Glidetrack HD & Shooter Review

Update: Since October 2012 I’ve switched over to the Kessler Stealth slider.

I’ve been a fan of the Glidetrack ever since I got the original version back in 2008. Since then though Alastair, the creator of the Glidetrack has been beavering away up in Scotland turning that original version into a whole family of products.

I recently upgraded my original (SD) track for the uprated HD version, this offers a much stiffer bar and a mounting plate that’s much better suited to my EX1 than the original one was. The only down side to the beefy HD is the weight of it, it’s no longer an easy thing to carry around all day, but that doesn’t matter because there’s also a new lightweight Glidetrack… the “Shooter”.

Like all Glidetracks, the shooter comes in various lengths, mine is a half meter model. The Glidetrack shooter features smaller lighter feet than it’s bigger brothers and the track is the same size as the SD range so the whole thing is very lightweight and easy to carry around. What makes the Shooter special though is that Alastair has added a few bits of bling to it to make it also function as a shoulder mount. The front foot has a pair of legs that rotate and lock into position to form handles. The slide mechanism can also be locked too by tightening a small thumbscrew on the side of the mounting plate. There’s also a small foam pad on the bottom of the track that provides some comfort if using the shooter as a shoulder rig.

The Glidetrack shooter is by no means a competitor to dedicated shoulder mount systems, but as a portable dolly, being able to function as a shoulder support too makes it a very useful piece of kit to have, especially if you shoot with a DSLR. I was never really comfortable mounting the 1m SD on a tripod, but the half meter shooter is great for use on legs, I’ve even been using it mounted to the top of a carbon stills tripod by Manfrotto.

Whilst I had the Glidetracks on my Kitchen table I couldn’t resist having a little play with them, here’s the results.

Glidetrack Ballet
Glidetrack Ballet

You might have realised by now that I love my glidetracks, they give you amazingly professional results for a relatively low cost. The Shooter is an excellent addition to the line is highly recommended for anyone who shoots with a DSLR.

Update: Since October 2012 I’ve switched over to the Kessler Stealth slider.



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46 Responses

  1. Cansen Yilmaz says:

    Awesome, just watched the video, was that the 75cm Hybrid you had? Am stuck in choosing either the 50cm or 75cm, it’s for wedding and shorts but just don’t want to be limited by the length, but i’ve heard nobody say they have been!

    The feet being able to come off with a screw is a real bonus for transportation. Anyone know of a discount code by any chance? xD

    thanks again Paul

    • Paul Joy says:

      I tend to stick with 50cm for the shooter and lighter tracks and 75m for the HD Hybrid, they work well for me but it really depends on the shots won want to achieve of course.

  2. Cansen Yilmaz says:

    Hi Paul great site and advice,

    Seemingly being the man to go to for help I wondered if you knew whether my Fancier WF 717 Ball head would mount on the HD Hybrid. The ball head’s screw has a diameter of half a cm.

    Also have you got your hands on a hybrid yet, or know of anyone that knows if it’s worth the extra cash?



    • Paul Joy says:

      Hi Cansen, it’s probably a standard thread size so it should work. If in doubt just give Glidetrack a shout as I don’t know that ball head.

      Yes I have both Hybrids and they are great. I did a review of the Hybrid HD.

  3. AVTPro says:

    Have you ever had a problem unscrewing the glidetrack from the Manfrotto? Mine seems to be stuck.

    • Paul Joy says:

      No, normally a suitable amount of force free’s the head. If you need more force the you could try blocking the head against something and rotating the glide track instead.

      If it feels like it’s solid even with heavier than normal amounts of force then contact glidetrack and seek advice.

  4. Bob Stubbs says:

    Was looking at the Glidetracker tonight and found your site. Thanks for the great information. It is very helpful in making a decision on whether to purchase or not.

  5. kunaal gosrani says:

    Hi Paul, just a few questions, firstly can the glidetrack shooter hd switch from dolly to shoulder? 2nd can the pressure of movement be adjusted?

    Many Thanks, Kunaal

    • Paul Joy says:

      Hi Kunaal

      Yes, the Shooter HD is designed to do both jobs. The locking knob can be used to apply a little more friction if you need it which I’ve found works quite well.


  6. Brian Matheson says:

    Thanks for the info. I had been looking at the Kessler sliders but they seem pretty pricey, have no UK distributor and so delivery charges alone look frightening. I hadn’t realised until this week that glidetrack were base in Glasgow though. I will be placing an order next week and your video certainly helped me making that decision. Thanks again for sharing all the info, much appreciated.

