This is a serious piece of gear and will enhance any filmmakers ability to capture stunning slider moves.
This is a serious piece of gear and will enhance any filmmakers ability to capture stunning slider moves.

The Syrp Magic Carpet Pro is a rugged, strong and silky smooth slider with a huge payload capacity. Add in that its length is near endless and that it costs under a grand, and its likely to grab your attention. But there’s more — it has a built-in flywheel for smoother movement with heavier cameras, and it can hold up to 70 pounds for horizontal movement, 50 pounds upside down or 24 pounds vertically.

Build and Design

Syrp says that the Magic Carpet Pro has been “designed to produce supremely smooth tracking moves with heavier camera loads.” Just looking at the specs, the Magic Carpet Pro is an extremely robust system. The flywheel located under the carriage eliminates the need for a belt, and the Magic Carpet Pro is also designed so that it can be extended to an indefinite length quickly and without tools. Available in either two or three feet lengths, the length of the Magic Carpet Pro can be extended out as far as you have support for it. Each kit comes with a set of track joiners to extend the length, as well as a carrying case that can be extended to accommodate multiple lengths of track.

This slider also has a quick release plate for easy mounting of the camera or motion control system. The base of the Genie II, Syrp’s latest motion control system, even matches this plate, so the Genie II can mount to the Magic Carpet Pro directly, without an additional plate. This design also allows you to easily remove your entire tripod head and camera at once, making the setup more mobile. The built-in track levers need only a quick flip up to disengage and down to lock, and the legs have a similar release mechanism.

In Use

The time between the kit’s arrival to our first shot was less than 10 minutes. Although it comes with directions, they are not necessary; the set-up was very simple. If you want to stick to just setting up just a single track, there are two lengths to choose from: two feet or three feet. Outside of making sure the carriage was aligned with the tooth belt on the rails, it practically put itself together. Even when extended beyond a single track length, the only thing to be considerate of is aligning the teeth on the rails. Our commitment to reviews goes deep — deep enough that this author shed blood for this review. Each track length has a quick release to either add the end caps with legs or to install track joiners to extend the length of the track. This is where I spilled blood onto the floor. The track joiners have a sharp edge that caught me good. After that, I knew to be wary of how I handled them. The rest of the slider doesn’t require such a warning, just be careful with the joiners. (Update: Syrp has since redisigned the joiners to address this issue.)

Syrp did a great job engineering the Magic Carpet Pro to have no transition issues.

The legs are easy to adjust with the same type of quick release the rails have. Additionally, with the help of markings, getting the legs all to the same angle was a cinch. On other similar slider systems that also have legs, like the Rhino EVO, we have found it to be difficult to get the slider level without these markings. Syrp also put a leveling bubble on the carriage, so if you are on an uneven surface, getting it level isn’t difficult. We found the legs easy to interface with, making it easy to get the track level in less than ideal settings.

When you combine any length of track, the overall payload drops. Though going from 60 to 50 pounds is significant, a 50-pound payload is still quite impressive. The joint between tracks is perfect. Syrp did a great job engineering the Magic Carpet Pro to have no transition issues. Regardless of the length track, each section has a few mounting points with both  1/4 and 3/8 inch mounts. When we combined tracks for a combined length of 5 feet, we found that good support for the track becomes more important. When using two light stands for support, sandbags were a necessity. With a camera perched on the longer length, making sure everything is as solid as possible is key to silky smooth moves.

The design of the flywheel is quite ingenious. With the press of a button, it is engaged or disengaged. We tested the flywheel with a slew of cameras, and even the lightest ones benefited from the flywheel. Of course, the heavier cameras get the most out of the flywheel, which allows for easy slow slides. Without it, it would be a nightmare to get a slow moves. We tested with two cinema cameras, the Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini 4K and the Canon C200. The Ursa is heavier; when fully loaded with lens, battery and external monitor, it weighs about 12 pounds. There were no problems with that payload, outside of trying to keep the center of gravity low to prevent an odd weight distribution.

