You might remember the team from Cinetics from their original product, CineSkates. Well, they're back at it, this time with a big update to their motorized slider system that they're calling "LYNX." We try to avoid promoting Kickstarters when possible, but I've had the chance to play with a pre-production unit of the LYNX system and have been blown away.
One of my favorite opening credits sequences on TV is on "House of Cards," and I've always wanted a chance to play with creative time-lapse sequences like in this video.
The LYNX system from Cinetics is solid, like super solid. It's extremely well built, the motors are near-silent, and the operation is quick and intuitive. It's lightweight and completely battery-powered, so you can take it with you anywhere. The LYNX even has integrated Bluetooth control so you can operate the motorized functions from your smartphone, which makes quickly building out sequences incredibly simple. You can use the in-app joysticks to position the camera, add keyframes, modify your camera settings (on supported cameras), and even use the built-in accelerometer tech in your phone to directly control the tilt and pan functions of the unit. Too cool.
The nice thing about a good slider system is the flexibility it offers. If you want just a great set of rails and a slider with no motor, you can do that. Add a nice fluid head and you're off to the races. Or just get the slider motor for those precise controlled shots, or go all-out and get motorized everything and go crazy (I prefer the go crazy option). Right now on the LYNX Kickstarter, you can pre-order just the base slider for $499, all the way up to the full motorized setup for $1,499. The rails are made from carbon fiber and give the base slider a length of 24 inches. You can also get extension rails that bring that all the way out to 48 inches.
I'll get a full review of the system up once I get my hands on a final production unit, but even with the limited time I've had with the pre-production setup, I have high hopes for it. There is something almost giggle-inducing about remotely controlling your camera's motion with just a move of your phone, and the simplicity that the mobile app brings to the table means that getting killer shots your clients will love is easier than ever before. The LYNX is a game-changer for me, no two ways about it.
If you're into video at all, this is the type of gear that can really elevate your work. As photographers, we often like to say that it's not the gear, it's the person using the gear, but the reality is that sometimes, really great gear enables you to do things you wouldn't normally be able to do. I've only had the pre-production unit for a few days, but have really been blown away by the build quality and ease of use of the system. They're projecting delivery to backers in August of this year, with a limited number of Early Bird units available for delivery in July. If you're interested, you can back the LYNX here.
EDIT: A couple of commenters have asked for a comparison with the Lee Morris favorite Rhino slider. I've never used the Rhino personally, but I will do my best to get a hold of one this summer when I get a final production unit of the LYNX and do a direct comparison in my review then.