Reviews |Smartta SliderMini 2

Smartta SliderMini 2 Review

Smartta SliderMini 2
Review

Price when reviewed

£399

$399

Our Verdict

With just 20cm travel, the Smartta SliderMini 2 maybe a bit short for some filmmakers, but for many videographers, it’s perfect for adding some movement and extra interest to clips. It’s also conveniently sized for slipping in your bag to take out for a shoot on the off-chance you might want to use it.
Niggles aside about the mounting threads, the SliderMini 2 is built to a high standard and is very easy to use. Its smartphone app is slick and well-thought.

For

  • High-quality feel
  • Very easy to set-up and use
  • App-control

Against

  • Mounts said to be 3/8 and 1/4-inch but prove impossible to change
  • Motor audible to the camera mic
  • Camera can't be mounted directly

What is the Smartta SliderMini 2?

The Smartta SlideMini 2 is a compact and lightweight motorised slider designed for use with DSLR or mirrorless cameras or smartphones to add movement to video footage.

It can also be used to trigger your camera while shooting time-lapses and it comes supplied with a collection of different shutter release cables, but it can also be used with a third-party cable.

The Smartta SliderMini 2 is available to purchase from Amazon

Specification

  • Product type: Motorized slider for cameras
  • Construction: CNC machines aluminium alloy
  • Camera mount: 3/8-inch male thread
  • Tripod mount: 1/4-inch female thread
  • Horizontal load capacity: 15Kg / 33lb
  • Vertical load capacity: 1.25Kg / 2.76lb
  • Travel length: 20cm / 8inches
  • Maximum speed: 10mm/sec / 0.4in/sec
  • Minimum speed: 0.1mm/sec / 0.004in/sec
  • Power: Built-in 1500mAh rechargeable Lipo battery
  • Battery life: Up to 14 hours active sliding
  • Battery charging: 1.5 hours
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 26.4×8.48×30.5cm
  • Weight : 0.57Kg / 1.26lb
Smartta SliderMini2

Build and Handling

Smartta makes the SliderMini 2 from CNC machined aluminium alloy which gives it a high-quality feel and it’s attractively finished in matt black.

Although the specifications on Smartta’s website indicate that the camera mount is both 3/8 and 1/4inch size, and the male thread has a screwdriver slot to suggest it can be removed, it quickly becomes apparent that the thread cannot be changed from 3/8-inch size. This means that you can’t mount a camera directly on the SliderMini 2. Instead, you have to use a tripod head.

On the underside of the SliderMini 2, the situation is reversed. There’s a 1/4-inch female thread which has a screwdriver slot and the specs suggest this can be removed to reveal a 3/8-inch female thread. Despite considerable effort with a variety of screwdrivers, I was unable to remove the 3/8-inch thread.

Consequently, if you want to put the SliderMini 2 on a tripod, you can’t put it directly on to the legs, you have to attach it via a tripod head. It’s not a huge drama if you have two tripod heads, but it means that there two heads that you need to ensure are locked tight before you start filming. That’s especially important if you’re shooting with the slider at an angle other than horizontal.

After charging the Smartta SliderMini 2’s integral battery, which takes around 90 minutes, you’re ready to put it to use.

A long press of the slider’s power button powers it up and triggers it to move the camera o the left end of the rail. Double-pressing the button sends the camera to the right end of the rail, while a triple press triggers it to slide from right to left. Pressing the button four times takes the camera to the centre of the rail.

Smartta SliderMini 2

That’s all very easy to do but it’s probably a bit too simple for many shoots. This is where the free Smartta Go smartphone app for iOS and Android comes into play.

Once the app is installed on your phone, it’s easy to pair it with the SliderMini 2 and then you can take remote control over the slider.

Smartta has done a great job with the app, it’s simple and very intuitive to use. It makes it easy to move the camera and adjust the speed of movement.

One neat trick is that as you adjust the speed of the slide, the app shows you how long it will take the camera to move from one end to the other.

There’s also a Curve mode that allows you to create a simple transition in the speed of the SliderMini 2’s movement by dragging points on a graph.

Smartta SliderMini 2 app

The app also makes it easy to set the parameters for shooting time-lapses and stop motion images.

Performance

The Smartta SliderMini 2 does a great job of enabling smooth movement during video-shooting and facilitating stop-motion and time-lapse recording. However, there are a few things to be aware of to get the best results.

Firstly, if you’re planning to record audio during your shoot, you’ll need to use a remote mic as anything mounted on the camera (or the camera’s onboard mic) will pick up the whir of the SliderMini 2’s motor.

Also, while smaller cameras like the Nikon Z7 II with a lens like the Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S mounted or the Sony A7C with its kit lens are fine, if you mount a larger camera like the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, the SliderMini 2 becomes unbalanced and may topple forward. The solution is to mount it on a solid tripod rather than rest it on its own feet on a table. To be fair, in the field, the SliderMini 2 is more likely to be used on a tripod, but in a studio, a table might be a convenient option.

You also need to take care with the focal length of lens that you use. Shooting with the Fujifilm X-S10 with the XF 16-80mm R OIS WR mounted, for example, the Smartta SliderMini 2 stays balanced on its own feet as long as the focal length is kept below about 50mm. Zooming in beyond that makes the set-up unstable and you put it on a tripod.

Another issue is the location of the remote release port that connects the camera to the SliderMini 2 for controlling time-lapse and stop-motion shooting. This is towards the right end of the slider, a few millimetres below the path of the camera carrier. The supplied cables are fine, but if you need to use a third-party cable, you’ll need to make sure that it’s not too chunky.

The Smartta SliderMini 2 is available to purchase from Amazon

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