Gear: Rigs

The DSLR Movie Kit Shoulder Rig is cheap, around £40, but, if your interested in buying this then remember that it is not ment for heavy cameras. I have heard people mention they have used it with matte boxes attached e.t.c but I would not recommend this, buy it if you have a small DSLR like the Panasonic gh2 or 550d. I have this and once used it for shooting an interview with the 550d and a 17-70mm canon lens mounted on it and boy it was uncomfortable. It can be shaped into different rig set up which is very handy and has a nice small form factor, you could even strap a weight to the back and give your self even more weight support. You get what you pay for with this and even though it is very useful it can’t handle a lot of weight. Key features:

  • Changeable formations
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Works good with a viewfinder on you DSLR
  • Cheap – £35
  • Good for small cameras like the Gh2

The Dot Line Hands Free Shoulder Rig is brilliant if you want to be able to rest your hands when holding a rig however, it is cheap and made from plastic meaning it cannot handle to much weight, just like the one above. I have heard of people mounting some big weight on this and it being fine but a close friend nearly broke his canon 550d when it snapped on him so take heed. In all respects the rig is very comfortably, much more than the one above and you easily walk around with this on as it is nicely balanced. The strap also means you can nicely clip on your little digital camera for firing off some quick snaps.


The Express 35 Event Rig is what I would consider a mid range rig that packs all the punches of pro 1K plus rigs. This particular EVENT rig is designed for EVF or LCD Monitor use by keeping the camera in line over the shoulder. You can also use this setup with cameras that have Flip out LCD screens. The contoured shoulder pad wraps behind the shoulder (doesn’t sit on top), and the counterweight that sits low balances the rig out even more. With the dual rods on the counterweight, you can offset this if you feel you need to shift it over more to one side. I prefer to have the weight adjusted to sit lower. You can also just shoot without the counterweight, and still have plenty points of contact for stabilizing your camera. I would advise getting the extra hand grip so it doesn’t fall over when resting it on the floor.


The Jag35 offset shoulder rig is a more pro system featuring 15mm rods and a stronger alloy material. The great thing about purchasing this is that you have a massive wealth of compatible add ons already made for it, like the Jag 35 follow focus systems. This Rig is Offset and its designed to place the DSLR camera, (either a 60D, T2i, 7D, or 5DmkII) right in front of your face, it works best with one of the available LCD Viewfinders in the market like Zacuto Z-Finder Jr. Jag 35 also offer a Straight Rig designed to be used with an external monitor in the event that you would need to split the HDMI signal and send one feed to video village. As you may already know plugging an hdmi cable disables the dslr built in lcd screen creating a need for an external monitor.


The Zacuto Z Cage is one of many useful cages used to make your DSLR a cinema orgasm. With these cages you can keep adding and adding and adding, usually resulting in your bank balance looking sad. Zacuto are good for making your 5D more 35mm cinema camera like as they offer a multitude of add ons for this cage, rigs, matte boxes e.t.c just like the Jag 35. The DSLR baseplate is fully adjustable and expandable. You can adjust the height of the plate for compatibility with all DSLR cameras with and without battery grips simply by using the Allen screws on the front of the baseplate. The DSLR baseplate is also the platform for building your kit into a shoulder mounted rig. The plate also has multiple 1/2″ 13 threads on the sides so you can expand the cage into a shoulder mounted rig if you ever choose to change or create your own system. This is a good option because the quick release plate can be left on your camera when switching between other Zacuto rigs, remember, if your investing in rigs I recommend you use all the same brand as you can use the same quick release, making things much easier.


The Kramerar Friction Arm is one of many available on-line, all very very useful. By using these you can mount your external recorder, LED light e.t.c to the top shoe on your camera, or add it to a cage like the one seen above. For very little money (£20) you are getting a nice ability to add a lot of gear into your small form factor body without dishing out the money needed for cages and rigs or a second helper on your shoots. I do recommend you get a long one like the one above, aprox 11″.


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