Should I buy a hand-held gimbal or a slider for shooting real estate video? Thats a question I have been asked more than once in the last couple of months.
My answer…..it depends.
Thats a terrible answer I know but it really does depend upon the style and type of videos you are shooting and to some degree your level of video shooting experience.
I’ll go more into the pro’s and con’s of each below but first here is an example of a recent video I did and I used both a hand-held gimbal and a slider;
(Shooting specs: Panasonic GH5, Panasonic Leica 8-18 lens, Kamerar Pan-100 slider,see my full gear page here)
I actually quite like using both a slider and a gimbal in this style of video and the shooting options it gives you. However I realise not everyone has that luxury or will have budget limitations and only wish to purchase one or the other.
Here’s what I think the pro’s and con’s of each are that I have found from using both;
- Will give a very smooth and formal feel to your shot
- Can introduce movement to your shot but still retain a nice slow pace
- Generally pretty easy to operate
- I find sliders easier to shoot and isolate objects either in the foreground or with a zoomed in lens than with a gimbal.
- Relatively inexpensive as long as you already have a tripod that can handle your slider
- Your range of movement is limited to the length of your slider
- Your movement options are more limited than a gimbal
- Can be bulky or cumbersome to use
- You will need a strong tripod to handle the weight of the slider and camera
- Opens up virtually unlimited movement options for your shots
- Can introduce pace or speed to your shots or edit
- A more modern feel or look to your edits
- Generally small and compact and getting easier to operate
- Getting cheaper and better with increasing competition
- Can be a little fiddly to setup and you have to be mindful of the gimbals maximum payload it can handle
- Bobbing or the up and down movement when walking with the gimbal can be hard to eliminate, especially with foreground objects close to the camera
- It can be tricky accessing your camera controls and lcd monitor when using on a gimbal
- Can be tricky to hold shallow depth of field shots or focus critical shots on a gimbal
Here’s an example of a slider only shot video;
(Shooting specs: Panasonic GH5, 8-18 lens, Syrp Magic Carpet slider, see my full gear page here)
And here’s an example of a video shot only using a handheld gimbal;
(Shooting specs: Panasonic GH5, 8-18 lens, Moza Air Gimbal, see my full gear page here)
So if I was to only recommend one option between using the slider or a handheld gimbal to someone which would it be?
I would say start with a slider, its generally cheaper, easier to use and will teach you the basics of shot composition and movement.
I pack both now when heading off for a real estate video shoot and are using the gimbal more and more as I develop my shooting skills with it. I’m enjoying the challenge of figuring out what shots work and what don’t when using the gimbal and getting my skills to the same level as shooting on a slider where I can almost shoot on auto pilot!
That’s my opinion, let me know in the comments below what you think?