Who was first?

Who was first?

Recently, Rigid.PRO has been on the receiving end of some pretty nasty trolling via email and social pages regarding our cinema camera bases. This, is a result of the release of a product that is known as the "Cineback" by Youtuber Caleb Pike, and his channel, The Camera Foundry.

The Cineback mounts to the Sony FX30 and FX3 camera body using the same Smallrig 4183 cage as the Rigid.PRO, which is understandable given it's arguably the most common and most readily available cage used with these cameras. It also uses many of the same parts and components that are available off the shelf from many suppliers. It's another variation of a camera rig, just like many of the thousands of potential configurations built by professionals and enthusiasts every day.

When the Cineback was released it did not accomodate those users wishing to take advantage of the XLR Audio top handle. We set to work to design a top handle compatible cage and released it to the market. At the time of writing, The Camera Foundry does not have a camera base available that is compatible with the XLR Audio Top Handle.

We were not the first brand to design and release what we call a Cinerig Camera Base, but to set the record straight, neither was the Cineback

See this image of a Chinese manufacturer who designed a top handle compatible camera frame in 2021:

You will note it also features a power switch (not shown in the above image), a battery plate, and a recess for the screen. All features of both the Cineback and the Rigid.PRO version. 

Then, also predating the Cineback by a considerable time was another design from Southeast Asia:

You will note that the above (predating Cineback by more than two years) uses the same battery plate and D-tap Splitter as the Cineback and the Rigid.PRO.

Both of the above two products are available to buy on the open commercial market. So as you can see, the Cineback was not the first to market. There is no way to apply for and be awarded patents, or even copyright an assembly that simply uses off the shelf components and parts to form a camera rig.

To the best of our knowledge, Camera Foundry does not offer for sale its 3D models for its Sony FX30 or FX3 rigs, and Rigid.PRO has never seen a Cineback in real life. In addition to using some off the shelf parts and components (which is the case for both products on the market), our products were designed from scratch using Fusion 360 and underwent as many as 30 revisions before being finalised. The Rigid.PRO also adds an LCD Voltmeter in order to keep an eye on Battery Voltage not seen in any of the other products, and is manufactured using either PET-G or PET material reinforced with Carbon Fibre, depending on the model. We believe our product design and quality is superior, while also being readily available unlike other products.

Rigid.PRO uses metal V-mount brackets, whereas our competitors use cheaper plastic versions. We were recently sent photos of a competitor's product showing the D-Tap component mounting method - the back of it is removed leaving the electronics and circuit board exposed. It is held in place by two tiny tabs of plastic! Ours is "captive", fully sealed, and in-tact, just how it was designed to be used. Our wiring is also 'point to point' and soldered directly to the individual components. In photos we have seen, the wiring has been cut, joined, soldered and heat-shrinked, and with multiple points of connection, there are multiple points of potential failure! 

While the finished product may look the same, it uses a completely different design approach to achieve that result. 

More recently, Camera Foundry owner, Caleb Pike, released a video on Instagram falsely accusing us of "copying Cineback" which we refute, given the history outlined above. Who created the first camera cage? You don't see Smallrig publicly stating that Tilta copied them, or Kondor Blue complaining that Neewer stole their idea. A camera cage is just that, and it can be made by multiple manufacturers unless there is a unique point of difference that has been officially patented. No patents exist for a Cineback or a Cinerig Camera Base, and since we released our original product, other similar products have now come to market by other brands. It's an open market and we encourage competition.

It should also be noted that all the other products in our range released by Rigid.PRO predate Camera Foundry's releases, including the FX3/FX30 Top Handle Edition, A7siii/A7IV, ZV-E1, Lumix S5ii/S5iix, and the Fujifilm X-H2S, which history will show. 

We have many new products and models currently in development, but given the global success of the Sony FX3 and FX30 cameras, it simply made good sense to invest our time and resources into those models first.

We hope this sets the record straight.

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