The folding Fancier Mini Rig with quick release, shoulder pad, and counterweight I reviewed not long ago (found here) is now available to the UK following the link below. Best offers for £110 UK Pounds for anyone who mentions Cheesycam will be accepted and delivered free to UK.
I'm all for traveling light, shooting with small cameras, and using Mini Stabilizer Rigs, but I don't know about this new one. It's being offered from the same guys selling the inexpensive single filter DSLR Mattebox (found here).
This new Mini Rig is a two handle flat folding design, that can be reconfigured for an offset. Looks cool, but things just seem out of place. The shoulder pad to handle distance is way too short, and the camera will probably sit too low (no riser). Nice try fellas, but I don't think this mini rig configuration is going anywhere. (Nevermind. Looks like sold at least 10 already).
I forget who asked, but here's the size of the latest Fancier Mini Rig next to the Express35 Event Rig. You can see why a small micro four thirds or Sony NEX-5n / NEX-7 would look more at home on the smaller stabilizer. With some accessory clamps, it's possible to mount small accessories like a Zoom H1, Z96 LED light, and small Rode VideoMic Pro. Of course the minimal rods are not designed to expand into follow focus or matte box accessories. A better look at the Fancier can be found in an earlier article (here). As of now, I think the only place it's available is on Amazon (here).
Fancier is back with a portable stabilizer rig. The first time they tried to do this, I reviewed one of their rigs and it didn't go over so well. You could find that old article (click here). I guess they were listening to feedback and made some really good changes. First, they got rid of all the plastic knobs - those were just meant to crack and fall off. They've also priced this new mini rig around what's currently on the market, but it also has much better quality than the one provided with the RJ focus.
The counterweight is a clever flat folding design which adds stability, and it makes for easy travel. There's nothing I could say about the shoulder pad, except that it completely lacks one. It's just a very thin foam lining. The only other thing you could easily point out as 'not-so-good-quality' is the handles. It's a nice contour design and easy on the hands, but it's a faux rubber plastic mold. Don't get me wrong, the handles don't feel frail like it could break. I'm sure they'll take quite a beating. I guess they could be easy enough to rewrap or cover if needed.
The FTV-50 rig is based on 15mm rod and clamp rigs, so it's possible to expand, but as it is now, it will not support something like a follow focus. My guess is it's targeting all the new hot little video cameras coming out from Pentax, Sony, Olympus, and Panasonic. Very little parts, but completely adjustable in all manners.
It has one hotshoe in the rear and two 1/4-20" threaded holes which you can add accessory arms to. Since the whole rig is based on common 15mm rails you could find optional clamps if you want to mount more. Why they still choose blue is beyond anyone's guess, but it doesn't look too flashy and at the same time doesn't look at all cheap. The price is floating around $130 dollars which is fair, but hopefully we'll see more cheaper rigs from Fancier in the near future. You can find the FTV-50 from Fancier on Amazon (click here).