April 25, 2011

NAB Video: Hands-On with Redrock Micro's Futuristic microRemote Follow Focus

I've been keen on Redrock Micro's microRemote powered follow focus system since it was first announced at least year's NAB. Redrock makes all manner of DSLR accessories, but their suite of follow focus products could be a breakthrough both feature- and price-wise when they make it to the market later this summer. When I visited the Redrock booth the futuristic iPhone controller was on its way down, but it wasn't the fancy remote I was interested in: it was the $95 wired finger control that I wanted to get my hands on. Here's a look at the complete device in action from HDSLR Shooter:

In my own experience, the auto-calibrate feature worked flawlessly (the controller automatically finds the hard stops of your lens), and the finger control was pretty responsive -- there is a tiny bit of lag, but it basically allows you to ride your focus while keeping both hands on your rig's support handles. For run-and-gun shooting without a camera assistant, I think this will be an essential ergonomic upgrade. I should note that the motor on the unit I was using was a $1,700 motor that is not manufactured by Redrock (Hayden? Haiden?). Redrock's own motor will supposedly offer the same level of performance, but there are other considerations than motor power -- for example, some of the other motorized follow focus units roaming the NAB floor made quite the racket while operating, to the point where even off-camera microphones would easily pick up their whine. We'll see how Redrock's own motor performs (and how these futuristic rangefinder and iPhone controllers perform once in the field) when the follow focuses (focusi?) finally start shipping June 15th. Models should come in around $1600 for the wired version and $2200 for the wireless version.

Link: Redrock microRemote

Your Comment

13 Comments

I personally dont think follow focus systems should be anywhere near 2 grand, NOT TO MENTION if you get the expensive as FUCK wireless system, you have to pay 50 bucks for the app ON TOP of the ipod/iphone...Gotta love companies figuring out every way to soak money out of us.

April 25, 2011

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John

You should tell that to all of the professional ACs who buy Preston kits that they are wasting their money on a professional piece of equipment that works flawlessly.

If Redrock could sell it cheaper they probably would - to get as little lag as possible and to make the operation as smooth and free of play as possible, costs money, lots of money, especially for a company that has never made a wireless system before.

April 25, 2011

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Joe

You have to realize that if this works as well and as broadly as they claim it does, then you should be happy to spend the extra 50 bucks for the iphone software on top of 2200 dollars. Or you could just go buy a three channel Preston for 30,000.00 bucks. Will it be the same quality? Probably not. Will it get you by until you can afford the Preston? Probably, assuming you have any talent.

May 6, 2011

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Stephen

Two grand for a wireless, powered follow focus is a new LOW -- many regular 'ole mechanical FFs cost two grand alone. Other wireless follow focus systems at present cost about ten grand, and it's not because the manufacturer is trying to soak money out of people -- it's because they're precise mechanical instruments with a lot of moving parts and electronics.

Just because the cost of a large-sensor camera comes down 100X does not mean all associated accessories can also drop in price by the same factor. If you need a wireless follow focus, that means you have a camera assistant, and if you have a camera assistant, hopefully you've got a budget...

April 25, 2011

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avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

I understand the frustration with the cost of gear. I have tried many different 'brands' of gear from indi- focus to Zacuto, Chrosziel and O'Connor. I have also built some of my own gear and have had a machinist build parts as well, so I have a bit of relativity and perspective to offer. In my experience, the less you pay the less you get, with a few exceptions. The extra money buys (typically) refinement of engineering in both design and function. For some pieces of gear refinement is technically not necessary and I consider it a luxury. For other pieces, refinement is crucial to operation and workflow, so cutting costs in these areas will often cause inefficiency and frustration.

A part of the cost factor with film gear is that it is specialized (The ratio of FF's or Matte Boxes to say, an iPhone is minuscule). So it follows that production costs are higher, especially for well engineered gear using quality material.

The great thing going on now with the HDSL-R- evolution is the birth of a bunch of new small companies who are literally pumping out new products that are much more affordable and are, most importantly, very functional for HDSLR configurations. There are many more 'affordable' options than just 3 years ago

You can get a wired FF from Jag35 for $400-$700, and from what I have seen they work, but the motors are loud so you will likely have to work around that, but you can get focus in ways that were not possible before.
.

April 25, 2011

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Granville

Yeah Right! I will not pay that much for this! I am definitely not a fan of Redrock I must say. We have all these new and emerging companies like Jag35 and Indisystems, and Zacuto, and CPM Filmtools who have made, and are continuing to make excellent products for affordable prices, and you have Redrock who continues to make us pay all this money for products that we can get for much more affordable prices elsewhere.

You would think they would take notice to these other companies and begin pushing for more products at Cheaper Prices!!!

I will stick with Jehu Garcia's (JAG35) Wireless Follow Focus System which is only $900. The new J4 engine is actually quieter than the first 3 that came out, so I know where I'll be aiming!!!

April 26, 2011

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I'm sorry, Zacuto is more affordable than Redrock? No knock against Zacuto and their products/quality, but half their stuff is double or triple the price of the comparable Redrock product...

April 27, 2011

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Bryant

I agree, zacuto is pricey on just about everything. not very indie friendly

April 28, 2011

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patriot

I like my RedRock gear a lot, but what happened to the $500, then $1000 price they were talking about originally releasing when we all got excited for this product.

April 28, 2011

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Great product , but why charge for the software. should come with product. that is a disappointment....

April 28, 2011

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patriot

Wow, some of you guys are way out of your element, comparing Redrock to Zacuto, and saying Zacuto is cheaper. Redrock is absolutely the only company putting out the best material at the lowest price. They recalled their EVF even, just so they could manufacture a version 2 for under $500. Also, keep in mind, like Koo said, this stuff costs money to make, and also is meant for people who have a budget.. It's not cheap to make movies, fellas.

April 28, 2011

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here is a similar product for less money, already existing, tested and used by big productions companies ( cf pictures)
http://www.hocusproducts.com
I don't owned one but it's my next investment.
They also have a "pro" version.

April 28, 2011

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Renaud

@Renaud, unfortunately, you are not accurate in the price range, even if the microremote were to retail at $1500 it would still be cheaper than the system sold by hocus focus which retails for over $2200, really more as my math skills converting pounds to dollars are less than excellent. Also, to anyone who feels that this is expensive, you are simply not correct, as has been pointed out, wired follow focus systems can be much more expensive, and wireless systems like the FIZ from Preston sell for well over 10K.

So thanks Redrock, cause i'm totally buying a microremote. I hope.

April 28, 2011

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Evan