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Review: VARAVON Slidecam LITE 800 Roller Bearing Slider

Review: VARAVON Slidecam LITE 800 Roller Bearing Slider

Overview : The Varavon Slidecam Lite 800 is designed for shooting video with lightweight digital cameras and smartphones. As your camera smoothly rolls across the slider, you are capturing your subject at various angles. The smooth motion effect adds extra dimension to your video when shooting a static scene such as a landscape or a statue. The Slidecam Lite 800 sits on its own legs or can be mounted to a tripod. It has a 32 inch track with variable tension to control glide. It can support up to 19.8 lbs (optimal load is 6.6 lbs to 13 lbs). So it can handle anything from a compact DSLR such as a Nikon D5100 or a Canon Digital Rebel to a Nikon D800 or Canon 5D Mark III. Great for compact video camcorders and point & shoot cameras. You can mount an iPhone or a Smartphone to it too.

Features :
  • Smooth glide action adds motion to static scenes.
  • 32-inch slide track can handle up to 19.8 pounds (optimal load is 6.6 lbs to 13 lbs).
  • Weighs 3.3 lbs.
  • Special steel roller bearing.
  • Variable tension allows all directional positioning.
  • Fits any camera and can mount on any standard tripod.
  • Use for iPhone and Smartphones too.

Quality/Usability : As more and more cameras get better at video capabilities, so do interest in recording videos among photographers and videographers.

Ever thought of how wedding videographers get that nice smooth sliding action of the groom or bride from low angles or that smooth motion for landscape? Its achievable by using a slider. There are plenty of DIY sliders with skateboard wheels, PVC pipes or other methods but transporting big pieces of equipment can be annoying.

One of the sliders I became interested in was the Slidecam LITE 800. Varavon focuses on video accessories and is a respectable company. I decided to pick up the slidecam in the event that I thought I would need to do some videos or even use it during one of my reviews.

Included with the Slidecam LITE 800 is a carry case, slider track, two legs, pouch to store the legs, tools to tighten screws for tension and oil seal to clean and lubricate the track. The slider is made of steel so you'll know that it is durable.

On the slider track is a slider that lets you mount a ball head or fluid head on top. There's also a bubble leveler to let you know if the track is level. The red knob on the side adjusts the stiffness of the gliding action. The more you tighten the screw, the stiffer and slower the slider will glide and eventually, it will hold it in place. The looser the screw, the easier the slider will glide.

The underside of the track has a few mounting options. In the middle (middle image), there is a 3/8"-inch and 1/4"-inch screw mount that allows you to mount to the tripod. By adding it to a tripod, it provides additional height. On both ends are also 3/8"-inch and 1/4"-inch screw mounts allowing you to attach two tripods for additional support. Both ends also allows you to mount the included legs if you want to get close to the ground.

The included legs reminds me of a spider and are required when placing the slider on the ground. Each leg has a certain groove to it and can only be slid into the track one way. A screw screw is placed in the middle so that it can be screwed into each end of the slider. On each leg, there is a screw with rubber foot at the bottom. This allows you to adjust the height if you're placing the slider on an uneven surface.

As mentioned above, both ends have 3/8"-inch and 1/4"-inch screw mounts on the bottom of the slider. These screw mounts are also on the top and sides. With the screw mounts on top, you can turn the slider upside down and get even lower if needed. And with the screw mounts on the side, this allows you to place the slider vertical to give you that low to high or high to low video shot.

Once the legs are attached, the above image is the end result of what the slider will look like. You can attach any type of ball head. Once you attach a ball head, you can attach any type of camera to it.

As I mentioned before, the Slidecam LITE 800 has multiple screw mounts on the slider that allows you to mount the slider to a tripod. However, mounting the slider to a tripod can be annoying. It requires you to screw and unscrew the slider each time you want to change your setup. When doing this, it scratches and scuffs the slider. Since it has 1/4"-inch screw mounts, you can attach a quick release plate to the slider and mount it to your ball head for easy mounting and removal. This also allows more flexibility when you need to angle your slider. But by using a quick release plate and ball head to hold your slider, you'll need another ball head or fluid head to mount to the slider so that you can mount your camera.

Conclusion : Overall, the VARAVON Slidecam LITE 800 Roller Bearing Slider is a pretty good slider. It's smooth and a decent length. I like the fact that it offers multiple mounting options. If you want to mount the slider to a tripod, you'll need a ball head with quick release plate to make things easier for yourself and without scuffing the slider.

Manufacturer: Varavon
Site: Buy from Amazon / Buy from B&H Photo

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