If you are trying to make product videos and have run dry on creative shots then stay right where you are. I shoot a lot of product videos and I am always looking for something new to keep filming exciting. BUT I don’t want to spend loads of money on a piece of kit especially when I’m not sure how much it will get used. So if this sounds like you, welcome to my close up look at the Neewer Curved Circular Camera Slider/Dolly.
Found on Amazon for £116. This prime delivered slider had just been released and therefore only had 15 reviews, currently there is very little online about curved sliders. Which was how I convinced AJ we should buy it! We have a couple of straight line sliders in the studio and a motorised slider we also have a few Neewer branded products which I have always found impressively robust and great value for money. This slider is no different. The build quality is solid, perhaps that’s the 2KG of aluminium weightiness that makes it feel solid.
The track covers 180 degrees with an arc diameter of 40 inches. It offers a huge travel length of 61 inches. The slider comes with adjustable legs to securely mount it on a flat surface. Also ¼ inch thread to mount it across three tripods and of course the camera platform which is mounted within the slider tracks. There are a few things missing which would make this ideal but I’ll come on to that. First Lets take a look at the best bits of the Neewer curved slider.
I love the idea of a curved camera slider. The central point for fixed focus sits right in the middle of the track which is 20 inches from the camera at any point. So as you move the camera you can be fixed on manual focus.
If you want to use it for a reveal shot you can set the manual focus and that makes for an interesting shot. In order to get the best out of the slider you need the product you are filming to be higher or lower than the track so you are not getting the slider in the shot. The slider can be used with the camera facing inwards for shooting products or flip the camera to face outwards to get the perfect panoramic.
The dolly that sits in the track has both a ¼ inch and three eights thread, The platform glides super smooth which is exactly what you hope for. It is stated as being able to take a load capacity of five kilos. I only used a DSLR which was well under a kilo. But.. with the sturdy build of the track and four pairs of adjustable legs I am sure a heavier load would be just as comfortable depending on the ball head that you mount.
I was disappointed that at this price point the camera platform didn’t come with a ball head. Which does mean I had to dig around the store room, fortunately it’s the sort of thing we have plenty of and if you have to buy one they are not overly expensive.
I found mounting the slider on multiple tripods a royal pain. It is not something you will want to do on your own. It works perfectly on a table top or floor and if that doesn’t suit what you had in mind I would question if the shot is worth the set up time.
It is not a bit of equipment you are going to be using daily so you want to be able to put it away. Which does lead to a bigger issue. When you go to tuck away the curved slider, Thats when you realise it doesn’t fit on a shelf, or in a storage cupboard, so it ends up leaning against a wall. Which leads me to my final gripe, It doesn’t have a bag so if you did want to take it to a location and mount it on your three tripods then you have to struggle with your hands full.
So who is the Neewer Curved Camera Slider Dolly Kit for? It is a piece of kit that with give you something a bit different to your usual turntable product shots. It also would be incredible for taking that must have panoramic, or for tracking a movement. There our a couple of tools it competes against yet they are very different to each other. You could get a straight slider or a dolly slider. Both alternatives have their pros and cons, and out of the three options they could all achieve great table top product video. Ive really enjoyed using the Neewer arc slider and although I don’t plan on going out carrying three tripods to capture a panoramic, I will definitely be using it here in the studio.
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