Pricing aside, what does it have to offer? The larger stabilizer should hold 10lbs on the top fairly easy. That's a bit more than the weight a Glidecam HD4000 is rated at. The unit is all metal, lightweight, and gimbal is very smooth. The top stage adjusts forward/back/left/right to center your camera. To balance the entire stabilizer, the Gimbal can be positioned further up or down the post.
The arm is huge and very well made. It can be positioned either left or right side by flipping the mounting bracket. It can definitely carry some heavy weight, but isn't designed to be fine tuned for light weight setups. (The Merlin vest can be tuned for light camera setups). The Padded Vest is very lightweight, easy to slip on/off and adjust various ways for comfort. From an operator's point of view, the Konova arm is much easier to place into the vest system than a Steadicam Merlin Vest (I just leave the Merlin Arm on all the time) and also easier to remove when breaking down. The stabilizer comes with a stand adapter (attaches to a light stand) to dock the stabilizer when not in use.
Let's talk cons. Well price is one. There are already so many other options on the market with either the same price or cheaper. Unless they can bring the price down, it's going to be a tough market to crack. It offers nothing different than what is already available. This unit is wired, but is missing HDMI. HDMI seems to be a growing trend not just for DSLRs, but for other popular cameras under 10lbs. (i'm going to mod this one with my own HDMI). The monitor that it comes with is outdated too, so I'll be switching that out with the SmallHD DP6. So that's it so far, and i'll be taking it out for a test as soon as I can build it up to my liking. Stay tuned.
This ends up being a huge time saver for me as I was going to run through some of the Zacuto EVF menu options. Here's a nice run through the menu on how to scale just about any video input type with the Zacuto EVF. I'll try to run through the SmallHD DP4 menu, which also has great scaling options, but for stored custom fuctions, and camera profiles the DP4 is not as elaborate as this Zacuto EVF menu. Different packages for the Z-EVF start around $640 (click here).
Good point brought up in the comment section about the SmallHD DP4 EVF 'not' having a lens cap to cover the glass. This could be tragic if you happen to leave it out in the sun. Since the SmallHD EVF uses standard 46mm threaded filters, the solution should be as simple as a basic lens cap available pretty much everywhere: Lens Cap for SmallHD Diopter
If you want one fast, there are a variety available on Amazon including some with Leica and Panasonic logos. They use the same 46mm size on many of their lenses (click here).
To make sure you prevent losing it and have it handy at all times, grab a set of very inexpensive lens cap keeper leashes (also good for your other lens caps) found below.
Lens Cap Keepers
Now that the SmallHD DP4 and Zacuto EVF have made electronic viewfinders for DSLRs (somewhat) affordable, you'll see some popularity around straight inline shoulder rigs. Popular DSLR rigs used an offset to place the entire camera in front of the operator. Although DSLRs are light weight, once you add a few items like recorders, lights, microphones, and follow focuses, you're managing a few pounds over the hands. Pretty tiring and less stable.
Like conventional video cameras, the straight inline rigs align all of the heavy weight over the shoulder (better on your back) and less outwards over the hands. Only the EVF needs to be positioned in front of the operators eye. Straight inline DSLR shoulder rigs + an EVF can help you towards building a more balanced, stable rig, not to mention overall lighter on the hands. If you're not looking into an expensive EVF, you can still offset an inexpensive small LCD monitor (as seen above).
Instead of dropping a few grand with a Redrock config, there's a few similar rigs you might want to look into over at Express35. These straight inline shoulder rigs are bundled with a comfortable contoured shoulder pad and counterweight. These are well designed for EVF or small LCD monitor use. (seen above). You can find those rigs at the site (click here). If all you're looking for is a DSLR baseplate, Tripod Mount, and a basic rail set for your Follow Focus, there's also a weekend sale on the basic rail set going on right now too found here.
The SmallHD DP6 is a serious monitor with some seriously cool features. The price tag may not hit home for the starting shooter, but if you're shopping for a monitor around the 5" mark, the SmallHD puts most others to shame. We're not talking your average 800x480 resolution (yes check those LCD specs carefully), we're talking about a true HD display at 1280x800. The housing is milled aluminum, much like how a MacBook pro is built. It's solid, but at the same time lightweight. Especially if you're shooting with Canon, the DP6 monitor has special features designed to scale video signals for Canon DSLRs which don't usually output in Full HD.
Don't be afraid to step into something that could get outdated quickly. SmallHD has put some forward thinking into their products with a USB port and 2GB thumb drive to make sure you can download and install any new firmware updates. Two features you won't find in cheaper monitors include False Color to help you check for clipping blacks or blown highlights, Peaking to help you ensure things are in focus. If you rely heavily on external monitoring from your video camera, you'll need something better than good, and the SmallHD is a great solid product. SmallHD will also be releasing a new DP4 - 4" LCD specifically designed to be used with a ViewFinder Loupe entering the EVF market. More about SmallHD products can be found at https://smallhd.com