Sorry drones, this 300-foot camera "zipline" can carry over 17 pounds of camera gear

Hillary Grigonis

Video sliders are in a constant tug-of-war between length and portability, but Syrp’s latest motion-controlled contraption allows for time lapses and video sliding over 300 feet — and it fits inside of a backpack.

The Syrp Sligshot is more zipline than video slider, but that allows photographers to span big distances from low or high angles. With new drone laws now preventing commercial operators from flying over people, the Slingshot could also offer a safer solution inside crowded venues.

Related: One simple design change, and video sliders now fit inside pockets (sort of)

The Slingshot relies on what’s already on scene — like a tree or a telephone pole — to strap the stabilizing brackets onto. Cables then stretch between the two points and a four-wheeled dolly carries the camera.

slingshot-whats-in-the-box
slingshot-whats-in-the-box

Syrp

Paired with a Syrp Genie, the Slingshot becomes a large motorized video slider; add a second Genie and the tool is capable of three-axis motion control. The Genie app allows users to customize the camera’s motion across the zipline, adjusting tracking, panning, and tilting motions, with adjustable speeds up to 7.6 seconds per foot or six seconds for a complete turn.

The cable system is rated to hold up to 17.6 pounds, which could also allow for aerial shots from cameras too heavy to carry via drone.

Syrp says the Slingshot can be set up in minutes, not hours as required for most DIY cable systems, with everything for fastening and adjusting the cables included in the system. The entire zipline disassembles to fit into a backpack that’s included with the kit.

Syrp says the system can be used in some wind, but heavy winds would pose a problem for keeping the footage stable.

There’s another trade-off for that long sliding capability inside a portable system — the Slingshot alone without the Genie for motorized movement retails for $989 with an 82-foot (25-meter) cable. Adding the Genie ballhead bumps the price up to $1,887 while the full three-axis motion comes in the two-Genie kit at $2,155, or $3,102 bundled with the 300-foot cable.