DSLR Video: Shoulder rig, steady-cam or stabiliser?

#21
I looked at one of those in London a few years ago. It was made by Manfrotto and was on sale in Park Cameras for £400. That was a lot more than I was prepared to pay for something that would only get used 2 - 3 times a year. The Amazon price is much better and I'm a bit tempted!
Now - where's the piggy bank run away to hide THIS time?
I'm talking to someone about reviewing one of these for my youtube channel, but if that doesn't pan out I'll definitely be picking one up using my own cash. I tried one out a while ago and it even stopped my tremors from affecting the shot, if I hand hold a camera whilst shooting its like I'm recording during a 6.9 earthquake
 
#22
I'm talking to someone about reviewing one of these for my youtube channel, but if that doesn't pan out I'll definitely be picking one up using my own cash. I tried one out a while ago and it even stopped my tremors from affecting the shot, if I hand hold a camera whilst shooting its like I'm recording during a 6.9 earthquake
I have the same problem if I try and hand-hold the camera. Image stabilisation can only help so far!
That's why I started using the shoulder rest shown in the pic on the previous page. However, in order to see the monitor on the back of the camera, I have to hold the butt of the shoulder rest towards the middle of my chest. This gets a bit uncomfortable after a while.
 
#23
I have the same problem if I try and hand-hold the camera. Image stabilisation can only help so far!
That's why I started using the shoulder rest shown in the pic on the previous page. However, in order to see the monitor on the back of the camera, I have to hold the butt of the shoulder rest towards the middle of my chest. This gets a bit uncomfortable after a while.
that's where these cages come into their own you can mount a field monitor onto it so its in your line of sight so you can see what the camera sees without having to strain to see the camera screen
 
#24
After much consideration, looking at the finances and the comments here I went for a shoulder rig. I managed to pick up the best part of one second hand and by the looks of the thing it had only been out of there box once. Added some other bits and we're ready to go. Here's the setup.

IMG_6244_01.jpg


It carries comfortably although I need to counterweight the back end a bit. I have some weights for that plus part of the sound system. The position where the the external microphone is hanging from is actually for lighting and I have another point for a shotgun mic on the right hand side. (The mic currently on top is only a little more effective then the inbuilt version in the camera and hence not really useful but good enough for playing around with.) Had a bit of a practice and it certainly helps stabilise things. It works quite well when carrying at the trail via the top handle. Gives an impression of movement without it being all over the shop.

Horse is looking worried as he thinks its possibly some new fangled grooming device. He should be worried as its bath time and scrub up for him tomorrow.
 
#25
After much consideration, looking at the finances and the comments here I went for a shoulder rig. I managed to pick up the best part of one second hand and by the looks of the thing it had only been out of there box once. Added some other bits and we're ready to go. Here's the setup.

View attachment 328706

It carries comfortably although I need to counterweight the back end a bit. I have some weights for that plus part of the sound system. The position where the the external microphone is hanging from is actually for lighting and I have another point for a shotgun mic on the right hand side. (The mic currently on top is only a little more effective then the inbuilt version in the camera and hence not really useful but good enough for playing around with.) Had a bit of a practice and it certainly helps stabilise things. It works quite well when carrying at the trail via the top handle. Gives an impression of movement without it being all over the shop.

Horse is looking worried as he thinks its possibly some new fangled grooming device. He should be worried as its bath time and scrub up for him tomorrow.
Nice piece of kit.
Is the big hooded bit at the left some kind of monitor?
Is there any way of listening to the audio while you're shooting? Or is that dependant on the camera?
 
#26
Nice piece of kit.
Is the big hooded bit at the left some kind of monitor?
Is there any way of listening to the audio while you're shooting? Or is that dependant on the camera?
That's the monitor. Its in front of me while the camera is to the right. I can plug in headphones in a number of places. If I feed the mic through the camera and record on the video file then I can listen in via the headphone socket on the camera. The HDMI also takes the sound to the monitor. So I could plug in there as well. I prefer an external recorder and then sync in post. It also has an headphone socket. Depending on the job I have a mate who can play sound man and second camera. Helps divide up the workload a bit when more mics are required.
 
#27
After much consideration, looking at the finances and the comments here I went for a shoulder rig. I managed to pick up the best part of one second hand and by the looks of the thing it had only been out of there box once. Added some other bits and we're ready to go. Here's the setup.

View attachment 328706

It carries comfortably although I need to counterweight the back end a bit. I have some weights for that plus part of the sound system. The position where the the external microphone is hanging from is actually for lighting and I have another point for a shotgun mic on the right hand side. (The mic currently on top is only a little more effective then the inbuilt version in the camera and hence not really useful but good enough for playing around with.) Had a bit of a practice and it certainly helps stabilise things. It works quite well when carrying at the trail via the top handle. Gives an impression of movement without it being all over the shop.

Horse is looking worried as he thinks its possibly some new fangled grooming device. He should be worried as its bath time and scrub up for him tomorrow.
this is my current setup a slightly more compact version of yours (shoulder pad removed)
DSC00019.JPG
DSC00020.JPG
 
#28
this is my current setup a slightly more compact version of yours (shoulder pad removed)
View attachment 343242 View attachment 343244
Nice rig. I saw some of the Newer kit on Amazon but eventually went with stuff I could source locally and exchange if required. Looks like quality gear. I still haven't gone for the barn doors and as yet I haven't seemed to need them. Just as well as the price of the Lanparte set is outrageous.
 
#29
Nice rig. I saw some of the Newer kit on Amazon but eventually went with stuff I could source locally and exchange if required. Looks like quality gear. I still haven't gone for the barn doors and as yet I haven't seemed to need them. Just as well as the price of the Lanparte set is outrageous.
Neewer kit is cheap but not particularly cheerful - the LED lights will usually need correcting to take the +Green and the light stands are appalling.

A good tripod with a proper 'fluid head' is essential. The whole point of a tripod is that it should be able to pan and tilt - otherwise you'd just rest it on a wall. It's important not to overload the head - your Manfrotto looks like it might be very close to the limit with the rig and monitor. You might think about stripping off some of the bits that you don't need. The focus demand is useful but not essential.

Your balance is very well forward - ideally the weight of the camera (and it's Fulcrum) should be over your shoulder and body core. Have you looked at powering the camera and monitor ( I guess you're using it as an external viewfinder) from a single battery?

There are battery various mounts that will fit on to the 15mm bars behind the rig providing a bit more balance.

Personally I use a DSLR for slider, gimbal and time lapse work and a full frame Video camera Sony PMW500 or a Sony FS7 for 'on the shoulder' or tripod work.

Here's my Sony FS7 - I've rigged a GoPro as this will provide a wide shot when I'm buggering about trying to find focus if things get exciting.
IMG_0254.jpg


Here it is on a lightweight tripod- not my usual Sachtler 18 as I had to trek in so all the kit we needed for the trip was in a rucksack..
UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1889.jpg
 
#30
Neewer kit is cheap but not particularly cheerful - the LED lights will usually need correcting to take the +Green and the light stands are appalling.

A good tripod with a proper 'fluid head' is essential. The whole point of a tripod is that it should be able to pan and tilt - otherwise you'd just rest it on a wall. It's important not to overload the head - your Manfrotto looks like it might be very close to the limit with the rig and monitor. You might think about stripping off some of the bits that you don't need. The focus demand is useful but not essential.

Your balance is very well forward - ideally the weight of the camera (and it's Fulcrum) should be over your shoulder and body core. Have you looked at powering the camera and monitor ( I guess you're using it as an external viewfinder) from a single battery?

There are battery various mounts that will fit on to the 15mm bars behind the rig providing a bit more balance.

Personally I use a DSLR for slider, gimbal and time lapse work and a full frame Video camera Sony PMW500 or a Sony FS7 for 'on the shoulder' or tripod work.

Here's my Sony FS7 - I've rigged a GoPro as this will provide a wide shot when I'm buggering about trying to find focus if things get exciting. View attachment 343288

Here it is on a lightweight tripod- not my usual Sachtler 18 as I had to trek in so all the kit we needed for the trip was in a rucksack..
View attachment 343289
thats definitely the kind of rig I have on my santa wishlist but at the moment I'm just starting out so my wishlist far exceeds my wallet.
I tend to buy cheap just till I know that its something I need or will use on a regular basis I dont want to part with £200+ on kit thats just going to sit in the corner and collect dust, everything on and including my rig is definitely in the 'to upgrade' column.

so far all my audio gear has been provided free by a couple of companies in return for reviews but so far the camera companies are not willing to follow suit.

