Today’s post will take a closer look at the GiniRigs 19mm Baseplate + Dovetail.
Specs and Overview:
The base has fifteen 3/8″-16 holes for attaching your camera. The front and back edges of the base plate has a row of 1/4″-20 holes drilled for accessory mounting. The dovetail is drilled with alternating 3/8″-16 holes and 1/4″-20 holes with the ability to mount to virtually any tripod or quick release out there. GiniRigs offers both 15mm rod support and 19mm rod support models. Pictured in this review is the 19mm base plate. The dovetail weighs 6.4 ounces and the 19mm base plate weighs 14.45 ounces. Also included with the purchase are two aluminum 19mm rods.
How it works:
Since there was only one picture on the website, one of my biggest issues was confirming how exactly the base plate secured to the dovetail piece. At a quick glance, it would seem that all knobs would impact the 19mm rods; however, the two rear knobs of the base plate tighten to the dovetail while leaving the rods (tightened by the front knobs) unaffected. Once I was able to see the bottom of the base plate, it all made sense… *Check out the photos and quick demonstration video below to see it in action.
As mentioned in my blog post about the selection process, GiniRigs ships directly from Korea and does not have any U.S. domestic distributors. This increases the shipping cost slightly. My package’s shipping cost was about $40 for a two or three pound package; however, I did receive delivery in less than two or three business days. When compared to domestic shipping rates for two day air service via FedEx or UPS – this is more than reasonable. It seemed wise to mention it again in this dedicated blog posting for anyone who did not catch the other entry.
Quality and general impressions:
The manufacturing is strong and rugged. I’m sure the parts will stand up over time without any issue. They are well machined with a professional finish. The parts are lightweight without giving the impression of being cheap or flimsy.
At first, I was concerned that there weren’t any built in stops/safety catches on the dovetail but quickly realized upon the first use that anything attached to the base rods such as a mattebox, follow focus, or handles will perform that function (whether you want it to or not). For me, this means that the camera will only mount or unmount from dovetail in one direction – which is fine and will just take some getting used to. I can definitely see the value of any dovetail + base plate set that includes a quick release on the base plate; that will simply make mounting and unmounting quicker.
The other point that came to my attention is making sure that the back end of the camera has neatly wrangled cabling to make sure that you don’t get caught up between the camera and the dovetail when setting the camera. I had this issue with a few of the small cables that I keep standard and ready for use on the back of my rig. With my configuration, the loose cables ended up pinching between the dovetail and the back portion of my camera setup when trying to detach the camera from the tripod. I took a minute to tighten the cabling up and the issue was resolved easily. In less than a week, I’m sure I won’t even remember it being an issue.
Overall, this is a solid piece of gear that’s definitely worth the price. The next step up from here would probably be the Wooden Camera Bridgeplate for approximately $250 more to have an included quick release built into the base plate. If you feel it’s worth the extra money for that option, go with the Wooden Camera plate. If not, the GiniRigs will definitely give you your money’s worth.
Quick Demonstration Video:
In my initial research, something I found greatly lacking was the documented visual aspect of this gear. The GiniRig website only had one lonely photo of the base plate. This resulted in several e-mail inquiries to the company that could have been avoided if the base plate were better represented with photos. So if you are curious, below a few pics showing the base plate.