A recent surge in smartphone-compatible gimbals from DJI to Kickstarter startups help turn the always-there smartphone camera into a steady shooter — but what if steady shots are not enough? Grip Gear, the company behind one of those stabilizers, the IndieSolo, recently launched the Movie Maker, a smartphone camera slider designed to give those smartphone shots a bit of Hollywood flair.
Released on Amazon earlier in November, the $130 Movie Maker mounts a smartphone or action camera on a motorized slider, giving the user control over just how — and how fast — the camera moves. The slider can move the camera at eight different speeds, from 6mm a minute to 300mm a minute.
The compact slider can also control the camera’s direction for panning up to 360 degrees horizontally, which means 360 panoramas are not out of the question. Grip Gear says that the motorized mount can also be used separately from the slider for those panoramas.
The speed and direction of the slider can be controlled with an included remote or manually. Grip Gear also says the tool is capable of adding motion to time-lapse shots. Once the camera reaches the end of the track, a bounce-back mode keeps it moving in the opposite direction.
The slider can also be used vertically — on surfaces where a suction cup attachment would stick anyways. While the slider can simply be placed on a flat surface, a tripod mount offers more height options.
The slider includes two 12.5-inch tracks, allowing the entire unit to be taken apart and tucked in a backpack while still offering about two feet of motorized motion. Grip Gear says additional tracks to give the slider a longer range of motion will also be available.
The Grip Gear is compatible with smartphones and compact cameras that weigh 10.5 ounces or less, including GoPros. The motion can be powered by AAA batteries or by using a USB cord with a power pack.
While the slider has a small weight load and short track, the $130 price tag also sits well under the professional-grade options. Still, the Movie Maker leaves one question — are consumers that shoot with only a smartphone or GoPro willing to invest in accessories? The growing number of businesses offering smartphone gimbals seem to think so.