The Highest Rated Responsive & Motorized Camera Sliders in 2017

Best Camera Slider

If you’re a filmmaker looking to produce smooth shots of motion and take your work to the next level, you’re going to need to invest in the best camera slider that you can find. While hand-held camera work is perfectly fine in some circumstances, this method needs to be used correctly and cautiously. Professional films are slick and steady, featuring smooth, dynamic camera movement. Camera sliders were created specifically to help make films with this professional quality. A camera slider is simply a mechanism consisting of a set of bracketed tracks with a moveable carriage mounted on it.

Once you attach your camera or tripod head to your camera slider, you have a wide-variety of angle, movement, and panning options at your fingertips and can capture amazing tracking shots that are guaranteed to impress your audience. But with so many options out there, deciding which camera slider is right for you can be somewhat confusing. Camera sliders come with different features, styles, capabilities, and of course, prices. But we’ve done all the hard work for you. In this article, we look at the best models available and have come up with our list of the 10 best cheap camera sliders on the market in 2017. After reading through our recommendations, you’ll easily be able to decide which camera slider is right for you.

The IMORDEN MS121V 48” Ball-Bearing Camera Slider is one of the best camera sliding tools on the market today. It’s incredibly durable and has a generous 48” shaft that is capable of tracking long shots incredibly well, producing impressive high-quality videos. The IMORDEN 48” Middle Slider was designed to withstand heavy abuse. This camera slider was built from a heavy-duty aluminum alloy body and a high-precision, anti-scratch stainless steel slider rail.

The slider’s 4 ball bearing wheels are secured under the two chrome-coated shafts of the top plate for additional resistance to corrosion. With an impressive 48” length, this camera slider is perfect for any shooting situation. And with 1/4” and 3/8” mounting holes placed on both ends and the center of the slider, it’s also incredibly versatile.

You can mount any photographic device under 15 lbs including your camera, video camera, GoPro, and even your smartphone. These different hole placements also allow you to choose from multiple mounting options either with or without the use of a tripod. For optimum stability, the 48” IMORDEN Camera Slider was designed with non-skid rubber feet that offer more ground traction and balance.

And its roller wheels are exceptionally smooth, sliding effortlessly and silently along the slider’s shaft for controlled, fluid motion. It was even designed with a bubble level on the shaft, allowing you to ensure that every shot is perfect and horizontally level.

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The Shark Slider S1earns its place in our list of the top rated camera sliders because it’s one of the most impressive camera sliders available on the market today. This is certainly a premium camera slider but it is capable of helping you make truly professional-looking videos and films and is perfect for even the most demanding applications. The modular Shark S1 was designed with a 31” slider rail which, with the included extension rails, can be extended to 47” in length.

Built with carbon fiber rails which are lighter and more corrosion-resistant than aluminum models, it’s incredibly lightweight and durable. This camera slider can support up to 15 lbs of photographic equipment and, thanks to its silent bearings, synchronous belts, and flywheel, it’s capable of remarkably smooth movement without noise or jerking starts and stops.

Built for tool-less operation, the Shark S1 Camera Slider is simple-to-use and allows you to add extension bars and belts with just a turn of a clamp. Its end pieces were designed with triangular, adjustable feet for added stability and multiple 3/8” and 1/4” tripod and camera mounting holes for added versatility. Plus, this camera slider can accept longer rails, allowing for a total sliding length of 70” as well as the S1A1, S1A3, and Motion X2 Systems which allow it to provide 360-degree camera movement.

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Anyone looking for a budget-friendly camera slider that is perfect for beginners will be pleasantly surprised with the Neewer Tabletop Mobile Rolling Slider Dolly. One of the most affordable sliders on the market, this camera slider was built to provide simple, smooth camera tracking without the bells, whistles, and cost that comes with premium models on the market.

The Neewer Mobile Dolly was designed with simplicity in mind. Simply mount your camcorder, DSLR, or other photographic device on the slider’s surface and pull an easy-to-use string to steer you slider. The dolly is mounted on plastic-molded roller bearings that are perfect for use on level ground or tabletops. And at only 1.4 lbs, it’s also one of the lightest camera sliders available today.

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Affordable but professional, the StudioFX 40” Pro DSLR Camera Slider Dolly Track Video Stabilizer is one of the best models around and makes our list due to its construction, ease-of-use, and quiet performance. Smooth and stable, this camera slider is one of the best models out there for videographers of any experience level.The SLI2 is designed to be durable. Built from an aluminum steel body, this camera slider is designed to withstand years of use without wear.

