Top 10 Best Camera Slider & Rails For Serious Videographers
A camera slider will let you film panning shots, follow focus shots, panoramic shots, and more. This accessory will make a huge difference to your overall video quality.
Although there are some very good cheap camera sliders, there are also a lot of really awful sliders. The goal with a camera slider is silky smooth movement, letting you create that movie magic.
There are unfortunately a lot of sliders that might be smoother than handheld filming but definitely aren’t pro-quality smooth. If you want that Hollywood-level quality, you need a good slider.
Through research and testing, I’ve weeded out the duds and found the top 10 best camera sliders available.
Table of Contents
IFootage Shark Slider S1 Kit – Modular Kit With Silent Bearings
The slider itself is 31″ long with 25″ of travel length. It can also be extended to 47″ with the simple addition of the two carbon fiber extension rails.
No tools are needed to add the extending rails. This special bundle has a lot of value and comes with important extras like an auxiliary weight, extender rods, an extended belt, and a nice carrying case.
It is easy to mount on a tripod (not included) using the multiple 3/8-16 and ¼-20 threaded holes found on the underside of the cheeseplate.
There are short multi-position adjustable legs that mean you won’t always need a tripod. These legs make leveling on uneven surfaces easy.
This slider has a 15-pound payload-capacity. You can also drop the end caps onto light stand spigots and lock them into position, as desired. Convenience and portability are big advantages with this slider since it drops into the case fully assembled when you aren’t using the extender rails.
Smooth motion is the primary thing you’re probably looking for in a slider and you will get it with the Shark. The smooth (and quiet) movement is accomplished thanks to silent bearings, synchronous belts, and a flywheel that adds inertia.
The rails are made from carbon fiber, offering excellent durability and resistance to erosion. It also makes the rig lighter in weight overall, a very nice feature since you’re already most likely carting around all kinds of heavy equipment.
GVM Multi-function Motorized Slider – Multi-Angle, Auto & Manual Modes
This motorized slider from GVM is quite easy to operate using the included remote control.
You can use it in manual mode but this slider really isn’t designed for non-motorized use. It’s possible but you’ll probably get better results with the motor.
With multiple 1/4″ and 3/8″ screw ports at the bottom of the slider, you have several different mounting options, allowing you to get the perfect angle.
Both tracked shoots and 120-degree wide shoots are available with this slider. The rails are made from aluminum alloy, offering supreme smoothness, though aluminum doesn’t stand the test of time quite as well as other materials.
Ideal for most DSLR cameras as well as action cameras like the GoPro, it is load-bearing up to 30 pounds. A fairly quiet slider, the silent motor has adjustable torque.
When it’s going at full speed, though, you may well hear a bit of noise in your recording. The track offers 31.8 inches of travel length. This slider and all of its accessories fit into a convenient travel bag.
GVM Mini Motorized Track Slider – Convenient & Easy To Carry
This mini slider is small and extremely portable. The size and length capacity it offers may mean it’s not a good fit for some types of filming but you’d be surprised just how much 11.8 inches will get you.
Everything fits into a small carry bag that doesn’t take up a ton of space. This makes it a great camera slider to throw in your suitcase on a trip where you may or may not need it.
It’s also great for filmmakers who are always on the go, chasing light or always on the hunt for the perfect location. This is a multi-function slider, with options for automatic round-trip, timelapse, and video capture.
The motorized movement is smooth and uniform and remarkably quiet. Adjusting the slider settings is easy using the included remote control. You can adjust Speed, Interval, Stoptime, Photo Number, Auto Loop, and Motor Torque.
These setting options give you a huge variety of possible shots, making this slider ideal for creative filmmakers and commercial shooters.
You will almost certainly need a tripod and it is compatible with the overwhelming majority of tripods available. When you use this slider on the ground, it has a load-bearing capacity of 11 pounds. When using it on a tripod, the load-bearing capacity is reduced to 3 pounds.
GripGear Movie Maker 2 – World’s smallest camera motion control rig
This affordable option from GripGear can really help you up your overall production value. It was designed by Hollywood veterans and those guys definitely know what they are doing.
You’d be surprised just how professional video shot from a smartphone can look when you use the right equipment. This slider can support cameras up to 1.7 lbs, so it will work with all smartphones and GoPros as well as many point-and-shoot cameras and mirrorless cameras.
This slider is convertible, offering both a straight track setup and a 360° Panoramic head. You have a ton of options including panoramic timelapse, reveal shots, staircase shots, macro shots, crane shots, inverted shots, and classic slider shots.
This slider has 1/4″ mounts that allow you to attach it to tripods or suction cups or similar accessories. This opens up even more possibilities for types of shots available.
If you’re looking for something that is easy to use, this might be the slider for you. Better yet, Grip Gear offers excellent instructions and has a YouTube channel that is full of tutorials and tips for this slider and photography/videography in general.
Neewer 16 to 47.2″ Carbon Fiber Camera Track – Affordable & Lightweight Rail
The rails are carbon fiber, good for both smoothness and durability. Underneath the track are 6 U-shaped ball bearings that make sure the motion is ultra-smooth while also minimizing abrasion on the carbon fiber tubing.
Threaded holes make multi-angle shooting possible, with vertical, horizontal, and 45 degrees shooting options.
The secure legs are adjustable, from 8.5 centimeters to 10 centimeters. You can also attach the slider to a tripod. It has a universal slider plate with a 1/4″ threaded hole that will fit most DSLR cameras.
This slider even has a bubble level to indicate your slanting degree. No ball head is included with this slider but since the price is so low, buying a ball head (if desired) won’t be too bad.
