There are a lot of sliders out there which makes your decision a tough one in buying the right one. My perfect slider needs to be portable, durable, and super smooth. It also helps to have a remote control system that nails your camera move each time. The Rhino Evo Slider seemed to be a perfect solution at an affordable price.
The first thing I noticed after receiving the slider was how well built it was. Its design was incredibly well thought out and I’m happy to see that the Rhino team took no shortcuts in its construction. Most sliders I looked at seemed to have one or two things missing. The Rhino Evo slider didn’t seem to have any of these issues. It was built to withstand even the harshest shooting conditions and still perform flawlessly without a hitch.
I was also nervous about buying a 2-foot slider vs. a 4 foot or even a 6 foot one. I was afraid the length wouldn’t be long enough for my more demanding shots. However, the 2-foot carbon slider was just long and light enough to fit into a carry-on bag and sling over my shoulder on long walks. So far, I haven’t been hindered by its length and I barely notice it when I bring it with me on shoots. It’s just long enough to achieve most of my shots including continuous moves during an interview and beauty b-roll shots of a product. I must admit there are times when I wish I had more rail to work with but those instances are rare. As an individual shooter all you need is 2 feet.
My other big reason for buying this slider was for its motion control unit. On previous shoots, I’d have to repeat a manual slide move several times before it looked just right. On run and gun shoots this always posed a problem for me as we had very little time to repeat a move until we got it right. I’m sure over time you begin to develop a feel for it but I needed a piece of equipment that worked right out of the box. I was willing to spend the extra money for that privilege.
The remote-control unit is incredibly intuitive operating much like the classic iPod interface and makes it very simple to set up your first shot without a guidebook. One of its biggest selling points for me was the ability to move the camera in real time with a simple twist of the dial. The ability to program a shot so it’s the same each time is also an added bonus, but when I was behind the camera I always found myself turning the dial just for the sheer joy of it.
No need to worry about slamming the carriage against each end of the slider either. The slider calibrates itself each time you turn it on which allows it to decelerate whenever reaching its end. There is even a feature to repeat a move over and over which is very helpful during an interview. Are you concerned about loud motor noise during a shoot when you’re recording audio? No worries. The motor is incredibly quiet even while it’s moving at high speeds.
With such an awesome motion control unit, battery life was my next greatest concern. Rhino claims it can last up to 7 hours. While I never tested its lifespan by running down the battery, I was never concerned with running out of battery after a full night’s charge.
With so many moving parts, I wasn’t sure how long the setup time might be. It looked like all the moving parts were self-contained, but I wasn’t sure how much time it would take to build before each shoot. It literally took no time at all, and gets easier and easier to set up.
After a month of use, the controller unit began to malfunction during live moves making me think all the hype was for not. I called Rhino and was surprised to be talking to the founder and CEO, Kyle Hart. He was nice enough to send a brand-new motion control unit without having to pay anything extra. You may notice that we also added a glaring yellow wire between the motor and remote control unit. The initial one that came with the package was lost during a shoot, but we were able to use a spare Ethernet cable that we had laying around and it’s worked ever since.
There’s really not that much I can nitpick on Rhino’s Motorized Evo Slider. With superb customer support and a brilliantly compact design that simply works, I’d have to admit Rhino’s Motorized Evo Slider is one of the best motorized sliders on the market.