If you shoot video, one of the best ways to up your game is with a motion control rig. Of course, a high level, programmable motion control rig is likely to break the bank for most shooters. You can always rent, but then you are just spending your hard-earned budget on someone else’s gear.
But as companies get smarter about using the technologies at our fingertips, and as parts get smaller and cheaper, it’s now possible to get a high-quality portable rig for under $3,000.
edelkrone: The Camera Rig Company
One company trying to make their mark in this new market is edelkrone. edelkrone is a Florida based technology company whose main focus is around camera rigs. They’ve put out several products to date, but the SliderPLUS X & Motion Kit combo is their most ambitious and impressive looking product yet. Let’s take a look at some of the details.
SliderPLUS X Features
The SliderPLUS X portion of the product is a camera rail system with some unique features. The rail fits on top of your tripod and is suitable for mid-sized cameras (think most DSLRs). There are two options for the rail size. But what makes this rail system interesting is that it moves with the camera. Because the rail doesn’t stay static with the camera on top, you can actually get twice the camera movement out of it that you would get from a traditional rail system.
The shorter rail system would traditionally allow for .8 feet of movement, but on a tripod, you get 1.6 feet of movement. The shorter rail is compatible with cameras up to 30 pounds. The longer rail system is about would traditionally allow for 1.4 feet of movement, but tripod-mounted, you can get 2.9 feet of camera movement. Because of the longer rails and flex, it’s suggested that you use cameras 22 pounds and under on this rail.
The rail system has some cool features and appears to be well designed, but what about the motion control? Well, that’s pretty cool too. The team at edelkrone have taken a different approach to many. Instead of forcing you to program each axis of movement on the 4-axis system, you can actually manually make the move you need, including pan and tilt, and the system will remember it and play it back. Alternatively, you can set in and out points with speed and acceleration, and let the system do the rest.
Perhaps even cooler than the mechanics behind the motion control system is the matching mobile app. The app syncs with your rig and lets you control things like pan, tilt, and focus from your phone. You can also see all of your playback controls, and there is even a manual slide mode that lets you control the rig by swiping your mobile touchscreen.
But, the smart features don’t stop there. edelkrone has built-in a smart target system. By aiming your camera at your target from two different positions, the system and understand what your target is and stay on it from any position. There is a focus learning feature that is supposed to help the system keep targets in focus at all times with a little input from you along the way. There is even Apple Watch support for at least a few of you out there. You know who you are.
And edelkrone isn’t stopping here. They have already announced planned future features, like a shot composer that will let you set up targets along a timeline. You can then let the rig move from target to target according to the timeline you create.
While this rig won’t set you back as much as many of the larger competitors in the market, it’s still not chump change to get your own setup. You’ll need to have a good reason to get one. But, the right job may make it worthwhile.
The slide rail systems are $849 and $899 respectively for the short and long versions. And the various modules for Motion Kit run from $699 to $1,499. But let’s be honest, Motion Kit is best suited as a full package.
At the moment edelkrone is selling the entire Motion Kit 4 part package for $2,699. So, all in, this beauty will set you back about $3,500. But, if smooth pans and tilts are in your arsenal, or you’ve ever had a need for motion control, definitely take a look at this package.
We can’t wait to get our hands on one to really put it to the test. What do you think? Does the SliderPLUS X seem worth the cost for your filmmaking needs? Leave us a comment below.