There is no denying it: there are a lot of motion control devices and even more slider options out there. With the success of Kickstarter, it seems like we get a new awesome idea every week and it can be hard to keep up. That said, I was recently pointed to the Nebo Motion Control Slider and decided to share it with you all because it's actually pretty cool despite entering a very crowded market.
The Nebo was built out of a desire for something portable yet without any corners cut. The designers are engineers as well as photographers, and on their last major photo journey they came up against a wall when they realized there wasn't a portable slider option that really worked for today's adventure videographers.
We strive to make our gear lighter than anything on the market without sacrificing stability and functionality. Our equipment is made to be easy to travel with whether you are backpacking or throwing it in a carry-on.
The slider uses a rope and pully system that we've seen before on another Kickstarter success story, the Syrp Genie. The difference here is that Nebo-makers Capture Beyond Limits wanted to keep the weight as low as possible, which made a heavy motorized main unit, like the Genie, out of the question. Instead, they have a simple motor that's powered by an easily-obtained 9-volt battery.
That's it- Slider, rope, platform and battery.
The goal of the project was to make a robust system, so we wanted as few cables as possible so that when you are on a shoot in a remote location there is less chance of it malfunctioning, so we custom designed our own circuit board to control the motor that would be housed along with the battery in one of the end pieces.
The setup is lighting fast as well. You can even watch the device assembled from fully packed-down in under a minute.
Capture Beyond Limits co-founder Chris Mabey wanted the slider to work with both video and timelapse implications, but the lack of a computer to sync the slider with the motion of the motor had me curious as to how it would work. Would there not be blur and shutter drag? When asked, Chris assured me he hasn't experienced any issues with that, even when doing 30-second exposures.
I had always thought that blurry images would be a problem before I got further into prototyping. For our night time lapses we leave the shutter open for 30 seconds, and with the slider moving at the slowest speeds like those you would want for a night time lapse, there is no noticeable blur in your time lapse.
Options for the product during the Kickstarter launch start at $500 and go all the way up to fully motorized and with a bag at $1500. It's certainly not cheap, but for those of you mountain climbers who find yourselves out in the middle of nowhere and wish you could have brought more gear with you, this might be something that will be right up your alley.
Visit their Kickstarter page and check out all the options as well as a full breakdown of what the product can do. They are slated to be in full production by the beginning of 2015.