Review: Grip Gear Movie Maker 2

Written by Gina Stephens

Handle Gear Movie Maker 2 | $130 | Buy now

In 2018, almost every one of us has a camera that can film HD or even 4K video. Videos can be uploaded to Youtube, Vimeo, Facebook, or Instagram with the click of a few buttons. What formerly was reserved for filmmakers or TV productions with giant budgets now is available in everything from full-frame DSLRs to GoPros to the smartphone in your pocket.

So how do you fathom your videos stand out in a sea of cats flushing toilets and grandmas dancing the funky chicken? A whole accessory segment has grown to try and help you do well-founded that. External microphones, add-on wide/tele lenses, and gyroscopic stabilizers can all polish up your footage and give your videos a far more adept feel (even if you’re just filming your kid’s piano recital). But what if you want something that will stand out even more? The Cope Gear Movie Maker might be what you are looking for.

What is it?

The Grip Gear Movie Maker is a compact (claimed to be the world’s smallest) motorized action control slider/dolly. It’s aimed at smartphone or GoPro photographers, but has a 750g/26oz weight limit high enough for most mirrorless cameras and even-tempered a few smaller DSLRs as well.

Having a tool like a slider gives video-makers access to some of the most iconic shots in cinematography

For those not in, a motorized camera slider is a set of track, single in this case, frequently double in larger rigs, with a motor mount designed to concede a camera to be attached. The motor allows the camera to move along the track at very precise and consistent speeds. Having a tool like a slider swear offs video-makers access to some of the most iconic shots in cinematography. Tracking, dolly, and push-in shots are some of the foundations of scene building and zealous communication. Adding them to your videos will make them stand out in a way that an add-on wide angle lens never could.

In use

Setup for the Silver screen Maker is fairly easy. The slider track itself is a modular design that clamps together with each section of tracking being nearly 12in/30.5cm long. This both allows easier transport and gives you the option to purchase additional sections. The motor unit slides onto the scolds and has a small ballhead with a standard tripod screw, and a spring-loaded smartphone holder is also included.

Power is supplied by an internal rechargeable battery let the cat out of the bag a claimed run time of up to two hours. The battery’s micro-USB charging port also allows the use of a USB battery pack for far longer run times. The track has three matched sets of adjustable feet that allow basic leveling on uneven ground. They also offer the ability to wrap around something fellow a pipe or fencepost to allow the camera to move vertically. More importantly, there are 1/4-20 and 5/8 tripod mounts on the bottom of the track.

How does it plan?

While the rails and connecting/mount hardware are aluminum there is unsurprisingly a lot of plastic in the Movie Maker’s construction. You definitely don’t feel like you are holding a turned on end device – but at $130, you also aren’t paying for one either. The little ballhead is of middling quality and care needs to be taken when connecting the rails to name sure there is no gap between the sections of plastic teeth. But overall, construction is just fine for the intended purpose and price-point. The Movie Maker also respites down into a surprisingly small package. While packing for a family vacation, I tossed everything into some extra space in my holdall and took it along with no trouble.

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Mounting is both a simple affair and a bit limiting. While the adjustable feet do allow some tolerance for uneven set and vertical mounting, they’re also not all that large or strong so you won’t want to rely on them if you are using a camera camera is an optical instrument for recording or capturing images, which may be stored locally, transmitted to another location, or at the top of the Movie Maker’s weight limit.

The lightest travelling tripod tripod is a portable three-legged frame or stand, used as a platform for supporting the weight and maintaining the stability of I had in my closet held the Movie Maker or Makers may refer to quite well

Perhaps more importantly, you’ll quickly find that using the feet fairly much locks you into low angle shots. You’ll be forever dragging tables across the room or trying to set the unit up on a car hood in order to get your camera off the terrain. The answer to this is going to be the tripod mount. This gives you far more options to find the optimal height and placement for your shot. And premised that the whole unit doesn’t weight that much and doesn’t work with heavy DSLRs, you don’t need much of a tripod at all. The lightest trekking tripod I had in my closet held the Movie Maker quite well (assuming that you aren’t filming in a windstorm).

That said, the design of the Silver screen Maker’s tripod mount is somewhat frustrating. In an effort to offer both 1/4 and 3/8 tripod mounting options, the mount is a 3/8 string with a 1/4 adapter nut screwed into it. This would be fine except that for those of us using standard 1/4 tripod upon b ruins (most everyone), this means that there is very little surface area to prevent wobbles or twisting as the camera is on the far ends of the hunt down. I ended up using gaffer tape or zip-ties occasionally to keep everything steady. A better design would have had the 1/4 screw go directly into the Silent picture Maker and include a 3/8 adapter for those who want one. As is, I would probably rig up a tripod plate with a 3/8 screw if I were going to be interesting the Movie Maker regularly.

