn't mean you have to as well, you can make a great film without those toys.
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Old July 8th, 2015, 07:45 AM   #4
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Re: camera slider

I use a 31" konova slider and that is mounted to a tripod head, which I lock. The advantage is, that with a ball head attached to the slider, I can add a range of slider shots; sliding left to right and forward and back, with the camera gaining height at the same time. It takes practise appling movement by hand and some shots get binned, but keep at it and the shots that do work become more frequent. Konava also do support arms, which I may one day get. I've never had any complaints from guests. I'm careful to use it where there's plenty of room and time to do these shots. Most guests just see it as a tool of a professional and carry on with their drinks after a quick glance.

I wouldn't worry about the complainers. Usually it's because they either don't own one or can't be bothered to use it. For me its just 1 tool in many to bring a wide range of moving shots to my video. Be creative with it, don't just do the standard left to right for every shot. Used well, it does help make your video look more polished and professional.

Last edited by Steve Burkett; July 8th, 2015 at 09:21 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old July 8th, 2015, 08:20 AM   #5
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Re: camera slider

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Originally Posted by Steve Burkett View Post
For me its just 1 tool in many to bring a wide range of moving shots to my video. Be creative with it, don't just do the standard left to right for every shot. Used well, it does help make your video look more polished and professional.
I agree with this. I bring it to most weddings, although some (center city) I just know I cannot be bothered carrying this around for several blocks along with 2 cameras & tripods & audio bag. Same with short 6 hours wedding shoots where there likely isn't time. Usually, weddings which all take place (ceremony, & reception) all at one location are the best ones to use it timewise. I usually leave it in the trunk tho and pull it out when I foresee some time such as a long bridal prep, bridal party photos, or a long cocktail hour for certain shots of the cake, name/table cards, chalkboard/pinterest style signs etc.

Obviously, bring it around within reason, try not to slow up the day with it at first, and carrying it around is a bit of a pain. That said, I recently got a real great shot of a bridal party standing on a beatup old pickup truck of the grooms. I was shooting as the photog was and when she finished I asked them to give me just a few more seconds, to which they obliged. Most times guests & the bridal party seem intrigued by it, and are curious & interested in whats going on with the shot. The groomsmen suddenly don't mind posing 5-10 seconds whereas with a video camera on a tripod, forget about it. I purchased a Glide Gear 47". Its good for placing on the ground but too long to get many great shots from a single tripod slide.
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Old July 8th, 2015, 10:08 AM   #6
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Re: camera slider

I got a 30" Konova K3.

Now that I've had it a couple years... I wish I had gotten a smaller one.

24" or so would be better IMO.

Is it essential? Well, it's the easiest IMO to incorporate into the day and doesn't require near as much practice as a glidecam.

Combined with dynamic monopod shots, you can cover probably 90% of creatives with the slider and monopod.
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Old July 8th, 2015, 10:42 AM   #7
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Re: camera slider

the best affordable Slider I found (after trying Konova and Kamerar and a few more) is the Cinevate Duzzi.
Now in version 3. I have 2.0 and is great...slides nice and solid and is small enough to carry around.
I wish I had waited a bit for 3.0 as it improves a bit and also allows for a unique attachment for timelapse videography that is entirely mechanical! I may do the upgrade but for now Duzzi 2.0 is all I need.
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Old July 8th, 2015, 11:04 AM   #8
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Re: camera slider

Essential? Never.

Useful? Definitely.Even more useful if you get something short like that 24" and you can leave it on your tripod for long stretches rather than having to put it on, use it for 5 minutes, then remove it again..repeat.

As for what price point to expect it at, who cares? What price do you want to charge? Because if you want to raise your prices, your work needs to look like that now, then later you can raise your rate to match.

Sliders can be really great for transitions in and out of spaces. Your 2nd's steadicam/blackbird/whatever can also do this. Like Steve mentions in his post, both left/right and forward/backward can make for excellent transitions... going to a new location? Get an exterior and gently push in ... as long as you're there, get one pushing out, too. Ta da.. transition b-roll. Same with left/right... hide behind something, slide left to reveal the scene. Great transition.
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Old July 8th, 2015, 11:31 AM   #9
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Re: camera slider

Rather than left/right and arc type shots I like to do a vertical up the cake, and also maybe get a nice in focus of the cake top decoration and then track back so it defocuses and then reverse in post sop it comes into focus - vertical reveals are a nice alternative to the left/right ones

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Old July 8th, 2015, 02:16 PM   #10
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Re: camera slider

Thx for all the replies.

