Pimp my HDSLR!

We love putting crazy things in front of our 550d and building things to support it (see below)…

e.g. 1: We needed a matte box in a hurry, so we threw one together from some aluminium we had in the store room.

e.g. 2: Then we mounted it on a rig we made from some steel tubing, steel plate and an old tripod!

…but we’ve realised that some (read most) of the madcap workarounds we have come up with over the last 6 months or so are not exactly repeatable so there’s little/no point in reviewing them for you.

So! (takes a very deep breath)… Over the coming months we are planning a huge run of product testing. Everything from follow focuses through eyepieces to full rigs and dollies/cranes. If you can attach it to an HDSLR (or attach an HDSLR to it), we want to review it it.

Some of the more popular pieces of kit we already own and have used to death (which will make reviewing it easy) whilst other stuff has yet to pass through our hands. In order to be as fair as we can to as many suppliers as possible, we’ll be contacting many of the key manufacturers and/or suppliers and asking if they’d be so kind as to send us what they consider to be their most HDSLR friendly products. Then, with as complete a balance of items as possible, we’ll bolt them on and run a series of comparative tests to find out how they hold up.

Some of the tests will be measurable and we’ll show you direct comparisons of data whilst others will be subjective, reflecting our view of how well the item fits into a practical workflow. Since we have no affiliations with any suppliers, we’re free to be as brutal as need be and we’ve no qualms about tearing a sub-standard item to shreds, just as we’re happy to pile heaps of praise upon those items which stand out from the crowd.

Rating guide
All of our tests will result in an overall rating (1-5) with a breakdown reflecting performance against each of the following criteria:

Ease of use: When you’re on a busy set, will it slow you down?
Build quality: Is it robust enough to meet the needs of a demanding shoot?
Functionality: Does it make shooting easier or is it just a gimmick?
Sex appeal: Does it have that ‘wow’ factor?
Value for money: Is it worth breaking the bank for?

Overall Rating

Bloody awful, keep your cash in your pocket.

Well, that was a bit of a let down.

It does what it says it will do… no more, no less.

Better than OK. Still not great, but pretty darned close.

How did we manage without it? Stop reading this and go buy one!

It’s going to take a little time to convince people that we won’t be harsh for the sake of it and that it’ll be in their interests to send us some equipment to test. Then we need to devise and run the tests.

Luckily, we’re passionate about our HDSLRs and can’t wait to get stuck in!

Watch this space…


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