If you’ve read our previous two reviews, you’ll see that we are dedicated a good amount of time to Syrp and their variety of motion control products. This third review of Syrp gear brings the entire package together with the piece of kit that allows for tracking movement, the Syrp Magic Carpet.
While the Syrp Genie (See Review) and Genie Mini (See Review) can be used by themselves, they really shine when combined together with a slider system. Yes, you can use any slider with the Genie system, but if you don’t already own a slider, I highly recommend picking up the Syrp Magic Carpet slider to round out your timelapse and video motion control kit.
The Syrp Magic Carpet slider comes in three sizes: short (2’), medium (3.3’), and long (5.2’). Syrp sent me out the short and long to use and review, so those sizes are what I’ll be referring to. By themselves, the sliders are ready to be manually controlled with the included interchangeable carriage. This sliding carriage can be removed and interchanged between longer and shorter tracks. It comes equipped with a leveling bubble, extremely smooth bearings, is lockable, has an interchangeable ¼-20 and 3/8” thread, and a hole for vertical tracking shots. The top of the carriage also has the same cork style of the Genie Mini’s top.
When using the Syrp Magic Carpet manually without motion control assist, it is extremely smooth and easy to capture great panning shots. The ball bearings in the carriage are almost too smooth. Sometimes I have to put my finger down on the track as I’m sliding in order to give it a little resistance. I would rather have this though than a jerky movement while trying to push too hard. When not in use, at the carriage can be locked into place. In another brilliant move, Syrp allowed for the carriage to be fully removed and added to its other Magic Carpet slider tracks. This can save a lot of time and hard-earned money, without forcing you to buy identical products for different sized tracks.
Syrp Magic Carpet || AMAZON
Motion Control Kit || AMAZON
Syrp also includes quick-release legs/end caps with the Magic Carpet. They can easily be added or removed without the use of any tools. The legs can also be adjusted, giving you more options for using the Syrp Magic Carpet on a variety of even or uneven surfaces. Built into the legs are the rope attachments that you would use to tie off the ropes of the Genie.
I’m constantly amazed by the thought that went into the design process of each piece in the Syrp product line. It seems as if they designed every product in their full lineup before releasing them all, as they all seem to work together in conjunction with each other. Companies like Syrp, Peak Design, and HoldFast Gear really do a great job in designing products that can easily be used to each other.
Each Syrp Magic Carpet comes equipped with both ¼-20 and 3/8” thread holes in the center and ends of the slider. This allows for easy mounting of either a center tripod or dual tripods on each end for greater stability. The end mounts come in especially handy when using a heavier camera, which gets pretty heavy when sliding at the end of the track. Using two tripods alleviates any dipping of the track when using a heavy camera like that, and is just safer overall.
Syrp Magic Carpet Combination For The Win
While I do occasionally use the Syrp Magic Carpet by itself, my absolute favorite way to use it is with the Genie and Genie mini for video motion control. Keep in mind that you can do everything I mention as well while shooting timelapses, but video is where my heart is.
Syrp makes a $1,495 Genie Pan Track Kit for this, which includes:
In my opinion this is money well spent for a variety of reasons. First, this kit gives you manual sliding, motorized and programmable time lapse or video in either tracking or panning and tracking movements. If you’re out in the field and want to get an epic reveal shot around a corner, this kit is perfect for that as well. If you’re doing an interview style video, and want a separate angle with a sliding motion while panning, giving you an awesome parallax movement, this kit from Syrp can also do that. Another thing that I really like about it in that situation is that when I am working by myself, I can set it in “bounce back” mode, and the slider continuously goes back and forth in the motion that I have programmed into it. It’s a set it and forget it solution when working by yourself.
My Favorite Things – Syrp Magic Carpet
First, I can’t get past how awesome the build is of the Syrp Magic Carpet. I throw it around in my office or in the back of my truck and it’s perfectly fine. Yes, the aluminum can get scuffed up a little bit, but it doesn’t affect the sliding motion at all. I really like a product that can’t be beat up and put it through crazy conditions and the Syrp Magic Carpet is definitely one. Next, the well-thought-out design is also a favorite. Its ability to be integrated with other Syrp products can’t be stressed enough. I really like getting products in one ecosystem and staying with them, without the need to mix and match accessories. Syrp makes that possible. Next, I love the price. Each slider is miles below the price of other sliders in this category.
Wishes – Syrp Magic Carpet
I haven’t found myself wishing for much when it comes to the Syrp Magic Carpet. However, there is one thing I think could be improved upon. As I stated before, the carriage’s bearings are so smooth that I wish I could add a bit more tension to its tracking movement. If Syrp released a carriage with some type of break on it, allowing for manual sliding movements with a little more resistance, I wouldn’t complain at all! Other than that, I don’t really have much to complain about. Syrp did release a carbon fiber version of the Magic Carpet recently. However, for my purposes, I really like the aluminum one. It actually doesn’t feel too heavy compared to other carbon fiber products that I have. The rails are hollow, and I think that saves a lot of weight. The carbon fiber version will definitely be lighter though. If that is important to you, check it out.
To sum it up, the Syrp Magic Carpet can be a great addition to any filmmaker or timelapse photographer’s toolkit. It comes in at a great price, making the option of adding additional sizes or possibly the motion control Genie kit a real possibility for some people. Syrp built the Magic Carpet to be used with their other gear, and it really shows. It’s great build, design, features, and functionality show, and I’m happy to add the Syrp Magic Carpet to my kit.
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