Neewer includes a travel bag that everything fits into for easy transport.
Kamerar 31” Fluid Motion Video Slider – Flywheel, Counterweight, Light Carbon Fiber Rails
A crank handle offers more control than you’d get on a standard slider. When you crank the handle, you are able to control the camera’s movements.
This slider has a high-grade carbon fiber rail system that is just as sturdy as it’s lightweight.
The carbon fiber rails are also very durable and are resistant to erosion. Six rollers make sure the weight is distributed evenly while also keeping the motion smooth and reducing noise.
The slider carriage has a 3/8”-16 mount for attaching a tripod head. It also has a side mounted brake that lets you lock your camera into place. An embedded bubble level makes it easy for you to make sure you have the slider level.
Along the bottom of the slider, there are multiple 1/4”-20 and 3/8”-16 mounts for attaching directly to a tripod or for a quick-mount plate.
The legs are fully adjustable, allowing you to set the height and the angle. This slider has a flashy, attractive look.
It looks like something a pro would use and since it can easily produce pro-quality results, that sounds about right.
Neewer Portable FilmMaker System – All-in-One Shoulder Rig for Mobile Film-Making
It features a soft rubber shoulder pad and a dual-hand handgrip.
This makes for a more comfortable experience. The comfort is ultimately hit or miss, as some describe it as really comfortable and others describe it as super uncomfortable.
It’s easy enough to DIY some added padding if you don’t think it’s comfortable.
Designed with ergonomics in mind, it allows for angle and position adjustments. You can set it up to work for either left-handed or right-handed persons.
This setup offers value on its own, serving as a stabilizer similar to a gimbal, designed to make long hours of filming easy on the cameraperson without compromising stability. But it also goes beyond that with 2 rail rods for slider purposes. This is great for zooming.
The rods are just under one foot in length. This rig is suitable for DSLRs, all video cameras including HD video cameras, and DV camcorders.
Andoer Retractable Slider V2 – 20.5” to 41” Track Rail
Made from qualified aviation aluminum alloy, the rails offer stability and smoothness. There are 1/4″ and 3/8″ screws along the top for connecting the camera or ball head. Underneath, there are 1/4″ and 3/8″ thread holes for attaching a tripod. Nonslip rubber feet on the bottom keep it securely in place when using without a tripod.
With a payload capacity of just over 17 pounds, this should be compatible with the overwhelming majority of cameras.
This slider has several ball bearings that you can adjust with the included hexagon wrench for sliding tightness. You’ll want to invest in a high-quality tripod when you want to use this slider off the ground or a tabletop.
With a cheaper tripod, you’re going to have some issues with weight transfer as it slides. This will ultimately result in a big loss of stability.
This is an affordable and versatile track dolly that would be a good fit for someone wanting to take their filmmaking to that next level.
It’s a heavy-duty piece of equipment that can easily handle a lot of weight, like cameras up to 40 pounds. It is made from aircraft grade 6061 anodized aluminum alloy to very tight tolerances for maximum precision and strength.
Although it’s strong and can handle a lot of weight, it offers lightweight convenience. Weighing only a few pounds and easily folding up to fit into the included carry bag, this is a rig that is easy to transport.
The smoothness you’re looking for comes from the advanced sliding swivel wheel system. Made from high-quality polyurethane, the wheels are designed to slide within a track.
The wheels offer full 360° swivel, while also being able to slide within the wheel housing in any direction by an extra 1″. This means that even when the track is uneven, the footage will be super smooth.
This dolly’s legs can slide out an extra 5″ longer. No track is included with this set, although it may be possible to DIY a track using 1″ PVC pipe.
StudioFX 40″ Pro DSLR Stabilizer – With Carrying Case
It’s compatible with most DSLR cameras, as it can handle a max payload of 15 pounds and is equipped with 3/8″ and 1/4″ screws for mounting.
You’ll be ready to start shooting quickly as this slider is easy to set up. It’s also easily portable and fits in an included carrying case.
Buyer’s Guide & Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the best motorized camera slider?
How to build my own DIY DSLR dolly?
If you’re handy, it’s really quite easy to make a DIY dolly for your DSLR. This video shows you how. It takes a bit of time and some hands-on effort but it’s surprisingly straightforward to create a very good dolly by yourself using common parts.
What length do I need?
This depends on a number of factors, like what kind of shot you’re looking for and even how tall you are.
In the overwhelming majority of cases, 31 inches or so will be more than adequate and will cover most shooting situations. Another factor to consider is how much you want to spend on additional equipment.
In most cases, for a slider longer than 31 inches, you will absolutely need to use two tripods or the stability and smoothness will suffer.
You’ll also need high-quality tripods. A longer slider means that the tripod or tripods have to bear the brunt of the stabilizing work.
A cheaper tripod just won’t be able to handle the weight transfer as the camera slides. A retractable slider with rails that can expand might be a good solution for someone unsure about slider length.
What’s a good cheap slider for amateur movie makers?
For an amateur movie maker who is shooting with a smartphone or an action camera, the GripGear 9 Speed Electronic Slider is very affordable and offers a lot of pro-quality potential.
For the amateur filmmaker with a DSLR or other video camera, the Neewer 16 to 47.2 “ Carbon Fiber Camera Track is cheap and works quite well.
A camera slider can help both amateur and professional filmmakers up their overall production quality.
Luckily, there are some great pro-quality camera sliders available that don’t break the bank.
Are you considering any of these camera sliders? What are you hoping to use it for? Let me know in the comments! Feel free to ask any questions you might have as well.