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Old September 3rd, 2009, 09:50 AM   #1
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Experience with "cage" type supports for 5D?

I do documentary and documentary-style corporate work and need a very small, lightweight system for holding the 5D with some accessories (at most: mic, LED light, monitor, digital audio recorder). Most of the time, it will be on a tripod, but it also needs to be able to quickly go handheld or on a monopod if necessary.

Does anyone have any experience with "cage" type supports? I'm referring specifically to stuff like the U-Boat Commander from IDC or the indiSQUARE from indiSYSTEM. Is there another similiar system? I considered the Fig Rig for a while but it seems so awkward.

-Richard
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 10:34 AM   #2
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I've had my hands on Bruce Dorn's U-boat Commander and I liked it a lot.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 11:08 AM   #3
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Great Product UBC

I also have the U Boat Commander. I love its versatility. It can be configured as:
1. Hand held cage like the Captain Steubing (Red Rock)
2. Gunstock cage configuartion
3. On the shoulder cage configuration
4. Table top cage with 3 legs for product shots etc
On mine I have a quick release to allow the camera to be removed and placed on a Glidecam
AND a quick release to allow me to place any of the above configs on a tripod.
And they are nicely designed and manufactured.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 11:22 AM   #4
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Thanks, guys. I'm going to do some more research, but the U-Boat Commander II looks like it will fit my needs.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 05:51 PM   #5
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Hey Richard,

No pics just yet but I have built up a "cage" set up for my 5D.
The base is a Cinevate Titan mattebox with 19mm rials top and bottom...throw in some RED side handles and it is looking to work great. I will have photos plus a review of the mattebox soon..
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Old September 5th, 2009, 09:38 AM   #6
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another vote for UBC

I find myself using the U boat commander quite often, but not exclusively. It is a good cage for mounting the camera with various clamps or mounts, such as on the hood of a car. The solid aluminum construction has many pre drilled mount points and can be easily drilled and tapped for customizing.
The handle configuration is good for general shooting, and with a table top tripod or a monopod it works great.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 09:50 AM   #7
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Denis, what other rigs do you use and for what applications?
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Old September 5th, 2009, 07:05 PM   #8
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A couple different configurations

Hi Tom, your question was an excuse to set up for some gear shots (getting ready for an ebay sale of some stuff -anyone need a Sigma 120-300 2.8 or an HMI light? - lets make a deal!).
I had an old Vocas matte box and rails - a quick release and a cheeseplate with a bracket works pretty well on the stix or handheld - but I prefer it on the tripod.
For run and gun handheld (which I really don't often do with the Canon) I have a set of rails and a shoulder plate/handle. The same cheeseplate lets me mount it quickly on the tripod (I've had to get a few extra wedgeplates, and the damn screws keep running oof, seems I'm always short one or the other - 1/4 -20 or 3/8.
The Uboat Commander from IBC is my preferred way to go if I'm just heading out and want the capability to shoot should something interesting come up. I got a commando kind of camera strap that keeps the Canon secure and lets me put it to my eye quickly when I want it.
Mounting the camera with the UBC is a breeze, holes all over it, threaded and not ( and I have no fear of making my own where I want them).
My Leica table top tripod, a "best buy" 30 years ago works phenomenally well with this. Rest it on a flat surface, jam it against a wall or twist it up against your body ( and watch you breathing) = rock steady video.
Same with the monopod - no need for a ball joint adapter, just lean where you want to be.
The latest "tool" that I haven't have a lot of time to use, but I know will be a lifesaver someday is the "monsterpod". It has a sticky base (with a cover) that will attach to pretty much any surface - nice and smooth like a kitchen counter, or rough like a chain link fence. I won't leave the camera hanging from the ceiling without a safety strap, but this thing will hold it up there - mounted from the top holes on the UBC.
I hope this is of use to you -
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Old September 5th, 2009, 07:18 PM   #9
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Very cool, Denis. Its illuminating to see all the different configurations that you can utilize.
Thanks for the pix.
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