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Old June 16th, 2006, 10:33 PM   #1
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Indie PILOT? Smooth Shooter? Navigator?

I have a Glidecam 4000 and Sony Z1U -- I want to buy a vest/arm for $1500.

Anyone heard of the Indie PILOT? Any testimonials? I am considering it or the Smooth Shooter or Navigator.

The PILOT has a dual-arm and built-in backpack for the same price as the other two. But honestly, I am hesitant because not much info is available -- so I'm concerned about quality, smoothness, durability, reputation of the company.

Any recommendation is appreciated!
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Old June 17th, 2006, 10:23 AM   #2
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Somebody else, on the Homebuiltstabilizers forum had this same question. Turns out one of the homebuilding gurus, Cody Deegan chimed in with his experience operating the Indicam. It's a wonderful piece of equipment, and I'd choose it over the Smooth Shooter any day.

http://hbsboard.com/index.php/topic,2084.0.html
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Old June 21st, 2006, 02:32 AM   #3
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Thanks Tom,

Let me start by saying we like the Smooth Shooter and the owners of Glidecam. Martin and David have been helpful to us and encouraged us when we were developing the Indicam PILOT. Martin mentioned they were coming out with a vest and arm when we talked a few years ago. They released the Smooth Shooter first and it's a good product. I wish them all the success they deserve.

That being said, we do make a system that we feel is the best for the buck. We have a hybrid dual-articulated arm, a CNC machined adjustable gimbal, and an easy to adjust camera stage. Everything (sometimes even the camera) fits into the backpack / vest for transport. These features make balancing, carrying, and flying a camera easier.

We can fly cameras from 1/2 pound to 6 1/2 pounds but as yet haven't gone after the larger cameras like the XL2 and others in the 7+ weight range. We have flown an XL1 and it worked out well.

We are producing systems currently and hope to have a stock of 20 units soon. Actually we hope we don't have a stock of 20 units as we'd rather have them out with filmmakers if you know what we mean.

Tery
Indicam
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Old June 21st, 2006, 09:11 AM   #4
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Hey everyone,
I spoke at length with Terry at Indicam (posted above) yesterday and ordered his Pilot. I'm anxious to get it and test it out. When I do, I'll post some photos and my experience. I'm also getting a demo of the Smooth Shooter so I can test them both side by side. I think I'll be pleased with the Pilot and Terry was very helpful.

Tom Wills: I had read Cody's review of the Pilot. But since he is doing a training video and seems to have a relationship with Terry, I wasn't sure if his review was biased or not. So I was hoping for some additional reviews. Either way, Terry dispelled any fears I had about the purchase... so now I hope I can provide my own review once I get it.
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Old June 26th, 2006, 11:01 AM   #5
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Excellent Tom. Terry has been very helpful to my inquires too. I'm saving up for a stabiliser kit n the indiecam is one of my choices besides the smooth shooter. Pls let us know your findings!
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Old June 27th, 2006, 12:17 AM   #6
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Tom,

I called you today (26th) to make sure the rig arrived. It was after hours there so I just got the answering machine.

I hope all is well and the Indicam PILOT arrived quickly. I got it in the mail as quick as possible.

Call me with any questions.

It's real hot here in N. California at the present time so assembling stuff is more of a chore. I wish I had a swimming pool outside my shop door! Hey, that rhymes. It must be late...

Tery
Indicam
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Old June 27th, 2006, 11:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Greever
Hey everyone,
I spoke at length with Terry at Indicam (posted above) yesterday and ordered his Pilot. I'm anxious to get it and test it out. When I do, I'll post some photos and my experience. I'm also getting a demo of the Smooth Shooter so I can test them both side by side. I think I'll be pleased with the Pilot and Terry was very helpful.

Tom Wills: I had read Cody's review of the Pilot. But since he is doing a training video and seems to have a relationship with Terry, I wasn't sure if his review was biased or not. So I was hoping for some additional reviews. Either way, Terry dispelled any fears I had about the purchase... so now I hope I can provide my own review once I get it.
Tom Greever, please, if you have a chance please make that review available at HBs forum under the 'Equipment Review' forum. I have been waiting for a review on Terry's Rig for some time. I would appreciate it very much. Terry, congrats on the sale buddy. The engines have started for you.
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Old June 27th, 2006, 12:25 PM   #8
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Charles,

It just goes to show eveyone that you read everything. WOW! I hardly have enough time to get on the forums on a regular basis let alone read all the postings.

