Unclear on this right now, but check out these folding Pocket Rigs that are showing up online. The unit folds up to about the size of a standard battery grip, and folds out to provide chest plate, and two 15mm rails for getting a follow focus mounted. They are showing up as GeniusXeme rigs and i'm wondering if these are just rebranded Edelkrone pocket rigs. These were a big hit just a few weeks ago at NAB2012 along with two new Follow Focus systems.
[Update] Edelkrone writes in and states that the rig below is a counterfeit and has not been authorized to manufacture or sell such rig. Obviously they will be contacting that company to have the product removed. You can find the original Pocket Rig from Edelkrone at https://Edelkrone.com.
This is one of the best discussions I have read about the Pocket Micro. I'm keen to get one due to its small size and low price. I have read/watched a lot of reviews about the pocket rig and they seem to fall into either the camp of 'love it' or 'hate it'. The following are the criticisms:
1) doesn't give that much stability - answer: this is the penalty for ultra compactness. Nothing compares to a good tripod, a good monopod comes second, and a big, heavy, complex shoulder rig would obviously be better, but the pocket rig is a lot better than nothing when going ultra light and discrete.
2) settings tend to come loose - answer: seems later versions are better because Edelkrone has tweaked their product. However, a certain amount of re-tightening still necessary during filming.
3) a bit awkward to change battery when working - answer: every rig has this issue; to avoid it altogether you have to use externals like anton bauer batteries.
4) it rusts easily! - answer: it would help to know how much exposure to moisture those users had, and if their other gear was also rusting. However it does not indicate a quality product. But the alternatives are either cheap China rigs of guaranteed low quality, or uber-expensive zacuto, red rock millionaire etc.
5) hidden costs in shipping that you find out only when DHL contacts you.
6) long delivery times - answer: that user complained he had to wait over a month. I have ordered many things internationally and a month is fairly common.
7) this last one is worrying: the pocket rig's foot, i.e. the bit to attach it to other accessories like tripods, monopods, baseplates, is very narrow so it has way too little contact surface to ensure a good connection, resulting in a wobbly rig (!) and a damaged mounting plate. In the case of Manfrotto quick-release plates, the pocket rig's foot actually tears off the Manfrotto's rubber pads.
So there you have it. If Edelkrone reads this list of complaints and implements fixes they will have one awesome product. I think the increase in sales will far outweigh the cost of extra R&D. It will improve their international reputation and all their products will get better sales.
One last thing. While I appreciate punters on tight budgets will go for cheap China knock-offs, you'll find you save little in the long run because you end up with a poor quality product (let's face it). Meanwhile Edelkrone falls behind and can no longer put money into R&D. We all lose out because of this. It is happening to every area of manufacturing.
DO NOT BUY. This is the most uncomfortable rig ever! Yes the videos edelkrone puts out look awesome and make it seem really useful but i gaurentee you will never use it. The shoulder mount is extremely rigid and uncomfortable. It also slides alot and does not stay firm to your shoulder. Just a heads up.
Looks like a fantastic product- strong, compact, versatile, and user friendly. I definitely like the idea of supporting the originator, especially with their lifetime guarantee. The only issue I have is that there is no real supplier in the states (although SmallHD might be teaming up with them... it's confusing from the websites). This adds a pretty good add on to the total price, since the shipping is nearly $40.
Also, this makes repairs under the lifetime warranty more problematic- although they are trying to make this easier (they ask you to send them a video or an email of a video of the problem, and then they will ship the necessary parts with instructions and tools to perform the repair yourself.If it falls under the warranty they do not charge you for the shipment of the parts.) Therefore, if you need a quick repair...
Still, I'm very excited about the possibilities of the Pocket Rig, and am considering adding it to my arsenal
would really like to see sample video shot with this. Anyone have a link?
Looks really interesting, and on my list to buy down the road (the Edelkrone, not the copy). I have no problem paying a little premium to support guys like this. (RedRock/Zakuto vs Gini is another discussion due to my budget situation however)
@DaveT - thanks for posting all your info on the rig. Its definitely a rig that i am interested in. Thanks again.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. As long as you can buy a BMW X5 clone in China (even after BMW sued and lost), you'll see copies of photography gear.
If my operation ever gets more elaborate, Edelkrone will be the first people I call to order a Modula rig.
@DaveT - hmm thanks for the info. maybe i'll forget about trying to double duty this as part of a regular rig. looks like it's good for travel only
I was eager to see Edelkrone at NAB and was not disappointed. They are super nice guys, great designers and fine craftsmen. It is deplorable, if all too common, that some unethical rip-off artist would so shamelessly steal such an incredibly original and well-rendered design. At $299, the Edelkrone Pocket Rig is a great value - don't support the rip-off clowns to save 40 bucks (the cost of a knob from RedRock or Zacuto)
I like the guys from edelkrone (Turkey) and they showed a lot of great designs. I am sure that some of the competitors changed their designs after edelkrone showed their designs in the past 1-2 years.
But that rebrand copy is not worth the money because for 299 you get the original with lifetime guarantee direct from edelkrone.
the built quality of edelkrone is "1st class" regarding the price class. I sold all my chinese/India gear for Edelkrone parts.
@dave: That's a good point. For me it's all about speed of deployment. If it's attached to the camera and the same size as a battery grip, it can go in my bag as is, ready to go. The rest of the time it can sit in the bag in place of a lens or not at all. Also, I can carry it on a Black Rapid strap, shoot stills or video without having to do anything but swing out the shoulder stock...which also helps stabilize for low light stills.
