I am currently working on a few broadcast projects and I wanted to utilize the image quality, small footprint and light weight of Canonís ubiquitous 5D MkII. The 5D's unique qualities make for an extremely robust and interchangeable system. It is possible to change quickly from a handheld/POV type of set up to a studio or shoulder rig at a moments notice. My challenge, early on, was HOW could one do this with reliable and long-lasting support equipment while not breaking the bank. Following in the footsteps of established film industry gear would become expensive very quickly.
Iíve experimented with a number of solutions from different gear manufacturers to address my requirements for a handheld/POV rig, a studio rig and a shoulder rig. This post will showcase what Iíve discovered to be an almost perfect handheld/POV set-up, IMHO.
Balance, light weight and small size is the hallmark of a good POV set-up. When I first saw Illya Friedmanís HotRod hand held system with offset handles, I knew I found the perfect base for my POV rig. The light weight aluminum base with carbon fiber rails addressed all the criteria I listed including good ergonomics. With the camera body centered and lens/matte box out front with a monitor at the rear, the whole rig remained light and neutral. The distance between the left handle and follow focus is such that I can manipulate focus with my fingertips. Also, the monitor was adjustable for angle so it was easy to see what I was shooting whether I was on my feet or belly down on the ground. Lens changes are made easy with the swing away matte box and if I needed external sound recording, it is simple to attach a Zoom H4N to either handle.
This set up consists of:
ē Hot Rod Cameras Hand Held Rig (http://www.abelcine.com) $190.00
ē Cinevate Tripod Plate and Rail Block (http://www.cinevate.com) $75.00
ē Redrock Follow Focus V2 and DSLR Base (http://www.redrockmicro.com) $775.00
ē Easom Carbon Fiber Rails (http://www.easom.com) $65.00
ē Giottos MH-1304 Pro Series II Mini Ballhead (http://www.jag35.com) $30.00
ē Zacuto Zwing-Away (http://www.zacuto.com) $125.00 on eBay
The most expensive parts for this set-up come from a pair of heavy hitters in the DSLR rig community. Obviously, there are other less expensive companies offering similar parts, which could easily bring the total price down to below $500.00.
The basis for all this is the Hot Rod Cameras rig. It is, quite frankly, the best and cheapest set-up Iíve seen so far. The quality and modifiability is unmatched.
N.B. I do not work for any of the mention companies. :grin: