Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

glidecam-hdI bought one of these tracking units from Alastair Brown in fact I bought the newest model the GlideTrack HD. Now are you thinking what I was thinking…HD… how on earth can you get a High Definition tracking system ? Well all was revealed with a phone call to Alastair.

“Eh what does the HD stand for” Alastair “Heavy Duty”  Opps did I feel stupid but he went on to qualify the need for a bigger more robust version of his tracking system, the Desperate Dan of the family. I asked what camcorders he felt would benefit from this portable but more robust track. Alastair “Cameras like the Sony EX-3 upwards” Now that was music to my ears I was buying one of these goodies for my reviews and the very camera he mentions was my EX-3.

I jumped into my car and 30 minutes later arrived in Paisley just outside Glasgow to meet Alastair and hand over the dosh. I could not help feeling a bit of Dejavu as I drove up to his house then remembered that his house features in some of his promos. Alastair was very pleasant and told me ” You have two bolts to attach with the supplied allan key thats all and it’s ready to go” No chance I thought it can’t be that simple. We said our goodbyes and off like a bat out of hell with my new toy back to base.

It was in a rectangular FedEx box and the most difficult part of the operation was trying to prize the cardboard open. Once open I had 4 items, the track, two feet and a bag with two bolts and an allan key. Yes it’s that simple, it was built in jig time and I was off to find two tripods. That was the easy part as I had just replaced my photographic tripod two weeks ago and still had the old one. You can use it with one tripod but I felt safer with one either end of the track. There are six threaded holes,  five 1/4″ thread size and one 3/8″ thread at the centre.

I took the Manfrotto 501 HDV head off the legs and mounted it onto the GlideTrack carriage mount it also has an adapter to allow the bigger 3/8″ thread to fit onto the mount. Fifteen minutes it took from unwrapping to using the track and can I say as smooth as a baby’s bottom. I used it in my Panasonic 151 review in the edit suite and my son who had never used it before did two takes the first being my mistake fluffing my lines. What a dream to use and so portable, I really look forward to using it in some corporate environments soon.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *