Brendon Power uses the PMG Duo Slider during an interview. Normally dull talking heads are more interesting with a slider’s moves.
Nothing allows a smoother pan over the space of several feet than a slider. A slider is a camera mounted on straight or curved track with roller bearings that enables extremely smooth movement throughout the range of the track.
The PMG-Duo Slider is unusual in that it is a dual-action slider giving you both straight and curved track in the same body.
Available in four different lengths (24, 32, 36, and 48 inches), ProMedia Gear is the only manufacturer that offers this dual-action, straight and curved track in the same unit. Machined from a solid block of aircraft-grade aluminum, these sliders are built to last—something that is very important for a rental house or school environment. The sliders are lightweight and can be attached to light stands and tripods, or rest on a tabletop if the four foldable legs are used.
The clamp that slides along the track is comprised of eight roller bearings, four on the top and four on the bottom. Housed inside are four Delrin custom wheels offering little resistance for a smooth, stable ride over the length of the slider.
I had access to the model VS48, a four-foot long slider. The parts included with the slider are the same for all four models; just the length of travel differs. Model VS24 has a 20-degree arc radius, 20 inches of travel with a total length of 27 inches. The VS32 has a 72-degree arc radius, 28 inches of travel and a length of 32 inches. The VS36 has a 48-degree arc radius, 32 inches of travel and a length of 36 inches. Lastly, my review model the VS48 has a 60-degree arc radius, 44 inches of travel, and a length of 48 inches.
The two sets of 1/4-20 thread legs on each end of the slider can be adjusted for height and folded when not needed. The four wheels on the PMG-Duo Slider Carriage are custom designed with two bearings per wheel for smooth movement. The larger knob controls the attachment mechanism and the smaller knob acts as a brake.
The Slider Clamp attaches to a quick-release plate. The slider track has center 3/8-16 or 1/4-20 threads to enable tripods to be used at each end.
Because the PMG-Duo Slider is reversible, simply remove the slider carriage and turn the Slider upside down. This is the easiest method of going from curved to straight track or visa versa. The curved surface makes this slider more versatile in that you now have an arced curve instead of just sliding the camera left to right and back again. The curved track just makes the shot that much more interesting.
The longer the PMG-Duo Slider length, the less weight it can support in the center. Ranging from eight pounds with the 24-inch slider to four pounds with the 48-inch unit. The only thing lacking from the slider is a ball head for your camera of choice.
When the shot is completed, the slider’s legs easily fold and it stores in its own carrying case.
The look of a “slider shoot” on screen speaks volumes. Professionals will immediately know it was accomplished with a slider, but the average viewer will notice something different about the shot. The curve adds uniqueness to a slider shot.
Having students nicely fighting over who got to use the PMG-Duo Slider first, its first 48 hours in my possession resulted with me only having five minutes of use before the students wanted it. Those five minutes consisted of getting it out of the box and setting up. Being no stranger to sliders, our students wanted to try using the curved part most because it was different than our straight-tracked versions.
Mounting an Epic Red Dragon camera with a 17-50mm zoom lens, we had a good 10 pounds on the slider. Since the larger diameter screw fit perfectly in the bottom of the camera housing, we had no need for a ball head onto of the Slider Clamp. Using the PMG-Duo Slider on a tabletop, we unfolded the legs and positioned the unit on top of two 1.5-inch thick apple boxes. The bubble level at each end of the slider was appreciated and speeded the leveling process.
With the Red Dragon, five-inch touch monitor and brick battery firmly mounted on the clamp, the sliding movement began. As we approached the center of the slider, the rear set of legs on each side lifted slightly. This was understandable because of the camera’s weight, and using a sandbag around each end quickly solved the problem.
The move was very smooth throughout the range with only a slight rubbing sound as we approached the middle. Again, this was caused by the weight of our camera and the movement was still smooth.
MORE INFO MODEL: Pro Media Gear PMG-Duo Slider
LIST PRICE: $770
Switching to a much lighter Canon EOS C100 with a 24-70mm lens, a ball head was needed to attach the camera to the clamp. Using the curved side again, the full range from left to right and back again caused no problems.
Slider shots are addictive. In my productions, there has not been a project in the last three years that did not use a slider somewhere within its story.
Here, the curved track of PMG-Duo Slider enhanced the movement without needing to rack focus because the camera was closer to the subject. The curve happens gradually, creating magic on the screen without headaches for the operator.
Throw a curve in your next production with a Pro Media Gear PMG-Duo Slider.
The PMG-Duo Slider is an extremely versatile and well-made piece of equipment. A slider adds a unique look to a shot—the PMG-Duo Slider because of the curved track makes the move that much more interesting.