Without diving too deep into what makes something “cinematic” or not, I’ve personally always found that adding even just a little bit of motion to even the most mundane of shots can help unlock that extra “cinematic” quality that we all chase in our film and video work. Motion can be a great way to make your shots more interesting, more dynamic, and ultimately provide more information to your viewer or audience.

While most slider tracks are quite short and linear by design (most for the sake of travel and storage), we’re excited to see new solutions coming to the industry which can help provide bendable and curved tracks for your slider arrangements, giving your cameras more movement flexibility as you try to make things more sophisticated and cinematic.

Let’s take a look at this new PanaTrack by Waterbird Systems and explore how curved sliders can give your video that next-level composition.

Getting Started With a Curve-able Slider Track

As you can see in the video above, one of the key selling points to this PanaTrack is its ease-to-use and remarkably quick set-up time. With a modular design that can range between 2 m/6.56′ and 50 m/164′ while supporting up to 15 kg/33 lbs of payload, this PanaTrack can be a great system for its designed compatible cameras like your Panasonic PTZ Cameras and RPs, or pretty much any other lightweight mirrorless or cinema cameras on the market.

Set up does indeed look quite easy as well. The PanaTrack slider is designed to be modular, so you can choose as many units as you’d like to vary the length and shape. From there, it’s as simple as screwing things together and getting creative with your design which can move from linear to curved section by section.

Panatrack_2A curved slider track can give your shots a more dynamic lookCredit: Waterbird Systems

Other Curved Slider Options

Now, this PanaTrack slider isn’t the world’s first curved track slider system of course. As we’ve covered here at No Film School in the past, there are other options out there for those looking to break their sliders free of the straight and narrow.

Here are some other options to consider before making a purchase or D.I.Y. investment of resources:

And, in truth, unless you’re really looking for subtle movement in your shots, the curving of a slider move isn’t always necessary. However, if you do want longer shots that circle your subject or provide more complex moves to reveal additional information in your frames, then a slider track that can switch between curved and linear is indeed a great option.

Panatrack_3There's lots to learn and explore with these curved slider optionsCredit: Waterbird Systems

Pricing and Availability

There are actually a few different options ranging from around $1,500 to $3,000. You can explore all of the options from the manufacturer on their website at Waterbird Systems here.

Waterbird MS SWIFT S 150 Camera Slider

  • Motorized and Bendable 59" Slider
  • High-Speed and Ultra-Silent Operation
  • Ball Bearings for Smooth Gliding
  • DMX and App Control
  • Operates as Curved or Straight Slider

How do you feel about these curve-able slider tracks? How might you use a track like this for your cinematography?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.