I’ve been researching buying a new camera slider for quite some time and after weighing the pros and cons of many companies, I finally made a decision. I reviewed the offers from Cinevate, Kessler, Konova, and many others before deciding on the Konova K3B2 80cm slider. It was a really good choice, especially for the price.
Konova is one of those companies that is just becoming popular in America and while they don’t have the best marketing (or translation team), their product is competitive with the best offerings from the USA. Before going with the Konova I tried out a Cinevate Atlas and Kessler Crane Cineslider, both of which are very high quality. I was really wanting the Kessler Crane Philip Bloom Pocket Dolly but could not justify the price ($1,200) or waiting for it to be back in stock (they sell out extremely fast every time they make a new batch). The Cinevate Atlas 10 was extremely nice but still expensive ($620) and I could borrow a friend’s if I ever needed it.
That left me with a lot of lesser known brands of sliders. I knew that I wanted one with ball bearings and not drylin rails, because they are not smooth enough for my preference. I had read on Cheesycam about Konova. It was listed on Amazon.com for $350 and had good reviews (though not many) so I figured it was worth taking a chance. Originally I ordered from an Amazon.com company based out of Florida called Crawford’s Superstore with the thought that because it was a US based company shipping would be faster than ordering directly from Korea – a few states is closer than halfway around the world after all. This is where everything went wrong. I received a tracking number from Crawford’s stating that my order would arrive in two days. Sure enough, two days later I received not my package, but a postcard stating “your product has been shipped” with the tracking number attached to it. This meant that instead of my actual camera slider having a tracking number, the postcard was the item that was being tracked. Unable to find another tracking number I decided to wait until the 5-7 day shipping window finished to see if Crawford’s would actually deliver my slider.
The next week, nine days after ordering two days past the shipping window given by Amazon I gave Crawford’s Superstore a call after digging through many pages of their Amazon store page and finding it at the very bottom. I spoke to someone that informed me that their warehouse had a mix-up and they were actually out of sliders. Also, there was a “national shortage” of Konova Sliders and they were all backordered from Korea. He said they would arrive in ten days and then he would rush ship one to me as well as give me a 50 dollar credit. I agreed to that and waited ten more days. After ten days I called and spoke to a different employee of Crawfords that told me she had called me earlier that day to inform me about the status of my order. I had received no phone calls that morning. She then informed me that the sliders were being held in customs and it would be anywhere from 2-3 more weeks before they would be released. Once again I was promised expedited shipping and a $50 credit (not two $50 credits at this rate, just one – if they all stacked I probably would have had a free camera slider before it actually arrived).
I had learned from this mistake and promptly cancelled my order and requested a refund. I ordered a Konova K3B2 camera slider directly from the manufacturer in Korea through Amazon and within three days it had arrived from Korea. No customs issues, no warehouse problems, just quick shipping for only $5. I will never buy anything from Crawford’s again and would recommend that if you do order from them to make sure you check to see if your tracking number is for your actual product or just a postcard that will lie to you about the status of your order. I have had several people contact me about needing to get in touch with Crawford’s Superstore due to problems with their order or needing to file a complaint etc. Here is Crawford’s contact information with address and phone number if you need to get in touch with them:
Crawford’s Superstore Address: 5937 Anglers Ave. , H9 Fort Lauderdale FL 33312-6673 (I found the address on the postcard they sent me about my slider).
Crawford’s Superstore Phone Number: 1-800-817-8795 (Phone number copied from their Amazon storefront at the bottom).
But I digress, on to the actual review of this slider. IT IS AWESOME!
I purchased the 80cm K3B2 because I wanted something longer than my old slider’s 24 inches but not as long as a 36 inch slider (or longer) due to it needing two tripods for stability. The box comes with a very nice bag, the slider, two bags for the legs, a set of pliers and allen wrenches to adjust the tension of the bearings, a microfiber cleaning cloth, and oil sills for lubricating the slider rails. The bag itself is rather useless because once you put a tripod head on the slider (I used a Manfrotto 701 fluid tripod head that works great – get one on Amazon or B&H) it isn’t big enough to fit the head inside the bag as well.
The sliding movement (why I bought the slider in the first place) is very smooth and adjustable depending on how much you tighten or loosen the screw. There are also a lot of little things that really make this slider a joy to use. Benefits such as measurement ticks for centimeter-precise movement, a metal locking screw, a bumper to keep the carriage from slamming into the track, rubber ends on the all-terrain feet, and easy expandability in the form of a crank handle and belt or motorized system really make this slider awesome. You can watch the video above for a breakdown of all these little enhancements.
The features on the Konova K3B2 either match or exceed the Cinevate Atlas and it even keeps up with the Kessler Crane Philip Bloom Pocket Dolly. I highly recommend purchasing this slider if you would like to increase the production value in your videos.
Keep checking back at this post as I will be updating it with links to my latest video projects that have used the Konova K3B2.