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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old May 23rd, 2011, 06:38 PM   #1
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IndiSlider Mini Test and the T2i

Okay, so another camera test here. Even before I started using the T2i I had seen videos of sliders online that got my mind turning to different shots and things to pull of and was, perhaps, the catalyst to getting me back into digital video.

The road to a slider was rough...so many options and most very costly. I flip-flopped so much on actually getting one to feeling it not necessary to wondering if I would use it to thinking I'd use it a lot. Then a forum member emailed me about another thread of mine and when I mentioned a camera slider he said: "seems like a lot of money for just one trick". He was right. I was putting too much thought into something that would eventually result into a few seconds of footage per slide. I decided last week to send out for the cheapest slider I could find just to satisfy my curiosity on what the thing could do.

I opted for the IndieSlider Mini (just over $100). It came in only 2 days. Nice fast shipping. The video below is a result of 2 tests (one inside and one outside). The reactions to the slider online are, for the most part, correct. It is not butter smooth and takes some patience and practice and I feel I haven't scratched the surface of smooth slides. I also haven't tweeked it like others have and perhaps have some of the screws on too tight which might equate to some of the hitches and what some have described as stickiness.

That said, for a just out of the box test it pulled off some nice moves and with some practice and more set up could be really interesting. I'm glad, at least for now, I didn't spend hundreds of dollars on this little trick but am interested in seeing what else I can do with this thing.

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Old May 24th, 2011, 12:16 AM   #2
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Re: IndiSlider Mini Test and the T2i

I had similar thoughts to you, and purchased the cheapest slider available to me - the Pro-aim one off eBay.

It's not perfect, but it certainly gets the job done. I'm only using it with my 550D; it's not as though I'm going to throw a fully-loaded EX3 on it and expect professional results.

I do think it adds a great dynamic to footage and has so much more punch than a plain old locked off shot.

This was the first clip I used any slider shots in - I think they add just a little bit more production value to the beginning of the clip.

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Old May 24th, 2011, 01:43 AM   #3
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Re: IndiSlider Mini Test and the T2i

It's funny we all like to use our cats as models =)

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Old May 24th, 2011, 02:01 AM   #4
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Re: IndiSlider Mini Test and the T2i

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taky Cheung View Post
It's funny we all like to use our cats as models =)

Testing the IndiFocusMini and IndiSliderMini on Vimeo
Yes, they are such great models.

What camera/lens did you use for this.

I am finding now getting something that looks cinematic (meaning the actual footage look) is not turning out the way I'd like. The slider gives you that move that feels very much like film but I find my footage to be a little, well, soft. I'm still trying to figure out a lot of the T2i settings. I gather it has a lot to do with the lens, too. I was using the kit lens and the 50mm 1.8.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 02:05 AM   #5
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Re: IndiSlider Mini Test and the T2i

I was using T2i with a cheap Sigma 18-250mm.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 12:27 PM   #6
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Re: IndiSlider Mini Test and the T2i

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Originally Posted by Robert James View Post

I am finding now getting something that looks cinematic (meaning the actual footage look) is not turning out the way I'd like. The slider gives you that move that feels very much like film but I find my footage to be a little, well, soft. I'm still trying to figure out a lot of the T2i settings. I gather it has a lot to do with the lens, too. I was using the kit lens and the 50mm 1.8.
You probably need to raise the lighting levels so you can use an aperture of at least f8 but I would go for f11. Using a slider in close makes your focus more critical, Depth Of Field gets "shallower" and this will be even more true with the 50mm f1.8, especially if your aperture was anywhere near f1.8.

I would put higher wattage bulbs in the room lights (but do not exceed what the lights are rated for) or "bounce" a bright source off a corner of the room (if the walls are white), or otherwise bounce a bright source into an umbrella with the beam covering the area the lens will see. Pay close attention to what the focus will be at each end of your "slide" movement and set the focus for about 1/3 the way into the slide movement.

With an aperture of about f11 a "deeper" Depth Of Field should help to prevent things of interest from going too soft.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 03:18 PM   #7
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Re: IndiSlider Mini Test and the T2i

Thanks for the tips, Bruce.
My cinematic downfall, right now, is not knowing my stuff when it comes to HD videography. I moved up from point and shoots on Auto-mode and am only know mucking around with what DSLR can do.
Higher ends lenses are out of my budget at them moment but slow and steady wins the race, says I. :)
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Old May 26th, 2011, 05:33 PM   #8
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Re: IndiSlider Mini Test and the T2i

Robert,

I was following along back when you first started talking about this, IMHO, I think sliding is more effective when we don't see the stop and start of the slide, unless we are specifically revealing something. Starting/stopping is usually the trickiest part of a move, even with a dolly... which is what the slider is designed to emulate. I bought a Glidetrack and used it at my first wedding this past weekend with a 5d2. I used it sparingly but loved the look. I used the 50mm f1.4 wide open for dress details and shoes etc. It's just one more tool in production box. Personally, I would prefer one of the more expensive ones that dont stick. I'm waiting for the GT bearing upgrade. They say it's coming for the SD models.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 01:26 PM   #9
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Re: IndiSlider Mini Test and the T2i

Ha, those cats are funny. I like the last shot, with the bored, sniffing sigh.

One of the questions i ask when using less-polished tools is 'Have I got the shot within range of Smoothcam?' You can substitute your favorite motion tracker.

There's usually a price to be paid for using image stabilization, in the form of lost sharpness and/or increased noise, but it looks to me like using image stabilization on the OP's shots would yield a major improvement while not dropping the sharpness out of the range of acceptability. Typically the 'range of acceptability' is determined by the final delivery format. WebTV is more forgiving than a client's 50 inch HDTV, or a 40 foot cinema screen.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 08:09 PM   #10
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Re: IndiSlider Mini Test and the T2i

Scott, I've actually found with my HMC40 that leaving the OIS on while sliding does actually produce better results. When I hit a "spot" on the Pocket Dolly that slows the slide down the OIS floats the image in the direction the camera was moving at the same speed as the slide. This results in constant rate of motion throughout the whole slide as my Pocket Dolly only has 2 small spots where I can't seem to get a consistent speed through them. I'm thinking of throwing some dry Graphite lubricant on there to see if that helps at all. I've got the older model Pocket Dolly with the non ball bearings.

I've yet to test this theory with my 60D though yet as my only IS lens is the 70-200 which I rarely use for video unless I'm shooting a concert. I'll throw it on there and test that out though since I'm now pretty curious.

My best tip I've found is that I use my whole body to complete the slide if I can whenever possible. I grab the camera(Mounted on a Manfrotto 3d head) and lean into the slide holding my arms pressed to the sides of my body. Seems to help with consistency and smoothness.
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Old June 14th, 2011, 03:20 PM   #11
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Re: IndiSlider Mini Test and the T2i

I will admit, the IndieSlider isn't perfect. There is some stick'n'wobble which can be controlled with a firm hand. The puck doesn't always steady the camera if the middle bolt is loosened (for easier sliders) and the camera whirled around on me once or twice (NOTE: It will stay in the puck holder but the puck itself in the holder can whirl about).

I filmed another clip with it, this time on my Pearstone Tripod. Sadly, the with it on that tripod there is a bit of a bend sometimes on the clips but can be controled again.

I will post that soon.

Still, I'm enjoying it for what it is and what it does for the price I paid.
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