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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hi-Tech Studio: DSLR Rigs For Video

A variety of gear is available for giving HD-capable DSLRs filmmaking possibilities

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Camtrol; Redrock Micro EVF

Zacuto Z-Cage
While filmmakers and videographers have enthusiastically embraced HD-capable DSLRs for their relatively economic pricing and superb video capabilities, for video, the form factor of modern DSLRs leaves something to be desired. While incredibly efficient for still photographers, video requires long handholding times and delicate panning and tracking shots. On top of this, “jello” or “jelly” shots, a by-product of using still-camera sensor technology to capture video, make meticulously smooth camera movements more important than ever.

Cinevate DSLR Deluxe Rig
A variety of video and photography companies have seen the desire in the hybrid photo and video market for products that bridge the gap between photography and videography. DSLR rigs are largely modular kits that combine with connecting and articulating parts, which can trick out a still camera into a completely self-contained video production unit. Often called video rigs or cages, these kits provide a more comfortable way to hold a camera for longer periods, even with extra accoutrements like lights, matteboxes, monitors, focusing systems and sound gear attached.

iDC U-Boat
Video Rigs
Camtrol’s unique cage-free design makes it the perfect solution for cameras with swiveling LCD displays. The system can be used to hold both HD DSLRs or small camcorders up to seven pounds via an ambidextrous “true-feel grip” for steady and level floating shots. The three locking ball joints and vertical stabilizer bar allow the Camtrol to shoot from ground level, overhead or around objects. The Receiver Post for Remote and Accessories will keep cables out of the way, and the device folds down neatly to 10 inches in length for storage and transport. QPRL retractable legs extend for keeping cameras safely off of wet or dirty surfaces and for use as a quadropod for static shots. List Price: Begins at $399.

ikan Super Fly
Chrosziel is a highly regarded player in the television and film markets, offering a variety of accessories for big-name film and video cameras. It now includes support in more ways than one with the DV Balancer Shoulder Brace. The flat belly rest will support cameras up to almost nine pounds, and there are many accessories for customizing the kit to your needs, including the Chrosziel 3300 handle grip that allows you to comfortably carry full-sized kits, even with full mattebox setups attached. Estimated Street Price: Begins at $725.

Cinevate’s gamut of DSLR rigs starts with the incredibly cost-effective and pocket-sized DSLR Camera Grip that mounts as a handle via the ubiquitous ¼”-20 tripod mount for just under $30. The offerings range up to the comprehensive DSLR Deluxe Package at a bit above $3,000, with a configuration that includes ball-mounted Uno Grip handles, a rails system framework for mounting heavy accessories, a Durus follow-focus assembly, a Titan Matte Box and a Proteus Cage for supporting rigs weighing over 40 pounds. Many of their rigs, including the DSLR Deluxe Package, include shoulder-support attachments for comfort, and the items are available separately for building a kit as needed. List Price: Begins at $29.


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