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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old February 28th, 2010, 12:37 PM   #16
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A good solid shoulder rig and loupe are really important for handheld work. Do you need to spend thousands on a shoulder rig? No. I built my own for under $100.

But I'm now spec'ing a system for my employer. My current preference is for a chest pad, rather than shoulder mount and a single handle, since the second hand is on the lens or follow focus. A good loupe is also critical. With that setup, you have four points of contact.

There are three things that a pro rig buy you: quick setup, adjustability, and finish. You won't tear up your upholstery with a pro rig, but you might with some hacksawed aluminum.

For the work rig, I'm leaning toward a DSLR mount on two rails with the chest pad and single handle mounted to the rails. That gives an easy mount upgrade path for a follow focus. Also, you can quickly snap the camera setup onto a tripod without carrying the extra weight of an adapter plate.

Anyway, build or buy, a shoulder rig is an important part of the DvSLR tool kit.
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Old February 28th, 2010, 01:26 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Alex Sava View Post
Are all these rigs really necessary though? The Redrock one is sexy but it's around $2500 or something, isn't that immensely expensive for essentially some plastic? I mean we're all getting the T2i or even 7D for a great image for a low price, why spend all that cash on this stuff?

Can't we just buy a Steadicam Pilot? Surely it's very expensive as well but at least it's a Steadicam which works with any camera and supposedly renders "handheld" shots obsolete.

I'm just asking cause I'd fork out the money for a T2i or a 7D because they are great pieces of equipment which pretty much tell us how much technology has evolved. But when a follow focus and a mattebox cost almost as much as those two cameras combined, something surely isn't right...
Alex, I can definitely understand that it seems really rediculous that you can spend $400+ on a rig when your camera only costs $800. The reality is, it doesn't matter what the cost of the camera is. If you spend $15k (body only) on a RED One will that justify the cost of spending the money on certain rigs. Unfortunately, the companies who make the hardware and support systems don't have the demand so they cannot produce thousands/millions of units like Canon can, so the cost has to be more. There is a lot of R&D and work that goes into every single piece of hardware that is developed... every bolt, every dimension, the types of material used, machining, marketing, sales, support, etc... I wish good rigs only cost $100! I would have them all!

Rigs and support systems are meant to meet a certain need to a filmmaker. One rig might not really benefit an event shooter while it most certainly will a feature film DP/AC.

Steadicams/glidecams are great for a specific type of shot as is a slider, tripod, shoulder rig, etc... we all know that too much of a good thing can be bad (i.e., slow-mo, effects, cg in new star wars films, etc...).

Cheap gear or expensive gear? The gear will far outlast your camera, but you definitely want to make sure and get a support system that is modular, robust, and support the company that is always making design improvements and stays fresh with the market.

I use an array of rigs and gear, but each one serves a certain purpose.

i.e., how would the bourne identity look if it was all shot on a tripod and no handheld was done? Would you get the same intense feel?

I use a lot of redrock micro gear and it has been extremely robust and the customer support has been great for the last 4 years and counting. I'm not sure what kind of redrock stuff you are using that is "essentially plastic", but the stuff I am using is mostly precisely machined aluminum. Could you please elaborate on what all is plastic and what rig you refer to (are we on myth busters?)?

(I'm wrapping this up I promise!)

Depending on what kind of things you will be shooting should weigh out what kind of gear you should be using.

Jean, what kind of stuff will you be shooting?
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Old February 28th, 2010, 03:22 PM   #18
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Jon -
Be careful of chest pads - unless you have zen master breath control, you'll get the chest movement introduced to the footage.

Better is attach a monopod and use a belt pocket (you still can get vibration when moving, but with care it's minimal (remember to lift the rig off the belt support slightly when moving), and when you're stationary, it's pretty stable, depending on the operator.
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Old February 28th, 2010, 03:48 PM   #19
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With the chest pad on the upper chest near the collarbone, it should be fine. Also, one can breathe with the diaphragm like a trained singer.

The main thing is that I think it's better to secure the camera by pressure back against the shoulder area, rather than with gravity pulling down against the top of the shoulder. And with a longer shoulder bar and counterweight, it just adds more size and heft.

My current, homemade rig is over the shoulder with an upper shoulder pad. I'm looking forward to something smaller and lighter, yet secure.
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Old February 28th, 2010, 04:16 PM   #20
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Cody, $400+ sounds great. I'm talking about the Redrock dSLR Cinema Bundle, for example, which is a whooping $2500 and is basically a few plastic things and some rods.

