Crappy new rigs from Red Rock Micro

I just saw on Planet5D a Red Rock Micro product announcement: the Nano rigs. Basically, these are small HDSLR rigs similar to the Zacuto Striker line but cheaper.

—Disclaimer—
I haven’t tested these rigs yet. Actually, knowning RRM order policy, it could take months before I do. They build everything in JIT mode (just in time) which basically means that once you place an order, it could take a while to get it. Here it is, directly from their web site:

Build to order
All products are product on a build-to-order process. You place your order and pay in advance, and we put your order into the production process and ship it to you when it is ready. This process allows us to minimize inventory costs, and helps us to provide the low prices to you without sacrificing quality.
I don’t know if things have changed, but I know some visitors contacted me last year telling me they had to wait weeks before getting their gear (many had to cancel their orders and moved to the Z store).

—End disclaimer—

So, let’s take a quick look at these rigs.

The LowDown


WTF? Do you really think I am going to trust a camera hot shoe to hold my HDSLR? Unless you are using one of the smallest HDSLRs, I would totally advice against this rig and even Canon says (somewhere that I can’t find for the sake of Google) that you should never hold your camera from the hot shoe! Have they tried it with a 5DMrkII + 16-35L?.

Also, from a usability point of view, I really wonder if they ever tested the rig outside of a studio photoshoot. The position of the handle is totally wrong! With the camera weight all in front of the handle, a lot of pressure is put on the wrist to keep the camera straight instead of pointing down. A few minute of this and your wrist is either tired or injured. Look at this model, does she look relaxed?

GripIt

The product description says:
The Grippit is a simple economical way to create added stability in a minimalist rig. A sturdy rubberized grip combined with the nano DSLR baseplate keeps hands off the camera and results in smoother video.

Do they test their products or what? How can handling your HDSLR in one hand increase stability? Don’t they know basic math: the further a point is from its center of rotation, the less stable it is. This rig put the axis of rotation about 6 inches off the camera. How could this be more stable than just holding the camera in your hand?

The only use I can find for this rig is for very small HDSLR that are actually lighter than the GripIt so it adds from weight to it.

Running Man

This one is actually ok. It looks like a simplified version of the Zacuto Striker with less adjustment knobs. I will have to wait until I get better pictures of the rig to comment.

Conclusion

You may think I don’t like RRM and you are right. My experience so far with their products has been very bad. The HDSLR revolution started two years ago and this product line does not offer anything new from a design perspective. To me, it looks more like a marketing push to increase sales than anything else. Come on! These are not real new products, these are just new packaging of already existing parts.

There is a reason why I don’t put RRM ads on my site, and I don’t think this article is going to help! If you see any bloggers excited about this announcement, you can bet they are building a relationship with RRM.

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 ...
  • thomas

    Flash shoes are not meant for anything other than a flash! wake up people!

  • Wade

    Agreed with Thomas. Also – thanks for the advice. I love the blog.

    14 year old 7D photographer

  • Ron Baselice

    I made my own “Nano’ months ago using RRM parts. Search for Cheap Zucato alternative on the cinema 5D forums. The rig works BUT it’s just to hold me over until I can afford the DvTec SLR Rig…

  • http://cameraguyzack.blogspot.com Zack Jones

    Wow that expression on that woman’s face is scary! No one gets that excited about this stuff, do they?? :)

  • http://www.directorgregtaylor.com Greg

    Sorry mate, but you can’t seriously write this stuff without ever even seeing it, let alone actually use it and god forbit….test it! I must admit, I really dont like the redrock stuff that I have used. Mainly because the thumbscrews on the models I have used have been atrocious and the fit of the bars through the rail supports is way too tight and often just sticks, making building a full rig last about 2 hours. BUT I have tested this stuff, over a period of about 10-20 shoots. How you can just say that it ‘looks’ like it doesn’t work just confuses me and devalues your journalistic integrity. This was the first and will be the last time I will visit your blog.

    • admin

      I think it was clear that this was my opinion on the rigs based on pictures and my experience (I have tested ALOT of rigs). FYI I am in contact with RRM and will publish a follow up article including their reactions to my comments.

      BTW, I take pride in personally testing every piece of gear I review. That is why I always take picture of the product instead of using pictures from the suppliers. This way, people know I have actually owned the gear / read the book.

      If this is not integrity, I dont know what it is.

  • Amadeo

    Redrock does make crappy stuff, expensive crappy stuff. Originially I wanted to purchase from them but after attending an expo and checking out their products versus Zacuto, Zacuto is way ahead of the game. Redrock rigs are always being sold on craigslist. The only thing Im very curious to try is the wireless follow focus they where suppost to come out with (4 months ago).

  • dippen

    glad to hear a dissenting view. i was about to jump and buy one before reading your review.

    • admin

      I didnt do a review. Reviews need actual usage, these are just my impressions based on the published material. If you wait for a month, I am sure some people will confirm (or not) my points.

  • sven harrison

    the 9 shooter rig blows them all away

    http://blog.nineshooter.com :)

  • sven harrison

    oops! here is the right address: the 9 shooter rig blows them all away

    http://blog.9shooter.com

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