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Rig Buyer’s Guide 2018 – Videomaker

Image of a camera on a rig.
Image of a camera on a rig.Whether or not you design your personal customized set of rig element or purchase an entire rig off the shelf, begin your seek for good rig with a great understanding of the work you’ll be doing and the instruments you’ll have to get it finished.

Whereas it’s attainable to shoot nice video with only a digital camera and lens, many filmmakers shortly discover that they should add additional gear to their arsenal. Most cinema cameras are designed with an array of mounting choices for including equipment akin to screens, exterior recorders and matte packing containers. Nevertheless, the scope for increasing a DSLR or camcorders is usually extra restricted. The ergonomics of cameras designed primarily for taking nonetheless pictures are usually not ideally suited to capturing video. Thus, you want a rig.

Image of a camera on a rig.How, what and the place you’re capturing in addition to the equipment and configuration of your digital camera will have an effect on the rig you want.

When considering your first rig the temptation may be to increase your digital camera set-up right into a behemoth of scaffolding and wires. Nonetheless, it’s necessary to evaluate your wants to make sure that your rig enhances your filmmaking. How, what and the place you’re capturing in addition to the equipment and configuration of your digital camera will have an effect on the rig you want. When you’re capturing from a skateboard, you’re going to need one thing small in order to not prohibit your motion. Nevertheless, in case you’re capturing indoors on a tripod, then you possibly can afford to work with a rig that’s extra complete.

The great thing about a rig is that it’s modular. You can begin small then increase so as to add new options as wanted. Most rig methods are designed across the similar fittings so you’ll be able to combine and match between totally different producers. This makes upgrading easier and saves cash since you possibly can reuse older elements.

Ergonomics and rig design

When planning your rigs, it’s essential to think about the joints of the physique and the way they have an effect on digital camera motion and working fatigue. A lot of the high quality shake that exhibits up in hand-held digital camera photographs comes from the wrists. Nonetheless, having your elbows out whereas working might help you to get tilted or Dutch angle photographs, however it places extra pressure in your arms. The vertical handles on a rig ought to help you maintain each elbows pressed into your torso to assist get rid of undesirable digital camera motion.

Camera operator using a rig.The necessity to see the display on the again of a DSLR typically signifies that the digital camera sits forwards on the rig, growing the load and pressure on the operator’s arms and wrists.

That stated, many operators discover the added weight of a digital camera rig could make capturing handheld simpler. Nevertheless, it’s necessary to make sure that your rig is properly balanced. For those who’ve ever labored handheld with an ENG digital camera or a big digital cinema digital camera, you’ll have observed that it may be simpler to acquire regular photographs than when utilizing a handheld, light-weight DSLR or mirrorless digital camera. Bigger shoulder mounted cameras are designed in order that their middle of gravity sits over the operator’s shoulder, which lightens the efficient load on their palms.

Sadly, the necessity to see the display on the again of a DSLR typically signifies that the digital camera sits forwards on the rig, growing the load and pressure on the operator’s palms and wrists resulting in fatigue and digital camera shake. Equally, including a metallic weight or exterior battery to the again of the rig acts as a counterbalance and can scale back fatigue and thus enhance stability despite the fact that general the rig is heavier.

Earlier than selecting your first rig it is best to rigorously evaluation your digital camera’s measurement and weight in addition to your present digital camera help.

Earlier than selecting your first rig it is best to rigorously evaluate your digital camera’s measurement and weight in addition to your present digital camera help. Remember the additional weight a rig will add when contemplating the utmost load capability of your tripod or different digital camera help. With this in thoughts, when you wish to run and gun, getting a number of high and low angles, you then’ll need to keep on with the fundamentals together with your rig. In case your capturing type is a extra pre-deliberate, then you definitely’ll need extra help and a set of equipment that will help you alongside.

Mounts and Cages

That is the place your rig begins. A mount is just a platform to which you’ll be able to connect your digital camera. Mounts differ in measurement and a few embrace attachments for rods or rails. A mount that comes with a fast launch plate makes it simpler to swap your digital camera between totally different set-ups

In addition to offering a mount in your digital camera, cages shield the digital camera physique and supply attachment factors for a number of equipment. Many cages even have cable clamps to assist forestall the monitor or exterior recorder cables from being by chance dislodged. Lengthy shoots with DSLRs and mirrorless cameras can require loads of battery modifications, so ensure that your digital camera’s battery door stays accessible when selecting a cage.