A 40” slider allows you to capture all of the action easily and its ball bearing slide system is one of the smoothest we’ve come across, offering a gentle glide and shake-free support. This camera slider was designed with a round bubble level on the slide which helps you ensure that the films you shoot are perfectly level.

And for added versatility, it was designed to be compatible with practically any photographic device weighing less than 15 lbs, including smartphones and video or DSLR cameras. With 3/8” and 1/4” threaded mounting holes you can set up your camera slider easily. And since this kit comes with a sturdy carrying case, you can pack up your camera slider and go as soon as you open the box.

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The Neewer Customized FilmMaker System made our list - the best of the camera sliders on the market - thanks to its construction, versatility, and hand-held design. It’s a great entry level shoulder rig that is built well enough to last for years while being affordable enough for any beginner feel comfortable purchasing. Construction-wise, this shoulder rig was built to last.

It’s made from durable aluminum alloy and the shoulder pad is made from molded rubber that’s simple in design but comfortable enough on your shoulder to allow for extended use. The two handle grips are coated with a texturized grip which ensures that you don’t have to worry about slippage. And with its modular design, this model can be adjusted for height.

A level is built into the shoulder rig, allowing you to make sure that every shot is perfectly even. And the sliding mechanics work incredibly well, smoothly panning in and out without noise or resistance. For versatility, this shoulder-mounted camera slider can accommodate almost any photographic device including full-frame DSLRs, mirrorless models, camcorders, and professional cameras, making it perfect for any filming project.

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Grip Gear’s Movie Maker Set secures a place in our review of the top camera sliders of 2017. While it’s great that this camera slider only costs around $120, where it really shines is in its versatility and the fact that it offers an ultra-light motorized slide. The Movie Maker Set camera slider is designed with a motorized track system that allows you to control the speed of your tracking while keeping your camera perfectly steady.

This camera slider is very light, so it can only support small devices that weight up to 550g, meaning it’s best suited for smartphones, GoPros, and small digital models. Once installed, you can use the camera slider’s remote control to adjust speed and direction with motor speeds ranging from 6mm per minute up to 300mm per minute.

And with a unique bounce-back feature, once your device reaches the end of the track, it will smoothly move back in the opposite direction. Capable of working as an electric or manual camera slider, this model is incredibly versatile. It can be used for capturing diagonal, vertical, and even upside down shots.

To allow for adequate power, you can run this sliding device on 2 AAA batteries which provide 2 hours of use or its rechargeable power pack which can provide up to 36 hours of operating time. And for added versatility, you can use the base without the electronic slider, essentially transforming it into a 360-degree panoramic head.

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Neewer earns another spot in our review of the best of the options for camera sliders in 2017 with the Neewer 32” DSLR Camera Track Dolly Slider Video Stabilization Rail System. It’s an impressive fully-featured professional-grade camera slider for heavy duty camera systems, providing shake-free shooting support and stability. Designed to withstand frequent use, this camera slider is built from aluminum alloy and can be used with a tripod or on a flat surface.

Its adjustable legs are removable, can raise the slider up to 2” off the ground, and feature rubber feet for improved grip strength. Capable of multiple mounting options, the slide rail has several 1/4” and 3/8” mounting holes and four precision bearings for fluid-like movement.

For versatility while filming, this Neewer camera slider can capture straight horizontal, diagonal, vertical, or upside down shots. And since the bearings on the dolly slider’s double interior rail system have a tension adjustment feature, you can easily customize the dolly’s movement to your individual shooting needs. Plus, a built-in bubble level tells you how angled or straight your device is positioned.

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The Fotodiox Pro SlideCam 1000 is another great full-featured camera slider that is capable of helping you produce true cinema-quality films with dynamic horizontal movement. Whether you are using this model for dramatic filmmaking or taking slow motion photo stills, this compact camera slider offers multiple mounting options, incredibly smooth movement, and is one of the best options for camera sliders available.

This platform of this camera slider is built with double-layer anodized aluminum for improved corrosion resistance and durability. With multiple 1/4” and 3/8” screw holes along the middle and ends of the rail, this camera slider offers multiple mounting options and can accept practically any photographic device.

