Note: Since October 2012 I’ve switched over to the Kessler Stealth slider.
The Glidetrack is a small track which allows you to mount a video camera and then achieve dolly type shots by pushing the camera along the track.
I had considered purchasing an Indislider but with shipping costs from the US to the UK, plus import duty and taxes this good value item started to lose it’s appeal. Then, by luck I came across glidetrack.com who were offering what looked like a similar product for £199 and best of all are based in the UK so no worries about import duty.
I contacted Alastair Brown at Glidetrack who was extremely helpful. I asked if the glidetrack would support my rig and he said that it should work just fine. Alastair also said that if I did want something more rigid he could provide a custom solution with added strength (but it would be heavier).
The glidetrack itself is quite a simple product, it’s basically a 1 meter long aluminium rail with a base plate that runs along the rail on plastic bushings. The glidetrack does not come with a tripod head, you’ll need to mount one you already have or purchase one separately. I picked up a used Manfrotto 128LP fluid head on ebay which works just fine.
The whole thing can be used on a set of tripod legs, or on the floor, a wall or any other flat surface using the supplied end parts and rubber feet. One of the nice features is that the end parts are machined to allow the sliding plate to travel right up to the ends of the bar.
After using the glidetrack for a while I think the EX1 & Brevis are probably at the top end of what the Glidetrack can handle weight wise but if you’re gentle and balance the camera properly it is possible to get some decent shots. For me, mounting the track on my tripod just seems too cumbersome, there are too many pivot points involved and sooner or later something would slip resulting in a broken camera.
I find that the best way to use the glidetrack is to stand it on walls, floors, stairs and whatever other solid supports are available. In circumstances where there isn’t anything to stand the feet on I’ve found it best to use the tripod along with a light stand or other additional support at one end of the track and slide the camera between the two.
For a reasonably cheap solution the glidetrack gives usable results and can give your films a more professional look without splashing out on a full dolly and track system. The EX1 / Brevis combo could really do with something a little more heavy duty, but then I like to carry the glidetrack around with me sometimes which would be a problem with a heavier track.
For a portable solution it works really well, if you’re looking for something to use on set then you might need to go a bit bigger.
To order in the US, view the range at B&H Photo Video
To order direct from Glidetrack in the UK visit www.glidetrack.com
Watch the videos I’ve shot with the glidetrack.
I’ve just upgraded to the Glidetrack HD and a “Shooter” for use with my DSLR. Read the review here