I promised a few weeks (months?) back that I would give a write up of the Fortis Cinema stuff that I purchased. I apologize for taking so long, life got busy doing non-camera stuff, so my Epic spent nearly 3 weeks locked in solitary, never seeing the outside of its case.
But, now that things are getting back to normal (shooting!), I've been experiencing the plates and have some opinions to share...
For anyone catching this and isn't familiar with Fortis's gear... http://www.fortiscinema.com/
Let's see, first off: Build Quality. Pretty good. As good as any other accessory i've purchased. All lightweight aluminum. The finish is a nice matte. The texture and color is a bit different from the RED's black, but I think the choice accessorizes well between the Scarlet and the Epic colors. I did notice one or two 1/4-20 taps that I had a hard time threading into. If I recall correctly, these were in the back corners, where taps are intersecting from every direction.
Probably my favorite part of the whole setup is the 1/8 TRS to XLR adapters with the bolt-on mount. Even if you have another Top/Bottom plate.. You should consider buying these! I also own a x's A-Box, and while I like their stuff, a lot.. I think the mounting options of the Fortis are superior. I like that its a hard, bolt-on mount anywhere I can find a 1/4-20. Mounting the side of the bottom plate, and under the SSD is my preferred location, because its out of the way. Yes, I can mount the A-Box on a post in most places as well, but it always seems to be jutting out of the camera in some odd way, when I do. Each mount has 4 1/4-20 holes.. two provide taps where you can mount additional stuff (or another TRS-XLR adapter), while the other two are recessed holes for the 1/4-20 bolts to mount the adapter. On the downside, there are two separate mounts.. a left and a right, which is determined by which side the two recessed holes are on. One critisizm I have (not knowing the engineering or manufacturing complexities), I would have liked to see the through-holes be recessed on both sides, making a single mount ambidextrious.
I have a love-hate relationship with the Bottom Plate and it's cable routing for the audio cables. It's a brilliant solution to cable clutter, while still keeping things configurable. I absolutely love that I can mount up the XLR adapters, and tuck the wires in under the camera to the point that, aside from the actual TRS plug on the front of the camera, no cables are visible anywhere... I really get frustrated that when I do need to change the setup, I have to tear the dovetail off the bottom plate, and then the bottom plate off the camera, in order to remove the wires/mounts. That said, I can always elect to not tuck the wires in, and still be more configurable than the A-Box. In the spirit of my critisizm of the XLR Mounts; the bottom mount is attached through a couple of recessed 3/8th bolts (which use the standard-size hex wrench!-- LOVE THIS!!!), i would have liked to see the bottom mount recessed on both sides of the mount, allowing me to pull the bolts, and flip the mount over, leaving the routing areas accessible between the dovetail and the base-plate.
As for the Top Plate, unfortunately, I haven't had an opportunity to do a REDMote range test with the top mount installed. Otherwise, it functions like all other top plates, with its copious numbers of mount points, etc.
One thing that is a big deal for me, that I think is worth a second mention, is the bolts for the bottom plate... it seems so basic, that it should be a no-brainer.. but the reality is, this is overlooked everywhere else, it seems. The Bottom Plate is attached with the same 1/4" hex wrench that is found everywhere else. I WISH I had these same bolts on my dovetail and tripod plates as well. The fact that I have to carry around a large, flat-head screwdriver, in addition to the 2 Torx and 1 Hex wrenches (that fix nicely in my case, unlike the flat-head) is annoying to no end, considering its use is limited to one or two very specific bolts/screws. Everytime I end up taking off the bottom plate, I have this moment of "Oh shit.. where is that flat-head.. " only to glance at the bottom and find that the wrench that is already in my hand after pulling off monitors and audio mounts, is the one I need is priceless. Stupid, I know.. but, that seriously how I feel about it.
Overall, I really do like the stuff. 90% of my time on camera, they do their job no different than any other solution. But that remaining 10% of the time, when I find myself thinking "Can I move these over there and mount them like this?", and I'm able to make it work, is worth a lot. Especially when the items themselves are comparatively priced with the alternatives.
So, there you have it. If anyone has questions, I'll follow the thread and do my best to answer. I've got a shoot this weekend that might warrant more experience with the Redmote and some range testing, in which case, I'll update with that info. I did take some pictures, but I'm not sure if its worth posting them.. if you enough people request them, I'll put them online.