The indiSLIDERmini Deluxe is basically a scaled down mini version of the indiSYSTEMpro. I have the larger slider and it was a workhorse for my needs especially when I was using a 35mm adapter, rails, lens, and camera setup. It still is a great tool in my kit giving simple smooth reliability, stability and indestructible heft.
As the market has shifted with the advent of the DSLR there has been a growing need to have a slider that will be more compact and work well with smaller DSLR cameras.
Enter the indiSLIDERmini Deluxe.
At just over $100 for the mini version and $169 for the Deluxe it’s really a no brainer. The indiSLIDER is a must have in any kit.
The Deluxe has rubber mounted table legs for use on a fat surface. It also comes with a pistol grip ball socket head with a quick-release plate that allows
Right off the bat, the material of the slider is very lightweight and extra durable. When I talked to Tim Ovel from indiSYSTEM on the phone about the unit he said you could throw it around in the mud and toss it in your dishwasher and it would hold up with out a sweat. I don’t have a dishwasher to try that test but I believe he and his team have tried this at home and stand behind the durability of their mini slider and for good reason.
One of the biggest pluses with using the inidiSLIDERmini is that you can toss the slider in with your tripod bag and drag it around with you where ever you go. Gone are the days where you stop and think, should I take my slider, nah.. it’s too heavy. There are no excuses anymore because it’ll always be there in your bag no matter what.
We used the indiSLIDERmini Deluxe on our shoot for Taiyo Na’s Lovely to Me (Immigrant Mother). Because of the need to be stealthy and not to draw too much attention it was really a treat to set up, roll and run around town with out a sweat.
When we got to Love Park we used both the larger indiSLIDER and the indiSLIDERmini. As you can see, pairing the mini with the GH1 was really a nice fit compared to the larger pro version which has the added weight and setup time.
Perfect for the new DSLRs like the GH1 and Canon 7D and T2i.
It’s small and compact can fit where ever you go.
The Deluxe pistol grip is a nice feature and allows for steady and smooth control.
Very lightweight (compared to the heavy duty pro version, I take this where ever I go).
Durable if needed you can get this dirty and throw it in your dishwasher!
Couple things I would hope that Tim could solve in my tests with the indiSLIDERmini to make it even better:
There is a little looseness with my unit so as you push-in and stop there is a slight tilt back. During the shoot to counter that issue I merely used one hand on the grip head and and other head on the base of the carriage and that seemed to smooth the shot out. Later, I also unscrewed the carriage and put just a little bit of felt between the carriage and the rail so that the carriage was situated more firmly with out the chance of tilting forward or back because of the camera weight and head.
Though it may not fit in my camera bag, I would love to have a longer version. I think 24″ is nice when you are shooting close but having 36″ would be even to do some more creative moves. I don’t know how that would effect the weight and the possible tilt factor but with a solid tripod locked down it may not be much of a problem to have that extra bit of length.
One thing I noticed is that when you use wide lenses like a 14mm or 24mm you can see the rails in your frame as you move along the track. One possible solution is on the deluxe version to have the pistol grip have the ability to rotate away from the track so as not to see the track in the frame on a wide shot. Currently, when you place the pistol grip in a horizontal position (camera is now vertical) you can move the camera so it’s not seeing the track. Only thing is that your image is vertical and you would need a small ball head to connect to the quick release plate of the pistol grip and to the camera in order to move your camera back into a horizontal position. The other possibility would be to use a noga arm to get the camera higher. I’ll have to try that and see if that provides an alternative solution.
Overall, theses are really minor inconveniences on the wish list and for the price you pay for a mini slider it’s really a non issue to me. I’ve been able to resolve and make my own fixes as mentioned here.
Here is a one sample of the indiSLIDERmini Deluxe in action from Lovely to Me (Immigrant Mother). Though the use of the slider here is more subtle in terms of movement what it allowed us to do more importantly is frame our shot without having to move the tripod around since the slider rail allowed us quick flexibility to move our camera to frame up our shots quickly and with little adjustment. So crazy cool slider moves are not in these samples, it’s more subtle.
This outtake from Taiyo Na’s Lovely to Me (Immigrant Mother) was shot in front of the famous Chinatown Arch in Philadelphia and a few shots in front of the “History of Chinatown” mural on 10th and Winter St. created by Arturo Ho, Giz, N. Phung, and H. Tran. Again, this clip shows a subtle example of the use of the indiSLIDERmini with the Panasonic GH1 and stock 14-140mm lens. I needed subtle movement here because the final version would inter cut with the community footage which is what I wanted folks to think about as they watched the piece.
Here is another outtake from the film/music video of Taiyo Na’s Lovely to Me (Immigrant Mother). This is one of the initial cuts with Taiyo Na at the Asian Arts Initaitive’s Furious Style Mural created by Jeff Cylkowski and his team of youth artists.
The footage was shot with the Panasonic GH1 and Canon FD Prime lenses as well as the stock 14-140mm lens with one camera using the indiSLIDERmini Deluxe. The vertical shots are using the mini slider and the approach again was more for subtle shifts to focus on the story and the song. One thing you’ll notice is that all the vertical shots are using the pistol grip on the Deluxe in order to make vertical framing possible and giving us the ability to slide along a secured track. Because of the steep vertical tilt we were using to get some of the shots it was nice to have the light weight GH1 to ride up and down the slider and for the most part we could do the shifts with a lot of control.
This was one of the first cuts to build the final piece. Most of these shots didn’t make it in the original version because we felt we wanted to let the moms tell the story. However in coming back to this version, I thought it was really nice to see Taiyo solo with just his guitar so I decided to post this to share the process of creation. This is the Furious Style version named after Jeff Cylkowski’s beautiful mural.