Love Letters to Our Favorite Gear of 2015

Staff Pick: Rhino Slider EVO and Rhino Motion

Gear is our job. It streams into and out of our offices in an endless tide of boxes and couriers; it gets photographed and catalogued and crammed underneath desks until we have time to test it. We quantify it as best we can, to share its essence: good and bad, peccadilloes and superlatives. We even pick the 100 best pieces of gear every year. But to close things out this year, we asked each staff member to single out their favorite piece of gear that was new to 2015. We hope you enjoy our little love notes to the gear that made the biggest impact on our lives this year.

If you do any video work or time-lapse photography, you understand the value of a good slider. If you don’t: dynamic film sequences created with a slider improve production value by adding a sense of motion into the shot. But it’s been a struggle to find one that I enjoy using. A simple lightweight slider like Revo’s 33-inch track slider does a satisfactory job and is easy to travel with, but the slide mechanism feels rough and can’t handle the weight of larger cameras; professional-grade sliders like Kessler Crane’s CineSlider come with a weight penalty, complicated setups and steep price tags. But paired together, the Rhino Slider EVO and Rhino Motion strike the perfect middle ground.

The Rhino Slider EVO features carbon fiber rails with adjustable legs on both sides, and the Rhino Motion is a paired motor and a controller. Assembly is simple even without the manual: the Motion motor attaches to the slider with a magnetic back and plugs directly into the controller; the controller powers the motor and comes with three options (live motion for panning video capture, simple time lapse for easy and professional-looking time-lapse shots, and advanced time lapse for those who want more control over their settings). In simple time-lapse mode, it’s easy to set up your parameters with the turn of a knob (duration, speed, direction). The advanced time-lapse control can be confusing for those without experience, but the simple mode is more than sufficient and produces incredibly smooth shots, even with my heaviest tripod head and a Canon 5D Mark III with 24mm-105mm lens.

The adjustable legs are easy to set up and flexible footbeds keep it planted, even on uneven surfaces. The whole unit is well worth it — especially considering it’s played a part in some of GP’s best video work yet.