Tracking shots are a cinematic hallmark, but pulling them off generally requires — unsurprisingly — a track of some kind for smooth motion. And motorized tracks are pretty expensive, making them a tool that’s more limited to professional videographers than amateurs.
Rhino has been making camera sliders since it was founded a few years ago, but its products have been focused on the pro end of things, costing in the $1,000 range. The company hopes to change that with latest product, the ROV Camera Slider, which starts at $229, and looks to bring motorized camera shots to the masses.
The ROV comes in two models: the base ROV, which is primarily designed for use with an iPhone, and a pricier ROV Pro model that includes support for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. Rhino is also offering two lengths for each model: an 8-inch “Everyday” version, and a 16-inch “Traveler” size.
The ROV is entirely controlled through a companion app, which in the case of the iPhone model also serves as a camera app. Rhino has built preset options for video, slow-motion, and tracking time-lapses, all of which are incredibly simple to do in the app. There’s also full manual settings for things like exposure and focus, should you need the more granular control. Users can also either set a timer or take advantage of a “clap to start” feature if they’re trying to get some action shots. The ROV itself charges over Micro USB, and should last around 24 hours off a single charge when used for video, and up to twice that for time-lapses.
I got to see the ROV in action, as well as view some demo footage that Rhino had shot, and the entire thing seems to work as promised. And while it’s hard to say that a motorized slider is really a product for the average consumer, if you’re a content creator or amateur photographer, the ROV looks like a really interesting way to expand your repertoire of video skills.
Rhino is launching a Kickstarter campaign today to fund its slider. Rhino has successfully run multiple Kickstarter campaigns for motorized sliders before, making this a safer bet than most crowdfunding campaigns. But, as with anything on Kickstarter, use your best judgement before you hit that “back” button.
The base ROV model starts at $229 on Kickstarter ($70 off the final $299 retail price). The DSLR-compatible ROV Pro model costs $299, and both versions can be upgraded to the longer Traveler variant for an extra $40. Rhino is also selling a variety of bundled accessory kits with tripods, microphones, and custom backpacks should you be interested in taking it on the go.