Could Wiral LITE be a videographer and vlogger’s dream?
The Wiral LITE is a portable wired camera kit. It’s small, light, versatile, affordable, and strong enough to carry my mirrorless camera and professional lens. It may be a videographer’s dream.
I came across this product at the photography fair in Birmingham, UK last month. By avoiding most of the big screens, I was more interested in the unusual and exciting things that others had to offer. The one that caught my eye is the LITE wire. I chatted with the friendly team on the display and got a hands-on demonstration of this amazing device which took me by surprise.
What is a Wiral LITE?
The system includes a cable on a spool and a remote controlled motorized camera mount that moves along the cable. Its path and variable speed are either manually controlled or pre-programmed using a cordless handset. Alternatively, controlling it from the Wiral LITE app, available for iOS and Android, gives more versatility. This includes the ability to change gears in a single race.
The cable supplied in the kit is a 164 feet (50 meters) rope and this can be improved to double this length. It is mounted on an ingenious rewindable reel, called Quick Reel ™, which prevents the rope from tangling. This comes with tightening straps and carabiners to attach the rope to each end. Using pulleys, the motorized camera mount, known as the main unit, can move along this rope, whether it is unwound a few feet or its entire length.
It’s quick to set up. You attach each end of the cable to sturdy supports, such as trees, vehicles, scaffolding, or streetlights. Then you attach a camera to the main unit. For this, you can use either the supplied ball joint support, or the smartphone or action camera mounts (supplied separately) on the camera ¼ ”screw mount. Then you tie the main unit to the rope and you are good to go.
The kit is as easy to store as it is to install. It can be stored neatly in a small and sturdy Premium travel case, which is also available separately.
How the Wiral LITE works
The speed of the main unit is fully variable from 0 to 9.5 meters / second. It’s over 21 mph at top speed, so fast enough to keep up with runners, boarders, gymnasts and mountain bikers. It can also move slowly to capture time-lapse movies, making bulky, limited-length motorized cursor tracks redundant. Depending on the weight of the camera, the system may cope with an upward slope of 30 degrees.
Who is the Wiral LITE for?
We have seen a democratization of content creation over the past 20 years. The equipment to create high-quality content is available for everyone, allowing amateur filmmakers to catch up with professionals. It also has an effect on the content we see and the market in which we operate as a brand.
I can see videographers using the Wiral LITE as an alternative to drones in no-fly zones and in circumstances where there is too little room to maneuver, such as through forests.
This is especially useful where drones are not welcome. The demo video shows footage of a camera traveling overhead of a band performing live on stage. It could also be used to record parades or show jumping events. Filmmakers could set them up to record on a roller coaster, or along the tracks at air shows or on racetracks. Bird photographers could follow geese in flight, and I can even imagine it being used by specialists observing how people and animals walk or run.
In addition, the 3 hour lifespan of the Rechargeable battery definitely gives it an advantage over a drone. It is also a more flexible and portable alternative to a motorized slider.
Photographers will likely find this useful as well, especially if they are interested in creating time-lapse shots. I can see it appealing to vloggers as well, especially those who want to shoot outdoors.
Which cameras are suitable for the Wiral LITE?
The joy of this kit is its size, weight, and portability, and I think it lends itself particularly well to the Micro Four Thirds system and action cameras, such as GoPro. It maintains the convenience and ease of management that are important to their users.
Indeed, the Wiral LITE will easily transport a top of the range Olympus Where Panasonic Micro Four Thirds camera, with their high-end pro lenses. The system can carry up to 1.5kg, so it can take my Olympus OM-D E-M1 with 12-40mm f / 2.8 Pro lens, and still have 500g (approx 1.1 lbs) to spare.
It means that it is possible to get high quality video using this device.
I would probably be more inclined to use it with the lighter E-M5 Mark III, especially if I am carrying a kit deep in the great outdoors. However, it will even work with some full frame cameras, such as the Sony a7III, Nikon z7 ii, Canon R5, Where Panasonic DC-S5, but only if it is equipped with light glasses. However, those heavier setups would reduce its ability to climb steep angles.
I also saw some remarkable images shot with a 360 degree camera.
What I do and don’t like
It’s a simple idea, and these are the game-changers. I think this is an important kit and I can envision dozens of uses. In my short time with the Wiral LITE, I haven’t found anything that I didn’t like. It is well designed, robust and versatile.
This machine can zoom along the cable at over 20 mph or slowly crawl at 0.79 inch per minute (2 cm / minute or 0.3 mm / second), this is more than slow enough for stabilization of image in the body of Olympus could cope. This also includes custom speed settings for automatic mode (ping pong) and accelerated mode.
It is a great tool with a multitude of applications. At $ 399, it’s an affordable product that will take your videography to the next level. You can find out more about the Wiral LITE website.
I am certainly looking forward to owning one soon. (Dear Santa…)