Friday, 28 October 2011

Proaim DSLR full kit (from India)

Proaim from what I can tell is a company based in India. Their DSLR accessories range closely mimic the much coveted but over-priced Zacuto products. My friend has just received his DSLR kit including shoulder mount / camera and tripod base plate / follow focus / lcd viewfinder loupe / matte box / 7 inch monitor. He paid something like USD $1400 from which is cheaper than the website.  Unfortunately I had already placed my order for a shoulder mount rig unknowingly from the latter website which I will review shortly.

In general the gear is pretty solid. The engineering may not be as precise as the genuine article but fully functional never the less.

This is an off-set shoulder mount with counter-weight. It feels reasonably comfortable with the ff mounted on the right as most of the weight fall on the left hand grip. The tripod base plate / rails are not adjustable since the rails do not go through but is comprised of four pieces that screw into either end of the base plate. With the rails included we could not fit a zeiss zf 100mm without hitting the matte box.

The view finder looks very similar to the zacuto z-finder and is very well made (possibly the best value item in the kit).

The quick release system has been well designed though there is a bit of play between the connecting parts after tightening.  The follow focus is solid but lacks a quick release system taking longer to adjust. There is no play in the gears. 5 lens gears were included three of which were two big to fit on any of the zeiss zf lenses.

The matte box is attached from the bottom (not swing-away) and feels a bit flimsy. the filter trays are made of plastic.

The 7 inch monitor has 800 x 480 resolution. there are minimal display options comparable to monitors made by Liliput. it uses a standard sony battery mount with small sony battery included. HDMI input, in-built speaker and so on.

note. The packaging is rough and the rig comes with an alarming amount of dust and grime on it. after putting together my hands were thoroughly dirty. It's kinda gross but it I like the romantic picture it triggers in my mind of the industrious if slightly chaotic Indian factory where it was produced. I'm not a label basher and welcome alternative products at competitive prices. Go the Indians!

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