A Simple "Walk Around" DSLR Rig

I have received a few emails recently asking me questions about my 7D rig. I have already written about shooting with my eyeSpy shoulder mounted rig. It is great for larger production work and long handheld sessions, but one of the reasons that I love shooting video with DSLR's is that their size makes them very portable. A high quality small camera is a luxury for a traditional camera operator, but the ergonomics leave something to be desired. 

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eyeSpy RigThe design of a DSLR is perfect for still photography. The body's style has worked forever, but when it comes to shooting video, holding the camera steady for extended periods of time can be difficult. That is where my shoulder rig comes in.

My problem is what happens when I want to use the camera when I'm not working? Or if I am shooting run and gun or doing the tourist thing? I cant exactly shoot with a shoulder mounted rig everywhere. I needed an extremely portable rig that would allow me to shoot handheld comfortably, but I didn't want to buy a second rig. I already had a lot of Redrock parts from the eyeSpy, so I decided to try get creative.  

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My custom Redrock Micro rig with an EOS 7D, 24-70mm f/2.8L, Z-finder, and Fader ND

I used 2x 9" rods, microHandGrip, DSLR baseplate, handlebar clamp and 4" handlebar rod to make the rig. I later switched the rods to 6" versions, to make the rig even smaller. This new "walk around" rig is wonderful. The combination of the rig with the Z-Finder from Zacuto gives me multiple points of contact for a stable shot.  

Now I have a way to roam around with my camera, and if I'm feeling ambitious, I can still fit a follow focus on the rig. The best part is, that if you wanted to build it it yourself, it will cost less then Redrock's cheapest DSLR rig. Almost $100 less!

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Carabiner used to attach Z-Finder to shoulder strapOn a side note, because the Z-Finder snaps into position, it is possible for it to fall off the camera. Zacuto provides a lanyard or optional elastic bands so that your investment doesn't fall to the ground. I came up with my own solution because I don't like the idea of wearing my viewfinder on a necklace. I attach the Z-Finder to the camera's shoulder strap with a carabiner. I can sling the camera over my shoulder and not have to worry about loosing the Z-Finder.

Update

on 2010-04-19 05:11 by Patrick Perrotto

Here I am with the rig and a giant dog. The camera is really comfortable in this configuration. It's like holding a DV camera body. Remember the old VX1000?

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Photo by Julia Dennebaum.