@Frank: It puts the centre of mass much higher and the surface area of contact is very small...about a square inch. No matter what you mount it on from a small Manfrotto plate to a large video plate, it will wiggle and wobble and put a ton of stress on the threads. The only thing I feel comfortable using the tripod mount for is a Black Rapid d-ring for carry or a monopod for additional stability.
@dpict: Technically you can put a NEX on the Pocket Rig but it's not practical because it's so much bigger. What I meant was that if Edelkrone made a mini version just for mirrorless cameras which was smaller and lighter, I'd buy one.
Accessories just for mirrorless aren't really popular yet but it's coming as standard gear gets smaller and specialized items like cages become available. I just picked up a Que Audio mini shotgun and it's the perfect fit with a NEX7. Once compact accessories are available to match the small size of mirrorless cameras, a fully kitted camera will still weigh less than a bare bones DSLR.
@DaveT: This may sound silly, but how does the NEX-7 fit on the Pocket Rig as it is? I know a lot of people think it's against the point of the mirrorless to hang a bunch of equipment on it, but I'm using my NEX-5N as my primary video camera (my budget is a little stretched) with some old Canon FD primes, and I'm looking for a rod setup for a follow focus.
Thanks for the update. I was just about to chime in and say that it doesn't look 'rebranded' to me but ripped off and urge people to buy from the original designer, looks like you beat me to the punch in a way. Most the people who read your blog probably design stuff themselves and would understand why it's a better choice to buy from the designer anyway... neat looking rigs that guy has.
I'd be interested in seeing a DIY version of this with or without the rod support i think this would be great for the low impact shooting I do but I don't have the cash for it.
@JP - There are many non standard threads, but there are some 'standard' sized ones like a 1/2" x 13.
@JP - i haven't looked at a pocket rig in person and don't know exactly how the threads look. when i asked edelkrone about using different rods they just said it wouldn't work with the rods "out there". that's pretty much the only thing that stopped me from buying one, although they did mention they may come out with an extension kit.
@DaveT - what do you mean by the precarious tripod mount? does it spin or come loose? thanks
@JSS: I like it a lot. It's not perfect but it fills it's role very well.
I like the fact that I can deploy a stabilized 7D in seconds (including a follow focus) straight out of my ThinkTank Streetwalker Pro backpack the same as I use for my photography work...this alone makes it worth the money to me. Also consider that just a few months ago, the pocket rig was over $500. Compared to other rigs with a shoulder brace and 15mm rods, this is still quite cheap.
The build is amazing and the design is about perfect. I keep thinking of ways it could have been improved but always come up empty. The only down side (if you can call it that) is that the tripod mound on the bottom (kudos for having one at all!) is precarious. Good for a monopod to add additional support but not suitable for mounting directly to a slider or a fluid head. This makes it unsuitable as a one stop shop for most rod mounting needs unless you run and gun 100% of the time.
The Rods are long enough for most primes but not for a bigger zoom like a 70-200.
Keep in mind that the rods don't fully secure in the forward position. If your follow focus connects to one rod only and is a friction wheel...you might not be able to get it tight enough.
My favorite configuration by far (which is featured in one of the videos on the Edelkrone site) is using it as a body pod by folding the shoulder pad into a belt clip...work's fantastically.
I don't use it every time because I'm quickly becoming addicted to small mirrorless cameras like my NEX7. If Edelkrone made a mini Pocket Rig for mirrorless cameras, I'd buy immediately.
This rig looks cool at first, but I don't see the point in carrying the extra weight on the camera when not in use. I like that it folds up, but it'd be in my pack or pocket when not in use, not on the bottom of the camera.
Having had many rigs, I was always left with the impression that the rod threading is usually different from brand to brand. I've never heard of "standard threads", are there any brands out there who share the same thread design? I'd like to know for future compatibility.
p.s. I have one of the prototypes Pocket rigs, and although I can't comment on the final product, the chinese copy does look "messy" (weird finishing).
Also like others said, the prices seem really close to justify buying a copy, Edelkrone makes high quality products and offer warranty. Personally, I think it's reverse engineering, doesn't look like a re-brand, but hey, you never know.. 🙂
my question is whether the rod threads are standard, so that longer rods can be installed for non-traveling times. i emailed edelkrone a while ago and they said their threads weren't standard. i really hope these are. does anyone know?
I wonder if the Gini i-focus would easily reach the lens on these rails.
I also notice that the finishing on the rods of the copied version is not the same, but they definitely look indistinguishable besides those differences.
The Edelkrone Pocket Rigs I bought recently have a different sticker (no crown on he last e)than the older ones.
Also, the big screws are bare and the small ones are black.
The original cost 299.99 excluding shipping and comes with lifetime warranty and this copied version cost 259.99. Mines as well buy from Edelkrone and support the original designer of this rig.
@Dave I like the idea of the pocket rig but haven't found any reviews on it's practical use. What's your take on it? Is it something you use all the time? Do you recommend it?
Sorry for the questions but just want to know if it's worth dropping $300 on a rig for a person that is on a budget.
Gettin´ one of these for sure! Haha!
I have an Edelkrone Pocket Rig and the ones pictured on eBay are indistinguishable. Even the tiny details are the same with the exception that some of the screws are different (black vs bare) and the logo it etched in the Genius and on the Edelkrone it's a recess is machined with a plastic badge stuck on.
Everything is machined so it's possible to reverse engineer...a rebrand is more likely.
Edelkrones are made in Ankara, Turkey which is the manufacturing hub of that part of Europe. If it's anything like China, a rebrand is even more likely.