Syrp Magic Carpet Pro hands-on review

The new SYRP Magic Carpet Pro is a heavyweight slider with some style. Over the past few years, we have had a ton of options when it comes to sliders and options are now what sets them apart. No longer will a one-trick pony do. For video production, having the ability to add a motorized head that has a programmable parallax option for interviews so the subject stays in the middle while the camera slides back and forth is really great. For time-lapse shooters, they want all the fancy motion control settings to get those cool sweeping time-lapse shots, but it all starts with the slider and the SYRP Magic Carpet Pro is one smooth criminal. Cue Michelle Jackson!

Syrp Magic Carpet Pro-2

The Magic Carpet Pro has a very solid build. It’s not designed primarily for small cameras. It’s made to handle bigger loads like a C300 MKII, URSA Mini Pro or a RED with a beefy lens. The maximum payload varies depending on the configuration of the Magic Carpet Pro.

SYRP Magic Carpet Pro Payloads

  • Horizontal: 70 lbs (32Kg)
  • Horizontal with Track Joiner extension: 50 lbs (23Kg)
  • Vertical (with camera up to 250mm out from carriage): 24.2 lbs (11Kg)
  • Upside Down: 50 lbs (23Kg)

70 lbs (32Kg) horizontal is impressive!

Length options

The Magic Carpet Pro comes in three lengths.

Syrp Magic Carpet Pro case

I like the 2-foot model a lot since it’s easier to travel/carry with the included soft case but here is where the SYRP Magic Carpet Pro shines.

Syrp Magic Carpet Pro track joiner part

 

SYRP Magic Carpet Pro Track Joiner

The Magic Carpet Pro has a unique track locking system that allows the track to be extended easily and the seam doesn’t affect the performance at all. No bumps will be present when using the additional longer track.

Syrp Magic Carpet Pro END going in

The track uses precision-machined Track Joiners that is completely tool-less for faster setups. Simply join the tracks together and lock the lever to secure. Done! I like this a lot plus the build quality really shines. All the parts are nicely designed and manufactured. It has a built to last feel to it. The slider isn’t light. In fact, that might be an issue for some people who are wanting to take it on a hike or remote locations. With a Manfrotto N12 fluid head attached it comes in at 16.9lbs or 7.66 kilograms.

Syrp Magic Carpet Pro longer track

The system is expandable with the purchase of additional track to make the Magic Carpet Pro longer. The 2′ (track only) is USD $370 and the 3′ (track only) is USD $480. You can add as many sections as you want since each track has mounting points on them and come with a pair of Track Joiners.

ADJUSTABLE LEGS

Syrp Magic Carpet Pro Legs adjusted

The Magic Carpet Pro 6″ legs are quick release and fold out so the slider can be used on the ground without the need for a tripod or stands. On the base of the legs are markers so it’s easy to get both level if you are using it on a flat surface. They click into place to prevent sudden collapse. Nice touch. They also easily fold away using the quick release levers. The feet on the legs have rubber tips.

The Carriage

Syrp Magic Carpet cart

The cart is nice and wide and has the same level of design. Instead of mounting the head directly to the carriage a quick release system is built into it. This is really nice. You simply add the round plate to the head and drop it into the carriage and lock it down. This makes breaking it down and moving faster and lighter. It can be awkward to carry a slider with the head attached.

Syrp Magic Carpet Pro tripod bolts

The carriage includes an interchangeable 1/4″-20 and 3/8″-16 threaded bolt for mounting a fluid head. The bolts are stored on the slider so you can’t lose them. Nice touch. The carriage also has a bubble level and brake system.

Syrp Magic Carpet Pro cart adjustment wheel

Underneath where the quick release plate mounts is a small adjustment wheel. This is for making micro adjustments to the concaved wheels that are used.

Syrp Magic Carpet Pro rubber wheels

It’s important to have just the right amount of pressure to ensure smooth slides. It’s a good idea to make this adjustment prior to using the slider.

Flywheel

Syrp Magic Carpet Pro flywheel

Since the slider doesn’t use a pulley system the flywheel is rotated with teeth that run along the inside of one of the tracks. Having a flywheel under the cart makes a huge difference in the way the cart slides on the tracks. The feel is very fluid with a little weight behind it and carries the slide with a nice smooth motion. If the payload is lower you might not need the advantages of the flywheel. With a simple push of a button, the flywheel is deactivated. I like the feel a lot and usually kept it engaged.

Another benefit of the flywheel being under the carriage is no pully system is needed. This makes adding or shortening the length of the slider as simple as unlocking the end and attaching the longer rail and replacing the end. Again all tool-less. Not having to depend on a belt is really nice. I have a Rhino slider that I use a lot and when I want to make it longer it’s not a fast process. In fact, I won’t do it while in a production as it just takes to long to adjust. The entire belt has to be taken off and a new longer one needs to be installed and setup.

Set up

For my shoot, I used a solid 100mm Miller 2-stage tripod center mounted. It worked fine for the shorter two-foot length, however, I would use a combo stand on each end or two tripods on both ends when using the longer rails. With more heavier loads all sliders will have that teeter-totter look as it goes from end to end. This only appears in the footage if the slid move is fast.

Add-ons and accessories

Syrp Magic Carpet Pro Genie II tiedown

On each end of the slider is a tie-down for using Syrp genie motion control. The Magic Carpet Pro is much more than just a solid slider. You can add Motion Control as well, however, there are weight restrictions with the Genie II Linear Drive. The maximum horizontal payload is 16lbs (7.4kg). That’s still a hefty payload.

As you can see the Genie II Linear Drive with the Genie II Pan Tilt is a powerful combination.

Other Options

This could be a big list with so many sliders available today, but when it comes to heavy payload with optional motion control sliders, that list starts to thin out a little. Rhino is one I’m familiar with as I own and use it a lot. I think I push the limits on the ARC with my C300 MII but it works well. However, the slider isn’t nearly as robust as the Magic Carpet Pro is for heavy cameras but it also weighs less.

Kessler Cine Slider is another. They offer a full motion package as well. I have one at work without any motion control and to be honest I don’t really like it that much. We have a bump in the rail and to fix it, the rail has to be replaced. Kessler won’t send the rail to me to fix so it has to be sent to them for repair. Both the Rhino and Kessler work with a pully system.

If you don’t require motion control, RigWheels makes the Passport 2 Slider/Dolly System which has a 100 pound (45.35kg) payload capacity, but it’s significantly more expensive than the SYRP Magic Carpet Pro. The Dana Dolly Universal Kit ($829.99 USD) is another very popular option, but it doesn’t come with track and you have to buy that separately. The Dana Dolly Portable Pipe Kit, which consists of six 39″ lengths of schedule 80 aluminium pipe costs $550 USD.

Final thoughts

I like what SYRP has done with the Magic Carpet Pro. They laboured over every detail of the slider and it shows in the final product. Everything fits nice and snug and just works. If you need a slider that can handle a true cinema camera look no further than the SYRP Magic Carpet Pro. For a lighter option, SYRP also has The Magic Carpet Carbon Fibre. With the Including Carriage & End Caps the Short Track comes in at 3.3lbs (1.5kg) with a maximum payload of 11lbs (5kg)

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