Neewer Portable Filmmaker system review
There are many ways to setup and handle your rig, some of you may be looking for a shoulder rig to do so which is a great solution for run and gun shoot. The Neewer Portable Filmmaker system is an entry-level shoulder rig that offers the basics you are looking for.
Quality wise, this rig is well constructed, everything is made of aluminum alloy and feels sturdy. The rods and accessories are 15mm, and they are true to size, they will work with any other manufacturer accessories and rods. The tightening screws on the shoulder rig feel solid and can be tightened down without fear of the threads sheering or snapping.
The shoulder pad is good, it is a simple molded block of rubber, and nothing more but it is comfortable especially for the price. It slides on the rails pretty easily, so you can see this as a plus or minus, it can be annoying as it can shift from time to time but on the other hand, it is easy to position.
The handles feel solid and do have great hard rubberized textured grips which eliminate the fear of the rig slipping off your hands.
As for the camera base, it has a height adjustment which is a great feature that will give some more longevity to the rig as you upgrade your equipment along the way. This flexibility will make sure you can almost always make your camera line-up with a mattebox. The baseplate used on this rig are Manfrotto 501/503 compatible, another plus in my opinion since a lot of equipment use this standard. Another feature the camera base has is an integrated level which is always a good thing to have even though we may not be using it as often as we should.
There are 2 cons with this rig in my opinion. The first one being that the baseplate tightening handle falls right under most DSLRs and mirrorless cameras battery door, so changing battery or SD cards is a little more laborious. The second one is the way the rods are connected, rather than using a male threaded rod going to a female rod, it uses a connector piece connecting 2 female rods together. On the unit we have, one of those connectors is loose which creates play in one of the rod. It could be probably fixed with Teflon tape but if you need to disassemble the whole rig to travel, you would need to bring Teflon tape with you.
Other than that, it is a great little shoulder rig for the price. Some competitor offers rigs in the same price range but most accessories are in plastic. This one feels sturdy and we were impressed with the build quality at that price point. We tried it with Full Frame DSLRs, mirrorless cameras and even pro cameras like the FS5 and C100, and, it held well. I also recommend getting the counter-weight with it, it makes a huge difference.
To get the shoulder rig, click here.