Some frequently asked questions
Hey guys! We’ve been overflowing with positive responses since our NAB launch last April. Thanks to everyone who’s been so supportive! I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about and hopefully demystify some common comments and concerns we’ve been hearing.
At NAB, we got this one a few times. With our beta weighing in at about 10 pounds, the RNG is not a super light-weight instrument. It’s substantial, but when compared with a broadcast ENG camera such as the Sony PMW-350 or a VariCam, it’s a walk in the park. Add a few accessories to the rig and a battery, and the system might get up to 14lbs. BUT–so does a similar rig with everything attached to match it in functionality.
The problem is in the word “rig” because the RNG is not just a way to hold the camera, it’s an electronic product. So while the system does appear to be quite beefy, and it is heavier than a naked rail system, in the end the weight factor is in line with many other popular rigs.
While the beta’s final weight was about 10.2lbs, our production model weighs in closer to 8lbs because we used a different grade of steel for the core enclosure as well as cut out some weight from the aluminum frame.
Let’s talk about what you’re getting. Bottom line, you’re getting a tool that is going to take care of you. Not only that, it’s hand-built. Nuff said? Maybe not, so let’s look more closely.
First off, you’re getting camera support. Say a competing product costs you about $1500 for just the rails, handle grips, etc. Congrats, you’ve got a way to hold the camera, but you still have to put some stuff on it. Next, you want to have better control of your audio, so you drop another $450 for a preamplifier. Bam, you’ve just spent about $2k after shipping and taxes. But–you’re not done yet. You need a method for putting a battery of some kind on it. There are many different solutions out there for power distro, some as low as $50, some as high as $300. There’s little need left for math in this equation. Not to mention we’ve created a way to use a BP-U60 battery with the system, which costs much less than gold and v-lock batteries.
The rest of it really goes into thought and careful design. Instead of having a “Frankenstein” rig at the end of the day, you instead have something that more resembles an ENG camera. All of the bells and whistles are tucked in nicely and protected and it balances nicely on the shoulder. Not to mention, it’s vibration-proof, splash-proof and can handle temperature extremes.
So…..is it expensive? There may be some sticker shock involved when you see the cost of a function rig all up front, but at the end of the day, if you’re spending this kind of money to accommodate a DSLR anyways, you might as well put it into one single device that’s going to take care of you in the field.
True, you can raise the point that you can purchase a camera such as the FS7 for a similar price in the end, but that would have to hold up across the spectrum of companies out there who are still creating standalone products for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. Not to mention, you still have to put a lens, battery and ergonomic solution on an FS7.
At the end of the day, people love their cameras and will do whatever they can to adapt them to their professional needs. For many people, an RNG fits the bill.
“IT SHOULD RECORD AUDIO, THE CAMERAS’ AUDIO RECORDING ISN’T GOOD QUALITY.”
Actually, in our testing with Canon DSLRs, the audio performance with the rig was fantastic! But this feature is again really dictated by need. The RNG is really built for documentary-style shooting, meaning that having the ability to record audio direct-to-camera is a must. Our philosophy is also to aid the one-man-band shooter, many of whom are looking for a solution other than an external audio recorder because it’s another device for them to manage.
However if you want to use an external audio recorder, there are ways to attach one to the unit to be used with the device’s mic level outputs.
“IT LOOKS RIDICULOUS HAVING A TINY CAMERA ON A BIG RIG.”
Well…..people are gonna do it anyways.
Not to mention, we’ve heard many people say that they’ve shown up to jobs with DSLR and smaller cameras only to be berated either by production or the hiring company because the camera doesn’t appear to be professional enough. It’s now possible to get a truly professional image with a camera that only costs a few hundred dollars, but they just don’t “look” as impressive as an expensive camera sitting there on set. The RNG helps that image problem by making a small camera look mean while providing useful audio and power tools.
“IT’S FIVE YEARS TOO LATE.”
We started developing almost two years ago, and here we are in 2015 where DSLR type cameras are one of many incredible options. First of all, there’s a huge difference between the cameras that people talk about and the cameras people use. We’ve done extensive research here and found that while there’s data showing a decline in sales in interchangeable lens DSLR and mirrorless cameras, there’s still an astonishing number of users.
Not to mention, there’s this marvelous thing called the future. As the industry changes, we’re also changing and testing new cameras. That means someone who bought a 5D Mk3 a few years ago may someday want to upgrade to a GH4 or A7, and our systems allow them to do so seamlessly.
Have any questions or concerns you haven’t seen addressed? Please tell us about them in the comments below or send us a private message!
Send us a message!