Now, do I blame them for charging that much? No. As you said, they don't sell millions of units so they need to keep the price up. But I'm talking about whether or not I really need that.
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Old February 28th, 2010, 05:18 PM   #21
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Alex, that's a great question! You should always ask your self if you "need" that piece of gear or not when deciding to make a purchase. You should also figure out what your "needs" are before you even ask your self that to make the decision process a lot easier.

Based on your comment, you have never used/handled the DSLR cinema bundle (or probably any redrock gear for that matter), if you had you would know exactly how little of it is actually plastic... have you ever held 9lbs of plastic (rig weighs 9lbs without a camera)? You should never speculate how something is built if you have never had your hands on it.

As a great pricing example, you can get an Arri MB-20 II matte box, which has plastic components just as redrock's at filmtools for $4,000: Arri Matte Box MB-20 II CAT 338106, Fits the Arri D-20 and Red One HD-CAM it's just a matte box right... try telling that to someone in hollywood (better yet, don't. They will laugh at you). The Arri matte box costs over 5 times as much as the redrock matte box.

Not everyone needs a matte box or a cage or a follow focus. It really just depends on the type of stuff they shoot. For a wedding I'm probably not going to want a DSLR cinema bundle, it's heavy and over kill for that purpose. People who shoot short films or music videos may think other wise though.

The camera is a tool and just one part of the equation just like the hardware that supports the camera. You can't shoot a movie without light, but once you get the light, now you need a camera, but now you need audio, now you need XYZ to make this specific shot happen, etc...

I'm pretty thankful that redrock exists because they make tools available to me that I could not other wise afford to own... most of hollywood and others rent because it's not in the budget to buy the support systems and cameras because the cost is so high. Comparing the cost of your camera to a support system doesn't really make sense... they are two completely different things! If this whole novel doesn't make it clear, I'm not sure what will.

Alex, if you need help in deciding what kind of gear you need to help your shoots, start a new thread and we would all be more than willing to help you out.

**stepping down from the barry green soap box** :)



JEAN, what type of stuff do you plan on shooting?
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Old February 28th, 2010, 05:41 PM   #22
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Cody, I think the Arri Matte Box is grossly overpriced as well. But we're not really talking Hollywood gear here, are we?

And the price comparison between the camera AND the accessories seems pretty sensible to me. It's $800, that means any student can now buy a T2i/550D and shoot his film and all I'm asking is, are 3 grand (give or take) worth of rods and *METAL* dials really necessary for a camera obviously aimed at people with modest budgets and/or dSLR "virgins?"

That's my only question. I am quite sure Redrock makes fine products but it's just very discouraging seeing such a huge price for stuff which doesn't really look that impressive. I mean look at this. If two handlebars aren't overpriced at $440 then I don't know what is.
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Old February 28th, 2010, 07:06 PM   #23
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reality is, these companies aren't selling tons of these things.
Alex, yeah...look at that again. There's a lot of machining and fabricating that they are doing and until they can mass produce, prices will remain high. I agree it's ridiculously overpriced but there is a reason. These are pretty small companies with a limited market.
Same thing happens in a lot of areas of our industry. Look at tripods...I rented a Sachtler System 20 and thought...this is pretty nice...but when I looked at the purchase price I almost gagged! Close to $10,000? My Ducati only cost $1000 more! Anyway...

Hopefully with the T2i at it's price point, it can bring in significant numbers of users looking for accessories which should help.
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Old February 28th, 2010, 07:30 PM   #24
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I have no problem with gear costing $10,000. I may point out it's overpriced but I don't blame the companies NOR their customers, it is a limited market and I understand.

Having said that, my only point is that on a $800 camera we should find some reasonable accessories.

I just don't see anyone going for the T2i/550D if he has lots of grands to fork out for rigs and other stuff. This will be a camera for modest budgets so I suggest we find modest accessories.

Anyone agrees? Should I start a new topic where we all pitch in with ideas for the lowest budget possible with decent results?
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Old February 28th, 2010, 07:46 PM   #25
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Alex, honestly it comes down to what you need for the shoot you are doing. When I was a student shooting with a DIY 35mm adapter, everything else I had was DIY as well. Now days I make money doing what I love and the DIY stuff just doesn't cut the mustard and I have no time to have DIY projects anymore. If you have the time, DIY can be fun and look extremely professional and be robust, but in the end you could end up paying the same as going out to buy a well machined rig (not counting the amount of time you put into it!).

I think you should definitely create a new thread for this topic.
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