17 January 2012

New Build it as you need it DSLR Slider System

Z Slider - Bolt on camera slider drive kit

***Z Slider Kickstarter Launched! 6 Feb 2012 at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/anthonyzeh/z-slider-system

** Update 3 Feb 2012 - Check out the Kickstarter page more to come for Monday's Launch! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/anthonyzeh/z-slider-system

**UPDATE 31 Jan 2012 - Update images below with new Logo and black risers - Finishing video to get on Kickstarter this weekend!
*UPDATE 26 Jan 2012 - Kickstarter launch maybe pushed back a couple of days from the 1 Feb 2012 launch date. Final Version being completed with black risers, silver gears, and ZSS (Z Slider System)Logo. (Prototype version shown in video above.)

Kickstarter intro Video:

Z Slider - Bolt on camera slider drive kit from Z Photo Systems on Vimeo.

Z Slider is a new bolt on slide system for DSLR cameras. It’s in the final stages of development. How is this system different from others? It allows you to build a quality slider system at your own pace, at a price that doesn’t wipe out your wallet. You can start by purchasing an Igus w1080 slider system which starts at $131 at Amazon for an almost 40” rail. If you order from Igus directly you can get up to a 70” rail (the longest they can ship via UPS). This gets you on the ground floor of having a slider system. The least expensive system on B&H for just a track of this length will run you about $400. (They plan on designing systems that connect to other Igus track configurations in the future.)

Z Slider System - Customizable, bolt on system to give Dynamic Motion to video.

When you are ready to upgrade to a drive system to have more control over your camera motion, the Z Slider system will allow you to bolt on a hand crank system to your Igus rail. The goal of the system is to allow an upgrade for about $300-$350. This would put your slider system in at $430-480 for a belt drive slider for your filming needs. The bolt on kit will include, the end blocks with hand crank and gears, legs for your slider, a new mounting plate for your camera head, pre-drilled with a 3/8” mounting screw for your camera head and the belt. They also will offer belts for different length tracks, but the 40” rail belt is standard.  The bearing blocks and legs are all machined 6061 aluminum, fabricated in the US.

Hand Crank belt driven system with riser legs

Next when you are ready to upgrade again for about $50 you will get a machined Aluminum motor mount with mounting hardware for a motor. Z Slider will not be supplying the motors, but they will point you to the motor style you will need for their mounting plate. The geared, high torque motors cost anywhere from $10 -$25. These motors are available in speed from .5 rpms on up, but no more than a 10 rpm motor would be needed. Then you will need to find a motor controller. A motor controllers can cost anywhere from $30 to $250, depending on your needs for either Film or Time lapse. On the low end, that’s a system for $550 for a motorized slider. (They may offer these items in the future, but they allow you to shop around for the best price.)

Shown with optional Motor mount

That is one of the least expensive systems, for a customizable system, which you can afford to build one step at a time to your needs. Not a system that you have to but all at once. Not a system that limits you to only the company's own equipment, and it offers you flexibility. With this rail system, you just bolt on to the pre-drilled Igus rail. Replace the slider plate with the new Z Slider plate with risers, and attach the belt and tighten the belt tension unit and crank away.  

Sample of the Z slider in action

 On the inside track, Z Slider still working out the final phases of production. The plan is to make it available on Kickstarter to help in raising production cost, to make it available to the public. The Kickstarter campaign is set to start around the 15th of Feb. If you are interested in this system, help get it funded. You will be able to help by making contribution, for about $10, for which you will get a Z Slider lens cloth. For a bit more you will get a standard system. And you will be able to get an upgrade system with a motor mount, which will also be available. If this is not in your budget at the moment, but you would want this system down the road, think about the $10 donation to help them get into production.

Z Slider Lens cloth with every order.
Check back here for the KickStarter page, future updates, and any other information we can throw your way.