Hi all, long time lurker first time poster I guess.
I made a review video for a shoulder rig kit I bought a little while ago, then realised I didn't really have anywhere to share it (again, habitual lurker) and here we are :)
Kinda the reason I decided to do this review is that I tend to be pretty nervous buying gear from brands and companies I've never really heard of and can't find any reviews for online. I imagine I'm not alone in this feeling, and I've lurked as you all lust and argue over higher end rigs like Redrocks, Tiltas, Lanpartes etc, kinda wishing I had the money to afford one. I thought some of the lesser known brands (Proaim, Camtree, other weird ones you find on ebay) had some nice looking rigs that were in my price range if I saved but I couldn't find any reviews and I really hate wasting money.
In this case I ended up biting the bullet on this kit, a Camtree Hunt III Filmmaking Kit (yeah, it is probably is a copy of a similar Tilta rig) and I've been really happy with it. Camtree have actually added an audio splitter to the kit since I bought it for the same price, so it's even better now I guess. You do get a lot of bits for what you pay for (matte box with flags, follow focus, very nice handles, rods, a battery mount & cables, etc) and the quality is quite good, but I've waffled enough. Have a watch and let me know what you think, and if you have any questions feel free to ask (I've added a massive amount of little comments to the Youtube description too), I don't want to seem like I've just randomly shown up to be shill or anything ^_^
Here's a link to the site I bought it from if you want to have a looksie:
Since I am new here I thought I will start of with a review. Still in hope, that this is the right place to post something like this. But I do get an incredible amount of information from this side so I thought maybe someone is interessted in a low budged shoulder rig. I certainly have been and I could not find a lot on this anywhere so I thought why not give something back. If it's the wrong place please just let me know or delete it or so :/
Letâ€™s get to the review already.
The rig I am talking about:
Since I live in Austria it is not that easy to test a lot of different quality video gear and I have been looking for a shouldermount/cage for quite a while. A friend of mine has imported quite some stuff from the US and all over the world, so his stuff was/is my reference. He owns some wooden camera stuff (which I guess is some kind of standard) and quite some manfrotto things among diverse other brands. The most important feature for me was, that the system has to be versatile and offer a lot of flexibility.
Everything is made of black aluminum which looks and feels great and has the perfect amount of weight to it (thus still keeping everything light weight enough to carry it around for a while). Processing is seamless for the most parts. The only thing I found are the edges of the cage brackets are a little sharp on some parts (I used sandpaper to get rid of them, now everything is smooth again). I had no issues with loose parts or loosening screws so far and I donâ€™t think there will be any problems anytime soon.
Accessoires and packaging
The number of accessories that come with this set is incredible. In fact there are so many, that I didnâ€™t even knew what to do with every part when I first saw it. It is equipped with 9 15mm rods (!!) with gives you a lot of possibilities to mount stuff together. You can have a look at everything that is shipped via the link below. And everything has its own space in the amazing box the ship it in so nothing gets a scratch or anything the like.
In fact there are so many accessories that I was able to make two rigs out of everything! One small handheld and a larger shoulder mounted rig. You can mount literally a hundred different things to the cage up to a point where you canâ€™t really carry it anymore because it is just too heavy ;)
Ease of use and long term work experiences
I had more than just one chance to use my rig now and there are many ups and some minor downs to it. Proaimshop.com is very thoughtful with every request you send them and the really have always a solution to a problem you might face. The First thing I didnâ€™t like about the kit is the shoulder pad itself that comes as standard with the kit. It is not really soft and very small and it can not offer you a lot of stress relief on your arms. Another thing I didnâ€™t like (or need) was the quick release system. I already use one system and mixing different systems together is counterproductive. With all that being said here is the great thing about proaimshop.com: I wrote them that I donâ€™t need the quick release system and if I could get some extra handles instead and it was no problem at all. I had to ge the shoulder pad with a different shipment tough because I didnâ€™t know that I would not like it. So I would suggest to get a different shoulder pad on your first order. (I have and love this one: http://www.proaimshop.com/New_Images/DSLR_Rigs/CAMTREE-HUNT-Quick-Mount-DSLR-camera-Rig-(CH-QM-SR)-Pad.jpg)
Now to the ease of use part: the rig is thought through and this makes it easy to adapt to any situation while shooting. The thumbscrews make it easy to tighten everything up or make the rig smaller if you need to (I would suggest some iron washers tough because the plastic things that come with it tend to break if you tighten the screws to strong). Besides the breaking plastic washers I have not a single scratch or anything on my rig and it has been through some serious video shoots!
EDIT: The cage is tall enough for a 5D MK3 plus battery grip so you should easily fit every DSLR out there =)
This kit is just amazingly versatile and for its price it is unbeatable! I can really recommend everything from proaimshop I bought so far (which you can find in the link section below) even when compared to wooden camera or manfrotto stuff. The customer service is amazing as well and shipping is surprisingly fast. All in all itâ€™s just an amazing product with only very little minus points.
If you have any specific questions please feel free to ask! I will try to answer everything. I purposefully did not attach any foots because the pictures on their side are really representative and everything looks like on their pictures. If you however want a picture of a special part or something the like I can make pictures and send them to you!
The rig I was talking about:
Crane (I love it - it is like the aviator travel jib or kessler pocket jib)
Flycam (you couldnâ€™t want anything more from it)
Cheap and good enough slider
ps: since, as mentioned above, I am from Austria my english may not be perfect, please connive at it :) also this is my very first review so you may forgive me that as well ;) I am not payed by proaimshop.com or anyone else to write this, it really is just my opinion and I understand that there might be some people who do not like pro aim stuff.
Panasonic GH2 hacked
Moon Trial 5 hack, shot in 1080p HBR mode 25 fps (~ 60Mbps)
Standard profile -2-2-2-2
Panasonic 14-42mm kitlens, OIS on.
Looks like there are some dropped frames in the GH2 footage, did use a Sandisk 95MB/s card though...
AVCHD 1080p 25 fps (24Mbps)
Standard profile -5-5-5-5
Panasonic 14-42mm kitlens, OIS on.
Everything shot with the same fixed white balance at 1/50s, various apertures but same on both camera's at all times.
My first impressions:
The G6 looks better to me. Better shadow detail and a bit more detail in the highlights. Probably due to flatter picture.
The G6 shares the picture styles with the GH3, so no smooth like on the GH2. Kept both camera's on standard to keep it as close as possible. Everything dialed down maximum.
Less noise at high iso's, less banding. Couldn't detect any moire.
Looks a tad less sharp than (hacked) GH2, but that could be up to the sharpening at -5. With some sharpening probably same detail level.
Rolling shutter looks the same to me.
Although the G6 is a bit smaller I actually prefer the grip to the GH2. It holds very nicely. The lcd is much much better. The color cast on the GH2 screen is horrible. The G6 looks pretty natural and true to the output. Funny thing: the viewfinder looks quite smaller to me.