With a smooth ball bearing slide system, it provides fluid-like, silent horizontal movement and features a bubble level that helps ensure precise alignment.Capable of being used on a tripod, a pair of tripods, light stands, or on any flat surface, this device is capable of helping you shoot videos with stunning angles and tilts. And its adjustable legs feature with rubber feet for improved stability.

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While more expensive than most of the models featured in our review, the Konova K2 Camera Slider delivers professional quality that you can count on. This camera slider was designed to offer impressive smoothness and stability, which are the two most important factors camera sliders need to offer if you want them to deliver quality shots. Built from high-grade aluminum, the K2 Camera Slider has a high payload allowing it to handle even the heaviest cameras.

With multiple 3/8” and 1/4” threaded mounting holes, it provides you with a variety of mounting options depending on your intending filming application. The sliding track has built-in stops which allow you to decide when the tracking movement will end so you can forget about the equipment and focus on your shot.

The K2 Camera Slider features three detachable legs for optimum stability during operation. And once you are done shooting, them detach easily and can fit right into the included carrying case. Besides traditional manual movement, this model supports various accessories for flywheel, parallax shot, and motorized action, further increasing its versatility.

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Our 10th pick for best of the camera slider products is the Kamerar SD-1 Mark II 23” DSLR Camera Slider Dolly Track Video Stabilizer System. This excellent camera slider is one of the best values out there for anyone looking to capture high-quality shots. Plus, it can be used as a camera slider or dolly.

With four adjustable nylon roller bearings, the SD-1 Mark II Camera Slider tracks with a smooth, gentle motion. Designed with 1/4” and 3/8” screw holes, it allows you to mount your device or head onto the sliding plate easily. And with balance weight connections on each end, you can quickly add weights to it or create a pulley system.

The SD-1 Camera Slider weighs in at 3.9 lbs making it large and heavy enough to be versatile and reliable but lightweight enough to be carried with ease. And its adjustable legs allow you to work with stability regardless of the surface that you set up on.

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Buyers Guide Questions

What is a Camera Slider For?

A slider is an incredibly versatile tool in a cinematographer’s arsenal. While filming by hand in some situations is great, frequent shakes and uneven movement can make an otherwise stunning piece of video seem amateur. But a slider allows you to achieve smooth camera movement in a variety of situations, enhancing the quality and production value of your work. Professional filmmakers and even big-budget Hollywood blockbusters all use some form of slider to create these kinds of movements in their films. You can’t sit through any major professional-quality production without seeing some of these dynamics at work.

Below are some of the most practical shots that you can achieve with a camera slider. With a name like camera slider, you should be able to guess that the most common movement is called a slide. This is when you use your slider to move your camera horizontally in a side-to-side motion. This is best for tracking motion or panning a shot. Another movement that you can perform with a slider is called a boom. This is when you film while moving up or down.  While you can easily just raise or lower your camera by hand, most sliders can be operated vertically.

This means that the slider gives you a fixed plane of motion as you move upwards or downwards, delivering professional, smooth booms.The next movement that you can achieve with a slider is called a parallax shot. This is when you slide your device in one direction and pan in the other direction. This slider movement is best for adding a dynamic sense of motion to your film while keeping your viewer’s focus on your intended subject.

The fourth most common movement a slider allows is the push and pull. A push movement is when you move in towards your subject while a pull is when you move away from your subject. This slider movement is best for dynamic effect and allows your viewer to pay closer attention to your subject or slowly reveal more of the scene. By mounting your camera onto a slider for a push or pull movement, the movement will be impressively clean and fluid.

How Do Camera Sliders Work?

How Do Camera Sliders Work?A camera slider allows you to capture creative motion while shooting film and even slow motion moving still photography. A camera slider is a key element to professional filmmaking and visual storytelling, allowing the cinematographer to make visually captivating works that are capable of manipulating the viewer’s expectations, evoking emotion, and directing audience attention to an intended subject. The basic mechanics of a camera slider is relatively simple.

Sliders are a set of bracketed tracks that mount on either a set of tripod legs, a light stand, or on the floor by using its own adjustable feet. The camera slider has a movable housing that you can attach right to your camera or tripod head. This allows you to produce panning and angled shots as well as basic movements along a lateral plane. A camera slider can accept various photographic devices depending on its load capacity.