  7. paul simon says:

    Hi Paul – thanks for all of the information – I think you have persuaded me with the shooter SD (I am using 5d ii)

    my first question is – can the shooter be used vertically and if so how is this done?? I imagine it could be clamped to available uprights etc??

    some of the clips I have seen use vertical or semi vertical motion – please can you elaborate

    question 2: I have used various (full scale) dolly track systems in the past and found that rotating the camera head, while moving the dolly often leads to shudder – and this was the case even using high quality fluid heads – it was all to do with the distribution of weight and pressure (i.e. to turn the camera head modified body weight on dolly, thereby interrupting the flow of movement)

    so is simply a matter of practice – or would you advise that the shooter structure makes for a solid (mechanical) basis for such shots??

    • Paul Joy says:

      Hi Paul.

      Yes, I have used the shooter vertically, usually just by propping it up against something and doing a very careful manual slide. Clamping it would help obviously :)

      The main benefit of the shooter is really it’s versatility and small size / weight. It’s a great choice for travel use but if your looking for something where you can use a fluid head to track whilst sliding then you might want to look at the Hybrid instead, it’s much better at staying fluid during changes in weight distribution.

  8. Matt says:

    Paul, I recently used the Glidetrack and loved it. I just had an old manfrotto head (the 3030) on top of it but the threads were 3/8 and the platform for the Glidetrack was 1/4inch. Any ideas on another good 3-way head that will work with the glidetrack?

  9. Sean says:

    Hey Paul!

    What an awesome resource you’ve put together here.

    I just picked up the GT Hybrid 1 meter rig. I need clarification on the mounting hardware. I am thinking about the Manfrotto 498RC4 Midi Ball Head with 410PL QR Plate. Is that what they’re using in the GT promo?

    I want as much versatility as possible, gliding up walls etc. Seem like the ball head is the way to go?

    Shooting with 7D.


    • Paul Joy says:

      That should work well, although for vertical lifts etc there might not be enough clearance between the camera body and the glidetrack itself. I’m not sure which Promo you’re referring too.

  10. Tom says:

    Hi, I have Canon XH-A1. I´m planning to buy Glidetrack HD or Glidetrach shooter Hd. Which glide you prefer most for my camera
    and my tripod Manfrotto 501 HDV? I will use glidetrack for short films, movies, music videos, documentaries, weddings and product shoots. Should 1 m track be long enough to achieve great results or
    can I manage 05. meter glidetrack? How I put my tripod to glidetrack? Should I buy more components?
    Thank you for help.

  11. Josh says:

    Paul, I actually own the ex1r camera. Im a run and gun type
    shooter that prefers e/t easy and simple (and light). I see you
    recommend the HD shooter, is it much lighter than the HD and what
    length would you recommend. Lastly, how does the glidetrack compare
    to all the other dolly systems out there. Thx for you

    • Paul Joy says:

      I use the 50cm SD shooter, but mostly with DSLR’s, It does work
      with the EX1 too but you have to make sure the feet are stable. I
      haven’t used other sliders so can’t answer your last question I’m

  12. ReN says:

    hi. i’m planning to improve my filmmaking skills by getting a glidetrack to make my videos a more professional look. i was wondering which is best for me to get for my first one. I was thinking either Glidetrack Shooter HD or the Glidetrack HD? any opinions?

  13. sKiZZiT says:

    One question… I’ve been trying to find out but failed. I hope you can help me. From the photos, the DSLR isn’t directly mounted onto the silver plate, but instead, onto a “black head” that I believe is able to rotate, thus allowing the slider to go from top to bottom (if the slider is standing vertically), instead of always having to move front and back, or left to right, like the usual (lying horizontally). Does the “black head” come together with the Glidetrack? Or do I have to purchase that seperately?.

    Excuse my jargons. I’m still a noob trying to learn videography :$


    • Paul Joy says:

      Hi there. You’re right, the black part is a video head and these come in various shapes and sizes so you need to purchase whatever type you want to use. Most people use a full size video head on a glidetrack but I prefer to use a small ball head from a stills tripod, just because it keeps the rig small and I generally don’t do any camera moves whilst tracking. Yes, you can go top to bottom but it takes quite a steady hand as you’re then fighting gravity.

  14. Jeremy Larter says:

    Hi Paul,
    Enjoyed your post on Glidetrack. I am considering the 1m Shooter SD, but can that still be used comfortably as a shoulder mount?

    Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!


    • Paul Joy says:

      I’ve not used a 1m shooter myself but I don’t see why not. Just be careful not to take people out when turning around!

  15. remi says:

    Hi Paul,

    I’m thinking of getting Glidetrack SD but I am not sure to choose 0.5m ,0.75m or 1m.

