Samstag, 6. April 2013

Edelkrone Pocket Rig - Test

Today i received the Pocket Rig designed by the turkish company Edelkrone. A small little combination of a shoulder rig and a rail set including baseplate in a little collapsable construction that fits neatly underneath a normal camera size body ( 7D, 5D Mark X etc. ).

When i first saw it, i was just taken aback how smart and sleek the design was. It really looked like a tool that people invested a lot of thought into it. Especially as a traveling videojournalist that sometimes has to venture into areas difficult to access, you want to cut down on your equipment as much as possible. Every extra bag, every extra kilo can have significant influence if you can work properly or not. Being not exhausted out of your mind when showing up at the location and start to shoot right away, is extremely important. So the Pocket rig looked like mana from heaven.

After ordering it, i installed it on my camera and started to play around a while. Many people wrote about the shortcomings of the gear when it comes to construction and that it was more or less solved with an updated version. Owning one of the "new" versions, it kinda works fairly well. Nothing is perfect, and the pivot point is not perfect, but hanging on to a racing big truck on east african roads with one arm shooting with the other hand, im used to more extremes. So it was all manageable.

The shoulder brace is unfortunately designed with no "locking" mechanism. You can tighten the screws to the extend, that it is quite "strong" but you cant tighten it soo much, that it doesn't move. For a professional tool, that is something Edelkrone should try to fix Asap. With a fix mechanism, the shoulder brace could be super stable, making it a real powerful tool. Together with the rails it actually would be a great extension.

The biggest flaw that i personally found was the access to the battery compartment. The whole thing covers up the access to the battery. And that renders this whole construct pretty useless for run-and-gun. Shooting in news situations, you have to let the camera run most of the time, so not to miss certain situations. And that drains the battery of course. Having to "unmount" the whole Pocket Rig just to change a battery, renders the whole "mobility" advantage slightly useless. I would have still accepted it if there would be a "slide" option that with the press of a button would give me access to the battery compartment.

Edelkrone with  one rail extended and a Zacuto baseplate attached between the Edelkrone and the camera body
Battery compartment box is halfway accessible when a Zacuto baseplate is attached. But might render the rails more difficult to use.
I really admire the idea of the rig and i hope Edelkrone comes out with a version where they actually take care of that issue ( and give the current owners a chance to upgrade cheaply). Cause some of us were really excited about it. But as it is now, for many "on the street" situations i would not use it. It just falls short for me on that one issue. Edelkrone is on its right way with its ideas, but it has to be a little bit more serious with the implementation. Then we would have a truly great tool that i would never leave at home.

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