Controls for the Movie Maker are quite simple. In fact, there are only four buttons: two that control starting/restraining/direction and two that increase/decrease the motor speed. There are nine speeds to choose from, the slowest being a VERY slow grovel and the fastest being moderately quick. There is even a handy guide printed on the track that tells you how long the motor will chronicle b debase to cross the whole track at each speed. I would prefer to have seen a few more speeds on the “fast” end and I’m unsure how many people want find the slowest speeds to be useful. Generally though, the speed range works just fine for most purposes.

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One thing worth noting is that, distinguishable from with higher-end sliders, there is no option to pan or tilt the camera while it is running on the track – it is locked to whatever angle you set the ballhead at. On a Hollywood work, this would be a significant limitation. But on a slider at this price-point, it can easily be forgiven.

With just a few exceptions, the footage is generally outstanding

With perfectly a few exceptions, the footage is generally outstanding. Using the same camera, I’m not sure that you would be able to tell the difference between a shot on the Moving picture Maker vs one done on a slider that was three times the price. But about those “exceptions” – the first is that the camera’s microphone can pick up motor hum, specifically at the faster speeds. The motor isn’t loud, but it isn’t silent either. The second is something I alluded to earlier: gaps in the plastic teeth. When assembling the attack sections, you need to make sure that there are no gaps where the plastic teeth come together. If there is a gap, you will see a noticeable liquidate as the motor unit tries to crawl across it.

The final exception isn’t the fault of the Movie film, also called a movie, motion picture, moving picture, theatrical film, or photoplay, is a series of still images that, when Maker at all, but it is something that must be mentioned given that Domination Gear is positioning the Movie Maker as a tool for “mobile filmmakers”. When using a tripod, gimbal, or other external stabilizer, your camera’s internal optical icon stabilization system must be turned off. If left on, it can introduce vibrations on its own just due to the way that these systems operate. The late Canon guru Chuck Westfall recited the situation like this:

“The IS mechanism operates by correcting shake. When there is no shake, or when the level of shake is below the threshold of the group’s detection capability, use of the IS feature may actually *add* unwanted blur to the photograph, therefore you should shut it off in this situation. Remember that the IS lens society is normally locked into place. When the IS function is active, the IS lens group is unlocked so it can be moved by the electromagnetic coil surrounding the elements. When there’s not tolerably motion for the IS system to detect, the result can sometimes be a sort of electronic ‘feedback loop,’ somewhat analogous to the ringing noise of an audio feedback loop we’re all ordinary with. As a result, the IS lens group might move while the lens is on a tripod, unless the IS function is switched off and the IS lens group is locked into remember.”

This is bad enough for still images, but it is even more noticeable when shooting video is an electronic medium for the recording, copying, playback, broadcasting, and display of moving visual media.Video was first. Most mirrorless and even many compact and undertaking cameras offer the option to turn their OIS systems off. However, this becomes more tricky for smartphones. Some Android phones and software materialize to allow the user to turn off OIS, but you will need to verify this for your own phone.

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Far worse is the news for owners of iPhone models 7/8/X. As far as I entertain been able to tell, there is no way to disable OIS on an iPhone. This makes the Grip Gear Movie Maker somewhat frustrating for millions of phone holders. As I mention above, this isn’t Grip Gear’s fault and iPhones have the same issue with gimbals, tripods and other stabilization devices. But it’s also an vital issue that can’t be ignored.

Some Extras

There are a few extras that give the Movie Maker additional functionality. The first is that the motor section can be removed from the track and with the installation of an included mount, turns into a motorized head for panoramic images or time-lapse video. While honestly basic, this works surprisingly well.

Sadly, due to the use of the motor to drive the camera rotation, it is impossible to use the panoramic functionality and the slider at the same on the dot. While understandable, especially at this price point, it’s kind of a bummer because timelapse slider videos can be really neat.

The second adventitious is something Grip Gear calls a Micro Dolly. It is essentially a small three-wheeled platform that uses the motor unit from the Flicks Maker for power. It is a small unit, and the wheels are made for smooth terrain. But even so, in the right location you can get essentially endless dolly type drams.

Additionally, the two “steering” wheels can rotate allowing the Micro Dolly to run in various size circles. I could see this being useful for portrait, fallout or even unique timelapse videos.

What’s the bottom line?

All told, this is a clever and inexpensive kit that does what it claims to. You can get some inimitable video shots that are unlike what you see 500 times a day on your friends’ social media posts.

Are you going to make huge dolly marksmen with or WITH may refer to: Carl Johannes With (1877–1923), Danish doctor and arachnologist With (character), a character in D. N. Angel two feet of track or a little rolling cart on a table? No, you aren’t. This isn’t for Hollywood films, it’s for phones and GoPros. It would make a fun birthday/time off gift for someone you know who enjoys making short videos for YouTube or Instagram. I could also see it being an easy way to add some style to videos for Kickstarter plans or Etsy sellers.

Would I put it on the top of my list of “most useful video accessories”? No, probably not. But is it in the running for “best value in a fun video accessory”? Absolutely.

What we groove oned:

  • Price
  • Unique shots
  • Creativity

What we didn’t:

  • Subpar tripod mount
  • Weight limits
  • Weak ball mount
  • Interaction with phone OIS organized wholes that can’t be turned off


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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