Thanks Charles. I hope we will be able to meet sometime.

Tery
Indicam
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Old June 27th, 2006, 12:48 PM   #9
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One day Terry! One day! :)
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Old June 28th, 2006, 09:53 PM   #10
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I bought the Indicam system w/ vest from Tery at NAB for use with my Z1U. So far, it has fully met my expectations and for the price it is a great deal in my (novice-to-stabilizers) opinion. It does require practice, as all similar systems do.

Hope it works out for you,
Bill
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Old June 30th, 2006, 09:32 PM   #11
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Well, I'm sorry for the long delay. Family stuff; funeral. Now I'm back to work.

Anyway, I got the rig and have had a couple of full days to play with it. I keep trying to work it into a shoot, but it hasn't happened yet. Oh, clients...

My overall first impressions are this: it's a great buy and a quality product. It has none of the corporate marketing fru-fru... and (except for the great quality of construction) feels very much like a homemade product. After all, if you call you'll get Terry and it came in an old Office Depot box.

Don't get me wrong, I love it. But don't expect it to arrive in a branded-logo box. (expectations are everything) -- Do expect it to perform as expected and advertised. It's worth the price. A great product. Ingenious design (backpack!)...

I'm using it with the Glidecam 4000 with a Sony Z1 and after watching the setup video, I wish I had Terry's sled. [Side note: Terry's video is not very well produced, but much more informative than the Glidecam video] --

There are 2 features of his sled that are WAY better than the Glidecam: 1) adjustable gimbal and 2) only two adjustments on the stage (the Glidecam has 8)...

I do think that the backpack design, while an incredible idea, may also be a con because I don't get the sense that it's the most comfortable rig around. The Glidecam SmoothShooter is much more comfortable to wear. I must admit, though, that I need to call Terry about this. I'm not 100% sure I'm wearing it right and I want to ask him. (I'm a small guy and there's some space between the vest and my chest.)

Anyway, I hope to write a more exhaustive review here once I've used it in a real setting [maybe post photos since there are so few online]. But still, my first impressions are good; that it's been a great purchase. Just don't expect corporate branded-ness.
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Old June 30th, 2006, 09:53 PM   #12
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Sounds good Tom. I'm really glad u r performing an unbaised review on this. I'm for Terry's sled as well.Its now a matter of the smooth shooter of indie.As I'm Asian,I may have the same problems of an oversized vest like I had with the Varizoom DV Sportser.Kudos to u from Singapore!
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Old June 30th, 2006, 11:09 PM   #13
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Sean,
I lived in Hong Kong for a year and we visited Singapore many times. We also lived in mainland China for 3 years. Are you Asian/Chinese?

That reminds me about Terry's branding: there is nothing on the unit itself to identify branding/company/product/contact... nothing. That's a serious marketing oversight. Granted, Terry is making these things himself (I would guess, or hiring small-time production) -- but still, putting a small "Indicam" plate on it would be pretty simple. Honestly, I would love to show off the brand. But it looks a lot more homemade with no branding whatsoever.

anyway, I will post my thoughts once I've had more shooting time with it.
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Old July 1st, 2006, 11:16 AM   #14
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OK Tom...We'll get some logos put on the rig. We've been looking into doing that already.

With regards to the shipping boxes...That was a decision we made so as to keep nosy shippers disinterested in wanting to "loose this one in the mail". I don't know if a specialized box would draw attention to the item inside but I wanted to try a generic box just in case.

You can adjust the chest bar for a smaller torso which will help make the system feel more secure.

Give me a call and I'll answer any questions you have.

We are a small company but every larger company started out small. As long as the product is great the company will grow.

Tery
Indicam

P.S. We'll be out of town on a shoot for a few days.
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Last edited by Terry Thompson; July 1st, 2006 at 11:09 PM.
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Old July 2nd, 2006, 07:55 AM   #15
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Hi Tom, u r right.I m Chinese. Wow, u sure have had a lot of exposure in Asia.

Tom,whatever your decision is on the packaging,I guess the most impt is to get the indiecam to the buyer in good shape! I'm sure u will figure it out after some experience.BTW, r u able to provide some new pictures of the improved rig? The current arm is unpainted.Iread from your webby that the arm is now powder coated.I'm set on getting the full rig after having tested the Flowpod with my FX1 for long periods of shooting!
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