In the world of video production, not many things can add as much production value to your videos as a motorized slider. The problem with these units is that they can be big, bulky, complicated, and usually have to be plugged in. The Rhino Slider EVO changes the game and gives us a small, lightweight, and easy to use motorized slider that is also battery powered.
Rhino was kind enough to send me a 24″ carbon fiber version of their new Rhino Slider EVO and Rhino Motion to review. The unit is currently up on Kickstarter, and although it is already funded, they would still love your support. Check out the campaign page here.
Rhino Slider EVO
On its own, the Rhino Slider EVO is the next generation of the ever popular Rhino Slider. It features interchangeable rails that come in 24″ and 42″ varients. You can also choose from carbon fiber or steel rails, both of which offer a silky smooth slide for your production footage.
The 24″ version that I am testing has a single tripod mounting bracket centered at the bottom of the rails. The carriage is made from aircraft grade aluminum, and it feels substantial. It has enough weight to it that you feel comfortable trusting your gear on it, but is light enough that it is easy to slide by hand. It also features a single ‘brake’ to lock down the carriage when you don’t want it to slide around – great for traveling or moving your setup.
Sliding the Rhino Slider EVO by hand is an exercise in easy. It gives you buttery smooth pans with almost no effort and just the right amount of resistance. That said, if you hand slide the Rhino Slider EVO, you are missing out – big time.
As wonderful a slider as the Rhino Slider EVO is, once you have used it in combination with the Motion, there is no going back.
Adding the Motion unit to the Rhino Slider EVO is a piece of cake, and requires no tools. You simply place the Motion Motor on the Rhino Slider EVO at the designated location and tighten it down with two thumb screws. In all, it takes about 30 seconds, and then you are ready to start sliding.
The control unit, which attaches to the Motor via a cable (to control the motor) and magnets (to affix the controller to the motor), is a simple metal brick. It is built really well and only has two buttons. A Power/Back Button, and the control dial, everything you need to do on the controller is handled with these two buttons – and it’s stupid easy to use.
The built-in battery on the controller can power the motor for several hours, even longer depending on what sort of movement you are doing with it. The screen is easy to read, even in direct sunlight – a huge plus since this is definitely going to be used outdoors.
As far as usability, the menu is split into three areas – Settings, Live Motion, and Timelapse. The settings section is pretty self-explanatory; it is where you change the settings on your device and update the firmware via microSD.
The Live Motion section is split into two options, ‘Turn Wheel To Slide’ and ‘Create A Move’. The ‘Turn Wheel To Slide’ section is the basic, ‘easy mode’ way to get buttery smooth slides for your video footage. Simply turn the wheel on the controller to the desired speed and you are off to the races. The ‘Create A Move’ section is where you can get more advanced with your movements, but even still, it is quite easy to use. You can have the controller lock the movements, ramp the speed, etc. This is great for if you need to recreate specific movements over and over again.
The Timelapse section is split into two options as well, ‘Simple Time Lapse’ and ‘Advanced Time Lapse’. The simple mode is really easy, you just tell it how long you want the movement to be, and it starts moving. Then you just setup your camera to fire at your desired interval and you are good to go – as long as your shutter speed is high enough to account for the constant movement of the slider. The advanced timelapse function allows you to connect the controller to your camera, and the controller will stop moving to fire your camera and then continue the movement. This is trickier to setup, but is well worth it.
Rhino Slider EVO + Motion
The Rhino Slider EVO performs as well as you could expect. If you want to do a hand slide, it will be one of the best slides you have ever done. If you want to do a motion controlled slide, it will do that too, and you won’t get frustrated with your inability to slide smoothly with your hands.
I put together some quick demo footage below demonstrating the smooth slides possible with this motion controlled slider. I should note, I prefer a slower slide, so that is what I demoed. But faster slides are possible as well.
As far as features go, there is really only one thing that I wish they had included that they didn’t, a removable battery. The only weakness of this unit is that once the battery dies you have one option, plug it it the wall to charge or use it some more. Other than that, this slider has/does erything you could ask from a slider.
The Rhino Slider Evo is designed perfectly for the run and gun video shooter or the backpacking timelapser. It is small, light-weight, and fairly compact. The interchangeable rails, and legs that fold into themselves are great design choices the really add to the value of the unit.
I have absolutely nothing bad to say regarding the quality of this slider. It is built extremely well, and will no doubt last for many, many years. In the interest of transparency, I did have to send in my Motion motor for a replacement after mine developed an issue, but the guys at Rhino were quick to send out a replacement and I have had no issues with the new motor since.
I chalk it up to a fluke motor, nothing more. The quality of these sliders are very good.
Are there cheaper sliders on the market? Yes. But when you add motion into the equation, and you find that the Rhino Slider EVO is not only a well-built slider, but it is also one of the cheapest motion controlled solutions on the market. The value is there, and if you have a need for a slider, the Rhino Slider EVO should be at the top of your list.
You have read my thoughts on each piece of the puzzle individually. So you can probably guess, but in my opinion, this has got to be the best motion controlled slider package on the market.
Other motorized units have pieces of the puzzle, but the Rhino Slider EVO gets it all right. If you are in the market for a new slider, this is definitely a unit that you want to look into. The best part is that it won’t break the bank either, coming in at just under $1,000 when you buy the two pieces together.
To learn more about Rhino Slider EVO, you can head on over to their Kickstarter page to find out how to get one for yourself.