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Review: Adorama Flashpoint DV DSLR Matte Box Pro Complete Bundle 3

In this review we're going to look at the Adorama Flashpoint line of Cinema DSLR Gear. We're going to start off with a broadly compatible and modular system including the Mattebox, the Shoulder Rig, and the Follow Focus, and finish off (in a separate review) with Adorama's 7-inch LCD monitor.

In this review we’re going to look at the Adorama Flashpoint line of Cinema DSLR Gear. We’re going to start off with the Mattebox, then move on to the Shoulder Rig, the Follow Focus, and finish off (in a separate review) with their 7-inch LCD monitor.

For these tests I’ll be working with the Sony FS700, which is not in the DSLR line, but on Adorama’s site they do feature the FS100 video camera, so the FS700 should still be a good match for this gear. You can see all the equipment we’ll be working with in Figure 1 (below).

Figure 1. This image shows the mattebox on the FS700 with the French flags. Click the image to see it at full size.

Why a Matte Box? Why French Flags?

The purpose of the Matte Box and the French flags (shown in Figure 1) is to protect the lens and the camera and the imager and the sensor all from stray light. Flare coming in really reduces your picture quality. Unless you’re J.J. Abrams and you want those dramatic lens flare effects, which are very hard to control, a French flag is one really efficient way at reducing the light. It works way better than the petal hoods on a DSLR lens. It just covers a larger area.

Everything’s adjustable. It’s strong. It’s rigid. I can adjust the tension using the knobs on the bottom, shown in Figure 2 (below).

Figure 2. Adjusting the tension using the knobs on the bottom. Click the image to see it at full size.

Filter Rings

It’s very well made. One of the features of a Mattebox and French flag system is that it has filter rings. The Adorama Matte Box uses standard 4 x 4 filter rings. You can put in a variety of lens filters on then. Generally, people like putting in ND filters when they’re using DSLRs, and one of the big reasons is that DSLRs lack neutral density filters.

If you want to achieve a shallow depth of field and you don’t want to be running your shutter speed way up into the thousands, adding in a neutral density filter helps. There are two available on this Mattebox system. They just slide into the top as shown in Figure 3 (below).

Figure 3. Sliding in the filter ring. Click the image to see it at full size.

One of the nice features on this Matte Box system is the ability to rotate the filter, which is very important when you’re working with a polarizer filter. Polarizers need to be rotated. ND filters and a lot of other filters just drop it straight in, but on a polarizer you definitely want the ability to rotate it, and this Mattebox has it.

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