We also tested the Magic Carpet Pro with the Canon 1DX MKII, Panasonic GH5 and the Nikon D850. All cameras benefited from the flywheel. We would try and use it at all times; it just makes it easier to get the shot right on the first take.

Unique quick release plate
Unique quick release plate

To take the Magic Carpet Pro even further, we integrated a few other Syrp products. We have a Genie Mini and the original Genie, so we decided to put them all together. We set it up using the original Genie for an automated slide and the Genie Mini for automated pan. Because the end-caps have a Genie Rope Hook it was easy to connect to the Genie rope. The one issue we had with this setup was that it’s very top heavy. If we were to use the new Genie 2, not only would it fit directly into the quick release base, but the setup would also be less top-heavy overall.

Marketplace

The marketplace for high payload extendable sliders with a flywheel for between $1,000 and $1,500 is non-existent. However, since not everyone needs all of those features, let’s look at what else is out there that has some similarity.

Glidecam offers the VistaTrack 30-48 Dual Track and Dolly Slider for around $1,300. It has a high payload of 60 pounds and is available in both two and four foot lengths, but is not extendable. Additionally, no flywheel is available. For the money, the Syrp is a much better option with more features.

Another option is the Cinevate Inc Horizon Camera Slider with All-Terrain Legs. The Cinevate offers a 100 pound payload, has a built-in flywheel and can be expanded to be fully motion controlled. It can’t be extended, but with its all-terrain legs and flywheel, its much more in line with the Syrp. At a price of $900 for the bare bones set-up, it could be a way to save if you don’t need the option to extend the length of your slider and don’t need a case, which is included free with the Magic Carpet Pro. Adding the case to the Cinevate boosts the price to $1,070.

Final Thoughts and Recommendations

Outside the super sharp track joiners, the Syrp Magic Carpet Pro is a great slider. It’s easy to set up, it’s expandable and the flywheel makes getting the shot on the first take, much more likely. The price of the Magic Carpet Pro makes is hard to choose anything else if you need a large payload capacity. This is a serious piece of gear and will enhance any filmmakers ability to capture stunning slider moves.

Syrp

http://syrp.co.nz

PRICE:

Short & Medium Kit: $1,469

Short Kit: $989

Medium Kit: $1,099

STRENGTHS:

  • Infantaly expandable
  • Built-in flywheel
  • Easy and quick set-up

WEAKNESSES:

  • Sharp edges on track joiners

SUMMARY:

The Syrp Magic Carpet Pro is a robust slider that can be extended to any length you choose. Its large capacity and built-in flywheel make it ideal for large camera rigs.

RECOMMENDED USES:

  • Narrative Filmmaking
  • Documentary Filmmaking
  • Corporate and Event Videography
  • Marketing Video Production

TECH SPECS:

Syrp Magic Carpet PRO Short Track (2′)

Payload Capacity

Horizontal: 70 lb / 32 kg (50 lb / 23 kg with extensions)

Vertical: 24.2 lb / 11 kg (with camera up to 9.8″ out from carriage)

Upside-Down: 50 lb / 23 kg

Width: 7.6″ / 19.2 cm

Length: 2′ / 60 cm

Weight: 3.7 lb / 1.7 kg

Syrp Magic Carpet PRO Medium Track (3′)

Payload Capacity

Horizontal: 70 lb / 32 kg (50 lb / 23 kg with extensions)

Vertical: 24.2 lb / 11 kg (with camera up to 9.8″ out from carriage)

Upside-Down: 50 lb / 20 kg

Width: 7.6″ / 19.2 cm

Length: 3′ / 90 cm

Weight: 5.5 lb / 2.5 kg

Syrp Magic Carpet PRO End Caps and Carriage

Weight Flywheel: 1.2 lb / 525 g

Chris Monlux loves nothing more than a simple and smooth dolly move. He is also Videomaker’s Multimedia Editor.

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