    Do you have any opinion?

    i’m gonna use it on DSLR for wedding purposes

    • Paul Joy says:

      Hi Remi, it’s very hard to say as it comes down to what kind of shots you want to achieve. I use my 0.5m Shooter for most jobs and have never felt that it wasn’t long enough.

      • remi says:

        Hi Paul,

        Mostly I’d like to shoot wedding’s gift. Do you think 0.5m is good enough for what I intend to achieve?Or do you think I should get 0.75m?

        Mobile and easy to carry are important factors also

        • Paul Joy says:

          If portability is a factor then go for the 0.5m, it should be long enough to achieve great results and not a burden to carry around.

          • remi says:

            I already have my own shoulder mount stabilizer and I’m not sure whether I will really need SD shooter or I will be fine with just glidetrack SD. Any opinion?

          • remi says:

            thanks paul,

            most probably i’ll be getting glidetrack SD 0.5m. I already have my own shoulder mount stabilizer

          • Paul Joy says:

            Hi Remi, that makes sense. One thing I like about the shooter is that you can lock the sliding plate in position, I’m not sure if the normal SD has that.

  16. Jon Roemer says:

    Paul – great website and blog.

    I’m thinking of getting a glidetrack but have a slightly heavier dslr setup (1DM4.) Would you still recommend the Shooter over the regular glidetrack as a first slider? Lenses used at the biggest would be the 70-200 II. I don’t have a shoulder rig yet so this would get a bit of double duty as that in the short run.

    Also, do you have any sense of HD vs SD for the Shooter and if going beyond the standard length (up to .75 meter or 1 meter) would make the Shooter too unwieldy for shoulder use?

    • Paul Joy says:

      Hi Jon, sorry for the very late reply!

      I’ve not tried a Shooter HD to be honest but I do own the standard HD glidetrack. I’ve used my EX1 on the shooter SD before and had usable results, it’s just a case of holding the thing down the best you can.

      I guess if you need extra stability and don’t mind the extra size / weight it may be a better option.

  17. Kevin Michael Johnson says:

    Hey Paul! Love the site. A quick question for you:

    – I know you’ve mentioned using a ball-head mount for your glidetrack. Do you have any specific suggestions? I’m shooting with a 7D.

    • Paul Joy says:

      The one I’m using on my Shooter is a standard Manfrotto ball head from a stills tripod. I modified it by fitting the RC4 plate, getting the old plate off wasn’t easy though!

      Manfrotto do sell the 498RC4 with an RC4 plate fitted which I’d probably go for if buying another one.

  18. Mubarak says:

    What music did you use ?! Good job!

  19. Mark says:

    Hey ! nice shot. What’s the name of the music you used?

  20. Den says:

    Hi there, couple of questions…

    a) would the shooter be okay with a long lens like the 70-200 – that is to say, would the whole rig tip over due to the extruding lens weight?

    b) Would a camcorder like the Z5 be suitable for the shooter?


    • Paul Joy says:

      I’ve used the Shooter with my 70-200 and it’s fine. I’ve also used my EX1 with it and it works well as long as the rig is balanced, for example if the camera is tilted down and theres more weight on the front the track can become a bit grippy.

  21. Terry says:

    Just came back from SXSW where I used the Shooter everywhere. Handheld with EOS 7D (with manfrotto 501 head), tracking shots with EOS 7D and handheld shoulder mount for EX1.

    Fantastically useful piece of kit, extremely versatile. I keep a manfrotto plate permanently on the bottom (parallel with metal track) so I can quickly go from shoulder mount to tripod dolly to floor mount very quickly.

  22. Paul Reid says:

    Paul, thanks so much for your helpful website. I just stumbled upon it today.

    I’m trying to decide whether to go with the Glidetrack SD or the Shooter. I would much rather the shooter, but can’t decide if it is worth the extra money. So both mount on a tripod the same?

    I’d like to do exactly what you describe in your Manfrotto 394 QR setup. I travel a lot in developing countries so need to be very low profile.

    • Paul Joy says:

      Hi Paul.

      Personally I’d say the Shooter is worth the extra £25 just for the fact that it allows you to lock the position of the slider on the rail. The fact that it comes with the other bits & bobs is a bonus really, I often remove the handles if I need to pack my shooter but it’s nice to have them as an option.

  23. Oscar says:

    hello, I have some doubts. glidetrack comes with swivel head? can adapt to any tripod? SD or HD for dslr? Glidetrack or Glidetrack SD Range Shooter?
    thank you!

    • Paul Joy says:

      A glidetrack does not come with a head at all, you need to add a head of your choice. Most tripod plates can be attached to the bottom of the glidetrack as it has a threaded hole in the centre, you need to make sure the tripod is stable enough of course. For DSLR I prefer using the shooter.

  24. adam says:

    I got the glidetrack as well. love it.

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