Sliders are a necessary device for filmmakers. They assist us get these tremendous silky easy photographs that even a gimbal can’t. The issue is discovering the suitable slider. The market varies a lot with regard to the worth of a slider based mostly on its supplies, options, and size. The Zeapon Micro 2 slider  is a beast of a slider. After utilizing it for only a few weeks, you’ll overlook all the pieces about sliders. This Slider packs a bunch of options right into a surprisingly small bundle.

Construct high quality

The very first thing you’ll discover when unboxing your slider is that this factor is a tank of a slider. It’s made virtually solely out of anodized aluminum. I say within the video that this could in all probability take a beating, I didn’t point out it could in all probability additionally give one. Every bit of the slider seems like an integral a part of one stable machine. I bear in mind after I first opened the field, I messaged our editor and informed him: “dude, this factor feels REALLY good”. It weighs just below 2.5kg with the motor and the legs. Don’t let the burden idiot you although, almost about different sliders, this factor is tiny. Whereas the slider is available in at solely 33mm in rail size, you get a full 54mm of journey. What this implies in follow is that you are able to do 50cm of journey with one thing that matches into your bag.

Sliders have at all times been type of a ache level for me. I by no means actually appeared to have the ability to justify the immense funding required to purchase a superb one. It additionally looks as if except you’re spending quite a bit, they simply all really feel type of flimsy. All the pieces we acquired in our equipment is constructed to final. I really feel assured treating it like cinema tools with out worrying that it’s going to crumble on me earlier than the tip of the guarantee.

Our equipment

  • Zeapon despatched us their absolutely loaded micro 2 equipment. This consists of:
  • Zeapon Micro 2 Slider
  • EasyLock Low Profile Mount
  • Zeapon Ball Head
  • Motor for Micro 2

I really feel silly beginning with the ball head. Humorous sufficient although, one in all my first indicators that I’m going to be proud of this product was truly the ball head. It’s tremendous simple to scrimp right here and ship out any previous customary ball head. As a substitute, Zeapon sends out a very high-quality ball head that’s actually sturdy. It’s the little issues that let you know, the massive issues are going to be okay. Transferring on to the Straightforward Lock Low Profile mount. This little gadget has two very nice options. initially, you possibly can speedily set your slider on a tough floor and even stability it out with adjustable legs. as well as, while you flip it reveals the quick-release system, however extra on that later.

Lastly, the massive beefy motor, that is the principle occasion proper right here. This motor can carry a good quantity of weight in any course. It ships with all of the instruments essential to semi-permanently connect it. To be clear, it is detachable, however I’ve carried out it 4 occasions and it nonetheless takes me about 15 min whereas watching the tutorial. In the event you had been going to do that on the go, you would wish to hold the motor and all of the components required to reverse the method.

Payload

When speaking in regards to the payload there are literally two methods to take a look at the slider; With and with out the motor. In the event you’re scratching your head questioning why we’re speaking in regards to the payload of a motorless gimbal, that’s as a result of the Zeapon has a very nifty function. There’s a kind of built-in pressure that makes the motion of the “analog” slider actually easy. When doing slower actions on analog sliders, it’s exhausting to maintain a gentle tempo. Very often, that interprets into jitteriness or staggering. Zeapon’s answer is a built-in resistance that permits you to push the gimbal with relative ease, however extra importantly, at a constant tempo. There is no such thing as a method for me to know what the limitation of this friction is, however when the load is heavier it clearly reduces.

Once I had my Blackmagic Pocket 4K on it with a cinema lens and an NPF battery, it managed to nonetheless have that pure resistance. I’d name that about 3.5kg.

With the motor, the slider is rated for 4.5kg. I’d say most slider producers in all probability would write that quantity with an asterisk. Zeapon confidently states that your Slider can carry 4.5 kilos in any course! We truly examined this with a fairly heavy prime shot rig coming near 4kg. All in all, the slider positively delivered. the one factor I’d say is that as you’re coming nearer to 90 levels and the burden restrict, I’d think about reducing the velocity to scale back shake.

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Motion

The motion of this slider is extremely easy whether or not you will have the motor or not. In contrast to different sliders that don’t have the pure resistance constructed into them, the Zeapon manages to be an awesome buy both method. In the event you did choose to get the motor, then you’ll get pleasure from the identical smoothness of the motor-less rail. Each choices actually have their niceties, however the draw back between each of them is that they aren’t “interchangeable”… per se. You connect the motor utilizing instruments and a few intelligent finger coordinations. I’ve solely carried out it 4 occasions, nevertheless it nonetheless takes me about 15 minutes. It’s not one thing I’d advocate towards – however 15 minutes and additional components can find yourself being extra of an issue than an answer on sport day (or throughout manufacturing).

I opted to depart the motor on the slider “completely”. I do generally discover myself wanting to regulate it manually, nevertheless it’s often not an enormous deal. With that being mentioned, the motor does add a function that’s much less doable with out it. Full 90-degree slides are made potential as a result of the way in which by which the motor attaches binds the rails.

However, the one approach to transfer the slider as soon as the motor is hooked up is with the motor (for higher or for worst).

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Fast-release system

To be fully sincere, I had no thought what a fast launch system for a slider even seemed like earlier than the Zeapon. Once I lastly acquired it, I used to be amazed. Basically, you join:
Zeapon slider > Spider Base Legs Thingy > Plate > Tripod Head

In follow, this simply means you join a detachable base plate on the underside of the spider leg base, to any video head’s plate. The spider leg base has a single screw that you would be able to loosen and the entire slider slides off the detachable plate of the Spider Base. That is superior for 2 causes. Firstly, you solely want to regulate an simply accessible screw to launch the entire slider. Second, it leaves the video head plate within the actual place. Going between on the go, and a tripod is now seamless and simple.

