Fstoppers Reviews the edelkrone SliderPlus and HeadPlus System

As someone who produces a lot of timelapses and video content for YouTube, nothing excites me more than testing out a new piece of gear. So, when edelkrone asked me to review their latest motorized slider and panning head unit, I jumped at the opportunity to see what this kit could do.

Sliders are one of the cornerstone pieces of gear for filmmakers and videographers. It's crazy how such a small and simple tool can elevate your video production by leaps and bounds. Here at Fstoppers, Lee and I have owned our fair share of sliders since around 2010, with some of them being amazing and others being almost unusable.

More Distance, Smaller Size

What makes the edelkrone slider system so unique is their undercarriage design. When you mount your tripod to this bottom carriage, it allows the entire slider to pivot and extend past the mounting point. Essentially, what this does is give your slider twice the reach in half the overall length. Having a 25" slider with about 36" of movement is the perfect balance between portability and function.

SliderPLUS gives longer push in and pull out moves over traditional sliders

Also because of this brilliant design, you can get more push-in and pull-out length, because the track actually retracts underneath the camera as the carriage moves towards the center of the rail. I've never used an edelkrone slider before, but always remember thinking how well crafted this design was from their early Kickstarter campaigns and first generation sliders. Having used the SliderPlus Pro Long for a few weeks now, it's definitely hard going back to a longer slider that doesn't always fit in your camera backpack.

Motors Rule

The biggest thing I always hated about some of the first sliders we ever owned was that it was near impossible to get a smooth, seamless sliding motion without the entire slider stuttering at some point. If you've ever tried to manually pull or push your camera across a set of slider rails, you know how difficult it can be achieving a perfect smooth motion. edelkrone's Slide Module is a motor you can add to many of their sliders that allows you to not only achieve perfectly smooth movements, but it also lets you program a continuous loop back and forth.

Entire system can be run on AC power or DC batteries

Having your camera loop back and forth is extremely useful when filming an interview and you want to "set it and forget it" over the course of an hour or two.

I've used and owned a few other motorized sliders over the years, and I really don't think I could ever go back to a manual slider ever again. If you are considering a new slider and the edelkrone fits your needs, I would definitely recommend adding a Slide Module to your slider. Also, it can run on AC power in the studio but also DC power if you want to use it with batteries on location.

Tilt, Pan, and Focus

The piece of gear I was most interested in using was the edelkrone HeadPLUS Pan and Tilt unit. By adding this powerful motorized unit to the top of your slider, you can essentially move your camera along four different axes. The slider itself gives you one axis of movement, but with the HeadPLUS, you can tilt your camera up and down, pan your camera left and right, and if you have a compatible lens, you can focus near and far. Having all of these movements at your disposal allows you to create super complex camera movements that until recently were either not possible or required gear costing 5-10x the price of the edelkrone system.

Create complex timelapses and astro photography videos

Just like the Slide Module, the HeadPLUS can also run on AC power or DC power for use indoors or out in remote locations. One of my favorite features of the HeadPLUS is that it can fold down flat, so it can easily fit into your camera bag. As I show in the video above, the mounting arm is also extremely easy to quickly balance, and it too can break down flat so that it takes up very little room in your camera bag.

Syncing to the App

Up until this point, most of the other motorized sliders I've used have relied on a physical control that has its own battery, screen, and interface. The edelkrone system works 100% off your smartphone through an app simply called edelkrone. What's cool about the app is that it automatically finds the modules and devices you are using and pairs them all together. This way, you only see the functions and controls for the devices you have at your disposal. So, if you are only using the SliderPLUS without the HeadPLUS, you will only see controls for left and right slide control. It makes adding modules easy without having to connect everything via cable, which was the previous way modules had to be synced together. 

With the app, you can program different poses, change the speed and acceleration of your slider, set a continuous movement, create a timelapse with very specific intervals and intervalometers, as well as use the Laser Module for automating focus pulls throughout your movements. Also, because your phone is a completely separate unit, all of the battery power attached to your edelkrone system is being used 100% on the movement and not on a screen or application. This is pretty smart, because let's face it, it's pretty hard to design a touch screen and control device that can rival the smartphones we already have.

