Camera Operator David Paul
Local cameraman / Ambassador New Zeeland
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Camera Operator David Paul
How dose it work:
When I first put on the Mini Max and attached my camera it felt like I was actually using a Cinema 3. With the original Mini , one knew it was a lighter weight unit and also felt like it but that was ok as it was for light camera rigs . However with the Mini Max I felt very fluid wearing it. I had a much controlled feeling of my camera and could adjust camera position easy. The Mini Max allowed me to extend the camera forward of my body without resisting me.
What condition did you test the unit:
I tested the Mini Max on a small promo shoot for a young designer. So a very minimal crew and simple set ups. The mini allowed me to be fluid with my shots and make quick repositions for various shots.
I used a Sony A7s ( total weight 6kg) with many extras added such as a Pix E5 , Microphone Unit, Cineroid EVF , 130wh V-lock battery , follow focus , Nikon lenses , Matte Box , a camera cage and handle and also use fit with my Sony F55 ( Total weight 8kg) . I really enjoyed the shoot as was able to throw the camera about quickly getting lovely shots easily . There is no way I could have achieved the same shots quickly and easily without the Mini Max.
Is the line running smooth from the new power pack:
The line runs much like the Cinema 3 Easyrig.It is not exactly the same but very similar. I was not really aware of the line pulling through the arm. I’d just lower the camera quickly for a low angle shot, raise it up to my shoulder without thinking about the Mini Max.
I noticed immediately the line is more fluid now. Although the Mini Max Power Pack is a different system to the Cinema 3 shocks it does feel very similar. You can now do small up/down moves while filming which was not so easy with the original Mini.
How is it design:
The vest design again makes it feel like a lighter version of a Cinema 3 vest, very comfortable. However it is not a Cinema 3 vest so do not expect it to support you the same. The upper arm feels stronger ( I think this is as it does not have the 2 x joins in the upper arm like the original Mini) and I love the pivoting upper arm addition. It is very easy to adjust arm height , more fluid than original mini. The adjustment of tension is tight on the knob but this gives a good feeling of it being strong.
Now you can adjust the tension both ways ( heavier/lighter) without releasing the entire spring system. So it is easy to adjust the tension to suit your camera. This is a good improvement. The pivoting upper arm now allows one to use this much like we do the Cinema 3. Being able to swing the camera to the side, or sit camera on your should easily is a major improvement.
Possibly larger adjustment knob could be good so one can get a good grip on it to adjust tension. At present it really only allows you to use your fingers and as the tension knob is tight to turn it can be slightly hard to rotate without a good grip if you do not have strong fingers.
Will you recommend this unit:
Yes. I would highly recommend this unit for camera people using cameras within it’s weight range. As many cameras nowadays are lighter the Mini Max will suit a large number camera people. It really is a very good Easyrig option. With the wider weight range I’d use this more on documentaries then I have with the original mini. I love and also takes a heavier camera at 7kg so will suit my F55 in doco' mode as well as my Sony A7s camera rig.
How does it fit: New Vest design fits great. It seems to be more like a Cinema 3 vest design with more lower back support and wraps onto your hips better. It feels more snug on your body. It really felt a part of my body , I was not aware of it and the Mini Max just became part of me. Like having a 3rd arm.
How is others reaction on the unit:
As I have not shown it to any other users there are no comment. The other crew all said “ Wow , that’s cool “ . I think it is really other users, camera persons responses that are important but as it is still secret can not get any. :-)
Quality of product:
As per all Easyrig products the quality is superb , very high. The best materials used. As it seems to be taking on many of the Cinema 3 qualities the Mini Max is of same high quality. It will last the user a very very long time and seems one will be able to do maintenance and replace any parts very easily , if required.
Is it warm to work in:
The improved vest means it helps keeps you warm but not hot.
Write more if you like:
I am really very impressed with the Mini Max. With the extended weight range of 2-7kg it will cover all light camera set ups so is very good value. I think many of the best things of the Cinema 3 Easyrigs have been incorporated into the Mini Max . More solid supportive vest, Smoother running of support line, Pivoting Upper Arm and the +/- Adjustment without releasing entire tension as on the original mini.
So overall I think this is superb Easyrig unit for 2-7kg cameras and will be very popular. It is sort of like a baby Cinema 3 . I think if you are running a 7kg camera all day , hand held , that maybe a Cinema 3 vest and arm will be better for the longer durations. But for people whose camera weight changes between 2-7kg it is the perfect unit. It will suit anything from DSLR camera rigs to Canon C100/300 , Sony FS5/FS7/F5, Black Magic cameras etc.
Camera Operator David Paul
Local Cameraman / Ambassador