The SMARTTA SliderMini 2 Review has been a long time coming, and since we at CineD have been using it for quite a bit now, it is time to share what we think about the motorized slider. Find out if it’s something for your filmmaking toolbox by continue reading.
Like their big brethren — the dollies — sliders allow cameras to be moved along tracks, resulting in smooth, cinematic shots. They come in all shapes, sizes and levels of complexity. So why should you care about this tiny slider?
SMARTTA SliderMini 2
A slider’s biggest advantage over a dolly is that it does not need a crew to be set up and operate. However most sliders still require some setup-time, and need to be put on two stands and are (a bit) of a hassle, too. I own a Kessler Cine-Slider with all the bells and whistles and I love it — yet I often don’t have the time to set it up, so I ether end up leaving it in the van, or at my studio.
The SMARTTA SliderMini 2 tries to offer a solution to that problem: It’s so small that it fits in every decent camera bag. You can have it on you at all times, and when needed set it up in minutes. It’s so small that you can travel easily with it — something that can not be said about my Kessler CineSlider. I keep it in a Peli 1720 case, that is usually used for transporting rifles — a lot of fun when trying to go through airports, I can tell you that!
When to use it
The Downside of portability: the SMARTTA SliderMini2 can move the camera only 20 centimeters. So a little creativity is needed o get the most use out of this little device. But we don’t lack creativity, do we?
Just keep in mind, that if you want to track a subject you’ll need to use constant autofocus.
We already talked about its reach of 20 centimeters. The maximum speed of travel is 1cm/s and can be adjusted seamlessly via the SMARTTA Go iOS or Android App. Alternatively, there is a physical button on the slider itself that can help you to move the carriage from side to side at a constant speed without the need of the App. (Great for those moments when you don’t have a mobile phone with you, or when being short with sufficient phone battery life).
It’s got a 1/4″ mounting point at the bottom and a 1/4″ thread on top of the carriage. SMARTTA offers a few bundles with heads in their online shop. In horizontal mode, the slider can carry up to 15kg, in vertical mode 1.25kg.
The slider comes in at just under 600g, sports a 1500mAh battery, and a USB-C charging/powering port. It has also a 2,5mm jack for a camera shutter remote cable.
The SMARTTA SliderMini 2 does what it is supposed to do. The build quality is very good and smart design decisions were made, i.e. the surfaces the carriage wheels actually roll on are the flanks of v-shaped grooves along the body. This design minimizes the possibility of something damaging these surfaces. A scratch or dent on the rails could introduce a bump and make the slider worthless.
But there are downsides, too that I don’t want to leave out of this SMARTTA SliderMini 2 review. The omission of a built-in level-bubble seems like a strange decision to me. A 1/4″ mounting point at the end of the slider to mount it vertically is also painfully missing. Also starting and stopping of the carriage at the endpoints could be smoother. No matter how flat I set the speed-envelope curve, I could always feel a bit of a “bump” when it hit the end.
Please share your thoughts in the comments. Also if you own a SliderMini 2 and have done some cool shots or have some tricks — please share them with us!