Karl writes in and shares a new video camera slider from Gini Rigs. It's a double rail system that looks like it runs on linear motion bearings, and comes with a stop clamp so you don't overrun your slide. [Thanks Karl]
Of all the current slider systems on the market, i'm not really impressed with this design, or the almost $500 dollar price tag. I sort of feel Gini has lost focus on what made the rigs popular with DSLR Video and is now mainly focusing more on Red Scarlet and Epic cages with high prices. If you care to see more about the slider or the other products in the lineup, you can check it out at the Gini eBay store (click here).
We had a brief look at the Focus One Pro at NAB 2012, but there were some slight changes since then. For those who have been following the product, here's an inside look from YouTube member lkwan78 as he shares his thoughts on the latest Follow Focus from Edelkrone [Thanks Luke]. For reference, the other Follow Focus systems mentioned in this video are from a company called TrusMT (seen here) and the new Gini iFocus (seen here).
Gini is still adding more RED Scarlet cages and misc parts to the lineup. This time what he calls Apple, possibly for its greenish color? Let's hope once the BlackMagic Cinema camera comes out, we'll see something for that too, because that camera really needs it.
At NAB2012 this year, I saw a few manufacturers making designs for the RED Scarlet. I guess this camera ended up being fairly popular for it's price point. In an interesting new twist, Gini Rigs has decided to make a custom video cage bracket for the RED Scarlet. I'm not a RED user myself, but maybe some of you can tell wether it looks like an original design or inspired by another? Products include a complete cage, or Top and Bottom plate sold separately. Find it at the ebay store (click here).
Above is a Gini iFocus Follow Focus I use, and have a video review about it (here). One of the shortcomings of this design is that the gear is not reversible, so it could be tricky trying to align it with short lenses, or sometimes you can't get it far enough on short 15mm rods. The marking indicator is also at a fixed position so you have to be able to see this in use. Outside of those small issues, the iFollow Focus is one heavy well crafted solid unit, with almost no backlash.
Recently some images for Gini Rigs on auction show a slightly modified Follow Focus with a shaft (above). This clearly shows that the gear can now be removed from one side and installed on the opposite, making it a reversible Follow Focus. One thing I can't seem to locate though is if there is a change with the marking indicator. Aside from the new shaft poking out the opposite side, it looks almost exactly like my iFocus. So the question is does the shaft design have more / less backlash or maybe it's the same? There doesn't seem to be an official name for this new FF, and he still has the original iFocus available on many bundles. If you're shopping, look carefully when choosing a rig that comes with an FF. If you guys happen to get one of the new ones, would love to see more about the differences.
Anyone check out the Gini DSLR Cages for Panasonic GH1 and GH2 cameras? Snug fit, looks nice, but crazy expensive. [Thanks Habez] Gini's DSLR Video cages were recently criticized about the lack of 1/4x20 threaded ports which is most common for adding accessories, and ends up using a different thread pitch. People have had to drill and tap the holes themselves in order to be usable. From the deign, this one doesn't appear to be any different. Maybe i'm wrong about the thread size. Comes with two handles, two monitor arms, and cage. (click here for Gini DSLR cages for GH1 and GH2 cameras).
The great thing about building your own rig is being able to design it specifically for your own needs. Of course most of how we assemble things together are based on what products are available to us. When we're introduced to new products, it opens up so much more possibilities. Industry standard 15mm rails are great for building form and support for your cameras, but here's a new concept that also add more function.
The P&C Swiss Rod has a few inches of 15mm rod on each end, and in the middle are alternating threaded and non-threaded holes. The pass through is designed so that items like a hot shoe can be positioned correctly before tightening. The male/female ends of the Swiss Rod are industry standard and can be used to extend (attach) to other manufacturer rods like Gini, Letus, and I believe even Zacuto, and more. The wide squarish design of the rod also helps nano clamps from slipping.
Even if you're not trying to replace rails on your build, by just adding a single P&C Swiss Rod, you open up totally new mounting options. The 1/4" studs can always be stepped up to 3/8" if needed. Taking advantage of the basic threaded ports, we've also found creative ways to mount the Swiss Rods on light stands or on the hot shoe of the camera to hold many accessories. With several items attached to one rod, the entire rod becomes a quick release system mounted to a simple 15mm clamp. The rods will be available from PhotographyandCinema.com
The very early DSLR Cages from Gini supported standard 15mm rods, and basic 1/4 x 20 threads. In the last few weeks, there's been dozens of comments regarding some major changes in his designs that no longer support Industry Standard mounts. WTF Gini? There's no real rhyme or reason, other than he might be working on future 'proprietary' accessory mounts that you'd probably have to pick up from him. So I would stay clear from any of the cages, but luckily his DSLR rigs are still the best deal for the quality and Industry Standard. (Click here to see Gini DSLR Cage Designs)
Ironic that something like this could happen, because I have had in my hands the final designs for the new PNC (photographyandcinema.com) DSLR Cages. I posted an article about these cages earlier here: http://cheesycam.com/pnc-dslr-cage-brackets/. These new cages (industry standard of course) will have be offered in very affordable version, and one with a little more machine work and feature set.
If you're shopping for a nice quality affordable DSLR cage, you might steer clear of the Gini (non-standard) designs, and hang tight for the new PNC stuff coming out soon. Make sure to follow me on Twitter when that's announced...
The cheap Speed Crank came in the other day. It's a perfect fit on the Gini iFocus Follow Focus which is pretty standard 12x12, so it would work well on other FFs too. It does have a retro '1980's PacMan Arcade Joystick Red' color, but can easily be coated. The Red knob actually screws off if you wanted to mount something else, like say Dice or a Skull. LOL. The rest of the unit is all black anodized aluminum, not cheap plastic. For the price, i'm not complaining, quite happy actually. You can push or pull the FF with a single finger, and feels like there's a bit more control. I guess it's just more leverage with a longer lever.
If you need to have your hands further from a Follow Focus, there are a number of whips available now too. These whips vary in lengths from short to very long, and are slightly flexible so that you can turn the follow focus from different positions around the camera. Helpful for someone who's managing a shoulder rig alone, or if you have someone pulling focus for you.
Flexible Follow Focus Whip