Sure, the Canon 5D Mark II and Nikon D90's HD video capability is pretty amazing, but since the camera chassis and lenses are a typical DSLR shape, they lack many things in terms of utility for serious movie-makers. And that's where Redrock's "cinematizing" kit comes in.It's designed to bolt around the camera and adds some serious mounting hardware, proper zoom and focus fine controls and lens hoods to the cameras. It certainly looks like an option to consider if you can't spring for a high-end Sony or RED cam. And though there's not much more info out there yet, the kit's supposed to be revealed today at the PhotoPlus event in New York, and the shipping date is rumored as November 1. [Prolost via OhGizmo]
As a filmmaker, I'd say this is probably THE gadget retcon of the decade. I am familiar with the RED camera(s), groundbreaking tool that it is, and other far more expensive HD video rigs. Good stuff, to be sure, but often out of the budget for an indie filmmaker.
So I was excited when the Canon 5D Mark II was released, recognizing not only was it relatively inexpensive but also could be serious multi-talented competition, usable for both still photography and as an HD "camcorder" with expanded dynamic range. However, out of the box, the 5D MKII just doesn't work as a capable filmmaking tool. For proper filmmaking, you must have extremely fine manual lens motion/focus control via a follow focus unit. And that's what this rig adds.
If this kit delivers as promised, and it isn't just a pseudo follow focus (i.e., only working as a servo-controlled "focus by wire" rig, which would not be properly controllable/repeatable), and if it is affordably priced—and, by affordably, I mean fits within an indie filmmaker's budget, not a Hollywood budget—this is a winner.