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Velocity vs sound

I don’t need to give this part an excessive amount of consideration as a result of in all honesty – it actually isn’t loud. Nevertheless, the slider with the motor isn’t “that” quick. On the slider’s quickest velocity it solely travels the entire size in 16.5 seconds. The one purpose I’m mentioning it in any respect as a result of it’s audible versus the opposite ranges and I don’t understand how usually in a video state of affairs you’d use slower speeds. I don’t suppose a lav would decide it up. However when you have a shotgun mounted to the digital camera, there’s an opportunity you’ll hear a buzzing.

Management

As any motorized slider in 2020. The Zeapon additionally comes with an app. Earlier than we dive into the app, I feel Zeapon deserves some factors for determining a fairly good system (when you get the grasp of it) for settings up your e-slider and not using a cellphone. Utilizing solely three buttons you possibly can mainly management and program motion and velocity to the slider. I feel it is a good contact, whether or not you need to arrange one thing actually shortly and don’t need to tinker together with your cellphone. One other instance could be when you had quite a lot of completely different photographs to arrange, resetting waypoint and connecting to the cellphone might be its personal ordeal.

In the event you do resolve ultimately you need to seize your cellphone and management the slider, the app is… nicely… not nice. However, and there’s an enormous however. It’s stuffed with potential. Firstly connecting to the slider for the primary time was a joke. It was so fast it type of blew me away. You obtain the app, activate the slider, hook up with its self-generated wifi, and that’s mainly it. From there you click on on the slider and go into the app the place you see a large number of options. Sadly, you possibly can solely play with one proper now. The leftover potential is in all of the gray components you possibly can’t contact. We see observe focus, pan, and tilt. If this firm retains up the great work I’d like to see what comes subsequent with a function set like that.

The app has a reasonably complicated language for setting waypoints. Simply to make certain it wasn’t simply me I had a few individuals try to set it up and so they too failed. The bizarre method by which you set the purpose that you simply’re going to, however by no means know which level you’re on causes quite a lot of pointless complications when attempting to arrange a transfer. Zeapon appears to have give you a brand new approach to set waypoints, and it doesn’t work for me. I’d a lot reasonably a “set waypoint” button. It’s additionally annoying that the one approach to alter the time of the complete slide is by adjusting the graph. I’d a lot reasonably the power to manually dial within the velocity.


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Drawbacks

The Zeapon slider positively has quite a bit going for it nevertheless it wouldn’t be v1 if it didn’t have its quirks. A few issues bothered me throughout my use of the slider. To begin with, the semi-permanent motor. I’m certain there’s quite a lot of good engineering decisions that go into the design of a semi-permanent motor. For me, the design might be a bit higher to permit hot-swapping. This is able to permit me to swiftly take off the motor do a few tremendous easy slides and return to motorized work.

Second, the app. Boy, this wants quite a lot of work, a redesign even. I’ve already talked about the drawbacks – however I’ll say this: throughout productions, this app gave me anxiousness whereas I used to be attempting to troubleshoot why it wouldn’t lock a sure place. Their are a bunch of bugs as nicely. For instance, after I turned my cellphone it might return to the join display. Nevertheless, Android telephones like my Notice 10+ have a way more numerous design customary and I’m certain that iPhone customers would in all probability have fewer issues with bizarre issues like that.

The very last thing I need to be important of is the fast launch plate. The short-release plate must be probably the greatest issues about this tripod. Probably the most annoying factor about my grievance right here is that they already type of solved it. At the least on one aspect, they did. While you screw within the spider base to the Zeapon itself there’s a mechanism that forestalls rotation. When loading up 3.5 kg transferring down a slider, I’m assured it’s going to be okay. As for the fast launch plate, it solely connects with one screw. I actually want it might be with two screws.

The little issues

The magical factor about this slider is that there’s a bunch of little issues. The Zeapon slider makes it exhausting to return to the prehistoric sliders figuring out that it could do all these nice issues. Listed below are my favourite issues, in no explicit order. First, I can’t get sufficient of the hidden size. So long as I’m not flying this Zeapon neoprene case suits properly into my bag or sits on prime of my curler. The opposite good factor about it’s that its simple to deal with. As a result of its actual dimension is a bit more than half, it makes it simpler to move even when loaded.

The subsequent neatest thing is that motor. the sheer simplicity of with the ability to merely tilt a video head and your digital camera is prepared for an computerized pedestal shot is nice. You may even mix a pan whereas it’s transferring to a different axis of motion. Different sliders often have a catch when you can tilt them. The Zeapons motor truly holds the digital camera in place even when its off so establishing is very easy.

This final one may shock you, however I can’t recover from it… the included ball head. Let me begin off by saying that I positively advocate you get a much bigger ball head with a fast launch. However the level of the ball head isn’t that it is best to use it. For me, it’s extra that you simply truly may use it. When you’ve got ever had a free ball head with some Chinese language product you possibly can just about universally anticipate it to be crap.  Zeapon features a friction ball head that actually is a good ball head. Its one thing so easy, however they don’t cost you further for it, they write their identify on it, and its a testomony to the exhausting work that they put in the remainder of the product.

 

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Conclusion

I really like that I maintain discovering myself saying this, however Chinese language merchandise simply aren’t what they use to be. What was as soon as a foul rep or a dangerous product is now slowly turning into a real contender within the skilled market. Zeapon has designed a sturdy, feature-packed, and compact slider. It’s a slider that isn’t solely reasonably priced but additionally drives a tough cut price when evaluating to different sliders. Even with the few drawbacks, the $500 price ticket (Amazon| B&H) makes this slider amongst probably the most fascinating options that individuals search for in a slider.  I’m personally excited to see after they’re popping out with these firmware updates and usually for brand spanking new issues from this firm.

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