Luxury Comes With a Price

With all of these amazing features, you are probably thinking there must be a catch, right? Well the old saying "nothing good comes cheap" definitely applies here. Like I said earlier, it wasn't long ago that a system this powerful would easily cost $10-50k; the edelkrone bundle I reviewed isn't cheap by any means.

The entire kit costs right at around $3,500, and for simplicity, I've listed a few of the prices below so you can see what each piece of gear costs on its own.

25" SliderPLUS PRO Long: $899

HeadPLUS Pan and Tilt: $1799

Slide Module V2: $499

Focus Module: $699

Laser Module: $369

So, all in all, you can save about $765 if you buy everything in one bundle (plus you can get the DC adapters and AC power supplies, which are sold separately). So at $3,500, you are basically buying into a full ecosystem that should give you the ability to create all the super dynamic camera movements and timelapses your heart desires, but it's definitely a heavy investment. If you aren't completely sure if this is the system for you, edelkrone does offer all customers a full refund within 90 days of delivery.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Most slide for the size
  • Compact and can fit in your own camera backpack
  • Repeatable and programmable motion
  • Easy to use iPhone and Android App
  • Modular, so you can add only what you need
  • Extensive video manuals for learning setup
  • Connects with Bluetooth with no wires

Cons

  • No power switch for batteries, so remember to unplug them
  • Does not have manual buttons, so you must use your phone
  • Slider can only be mounted to a single tripod, so you must own a sturdy tripod
  • Confirm your lenses are compatible with Focus Module
  • Slide Module V2 sometimes needs adjustment with Allen key
  • Can be pricey
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7 Comments

Lor Wor's picture

great review, thx

Dave Terry's picture

Great review (if only I had the money for one of these). =) But I wanted ask you were using the Boling BL-P1 LED you reviewed a week or two ago. Looked like it when you were outside (and the lighting looked great in spite of being such a simple setup btw). I ended up buying two of those and absolutely love them.

Patrick Hall's picture

Yep that was the Boling light. I think we actually used the old one too because we placed one on the ground firing up but the main light was the Boling.

Dave Terry's picture

As more lights with these features come out in this size and price-point, this one still has an edge because of the articulating arm. I hope they implement features like that on future products too. Simple as the concept is, it is a very useful feature for a light intended to be "stash-able" in all sorts of situations. Combined with a tiny ball head, and the positioning possibilities seem endless and easy to achieve without a lot of hassle. If they add bluetooth and app integration in a future version, it will be perfect. I'm starting to sound like a salesman, so I will shut the fuck up now. =)

Patrick Snitjer's picture

These motion control systems are quite awesome, though very expensive. That's why I've built my own 4-axis system for just over 100 euros. It's controllable via bluetooth through an app, with all the dedicated modes, such as timelapse, astro-tracking and gigapixel panorama's (even 360).
Very great review btw!

Patrick Hall's picture

What in the world! That's crazy you built that. I'm a bit in shock you could build something like this for $100 Euro and develop an app that works. This photo seems to suggest you mount your camera vertically. How can you mount it horizontally? Do you have a video of it in action?

Patrick Snitjer's picture

Thanks! Actually, Im mounting it directly with my L-bracket. This way swapping it out when doing normal photography is blazingly fast. Every bit of it is Arca compatible, so it is easier to do a modular approach.
I do have some short videos of it in action though!
I'm working on a 3rd version, which is more compact and more powerfull, and even a bit cheaper (inspired by the dynamic perception sapphire).
Maybe when I have the time to start with the third one, I can make a video about how I built it and how it works.

EDIT:
I've put together a short and quickly edited video of what the device can do, if anyone's interested they can see it on my profile (though for the nice landscape timelapses I recommend you to watch the video in my slideshow below).

Recently I gave a small presentation about my device, and I still have the slides (titles are in Dutch though) There are some pictures of 3D-renders and the process of building it.

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1IMfiJtqlXVklmNQ-rcUM_yC0oowDAp1g...

slide 13 gives an example video of the clips made with this device.