Syrp takes their attention to detail to higher end sliders with the new Magic Carpet Pro.
The top end of the slider market is an exclusive space. While entry level/mirrorless/DSLR sliders are a fiercely competitive market with no clear winner, once productions graduate into the Alexa/RED range, it almost always means speedrail comes off the truck and the Dana Dolly comes out.
However, while we love the Dana Dolly, some really nice features have been showing up in the smaller sliders, and it was only a matter of time before we started to see more competition in the "can carry a fully sized camera package" space. We love pretty much everything made by Syrp, especially their smooth and light Magic Carpet slider, thus we were very excited to get our hands on with the Magic Carpet Pro.
What Is It?
The Magic Carpet Pro is a slider system designed for bigger camera packages built around a proprietary rail and puck system that is visually similar to the original Magic Carpet. The track has an ingenious internally locking system that makes for "infinite track," with less complication than joining the normal magic carpet. Of course, it's easier to join because it's both beefier and more expensive, but this is one area where extra hardware feels worth it.
We tested a variety of lengths and were quite pleased with how they joined together and seldom felt anything like a "bump" unless we were on an extremely long lens, which isn't particularly common on a slider shot. The track also come with thread mounted plates for screwing into either 3/8" or 1/4' topped stands, and worked well with adapter plugs for going into junior pins.
The sliding carriage itself has a few key upgrades over comparable units, since it includes a flywheel system that you can turn on or off, and also a quick release for the entire tripod head. Both of these are amazing features. The flywheel system really does smooth out shots, but provides a hit of resistance, and whether it's for a really quick shot, or just for resetting, the ability to click off that flywheel is a huge plus. You can see in the following, long lens video that it really does help with smooth start and stop to have the flywheel on: even with practice it's still tricky to really land a smooth ending without the flywheel. Having the choice of an easy switch is a big bonus.
That's really secondary to our favorite feature, which is the quick-release plate for the head. Holy cow, this needs to be an industry standard immediately. On larger, slower moving shoots it's easier to take time swapping from tripod to slider and back again. On a big enough show you even own multiple tripod heads for a faster swap. But if you can only afford one really good tripod head, and you are doing a run-and-gun shoot or covering a life event, swapping between tripod and slider always feels like an annoying hassle.
Syrp's solution for this, a plate that attaches to the tripod head, is elegant and simple and worked well. When we were testing, we weren't able to get a tripod receptacle, but Syrp says one is coming, and that more than any other feature is the real standout here for a product to be useable in your day to day life. You just don't want to miss a vital shot because the system is rigged incorrectly, on a tripod when it should be sliding or vice versa, and plate systems should become the norm.
We did have one small issue where it just didn't feel like the slider was meant for truly beefy setups. Putting on something like a 2575 and a RED DMSC2 with a longer prime or a zoom and the rig didn't give us that confident feeling you get from a slider dolly. Clearly the 2575 is more focused on Mitchell and larger Ball mount systems, and mounting it to the flat cork mount (even with the beefier 3/8" screw, which stores conveniently in the carriage) doesn't feel like the right combination. However, a DSMC2 with a prime and a 1060 head felt like a great combination and one we would feel confident in all day. If you're considering an Ace head with an EVA1 or FS Mark II, you'll be golden.
- Extendable Alloy Slider
- 2' and 3' track lengths available
- Carriage Has Built-In Flywheel, can be dis-engaged
- Has smart swapping head
- Alloy End Caps with Quick Release Legs
- Supports up to 70 lb
- Includes Soft Carry Bags
Price: $1,469.00 (available now)