It was a toss up between the Konova and Cinevate Duzi but I think I'm going with the Duzi.

I noticed someone said to get a cheese plate to stop flex on a single tripod do you find that's the case.

I'll also need a ball head any recommendations? I'd like one that took a manfrotto video plate so I won't have to swap them moving back between this and a monopod.
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Old July 8th, 2015, 02:23 PM   #11
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Re: camera slider

I have a 501 plate attached to the bottom of mine. My slides are usually pretty short and involve going over the center of the slider, so I don't usually have any real movement problems.

I got a $30 Fancier brand ball head off Amazon. I just recently added a Manfrotto QR 577 ( I think) plate system to that head. Works great!

I can go from slider, to steadicam, to monopod, to tripod quickly and painlessly.
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Old July 8th, 2015, 07:49 PM   #12
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Re: camera slider

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Originally Posted by Pete Cofrancesco View Post
Is a camera slider an essential piece of wedding equipment?
There's nothing wrong with shooting a wedding entirely on a tripod, or entirely handheld. A lot of people do it, and some charge a fortune for it! For instance, if you scroll through the sample clips section, there's a guy who shoots weddings handheld on 8mm film (from memory), and the handheld look suits the whole retro, vintage vibe, and he seems to be making a killing. Handheld is also a very attractive way to shoot from a convenience point of view -- very fast; and what you lose in stability you gain in flexibility.

So, whether to use sliders does depend on your aesthetic. And I don't think there's any price point at which sliders are "expected" as such. Some people charge a lot without using them; some charge very little but still use them. It just depends! And some brides are wowed by them, and others care about content, not camera movement, so that just depends as well.

Even among people who want shots as smooth and shake-free as possible, it's not an essential piece of kit. You're quite right that if you have a steadicam, you don't "need" a slider as such. I mean, if you have a steadicam, will your video seem higher quality or higher "production value" if you add a slider? I'm not convinced.

But there are certainly moves you can do with a slider you can't do with a steadicam and vice versa. X-axis moves are never going to be quite as steady as with a slider; can't pull focus at the same time as move in x-axis with steadicam; and can do much slower, more controlled movements with slider. For instance: when using macro lens and doing a ring shot.

So for that reason alone, the expanded repertoire of movement, it's worth having a slider in your toolkit. Whether you end up using it much at weddings, or find it unnecessary or too much of a hassle (and there is potentially a lot of hassle involved in using it), I guess you'll only discover by doing. I currently take a slider to every wedding, but I've gone through periods when I've got sick of it, it stayed at home, and I didn't miss it.
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Old July 8th, 2015, 10:17 PM   #13
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Re: camera slider

My 2nd shooter does weddings full time where as I do them on occasion. The client wanted dslr style that's why I brought him in and she was thrilled with his demo reel so I'm doing my best to match it.

Most of his sliders shots are establishing, bride/groom prep, and pre reception, decorations etc. Which are intermixed in highlight reel.

Where as glide cam is for live action procession/recession and first dance.
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Old July 9th, 2015, 05:58 AM   #14
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Re: camera slider

i have one but seem to not have enough time or equipment to use it, the spare tripod i have isn't good enough for it, certainly cant use it in most of the tiny houses I visit for preps thats for sure :-)
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Old July 9th, 2015, 11:36 AM   #15
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Re: camera slider

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Originally Posted by Rob Cantwell View Post
certainly cant use it in most of the tiny houses I visit for preps thats for sure :-)
My thoughts exactly last year, but this year I made a promise to use it on as many Weddings as possible, and on all of my top package Bridal Preps regardless of space. I've done a couple of small hotel rooms and dining areas with it and made it work. I think if you're predisposed to not using it because of the time and hassle, like I was last year, its easy to find reasons not to use it.
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