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DSLR Camera rigs

Martin Johnson - Sunday, August 04, 2013

Using a DSLR camera for video production is not as simple as shooting with a conventional video camera.

Video cameras are meant to be held resting on the shoulder or in two hands. The smaller size and mass of a DSLR camera makes it a lot harder to do steady hand-held shots.

Enter the DSLR rig ...

There are lots of manufacturers of these with prices ranging from a few hundred dollars to over a $1,000.

They generally consist of the following components:

1. A block that mounts onto a tripod base into which the main support rails mount.

2. A shoulder pad that sits on the back of the rails.

3. A set of hand grips to enable you to hang on to the camera when it is sitting on your shoulder.

The rig is also designed to mount on a tripod without having to remove the shoulder pad or handles.

However my rig is not yet complete. It needs a small high definition monitor mounted in front of the camera and to one side. This plugs into the HDMI camera output and is essential for the operator to frame shots.

It also needs a follow focus system so that the operator can more easily adjust focus.

The one good thing about this rig is that it will also hold my more conventional video camera. Because this has a flip out viewfinder, it's ready to go.

No surprises that this rig is made in China, given that the price is under $200. But it's well made with the locking nuts secure and the finish excellent.

If you don't want to spend the big bucks, its well worth taking a look at. I still need to buy a monitor and follow-focus system. They're next. (Purchased on EBay - click for store)

Do you use a DSLR kit? Tell us about it.

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