I’ve recently just purchased Cine City’s PROAIM DSLR Kit-3 for a couple of reasons, one of them being because of course, the price, and I wanted something that would work on both my JVC-HM100U and Canon 60D. I was a bit hesitant because there where not many reviews of their equipment and wasn’t sure what the quality of the product would be. Also, being an independent director, I am constantly looking for alternatives to the high priced products offered by other companies including modifying/fabricating my own equipment.
The kit was delivered via FedEx and arrived within a week after ordering it. All parts where neatly packaged using foam cut outs inside a carrying case. It also came with an instruction booklet informing you of all the parts included and how to assemble it. However, this kit was pretty simple to assemble that even the least mechanically inclined person can put this kit together.
I began with the mount and rail system, attached it to the JVC and Canon with ease, the kit included many different mounting options. The parts are sturdy and decently machined. There is some aligning you will have to perform to line up your camera directly centered.
The follow focus was installed on the left and right side of the camera to ensure proper clearance of accesses to my camera controls and display. For my JVC, it was best on the right side; otherwise, the FF (follow focus) would interfere with the display. You could also order the follow focus II instead since the gear can be installed on both sides of the gearbox allowing for more clearance for the display to open with out any interference.
The FF worked as intended on both the JVC and Canon cameras and had no problem using my other lenses: Sigma 24 – 70mm and Canon 75 – 300mm. I also attached my DOF (depth of field adapter) and that worked with no issues. The FF did have some slop in the knob, which created a “jerk” when used. Tightening the Allen screw that held the knob to the shaft solved this problem. Apparently, other users have done this as well.
The matte box slid on and aligned nicely with minor adjustments, the kit does come with an up/down slide adjuster for the hood and a shim set for the camera mount. For the JVC, if you do not use a DOF, the matte box will interfere with camera’s sound control support not allowing it to be installed. However, Cine City offers a 95-77mm adapter ring free of charge (you have to request it when ordering) for the Sony EX-1 that I used to extended length so the matte box could be installed. Also, the top flag will interfere with the shotgun mic unless you increase the height of the mic. I typically use a boom mic, so this was not a problem for me. The kit also came with a variety of donuts that made lens switching handy. Once you complete the installation, you will need to tighten up the French flags with the provided Allen key so they are sturdier. The frame of the matte box is not as solid as other matte box but for the price, it will work just fine.
The shoulder mount was then installed with no issues; the handle grips are comfortable and easily adjustable with the provided spring-loaded adjustable handles. The shoulder support was sturdy enough; however, I did find the padding on it a bit stiff.
After complete installation, I removed it from the tri-pod to test out the shoulder support. To test it, I ran around my flat chasing my dog around and was very impressed with the durability and ease of mobility.
In conclusion, I am very satisfied with my purchase. The sales at cine city are very attentive and respond to your emails promptly. They shipped my order quickly and received it with no issues. All parts functioned as they should with minor adjustments. The quality of the materials is no comparison to what you would pay on the high-end products but for the indie films I direct, they are more then sufficient and it’s a good-looking kit to have while shooting.