I recently bought the 35″ version of the Atlas 10 slider and the Trawly wheels set from Cinevate during their Moving Sale. The Atlas 10 slider is primarily meant to be used with DSLRs but can also be used with smaller sized video camera’s as it has a maximum weight allowance of 18kg (40 lbs). I can use my Panasonic AF100 with the Atlas 10 without problems. The slider moves very smooth and makes less noise than the Atlas 30, which is it’s heavy duty brother. The sliding action on the Atlas 30 however, is even smoother. The advantage of the Atlas 10 is it’s portability. It’s smaller and can be center mounted on a tripod. That is not possible with the Atlas 30 (or Atlas 200 for that matter) as you do need two points of support.
I bought the Atlas 10 with the vertical kit which allows using the slider in vertical position mimicing short jib like moves. Very cool! I already own Cinevate’s shoulder rig and that came with a contra weight that can also be used with the Atlas 10 in vertical position. Also, I can use the all terrain legs of the Atlas 30 with the Atlas 10, providing more flexibility compared to the standard legs which are only micro adjustable. This is one of the things I especially like about Cinevate gear: interchangeability of the individual components. But more on that later.
One minor thing about the Atlas 10 is the mounting plate for center mounting the slider on a tripod. I think it should be larger so it better supports the slider horizontally and counteracts the inevitable sagging when sliding the head to either end of the slider, especially under heavier loads. But, if that is a problem two points of support should be used.
I bought the Trawly wheels set as I already own the shoulder rig, which basicly is the Simplis quick release plate with two adjustable hand grips and shoulder support. The wheels are fixed to the end of the hand grips and the grip stick that normally would connect to the shoulder pad. A very ingenious design, again making perfect use of existing gear but adding additional value to it. As you can adjust the three legs independent of each other it’s possible to use this mini dolly in very close quarters where a normal dolly would not fit. It’s also very easy to make nice curved dolly moves by adjusting the wheels accordingly. However, the Trawly dolly needs, just like any other dolly, a smooth flat surface for best performance. Another thing to watch out for is that the wheels can make squeaky noises depending on their angle to the surface and the material the surface is made of.
Both products are of high quality and very sturdy. The mat black finish gives it a professional look. This gear has been designed to be used day in day out by pros and that shows.
These are not the first products I bought from Cinevate. I’ve been a customer for some time now. Why? Because they make excellent rugged gear for filmmakers. Their goal is to design flexible gear which can be used in multiple ways. All their gear is modular and can be used together so the possibilities are endless. This of course, comes with a price but I think their pricing is very acceptable for the high quality gear you get. As they’re located in Canada and I’m in Europe I have to pay shipping and import taxes. But, it is worth it. I bought cheap stuff from eBay and without exception regretted each and every purchase. Compared to the stuff Cinevate produces it just doesn’t hold up. I’m serious about making videos and although I don’t earn my living with it, apart from a paid job now and then, I don’t want to fiddle with sub par equipment ruining shots or losing unique moments while gear breaks down. And as all their gear is modular it is also camera independent. I can use it with my video camera or DSLR without a problem. I can still use it if I buy a new camera tomorrow so it’s a future proof investment.
Another thing I like about Cinevate are the people. My experience (by talking with them on the phone or by watching their excellent videos) is that they are really dedicated to their work but also have fun doing it. And that reflects in the way they interact with their customers.