Just about every slider has its limitations, like length, leveling, and load capacity. But the Camera Goat aims at making them a thing of the past.
This unique slider system, designed by Jeffery Garland in what's pretty much a one-man-band kind of operation, allows filmmakers to level virtually any camera onto any surface thanks to its sturdy construction and modular design. Most sliders are utilized using tracks or tripods that 1.) are expensive, 2.) lock you into a limited length, and 3.) often don't function well on harsh terrain, but the Camera Goat's design will let you shoot virtually anywhere. Its independently leveling legs allow you to shoot on everything from solid ground to craggy mountains -- even underwater, and its modular design lets you to add as much length as you need.
Here's a video to explain how the Camera Goat works:
And here's a quick demo so you can see this thing in action:
Indie filmmakers need tools that are not only affordable, but flexible enough to be used in as many shooting conditions as possible. That's what I find interesting about the Camera Goat -- this thing can be set up on stairs, hills, pretty much anywhere where you need your camera to be. You won't need to mess with a hodgepodge of tripods and dolly track, either. (Trying to level a slider that uses two tripods with at least 5 different adjustable parts each can get really, really frustrating.)
Garland is currently offering all three Camera Goat kits, which range from $2500 to $3500, at 15% off right now in order to keep the cost down (though temporarily) as well as to get the word out. However, at its normal price, this is no small investment. (That's the price of manufacturing in the U.S., people.) Knowing that there are plenty of budget sliders out there that are more compact and offer smooth camera movement for a wide range of camera sizes and weights, (I have an affinity for edelkrone's pocket stuff), I imagine those who will throw down $3K for this slider are heading out on some bumpy terrain. If you primarily shoot indoors or on (mostly) flat surfaces with cameras that are relatively the same weight/size, save yourself some money and go with a cheaper slider (shopping carts and skateboards work sometimes, and they're free). But if you're shooting on some gnarly surfaces, you might want to take a closer look at the Camera Goat.
If the price (even at a discount) is too expensive, Garland is also renting out these sliders with a try-before-you-buy option, meaning that if you rent it and decide that it's the greatest slider since -- the sliced bread slider -- he'll put the rental costs toward the purchase of the unit.
Check out the Camera Goat website to see if the slider is right for you and your projects.