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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 April 14th, 2011, 02:49 AM   #1
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Next Investment

Hey guys , i know this is like my 10th post but everyone here is pretty darn helpful so why not. I have about $1000 to spend and I am debating on either buying glass, a rig, or a dslr slider. I already have a Canon 7D, Zeiss 50mm 1.4, Canon 17-55mm 2.8, z-finder, Manfrotto 504HD head / tripod, Rode Video Mic and a Zoom H4N. As far as I am concerned I am pretty content with my two lenses, but i know a good lens can never really be a bad investment... A rig i suppose is always needed but with the various DIY rigs, or the well made Redrock Micro's i dont know what is the best investment. i know theres a million discussion boards on the topic, but in short i am looking for a quality shoulder mount. I shoot a lot of handheld so i guess it makes sense, possibly indisystems to save money?... and a dslr slider is just a great tool to have in an arsenal (I have a 504HD head, anyone with experience using it with a slider???)... I shoot primarily indi flicks and various short films. of course the answer to not spend any money and just keep saving is an option...hopefully all my questions arent such a burden... Thanks!!
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Old April 14th, 2011, 08:05 AM   #2
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Re: Next Investment

I think its all about improving your shots.

So buy a EVF - Zacuto or Redrock, when they are available. DSLR's are so hobbled, especially the 7D in using the LCD that any shoulder rig is a nightmare even with the viewfinder. The camera should be in-line and not offset and the EVF can then be mounted exactly where your eye needs it.

Even if this means buying a cheaper shoulder rig...
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Old April 14th, 2011, 12:52 PM   #3
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Re: Next Investment

Jon makes an interesting point about an EVF. I shot for two days at NAB with a RedRock rig, Z-finder, Zeiss primes, and a juicedLink. I use a chest pad, rather than shoulder pad for the rig and I mount the juicedLink near the chest to help reduce the weight near the hands. With an EVF, I could back the whole thing up and onto my shoulder, which would help balance.

That said, with a chest pad, holding the cam isn't bad, and you can move the rig an inch forward and manually jib the camera down and around in front of you.

If you are shooting long events handheld, the EVF and shoulder pad would be nice. For shorter clips and interesting angles and movement, the Z-Finder and a chest pad rig is best.

Frankly my main problem today is that my left hand is totally fatigued from when I'd bring the camera down near my belly and walk around. I must have been using an iron grip as this morning I could hardly button my shirt!

BTW, RedRock has a killer attachment for the DSLR baseplate for like $50. (I will get the attachment to modify mine.) It lets you attach a tripod plate full time. That means you can grab the rig off the tripod with a single click and put it back on just as easily.

With my RedRock rig, I have to crank the handles pretty hard to get them not to slip, but once I did, I had no slippage over two straight days. And it was never too hard to open the joints back up. You can ratchet the thumbscrews out of the way or into the position where you can leverage it, which was really nice.

Anyway, I like the quality and the options - and the DSLR baseplate accessory will give my rig the one thing it was lacking - a quick way to tripod mount it, with little additional cost.
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Old April 14th, 2011, 03:25 PM   #4
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Re: Next Investment

that is quite interesting, you guys are some of the first that really go in depth about an EVF. from your guys opinions, would a redrock shouldermount and a Zacuto EVF be sufficient? i already have a z finder so i take it all i would need would be the $680 EVF, or would you possible say to wait for the redrock micro EVF since it will probably significantly cheaper. also, with that in mind, would you say to just invest in a well made rig first, then later buy the shouldermount. thanks!
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Old April 14th, 2011, 09:02 PM   #5
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Re: Next Investment

It depends. Do you do long events? Do you do run 'n gun news? Keep in mind that a true shoulder rig shoots at eye height or belt level, if you kneel. If you use two handles and a chest pad, you will have more freedom to get low.

For extreme freedom, build something like the "man-rig" that Shane Hurlbut used in his military action feature. Imagine a plate under the camera and a vertical handle at the right rear and another at the left front. The left arm is more extended than the right and you pull the two handles away from one another to add stability. You can get that thing down on the ground, if you want. It's perfect for action shooting.

Basically, I'm running The Event, which gives the best of both worlds - you can move it around easily, and by pulling it against your chest, you take some weight off your arms and gain three point stability.



Anyway, an EVF is a great solution to get the weight on top of the shoulder, but while you gain balance, you lose some mobility.
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Old April 15th, 2011, 09:00 AM   #6
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Re: Next Investment

You have two good lenses, but how about picking up a Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 lens (about $600). This is my favorite lens for the 7D. This would leave you with about $400 to play with...

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