Red Gunner Handheld System Review
Red Gunner pic above is my "Rocket Launcher" setup. =)I have been lusting after this handheld rig ever since it was announced. It has been finally released so the question remains, does it live up to expectations? My answer is... ABSOLUTELY
Above is a BTS shot of me doing handheld on the action film "clash"
For a sample of my camera operating work, you can check out the trailer from the film above HERE. At the time of this film, it was so early on that there were not many options for handheld. In fact, in the pic above, I operated the entire film with only a dovetail and towel on my shoulder. Fast forward to today, there are thankfully some great options for handheld rigs. For me, I always wanted to have the option of a smaller rig that could be easily used for run-n-gun applications. The RED GUNNER gives me exactly what I have always wanted and then some. =)
Handheld that sits/stands on it's own
One of the main features I need in a handheld rig is for it to have a small yet stable foot print. I want a rig that I can place on the ground or surface during break periods where I won't have to worry about the rig tipping over. I need a rig I can quickly put down and quickly pic up for run-n-gun situations. In the configurations used for the photos above, you can see how the rig happily sits on its own without any handles. For the first pic, I actually have a tripod quick-release plate attached to the bottom of the Red Gunner. Although the plate provides a more stable foot print, even without the tripod plate, it can sit on it's own as long as weight is evenly distributed on both sides. Likewise, with the Gunner Handles, the camera rig can be quick placed on the ground with little worry about the entire camera rig tipping over.
Perfect EVF/LCD VIEWING POSITION
In about 90% of the Red Epic/Scarlet handheld rig photos I have seen, the LCD and EVF never seemed to be mounted in the right place. Using the Accessory Attachment Bracket (which can be used for the LCD/EVF) + Swat Rail Clamp and/or the Spinner, you can achieve perfect placement of the EVF or LCD right on the gunner. Another option which I covered in the video, is to use the Spinner hanging off a swat rail attached to the left side of the DSMC Tactical Top plate. Having the Bomb EVF "floating" is my favorite setup as it gives me full unobstructed access to the lens and also allows for mounting any follow focus beneath it. Furthermore, on the Red Gunner itself and handles, there is a plethora of 1/4-20 holes for use of Noga arms for even more monitoring mounting options.
ROLLING ON DUBZ - UPCOMING RED WHEEL
I have never seen anything like it on a handheld rig. What the heck is this "wheel" you ask? The upcoming RED WHEEL (to be released soon) allows another way to grip onto the rig. Rather than using a traditional handgrip shape, this unique circular shaped wheel with rubber cushion, provides a very comfortable surface/shape for gripping onto. I will be ordering two of them for my ultra compact red gunner rig configuration when it becomes available.
BALANCED HANDHELD RIG =)Last but not least, the most crucial element of any handheld rig is balance. When using a larger lens, I am able to acheive the best balance when I add a DSMC Backpack, DSMC battery plate and V-mount battery to the rear. At the end of the video review, I provide an example where I am using a small pl mount prime with battery power from the side handle. Even without a counterweight, the camera is compact and light enough that the camera stays comfortable and balanced for all day handheld operation. Another option for counterweight is the upcoming Red Volt Quad module. Additionally, the rear of the red gunner has 1/4-20 holes for additional accessory mounting points in case more counter balance weight is needed.
ConclusionThe Red Gunner is a gamechanger IMO. I love the "tool-less" quick release ability of the entire system. Making it Nato-Picatinny rail compatible is genius. I am planning to pick up a bipod from AMAZON where they have a load of other Nato rail accessories. The RED GUNNER is small, rugged, super adjustable and is simply a work of art. =) You really have to give it a try to feel it for yourself. Seeing pics online doesn't do this rig any justice. If you would like to try out the Red Gunner, you can visit the Red Studios Hollywood store front or sign up for the upcoming REDUCATION starting February 27th through March 2nd. Below are more photos from the Red Tactical System lineup. If you have any questions regarding the Red Gunner, feel free to ask me below and I'll try my best to answer them. =)
Epic/Scarlet Tactical Cage - Or as I call it, the ultimate body armor! =)
On a feature film, surface "real-estate" on the camera is always desired. When you have to mount wireless receivers, distribution boxes, sound devices, or remote follow focus boxes, the bottomline is that you need somewhere to bolt it on to. This is where the Epic/Scarlet Tactical Cage comes into play. This cage offers the most mounting points I have ever seen on a camera, period. Another cool thing about the cage is that you can be rest assured that your camera will remain protected underneath the protective "armor" it provides. =)