One factor to remember is that a mount could be hooked up to most cameras whereas a cage can be designed to suit a selected digital camera mannequin. When you change cameras sooner or later, you could want a brand new cage.

IndiPRO Instruments DSLR Baseplate with 9″ 15mm Rods – $99

IndiPRO Tools DSLR Baseplate with 9" 15mm Rods - $99IndiPRO Instruments DSLR Baseplate with 9″ 15mm Rods – $99

ikan EV3 Fast Launch DSLR Baseplate with Rods – $179

ikan EV3 Quick Release DSLR Baseplate with Rods - $179ikan EV3 Fast Launch DSLR Baseplate with Rods – $179

Dot Line GearBox 2 Accent Cage – $110

Dot Line GearBox 2 Accessory Cage - $110Dot Line GearBox 2 Accent Cage – $110

LanParte Mirrorless Digital camera Primary Cage – $239

LanParte Mirrorless Camera Basic Cage - $239LanParte Mirrorless Digital camera Primary Cage – $239

 

Rods, Rails and Rosettes

Through the years, requirements have been developed relating to the best way gear attaches to digital camera rigs, thus permitting corporations to construct gear that’s cross-suitable. Rails and rods permit gear to be hooked up linearly on a rig. Moreover, rod techniques are often constructed to a 15mm normal for mild gear and 19mm for heavier gear.

Rods extending in entrance of the digital camera can be utilized so as to add matte packing containers, comply with focus models or helps for bigger or heavier lenses. To the again of a rig, rods can be utilized so as to add a shoulder pad or mount for an exterior battery system.

The 2 mostly seen rails are the ARRI dovetail and NATO rail requirements. Rails can be utilized to connect a variety of equipment together with prime handles, monitor arms and cable clamp brackets.

Rosettes are designed to permit the attachment of kit at totally different angles. They’re properly-fitted to attaching handles to rigs. Rosettes are seen in numerous sizes, however the ARRI rosette is likely one of the commonest.

With that in thoughts, as you store, take heed to what each bit of your rig have to help, the way it wants to maneuver and modify and the place it wants to connect to the remainder of the rig. In case your cage helps 15mm rods and you purchase the 19mm model, you’re clearly going to have issues.

Handles

Including a prime deal with might help you get clean footage when filming low-degree photographs and makes your rig simpler to move. Consequently, watch out if including a prime deal with to the chilly or scorching shoe on a DSLR as these are usually not often designed to be weight bearing.

A greater choice for mid to heavy-weight rigs can be so as to add a deal with to the digital camera cage, moderately than to the digital camera itself. A single vertical deal with on the entrance of a rig is sweet for brief takes, however should you’re capturing or strolling for a protracted interval, having a second deal with will supply extra consolation and management.

Neewer DSLR Twin Deal with Hand Grip $25.99

Neewer DSLR Dual Handle Hand Grip $25.99Neewer DSLR Twin Deal with Hand Grip $25.99

CAMTREE Hunt 19mm/15mm Rosette Deal with Set $155

Neewer DSLR Dual Handle Hand Grip $25.99Neewer DSLR Twin Deal with Hand Grip $25.99

Shoulder Pads and Braces

Furthermore, in the event you’re capturing handheld rather a lot, you’ll need additional help. In addition to spreading the load to scale back fatigue in your arms and wrists, having a further level of contact together with your physique will improve the general stability of your photographs.

For minimal, light-weight rigs a brace that rests on the entrance or prime of the shoulder will typically suffice, giving help with out including a lot weight or bulk. On heavier rigs, it’s higher to have the additional help of a curved shoulder pad, probably with the addition of a counterbalance weight to shift the middle of gravity backward, particularly if the digital camera is positioned to the entrance of the rig.

NICEYRIG Regular Shoulder Mount/Shoulder Pad $36

NICEYRIG Steady Shoulder Mount/Shoulder Pad - $36NICEYRIG Regular Shoulder
Mount/Shoulder Pad – $36

Lanparte SS-02 Shoulder Help with V-Lock $135.59

Lanparte SS-02 Shoulder Support with V-Lock - $136Lanparte SS-02 Shoulder Help with V-Lock – $136

Arms, Mounts and Adapters

Whereas many filmmaking equipment are designed in order that they are often hooked up to a rig, you must make sure that your set-up is configured within the optimum approach for the challenge you’re filming.

Arms help you add gear like screens and lights in a approach that permits their place to be adjusted whereas making certain that digital camera physique controls are stored clear.

Mounts vary from one thing so simple as a chilly shoe for a microphone to a specialised bracket to connect an exterior SSD drive for longer recording occasions.

Despite the fact that rig elements are largely designed to be suitable throughout totally different producers, there are occasions when you will see that one thing that doesn’t fairly match, resembling 1/Four-20 thread screw when your rig solely has a spare three/Eight-16 gap. Don’t fear – there’s an adapter on the market to attach all of it collectively. It’s helpful to hold a set of the extra widespread adapters in your package bag.

Lens Help

For some digital camera physique and lens mixtures, you’ll want devoted help for the load of the lens. This typically turns into a necessity when utilizing cinema or full body lenses on small mirrorless digital camera our bodies, as their lens mounts aren’t designed to help such heavy lenses.

Consequently, using giant lenses with lens adapters such because the Metabones vary may also improve the pressure on a digital camera’s lens mount. There are numerous choices for lens helps that connect by way of 15 or 19mm rails. Some lenses and adapters even have built-in lens helps that may connect to your rig.

Focus Controllers

With the ability to management lens features away from the lens and digital camera could be a big assist. From cinema-type comply with focus to digital focus and zoom controllers, there are a number of choices round. Comply with focus models can be utilized for zoom or iris management on guide lenses. There are additionally many cheap add-on focus gears for nonetheless lenses to adapt them to be used with a comply with focus when you don’t have cine lenses.

Hondo Storage $50 Comply with Focus

Hondo Garage $50 Follow FocusHondo Storage $50 Comply with Focus

Fotga DP500 III Comply with Focus with A/B Arduous Stops and 15mm Fast Launch Rod Clamp $199

Fotga DP500 III Follow Focus with A/B Hard Stops and 15mm Quick Release Rod Clamp $199Fotga DP500 III Comply with Focus with A/B Exhausting Stops and 15mm Fast Launch Rod Clamp $199

LanParte Comply with Focus V2 with Arduous Stops $456

LanParte Follow Focus V2 with Hard Stops $456LanParte Comply with Focus V2 with Arduous Stops $456

Matte Bins and Lens Hoods

Many camcorders and a few digital camera lenses include lens hoods to assist enhance the distinction in your picture and stop lens flares. Matte packing containers are bigger and extra configurable than lens hoods and so supply even larger advantages to your picture high quality. Equally, most lens hoods connect on to your lens whereas matte packing containers often mount to the entrance rods of your rig.

Matte packing containers have flags that may be moved and positioned to chop out any undesirable mild —assume barn doorways on your digital camera lens. Matte bins may also maintain giant format filters in a single or a number of slots. This fashion of matte field provides you loads of performance and in addition provides your rig an actual cinema look.

Some matte bins are designed with a particular bracket that permits them to swing to at least one aspect making it simpler and faster to vary between lenses.

CAME-TV L-M3 DSLR Matte Field with Prime and Aspect Flags $98

CAME-TV L-M3 DSLR Matte Box with Top and Side Flags $98CAME-TV L-M3 DSLR Matte Field with Prime and Aspect Flags $98

Dot Line Digital Matte Field M2 $209.99

Dot Line Digital Matte Box M2 $209.99Dot Line Digital Matte Field M2 $209.99

LanParte MB-01 Four×Four Rod-Mounted DSLR Swing-Away Matte Field $418.85

LanParte MB-01 4x4 Rod-Mounted DSLR Swing-Away Matte Box $418.85LanParte MB-01 Four×Four Rod-Mounted DSLR Swing-Away Matte Field $418.85

Fast Launch Plates

For those who plan to go from tripod to handheld, then a fast launch plate on the underside of the rig is a should. Having the identical fast launch on all your help gear can prevent a variety of time.

