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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

Novoflex MMR Bluebird
The Quick Release U-Boat accessory cage for HD DSLR filmmakers from iDC accepts any camcorder or video-capable DSLR within dimensions of 5 inches tall and 6 inches wide. The kit is quick release for removing the camera from the cage for more free-form use, and there are industry-standard ¼”-20 mounting options on the baseplate for tripods. An add-on solution for an adjustable-length shoulder brace also doubles as a pan-handle when mounted to tripods, and the system is compatible with the iDC SYSTEM ZERO Follow-Focus unit for use with Canon and other popular cinematic lenses. (iDC also offers a Direct Mount U-Boat Video Rig for the Canon EOS 7D and 5D Mark II at $60 less that lacks the quick-release.) List Price: $459.

Part of ikan’s Elements series, the SUPER FLY Super Kit weighs only 1.25 pounds, with a design that’s meant to be efficient, cost effective and easy to carry when compared to larger rail systems. You can customize the rig with the F3 Friction Follow Focus system and shoulder support Gunstock Kit (18 or 24 inches) for rifle-like steadying of the camera against the crook of your arm. The Super Kit includes two cheese plates and two six-inch 15mm rods with a rail mount, grip bars and handle arms. The cheese slice plates include machined holes with various threads for attaching devices to the bridge-like support above the camera, including lighting or flashes, microphones, extra batteries or monitors. The system is compatible with smaller video-capable DSLRs, and the SuperFly Spacer Kit adds enough space for larger pro models like the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV or bodies with battery grips attached. List Price: Begins at $449.


(888) 722-6876

Chrosziel (16x9 Inc.)
(661) 295-3313

(807) 344-7153

iDC Photo Video
(928) 442-3903

ikan Corporation
(713) 272-8822

Novoflex (HP Marketing Corp.)
(800) 735-4373

Redrock Micro
(888) 214-3903

(888) 294-FILM

The Novoflex MMR BLUEBIRD includes integrated chest and neck support for even weight distribution during long shoots. Twin handgrips utilize a MagicBall joint with adjustable friction for precise camera alignment with simultaneous horizontal and vertical swiveling camera movements, similar to a ballhead on a tripod. The rack system also can accept monitors and microphones with the optional mounts as well as focusing units. Working with many of the same components, the MMR uFLY’s simple advantage is in its no-frills construction. The three-sided support arm attaches to its handgrip with a variable friction ball joint attachment and quick-release camera platform. The camera slides along the baseplate for the best balance and positioning. There are other plates available that can be affixed to the setup for microphones, monitors and accessories. The grip also is adjustable on the top plate for comfort and proper balance. List Price: $1,399 (MMR BLUEBIRD); $999 (MMR uFLY).

The popular Redrock Micro DSLR 2.0 Rigs can be configured to best fit your needs, with basic kits available for DSLR Handheld Rigs, DSLR Shoulder Mounted Rigs and the complete DSLR Cinema/Studio Rig solution. Compatible with most video DSLRs and adaptable for use with larger cameras like the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV and the Nikon D3S, the full DSLR Cinema Bundle includes a microFollowFocus Unit for more comfortable and exact focusing of DSLR lenses, a top microHandle for carrying the system or shooting low to the ground, industry-standard 15mm rods for use with other accessories, even those of other companies, and a microMatteBox for preventing glare and lens flaring and adding filters. The Cinema Bundle also can be configured as a microShoulderMount Deluxe Bundle. List Price: Begins at $400.

Zacuto has an extensive lineup of DSLR rigs and accessories. The DSLR Z-Cage is a lightweight, but extensively modular rigging solution with ergonomically constructed finger-grip DSLR handles. The system is quick release, with a red knob on the baseplate that attaches securely to the tripod thread of the camera. The Allen screws on the baseplate can be adjusted for use with any video-capable DSLR with or without battery grips, and the plate also includes multiple threads on the sides for switching from a cage design to a shoulder-mount. Check out the “pimped-out” complete setup on the Zacuto website to see what the system is fully capable of supporting. List Price: $870.


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