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ZipCam Systems for Sale / Cable Camera System & Brand for Sale

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#1 Ben Semanoff

Ben Semanoff

    Advanced Member

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  • 31 posts
  • Philadelphia / New York

Posted 21 January 2014 - 05:42 AM

Contact Information:

Ben Semanoff, owner


I currently own, and putting up for sale a lightweight cable camera solution called ZipCam.   This would be a sale of not only the equipment, but also the brand ZipCam. This includes the 800# and web addresses ZipCam.com and ZipCam.net (including a modified version of the website itself).  I am posting on this forum since I believe this system would be of interest to some Steadicam Operators (as I am one myself), or as an offer of a finders fee of 5% to anyone that brings a buyer to the table.


What Is ZipCam:  ZipCam is a lightweight point-to-point suspended cable camera system.  That basically means that we string a line between two points, tension it, and hang a stabilized camera system on it which is remotely operated and can be driven back and forth with a motor.  Historically our longest span has been 1200 feet. (click here for pix from "Paddington" shot in jungles of Costa Rica)


History:  ZipCam originated as a system called SuperFlyCam that was purchased from Garrett Brown in 2004, along with the worldwide license for its use.  SuperFlyCam was designed as a super lightweight 35mm cable camera system.  The payload with camera was under 75lbs.  Since 2004 we have done a complete overhaul of the system, including a change of the initial concept of the system, which had been to only support a SL Cine camera that we had owned and provided with the rental.  The concept behind the system currently is to support any camera under 30lbs.  Currently, even with a 30lbs camera, the overall payload on the line is typically under a 100lbs. 


Why Am I Selling:  In the past several years it has become increasingly difficult for me to accept jobs with the system as I am quite frequently booked operating Steadicam on a show.  When schedule permits, I’m able to pick up a job about once a year that yields between $40-60,000… but end up turning down quite a bit of work between jobs. 


What Am I Selling:  I am selling the system in 3 basic parts as follows.

  • Basic Unit….$75,000
    This is the smallest division of parts I am interested in and will not break things down or split them up beyond this.  This will not include a stabilizer or remote head of any kind.  However, you will have everything you need to fly “something” around, and a branded business to go with it.
    • Rigging: This is approximately $30,000 worth of generic rigging equipment including Amsteel, Span Sets, Slings, Biners, Sweeney Pulleys, Dynos, Ratchet Straps, Etc.  See Table #1
      • Note: I am not selling any truss or towers of any kind.  We typically ask production to rent truss as needed since it’s difficult to move truss around the country/world.  In many cases we rig to trees or condors, eliminating the need to build large towers out of truss.   
    • Drive System: These are the custom components that make the system move along the line.  Includes an Amp/Command Console, 2x Motors & Cables.  You could clone the Amp/Command Console and have two complete drives systems. 
    • ZipCam Business
      • ZipCam Trademarks & Salesmarks
      • ZipCam.com & ZipCam.net
      • ZipCam.com website itself, modified to remove any reference of Ben Semanoff, Ira Semanoff, Garrett Brown or any other involved party now or in the past.
      • ZipCam toll free number
    • ZipCalc: This was software we designed to determine flight paths of the camera based on rigging variables.  We gave away a free version online, but the pro version offers more control.  In addition, you will get the development files in case you want to take it further. 
    • CAD Files: I will provide any and all CAD files I have for any custom rigging included with the system. 
  • ZipSled….$50,000
    This is very much like a Steadicam in low mode.  The main differences are that it self-stabilizes as it moves along the line, and that you need to mount a remote head to it in order to pan/tilt the camera.  It can counterbalance a payload of up to 40lbs.  Included in this additional sale item:
    • ZipSled as described above 
    • Horizontal Mode: In addition, you will get parts from an older setup that allowed the sled to be configured horizontally in order to reduce its height.  This would be useful for flying through areas with tight clearances.  This mode hasn’t been used in years, so it’s being sold as-is.   
    • CAD Files: I will provide any and all CAD files I have for any custom rigging included with the system. 
  • ZipHead….$25,000
    ZipHead is a very lightweight 2-axis, wireless, remote head.  It weighs about 10lbs total.  However, I consider it to be a prototype.  It was put in service a couple years ago, and is functional. Why is it still a prototype?  In my opinion there are still a few things that need improving.  Therefore, I don’t feel comfortable selling it as anything other than a prototype.  Included items are as follows:
    • ZipHead:
      • 2-axis Remote Head
      • Wireless Pan/Tilt (tested up to 1000’)
    • Joystick Controls
    • Wheels
    • Mods: I’ve started some mods, and will gladly share those.  They are being done without taking the head out of service. 
    • Spares: I fabricated, in many cases, enough parts to build 2 complete heads.  I was waiting until I felt the first head was perfect before building the second.  Unfortunately I didn’t get that far.  So you will get many spares.  I am in no way guaranteeing that you will have enough parts to build a second head.
    • CAD Files: I will provide any and all CAD files I have for any custom rigging included with the system.

Contact Information:

Ben Semanoff, owner



  • Everything is being sold free and clear of any royalty. 
  • Everything is being sold as is, with no warrantee or support.
  • Included in the sale of the equipment will be one-day (8hrs) at my location during which I will review the use/setup of any specialized equipment.
  • Additional training on the system is available for a fee, and will need to be scheduled based on availability of myself and/or other personnel familiar with the system. 
  • You will be required to sign a contract that holds us harmless for any future use of the system.
  • Payment will be required in the form of business check or wire transfer prior to the release of any equipment

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