On the Go with the Zip Box Pro
Before the launch of the Zip Box Pro, we reached out to professional filmmakers and Wooden Camera ambassadors Chris Ray and Martin Fobes of DC Shoes to be the first to test our new mattebox out in the field. They traveled with the Zip Box Pro from Los Angeles to New York City, all the while presenting many setups for the mattebox to tackle. With its robust, yet lightweight, design the Zip Box Pro quickly became the ideal cross-country companion!
Wooden Camera (WC): Tell us about your most recent projects where you used the Zip Box Pro.
Chris Ray: We recently had a series of lifestyle shoots for DC shoes that were shot in LA, Orange County, and New York City. Each shoot had a different theme, but all were "Run N Gun" style with limited set-up time. We shot the projects with one hand-held GH5 and another on the MoviPro.
Martin Fobes: Chris and I are working on a profile video with a graffiti artist in New York. We're working out of backpacks with very small compact rigs.
WC: What were your first impressions of the Zip Box Pro?
Chris: I was really impressed with how light it is. I also loved how easy it was to clamp onto my lens. The weight is super important to me because I often shoot as a "Movi Op" and I obviously want my rig to be as light as possible.
Martin: I love the design. It's something I will have with me on every shoot. I love that you can close the front and keep your filters safe and covered while switching locations.
WC: In what types of camera setups did you incorporate the Zip Box Pro? Chris: Most of our shoots lately, I've been running a GH5 with the Sigma 18-35mm lens on the MoviPro. We also did a tripod interview in New York where it came in handy. I'll be tossing it on my RED setup and even my car rig any day now!
WC: In what situations did you use the Swing Away?
Chris: My car rig is actually the perfect situation for running the Swing Away. It provides that extra support while being attached. I also plan on using the Swing Away any time I don’t need to be lightweight, like when operating on the MoviPro.
WC: In what situations did you use the Clamp On?
Chris: I've been loving the Clamp On for my gimbal work and when I need to set up my kit fast. I don't need rails, and it's ready to go in seconds.
Martin: I love how easy it is to use. 99% of our shoots are on the go and we need small compact cameras. The Clamp On is my favorite style of mattebox. It feels incredibly strong. I feel very confident that it won’t fall off or anything.
WC: How comfortable did you feel using the Clamp On on a gimbal? Was it easy to add or change filters, or mount the appropriate clamp on back for your lens? Did you notice its weight?
Chris: This is what I'm most excited about and I know other gimbal operators have to be excited as well. It looks tough, but it's crazy light.
Martin: It’s super easy to use. We had no issues at all. I love that switching [clamp on] backs is tool-less. Not needing tools is amazing.
WC: Have you used a similar mattebox in the past? If so, how does the Wooden Camera Zip Box Pro compare?
Chris: I have to go back to the weight again - I've been on so many shoots as a MoVi Op where they throw a heavy mattebox on and I can feel it kill my mood (laughs). Now I toss the ZBP on and I don't notice a difference in additional weight.
Martin: My go-to in the past was the first Wooden Camera Zip Box. I mainly used it on my gimbal because of the lighter weight.
WC: What is your favorite feature of the Zip Box Pro?
Martin: I love the fact that you can run both clamp on and swing away versions with the same matte box. Today we were shooting in bright light outside, then in dark subways. It was amazing to pull off the Zip Box Pro, close the front, and stash into a backpack. The ZBP acted as a filter case for us as we were shooting underground.
WC: Overall, how was your experience using the Zip Box Pro? How did it contribute to your setups?
Chris: It really caters to us filmmakers - You can tell tell Wooden Camera is thinking on the filmmaker and product-side when you use this.
Martin: Nothing but great experiences so far. I’m very happy with the build quality and design.
Shop Gear In This Article:
Zip Box Pro (Clamp On)
This simple, yet high-quality mattebox is ready to use right out of the box. It features three 4x5.65 filter trays, a carbon fiber top flag, and interchangeable backs weighing less than 1LB. Each Clamp On Kit includes the mattebox, top flag, and clamp on back. The full kit includes all clamp on backs.
Starting at $399
Zip Box Pro (Swing Away)
The Swing Away Kit includes the Zip Box Pro mattebox, top flag, swing away back, reduction rings, and universal donut.
Unified DSLR Cage (Small)
This camera cage supports small DSLR-like cameras, like the GH5. The open shoe mount area allows for the XLR adapter to be installed without obstruction. The minimalist design provides mounting points on the top and side while leaving all of the camera's vital controls on the right grip and left side easily viewable and accessible.