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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

Steadying Devices


Steadicam Merlin
Camera rigs are a great way to work within the ergonomic restraints of using a still camera or video, but for the ultimate in smooth panning and tracking, new products are available for steadying your shots and adding cinematic camera movements to your video. Because of the counterbalance systems that these products tend to employ, the lower weights of a video-capable DSLR actually have made them more difficult to stabilize than bigger cameras.

The VariZoom CrossFire has an integrated tabletop tripod that allows you to place it on surfaces without having to recalibrate the system once you pick it up again. A leg of the tripod can be used as a belt-supported body brace mode for taking the weight off of your arms, which can be an incredible relief during long takes, even with the lighter weights of video DSLRs. The CrossFire can be upgraded with a VariZoom DV Sportster to a vest support that places the weight on your torso, and there’s also a monopod mode. List Price: $499. Contact: VariZoom, (888) 826-3399, www.varizoom.com.

Designed for smaller camcorders, the Steadicam Merlin also can be used with HD DSLRs. It weighs 12.8 ounces and supports 0.5 to 5 pounds. The unit has a Folding-Caliper hinge for collapsing into a more portable solution and for use with shoulder-mounted shooting. When used with the optional Arm/Vest system for extended video sessions, the maximum load capacity increases to 7 pounds. List Price: Begins at $849. Contact: The Tiffen Company, (631) 273-2500, www.tiffen.com.

The Glidecam HD-Series of professional camcorder stabilization systems also can be used with video-capable DSLRs, offering fine adjustment camera balance platforms, integrated quick-release camera plates, a telescoping central post for height, and an adjustable dynamic balance, three-axis gimbal and inertial control base platform for precise balance. There are three models in the series, with the Glidecam HD-2000 hitting the HD DSLR sweet spot with a weight capacity from 2 to 6 pounds. Estimated Street Price: $449. Contact: Glidecam, (800) 600-2011, www.glidecam.com.


 

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