Mega HDSLR rig review on C5D

The guys at Cinema5D have had some fun recently. They received a bunch of rigs from various suppliers and tested them from a HDSLR user perspective. We have done this in the past, but their work is at a total different level of scale! 62 pages of review! It is actually because of them that some of the reviews I was supposed to write were delayed: all the demo gear was stuck in Austria!

While I agree with some of their evaluations and I like how demanding they seemed to be, I don’t agree with some of the ratings, or think they should be put into context. You cant really judge a rig by trying it out in a test environment, no matter the amount of experience you have. These few minutes are good to reveal big flaws and general feeling but not how a rig performs for a real job where you have to carry the darn thing on your back a whole day! Then again, not every camera operator has to walk the whole day with a rig on his back. This is my main complain: the review seem to have been done from a single point of view: film making.

That is why, when I write reviews, I do it from the perspective the product was develop for and I don’t believe every piece of gear should perform at the same level for the same job.

Also, (from my understanding) these rigs have been reviewed by pros who are used to work with high end gear (Arri and the likes) so they might have a higher level of requirements regarding ‘built quality’ than average Joe who wants to make his first movie!

There are some missing rigs too, like the Shape WBL Sumo 2 which would have probably scored very high since its design is similar to the Vocas, but at a fraction of the price and much more stable.

While not an end by itself, I think the work on the C5D team should be used as a starting point to anyone interested in getting a rig.

Now the question is: are we going to see some of the lowest rated rigs for sale on the market place?

About Tommy

Photography allows me to be what I want to be, to be where I want to be, and to do what I want to do ... I'm not professional photographer and I don't need a title, I love to take photographs and that is what I do, I love to learn and I always try to do it better ...

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  • david

    Looking at the pictures of the WLB I can’t see an offset between the camera and shoulder support so you need to lean towards the camera, right? I imagine it’s not very ergonomical.

    • admin

      It is an option. It is a standard Manfrotto piece. But what you are saying is true: any camera who cant be offset wont be comfortable. Even more so if you use a viewfinder!

  • christopher R

    What do you mean by offset? I know what an offset arm from Manfrotto is but what exactly would it be used for in the case of the WBL shoulder rig?

    • admin

      It is just a small bracket so the camera can be off axis and in front of your face instead of being in front of your shoulder.

  • christopher R

    More lame questions =)

    What followfocus would you recommend for this particular rig (SUMO)? If you’d like to email me and help me in a quick discussion it would be tremendous. There are tons of reviews out but it’s best to hear from the source =)

  • David

    Yeah, a late thanks for the tip about the Manfrotto 143BKT. Though I can’t see the reason for having a railssystem when you plan to offset the camera from the rails anyway? Am I being stupid? :S
    Would love to have a closer look at the Sumo anyhow, pitty there’s no Shape WLB-distributor/dealer here in Sweden.

  • david

    never mind, this isn’t a railssystem, obviously…