I totally agree with everything you said about tripods and I am looking for one with a good metal quick release plate too and a fluid head quality tripod is next on my to buy/blag list having had no end of problems with the one I currently use in regards to balance and weight of the rig
 
#31
thats definitely the kind of rig I have on my santa wishlist but at the moment I'm just starting out so my wishlist far exceeds my wallet.
I tend to buy cheap just till I know that its something I need or will use on a regular basis I dont want to part with £200+ on kit thats just going to sit in the corner and collect dust, everything on and including my rig is definitely in the 'to upgrade' column.

so far all my audio gear has been provided free by a couple of companies in return for reviews but so far the camera companies are not willing to follow suit.

I totally agree with everything you said about tripods and I am looking for one with a good metal quick release plate too and a fluid head quality tripod is next on my to buy/blag list having had no end of problems with the one I currently use in regards to balance and weight of the rig
When Dan Cheong first shot decent video on a DSLR it was a massive game changer.. Until then if you wanted to shoot Broadcast quality video it was necessary to spend a lot of money on gear: the first camera kit I bought for shooting news and documentaries was around £27,000 including camera, lens, lights, tripod and sound. Although it's possible to get amazing results for much less now - I would still try and get the best tripod and Lenses possible. The camera body may change but these bits of kit will remain constant.

for larger camera kits 10-20 Kg I would only consider Sachtler, Vinten or possibly Miller. For smaller rigs I would also have a look at lighter versions of these makes and possibly Manfrotto.

Lenses? I know nothing of Nikkon unfortunately.
 
#32
Neewer kit is cheap but not particularly cheerful - the LED lights will usually need correcting to take the +Green and the light stands are appalling.

A good tripod with a proper 'fluid head' is essential. The whole point of a tripod is that it should be able to pan and tilt - otherwise you'd just rest it on a wall. It's important not to overload the head - your Manfrotto looks like it might be very close to the limit with the rig and monitor. You might think about stripping off some of the bits that you don't need. The focus demand is useful but not essential.

Your balance is very well forward - ideally the weight of the camera (and it's Fulcrum) should be over your shoulder and body core. Have you looked at powering the camera and monitor ( I guess you're using it as an external viewfinder) from a single battery?

There are battery various mounts that will fit on to the 15mm bars behind the rig providing a bit more balance.

Personally I use a DSLR for slider, gimbal and time lapse work and a full frame Video camera Sony PMW500 or a Sony FS7 for 'on the shoulder' or tripod work.

Here's my Sony FS7 - I've rigged a GoPro as this will provide a wide shot when I'm buggering about trying to find focus if things get exciting. View attachment 343288

Here it is on a lightweight tripod- not my usual Sachtler 18 as I had to trek in so all the kit we needed for the trip was in a rucksack..
View attachment 343289
That's nice and compact. I had a butchers at the Sony offerings but outside my price bracket at the moment. I can always hire one locally if needed. Mounting the GoPro on top is an absolutely cracking idea. There are moments on a couple of projects it would be useful. Since I put up the picture I've added the counterweights to the back end which, as you say, makes a considerable difference in balance. I had a look at an external battery pack but it was a lot of faffing around getting the right cables for the monitor, lights and sound recorder. Decided to leave it and just use what I've got battery wise. I'm never far away from a back-up when needed. Nikon still haven't worked out that external power for their pro series might be a useful add on. That said the battery is exceptionally good. I need two for an entire day shooting video or just one for photography.

Had a bit of effort getting a fluid head that would carry the weight. The head is rated for 8kg which as you say is borderline. I'm currently 1.5kg or so under with the rig. Normally if I'm using the tripod or the slider I only need the camera. The tripod is good for 20kg. I managed to get both that and the head for the price the tripod alone should have cost. The guys from the TV studio I went to for some practical lessons in Germany had a couple of Sachtler setups; rather nice but they weren't prepared to part with them, rats!

At the moment I'm sticking with Nikon but they need to speed up a bit. I'm hoping that when the D6 comes out they will make it more adaptable to both video and still. At the moment its a still camera with video bolted on. I end up switching out all the goodies that make it a great still camera so that I can get the full range of the sensor. An off-camera on/off would be a good start and there's a long shopping list after that. Still the glass is good although that also comes with a warning label. It can be swings and roundabouts with some of the Nikon glass. They produce some astounding wide aperture lenses. They'll produce a set to cover different focal lengths which then generally receive critical acclaim. But then they'll throw a stinker in the set the same price as the others. Having the newest toys isn't always the best solution. Some of my best lenses are now quite dated but they produce results that sell themselves. I'm sure its a similar game with the other manufacturers.

Thanks for the tips, they're much appreciated. Seeing your pictures I can understand that if it doesn't fit in the rucksack its staying at home.
 
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