Decorate, Decorate, Decorate!

The location of equipment and gear in your rig will have an effect on its weight and stability. It’s additionally necessary to make sure that the gear you add to your rig is straightforward to make use of and doesn’t intrude with one other element of the rig. Consequently, be careful for screens or matte packing containers blocking microphones and lights hooked up to your rig, for instance.

Exterior batteries are heavy, however mounted to the again of the rig, they will take the place of a counterweight and enhance the general stability of the rig.

Full Rigs

When shopping for your first rig you can begin with a easy and cheap setup then construct onto it to develop and adapt your setup as your wants change and you may afford new gear. There’s additionally a variety of full rigs available on the market that can be utilized each handheld and mounted to a tripod.

Neewer Moveable FilmMaker System $59.99

Neewer Portable FilmMaker System $59.99Neewer Moveable FilmMaker System $59.99

Newer is understood for making good high quality price range digital camera equipment, and their Moveable FilmMaker System has nice options for such a reasonable rig. It doesn’t include a digital camera cage, which suggests it may be used with any type issue of digital camera. The inclusion of a fast launch plate is a welcome bonus. Whereas designed primarily for shoulder-mounted use, the rig may also be hooked up to a tripod.

Dot Line HDSLR Gear Field DL-GB3 $149.99

Dot Line HDSLR Gear Box DL-GB3 - $150Dot Line HDSLR
Gear Field DL-GB3 – $150

The Dot Line HDSLR Gear Field DL-GB3 is right for anybody beginning to construct a rig for DSLRs in addition to smaller Sony E-mount and Micro 4 Thirds cameras. It options constructed-in aspect grips for 2-handed use and a reversible prime deal with for capturing low-angle photographs and to hold the rig between photographs.

The DL-GB3 comes with two normal 15mm rods for including equipment resembling a comply with focus and matte field in addition to a number of mounting factors for an exterior monitor, microphone or LED lights. With the straightforward addition of longer 15mm rods, the DL-GB3 might be simply expanded with a shoulder pad and entrance handles to adapt it to a shoulder mounted rig.

Sirui VSK-5 Video Survival Package $699.99

Sirui VSK-5 Video Survival Kit $699.99Sirui VSK-5 Video Survival Package $699.99

Appropriate for a DSLR or mirrorless digital camera, the Sirui VSK-5 Video Survival Package consists of the elements you must shoot with a handheld cage, shoulder mount rig and even a slider. It’s based mostly round 15mm rods, so you possibly can add commonplace equipment reminiscent of a matte field or comply with focus. It even is available in a backpack for straightforward journey.

Tilta Common Shoulder Rig $1379.84

Tilta Universal Shoulder Rig $1,380Tilta Common
Shoulder Rig $1,380

This whole rig is appropriate to be used with DSLRs, small to medium video camcorders, and even giant cameras. The baseplate contains a V-lock sort fast launch plate and adjustable shoulder pad for whenever you go handheld. It features a swing-away matte field and comply with focus with exhausting stops. It additionally is available in a customized fitted rolling arduous case.

Zacuto Indie Recoil Professional V2 $1650-4100

The Indie Recoil Professional V2 rig is appropriate for all cameras, together with mirrorless and DSLRs. It features a half cage and prime deal with. The rig is designed for optimum stability when used on a tripod or shoulder mounted. Nevertheless, you will have so as to add an digital viewfinder within the latter configuration, which does improve the fee significantly.

Parting Recommendation

Rigs help you mount a variety of equipment. The temptation might be to max out your rig simply because you’ll be able to. However ideally, your rig ought to embrace solely the additional gear wanted for the job you’re engaged on. That approach, you’ll be able to optimize your setup and workflow with out additional muddle. Whether or not you design your personal customized set of rig element or purchase an entire rig off the shelf, begin your seek for an ideal rig with a very good understanding of the work you’ll be doing and the instruments you’ll have to get it achieved.

Contributors to this text embrace Odin Lindblom, Pete Tomkies and the Videomaker Editorial Employees.