A sturdy camera slider can secure any device from a small smartphone to a DSLR to a bulky professional video camera, allowing you to use them for practically any application. As you guide your camera along the rails of your camera slider, the shot you take is smooth and vibration-free, adding to the professional quality of your film. And with various motorized sliders available, you can even program the travel speed of your camera slider to achieve perfectly time movements in mere seconds.

What Does it Mean to Dolly a Camera?

You’ve probably heard the term “dolly the camera” but you might not know exactly what it means. Dolly is simply a term used to describe a specific camera movement that is frequently used in cinematography. When you move closer to a subject, it is referred to as dolly in while moving away from a subject is called dolly out. This movement can be performed with hand-held recording (click here for the review) but the results can lack true professional quality. This is why most videographers use a camera slider that keeps the camera moving smoothly on a fixed plane to perform this technique.

Can You Use a Slider on a Tripod?

Can You Use A Slider On A TripodSliders are designed to be mounted, specifically to a light stand or a tripod. A camera slider often allows you to choose from two options when it comes to mounting one of these useful filming tools onto a tripod, center or end mount. Both of these methods have certain advantages and disadvantages. The easiest way to mount your camera slider is to attach it to a single tripod using a mounting point that is located in the middle of your camera slider’s track.

This method only requires you to have one tripod and is perfect for a short camera slider that measures less than 36” in length. The drawback to this camera slider mounting method is that it’s not practical for a longer camera slider because it can cause the track to shake and wobble since all of the weight is supported in the center of the rails. The second method that is available for mounting a camera slider is to attach a tripod to each end of your slider.

This method is best for long sliders that are over 36”, or 3 feet, in length since it provides more support to the camera slider and prevents the track from shaking or bending as the camera slides from one end to another. The downside to this method is that it takes a bit more time to correctly set up your camera slider since you are mounting your tool onto two separate tripods and need to make sure that it is perfectly level.

What to Look for When Buying a Camera Slider?

Purchasing a camera slider is one of the best ways to really boost the production value of your films and videos. A camera slider is a versatile tool that allows you to make smooth, controlled movements while filming that are the perfect way to transform any project into a professionally-made masterpiece. But choosing the wrong camera slider for your needs can lead to some big problems.

If the camera slider that you purchase offers unsteady movements, is too heavy or cumbersome for your needs, or isn’t suited for the style of camera that you plan on working with, you run the risk of ruining your shot. But by considering 5 factors before buying your new camera slider, you can make sure that the camera slider you purchase is quick to set up and delivers amazingly smooth footage.

Length

A camera slider can come in a variety of lengths. Because of this, you need to consider the range of motion, or how much travel, that you’ll need the camera slider to offer. Longer slides will give you more travel but sometimes that simply isn’t practical. While a longer camera slider will provide you with more shooting options, it also means that it’s going to be heavier, require more time to set up, need the support of two tripods instead of one, and can prevent you from using your device in tight shooting areas.

Shorter sliders will provide less travel distance but they’re also much lighter and easier to transport. This camera slider is perfect if you’re going to be shooting on the road and only require one tripod to support them since it’s not going to start bending or flexing as your camera moves along the track.

While long sliders are possible the best because they offer more travel, most professionals believe that a slider that measures between 18” to 24” is best. A camera slider that falls within this range is easy to carry, can be mounted on a single tripod, and still provides an impressive amount of movement.

Mounting Options

Mounting OpitonsYou want to make sure that the model you are buying is suitable for your shooting needs. This means that you should look into its mounting options. Models can have center mounts, end mounts, or better yet, both. Center mounting is perfect for shorter slides that measure less than 3 feet. These simply require you to attach the center of the device to one tripod.

Since the rail isn’t too long, you don’t need support on either end of the track and you don’t have to worry about your footage wobbling as you move your camera along the sliding track. End mounting is best suited for use with sliders that are 3 feet or longer.

Because of the longer length of the tracks, these sliders require two tripods to support them, one on each end. This will provide the stability you’ll need while operating on these lengthy sliders. Since some sliders offer both, it’s best to invest in a device that features both options.

Electric

While there are a lot of great manual models that offer incredibly smooth movement while filming, there are also some devices that feature motorized movement. These electric sliders run on either rechargeable powerpacks or batteries. The benefit of these models is that you can simply set the speed and length of travel that is perfect for your shot and then let the device do the work.

This allows you to forget about your equipment and focus on your shot. Another benefit is that these sliders are perfect for making precise movements. Since you program the speed, it’s easier to ensure that the speed your camera travels is even compared to pushing your device along the track manually.

Load Capacity

Some lighter, plastic sliders can only support smartphones, GoPros, or light point-and-shoot models. While most of the more sturdy models have a higher load capacity, meaning that they can secure lightweight devices as well as bulkier DSLRs, camcorders, and even heavy professional video cameras.

Not every camera slider is made equal. Some have plastic parts while others are made of high-strength materials like carbon fiber, stainless steel, or aluminum alloy. The difference here is how much weight these sliders can carry. This is important if you are planning on using your camera slider to shoot with a variety of photographic equipment (click here for the study guide). Look into the load capacity of the camera slider you are thinking about buying and consider what styles of equipment you intend to work with.

Weight

The final factor that you should consider is the actual weight of the camera slider you are going to buy. Sliders can weigh anywhere from 1 lb to almost 10 lbs. While this might not seem like a big issue, it can greatly affect the portability and stability of the model. Lightweight sliders are best for anyone who is planning on shooting on the road. They’re easy to carry and can generally be set up in less time. The downside is that some of the lightest options out there can be slightly unstable and won’t have the load capacity required to support heavier models like DSLRs cameras and professional shooting equipment.

Heavier sliders will be able to support almost any shooting equipment that you decide to use. Plus, the heavier weight often gives the device a bit more stability during operation. The downside to these sliders is that they might require more time to set up and can be more cumbersome if you intend to frequently carry it around.

The best option is to find a camera slider that falls somewhere in the middle. Unless you are only planning on using your smartphone or a compact digital camera, you want to purchase a camera slider that weighs between 3-8 lbs. This will give you enough load capacity and durability for almost any filming project while still offering easy portability.

IMORDEN MS121V 

Top Pick

Our choice for top pick on the market today is the IMORDEN 48” Camera Slider. One of the best sliders on the market, it offers an impressively long 48” travel range which is capable of handling practically any shot you can imagine. With center and end mounting capability, this sturdy model will work best with any setup you come up with and its 4 ball bearing wheels offer amazing smoothness and stability.

Built from high-grade aluminum alloy, this model is hefty and durable enough to withstand years of use but is light enough to pack up in the included carrying bag and take anywhere. Capable of securing any photographic device that weighs less than 15 lbs, this model is perfect for shooting with a smartphone, point-and-shoot, DSLR, camcorder, and even professional video equipment.

This model is built to offer precise movement with incredible control and is perfect for producing truly stunning video footage. And at less than $90, the IMORDEN 48” is one of the best buys on the market today.

Shark S1 BLC

Premium Choice

Our pick for best premium choice on the market is the Shark Slider S1. If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line option that is capable of delivering professional-quality films and videos, then this is the perfect model for you. With a 31” rail, this model is short enough to be supported by a single tripod but, thanks to the included extension rails, which go up to 47”, it’s also a versatile dual-tripod mount unit that’s perfect for when you need longer shots.

Built from carbon fiber, it’s incredibly durable and lightweight (perfect for hiking and travelling), but strong enough to mount any equipment weighing up to 15 lbs securely. Its silent, smooth bearings glide effortlessly along the sliding tracks for fluid-like movement without any noise. And with its triangular feet and tool-less operation, this model is incredibly stable and easy to operate.

At over $700, the S1 is not for everyone. But if it’s in your budget and you’re looking for a truly professional-grade model, it’s one of the best buys out there. Designed with smooth performance, durability, and stability in mind, it’s perfect for shooting cinema-quality films and will be the only sliding rig that you’ll ever need.

) Neewer 10073052

Great Value

If you’re looking for a great bargain, then the Neewer Tabletop Mobile Rolling Slider Dolly is our recommendation for the best value on the market today. It was designed to offer simple, effective performance that is perfect for new filmmakers who are on the market for an economic alternative to some of the more expensive sliders on the market.

Simply mount your shooting device on top of the dolly and use it as either a slider or rolling dolly. The dolly rolls thanks to smooth roller bearings which glide effortlessly on any flat surface and its easy-to-use string allows you to steer your device while you shoot.

At only 1.4 lbs, this is one of the lightest options on the market making it perfect for any traveling filmmaker. While simple in design, this device will allow you to capture dynamic motion while only setting you back around $17. At this price, there’s no better option for boosting the quality of your projects.

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