Before I begin to review the indiSLIDER mini by indiSYSTEM, I’d like to explain what my needs were, which convinced me it was necessary to add another piece of gear.
I tend to use the camera on the tripod as opposed to handheld. Ideally, I wanted to be able to create an extremely smooth camera movement along the horizontal axis, like the classically beautiful moves created with a dolly on track. However, as I often shoot alone, I needed something light and portable so I didn’t need to hire a grip department every time I wanted to move the camera without any shake or micro jitters. Most importantly it had to fit my budget and be an effective tool that would enhance the story with more dynamic cinematography.
I spent quite a bit of time researching the different options within my budget and honestly there weren’t many with the quality I needed. Luckily, this is where the indiSLIDER mini came in. At the time I purchased the slider mini from indiSYSTEM it was the cheapest portable slider on the market. I believe there are few more options now.
I decided on upgrading to the three foot version instead of the original 24” slider mini, as two feet really does seem way too limiting in the type of moves you can do. As I mentioned above, I was aiming for a nice doorway dolly on track that can move until you either run out of track, film, media or the dolly grip’s endurance, so I definitely needed the extra foot. Now how cheap is the indiSLIDER mini? Pretty darn cheap at $114 for the 24” version with legs and $165 for the 3’ version with legs that I decided on.
The slider is very compact, weighing less than five pounds and can easily be transported in a tripod case. I would also like to point out that this slider is only suitable for lightweight cameras like the Panasonic GH2/GH3 and Canon/Nikon/Sony DSLRs. I personally shoot with a hacked GH2 so the size is perfect.
Okay, so the indiSLIDER mini is portable and affordable, but more importantly how does it perform? As a slider it succeeds because you can get some buttery smooth camera moves with it, but it definitely takes some practice.
The design is pretty simple. A single piece of aluminum makes up most of it and serves as the track for the slider carriage. The indiSLIDER mini does not utilize wheels or bearings like many high end sliders and dollies do, which does make it somewhat tedious to get that perfect camera move. You attach the camera using this little quick release puck with a standard ¼-20 male screw attachment. I have an old tripod head that screws on perfectly so I can pan and tilt with ease. It is fairly sturdy and mostly made of metal although the tightening screws for the slider carriage and quick release puck are unfortunately made out of plastic.
Overall the indiSLIDER mini suits my needs for now. I feel I will eventually upgrade to a higher quality slider at some point. My main complaint about the indiSLIDER is that the slider carriage isn’t perfectly flush to the aluminum track. There is a little play so if you don’t slide it quite right you can rock it back and forth causing some bumps through the move.
PROS – Extremely affordable, very portable, and capable of smooth moves with a bit of practice.
CONS- Play in slider carriage, some plastic pieces, could be smoother.
And if you would like to check out what the indislider mini can do in action, take at look at SEEKER.