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kickrigsmallKickrig is a camera slider (currently being Kickstarted) that aims to be as ubiquitous and relied-upon as the common tripod. It’s an extruded aluminum beam with a sliding carriage that rolls gently down the beam with the help of bearings. Rubber end-stops prevent the camera from flying off the end of the rail. On the carriage is a quick-release mount that accepts a variety of attachments, allowing you to connect pretty much any camera to the rig.

So, does the Kickrig fulfill its promise? Well, let’s first watch the crowdfunding video.

So it’s pretty obvious at first glance. The Kickrig comes in 2, 4, and 6-foot length (I test-drove the 2-footer). It consists of the beam, which is a single piece of extruded aluminum, along with two rubber end stops and the actual rolling carriage upon which the camera gets mounted. It’s assumed you will rest the beam on a table. Otherwise, one of the Kickstarter rewards is a tripod mount that attaches to the underside of the beam. Another attachment serves as a universal mount that can accept either tripod lugs or can be used to mount a camera to the underside, which we saw in the video.

The carriage has a big knob which can be grabbed to move the camera back and forth, or it tightens to lock the carriage in place, allowing you to freeze a sliding shot or simply to use the rig as a low-profile tripod.

One omission I noticed in the crowdfunding rewards was a smartphone or tablet connector. You could either buy a 3rd party product that is Arca-Swiss compatible or simply has the classic 1/4″ threaded connector. I ended up using a simple piece of wood secured by the quick-connect, attaching an Optrix camera mount to the wood. Here’s a sample of some video I shot with the rig:

One of the cool aspects of the project is the lightness of the rail. It’s solid enough to resist wobbles, but not too heavy. This is an easy thing to do wrong, by making the beam too flimsy or to massive. I think Kickrig did a great job of finding a comfortable middle between the two extremes. The 2-foot rail is light enough to fit into a large duffle-bag or backpack, making it perfect and ad-hoc shoots.

Check out their Kickstarter campaign.

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net


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