Today I wanted to talk about a camera goat that will carry just about any camera package you throw at it – and it will let you get smooth dolly shots.
So for the last three months I’ve been using what must be the sturdiest and most heavy-duty slider I’ve ever used. In fact, it’s so strong that I can even sit on it. It’s like a full size dolly that will take a loaded production camera and get smooth shots. Yet, this whole thing packs into a carry-on sized bag.
I am talking about a slider system from CAMERA GOAT. The slider is built around these barbridges, which is what you use to attach the legs and the rails, along which the camera platform runs.
I got two different kits with hard cases for the camera platforms and the barbridges, along with all the little accessories and adapters they come with. I also got two kits of the rails and legs with soft cases. The two different kits are the original Goat slider and the Mini Goat. The difference is the size and how much weight they take.
The weight limit of the Mini Goat is 75 lbs. The bardbridges and the platform are smaller than for the regular Goat; it also uses one inch tubing for the rails and legs. It’s meant for small to medium size cameras – although I was still able to use it with my loaded URSA Mini 4.6K production camera rig, which weighs around 17 lbs.
The regular Goat parts are bigger and use 1.25 inch tubing for legs and rails. It can also handle small cameras like the GoPro, but you can really put anything on it – all the way up to an Imax camera. The weight limit is officially 150 lbs, but I was able to sit on the rails with the production camera kit, and it still didn’t shake or wobble. I alone weigh 155 lbs. It’s a beast.
I’ve used the Camera Goat on various test, as well as on a short film I shot recently. Honestly, there is nothing bad I can say about the whole kit. The Camera Goat really does what it claims to do.
I didn’t end up using the hard cases because even though they protect everything, I found that they are too big and bulky for me to travel with. Also, since all the parts of the Camera Goat sliders are made from durable aluminum, I had no problem throwing them together in a small carry-on bag and transporting it that way.
There’s actually a lot of extra parts you get when you buy the whole kit. It’s one of the reasons why I love using this thing. It’s very modular.
The camera platforms has a lot of attachment points for your accessories. One of the kits that I got has different plates for a flat tripod head, and also a 75mm, 100mm and 150mm tripod head bowl mounts. There’s also a friction brake you can attach; safety ties to make sure your platform doesn’t get knocked off the rails. It even comes with light stand adapters, so you can mount it on any light stand.
In my experience, the different length legs that were supplied worked for 99% of my shots. These are aluminum pipes that fit through the barbridges, and because you can attach them at any length, it means that each leg can be independently adjusted. So that allows you to set up the slider on any terrain – it doesn’t matter how uneven.
Also, you don’t even have to use the Camera Goat legs or rails, since you can pretty much use any pipe with similar diameter. That’s because the wheels on the camera platform can be slightly adjusted in case your rails are a big too big or small.
The only time where the supplied legs didn’t work for me was when I wanted to get a shot where the camera dollied out. Because the slider was low to the ground, the legs were sticking far above the barbridge, and were visible as the camera dollied out. In this case, I just used a light stand to support one of the barbridges.
In conclusion, the Camera Goat could even be called a camera donkey, because like a donkey, it takes any weight you throw at it without breaking its back. If you are working with a bigger size camera and you want a super steady, smooth and strong slider, then you will be very happy with the Camera Goat.
If you are working with a small DSLM or DSLR camera rig, then there are other options out there that are cheaper. When it comes to stability, though, the Camera Goat Mini still beats them. All the sliders I’ve used for small cameras rely on a tripod supporting the slider. The Camera Goat system, on the other hand, uses the barbridge design and four independent legs – a much more stable platform.
If you want to get this slider, please visit the manufacturer website – as of time of writing, I believe this is the only place where you can get it.
Film shots and BTS are from a short film titled “Trust” by Clint D’Souza. Check out his channel here.