I just saw on Planet5D a Red Rock Micro product announcement: the Nano rigs. Basically, these are small HDSLR rigs similar to the Zacuto Striker line but cheaper.
I haven’t tested these rigs yet. Actually, knowning RRM order policy, it could take months before I do. They build everything in JIT mode (just in time) which basically means that once you place an order, it could take a while to get it. Here it is, directly from their web site:
Build to order
All products are product on a build-to-order process. You place your order and pay in advance, and we put your order into the production process and ship it to you when it is ready. This process allows us to minimize inventory costs, and helps us to provide the low prices to you without sacrificing quality.
I don’t know if things have changed, but I know some visitors contacted me last year telling me they had to wait weeks before getting their gear (many had to cancel their orders and moved to the Z store).
So, let’s take a quick look at these rigs.
WTF? Do you really think I am going to trust a camera hot shoe to hold my HDSLR? Unless you are using one of the smallest HDSLRs, I would totally advice against this rig and even Canon says (somewhere that I can’t find for the sake of Google) that you should never hold your camera from the hot shoe! Have they tried it with a 5DMrkII + 16-35L?.
Also, from a usability point of view, I really wonder if they ever tested the rig outside of a studio photoshoot. The position of the handle is totally wrong! With the camera weight all in front of the handle, a lot of pressure is put on the wrist to keep the camera straight instead of pointing down. A few minute of this and your wrist is either tired or injured. Look at this model, does she look relaxed?
The product description says:
The Grippit is a simple economical way to create added stability in a minimalist rig. A sturdy rubberized grip combined with the nano DSLR baseplate keeps hands off the camera and results in smoother video.
Do they test their products or what? How can handling your HDSLR in one hand increase stability? Don’t they know basic math: the further a point is from its center of rotation, the less stable it is. This rig put the axis of rotation about 6 inches off the camera. How could this be more stable than just holding the camera in your hand?
The only use I can find for this rig is for very small HDSLR that are actually lighter than the GripIt so it adds from weight to it.
This one is actually ok. It looks like a simplified version of the Zacuto Striker with less adjustment knobs. I will have to wait until I get better pictures of the rig to comment.
You may think I don’t like RRM and you are right. My experience so far with their products has been very bad. The HDSLR revolution started two years ago and this product line does not offer anything new from a design perspective. To me, it looks more like a marketing push to increase sales than anything else. Come on! These are not real new products, these are just new packaging of already existing parts.
There is a reason why I don’t put RRM ads on my site, and I don’t think this article is going to help! If you see any bloggers excited about this announcement, you can bet they are building a relationship with RRM.