Cavision DSLR Shoulder Mount...is this a decent deal? at DVinfo.net

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Old April 18th, 2010, 05:16 PM   #1
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Cavision DSLR Shoulder Mount...is this a decent deal?

Hey gang,

I'm shooting with a 5D2 and I'm considering going into Wedding videography. I'm considering pulling the trigger on this package for $700: Cavision DSLR Shoulder Mount + Much More - Canon 5D 7D Panasonic GH1

First, I know I'll want a wireless LAV mic for the vows etc. plus a few extras but I think this will jump start me quite well right?

What do you all think?

Thanks,
Roy
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Old April 18th, 2010, 10:22 PM   #2
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Be sure to check out the Glidetrack Shooter Glidetrack Shooter - Products. It doubles as a dolly and a shoulder brace. ~$300
I ordered one but due to the volcano in Iceland and the ash in the skys over Europe it has been delayed getting to me. Not the shippers fault - he shipped same day. Otherwise I would have a review for you.
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Old April 18th, 2010, 11:39 PM   #3
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ám gonna do that, thanks for the link man :)
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Old April 19th, 2010, 01:12 AM   #4
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I read a review (can't remember where) that made me purchase the DV Tec DSLR Extreme Deluxe and I'm very happy with that. Check it out here
DSLR Rigs - DVTEC

The belt and spring loaded support rod give you lots of stability and are very helpful when using a follow focus unit.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 07:37 AM   #5
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Thanks for the advice...I liked the DV-Tec look a bit better. Can anyone comment on the price offered for the rig I posted? Seems like a decent deal...I do need that Rode Video Mic too and the bag for the whole kit makes it nice too.

Thanks,
Roy
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Old April 19th, 2010, 07:42 AM   #6
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The Rode mic slips on to your hotshoe just fine. The DV-Tec rig also has two hotshoe mounts above the handlebars where you can mount the mic if you prefer to put a smallHD screen on top of the camera.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 09:59 AM   #7
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Too bad there's no review for the Cavision...hummm...I've searched some and have concluded that this rig is so-so but you get what you pay for...lots of Red Rock fans out there :)

The current list for all this stuff is $1223, but I really don't need that $180 bag and screen hoodie.

-Roy
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Old April 19th, 2010, 11:04 AM   #8
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The glidetrack does have a great concept, but nothing replaces a good shoulder mount.

The glidetrack can get very sticky (i've had to re-align mine quite a few times). You can also build one from Igus parts. The DP Slider is overall a better slider than the glidetrack for the performance vs. versatility vs. cost vs. quality.

As for a shoulder mount, I use all redrock based components to build my rigs up.

You could do this for a single grip shoulder mount that is offset:
1-microhandgrip
1-pair of 18" carbon rods
1-microshouldermount rod clamp
1-microshoulderpad
1-microshouldermount offset kit

You could always change it up to if you didn't want the offset or if later on you wanted to add counter balance weights you could. You could always add top rails with the hot shoe clamp later as well for low mode shooting. If you decide to not shoot weddings, you wouldn't have to sell your rig, but rather reconfigure it. This is what I have been doing for music videos, weddings, short films, and features. The modularity of this system really makes changing things a breeze. There was time we were using a jib and didn't have a remote head so we rigged a rod, micromount, and handle to the back of the 18" rods we had the camera, ff, and matte box mounted to for controlling it. It made a ridiculous task manageable.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 11:18 AM   #9
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I use that Cavision shoulder support and like it. Takes a bit of setting up to get the right height-shoulder distance to be comfortable, but once you've got it, just mark the metal joints with a permanent marker and you can go back to the same position every time. It's light and solid and although some of the locking keys aren't particularly smooth as you might find on a Zacuto or red Rock, they work perfectly well.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 03:05 PM   #10
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Roy, after way too much time researching, I just bought a Cavison rig from Adorama in NY (BH was sold out) for $850 that came with the shoulder brace, view finder, and follow focus and I think it is absolutely perfect and would recommend it.

I'm shooting with a T2i so I had to rig a little piece to raise the camera to meet up with the viewfinder, but if you have a 5D it will be a good fit. I bought a couple of lens gears for my Zeiss ZF and Canon zoom and I think the Cavison follow focus is good quality with nice dampening and very little play. I mounted my FF on the right hand side, fwiw. I looked up the follow focus that he is selling with the package you linked to and it looks pretty flimsy to me.

I chose the Cavision rig because:

a) Cavision has been making stuff for motion picture cameras for years and I think their stuff reflects that. (Well, at least they have been advertising in American Cinematographer for years anyway!)

b) The design is pretty simple and there isn't tons of adjustment points... I look at some of the newer rigs and see myself endlessly adjusting the length and angle of about 5 different places and driving myself nuts.

c) Price vs. what you get. I wanted something straight forward with smallish handles up near the lens that allows the operator to move around in tight spaces without long rods, handles, shoulder braces, etc. sticking out. Plus, since it has two handles you can sit it on a table or floor and it won't tip over. I use to have a rig with one handle that forced the operator to lay the thing on its side. Bad. idea.

d) The Cavision is one of the only lower priced units that both raises the DSLR above the shoulder and also moves it over about 6" so the view finder aligns with the operator's eye.

I've noticed in pictures from movie sets that the hand held rigs used by the pros seem pretty compact with small handles near the lens that forces the operator to stand in a boxing type posture. Think hands up at chin height, arms slightly bent, and fists 12"-18" out. If things turn ugly at the reception you'll already be in a proper fight stance too! Take that drunk uncle Joe, annoying DJ, or cranky bride that didn't order the videographer a meal!!!

I mounted a quick release plate on the bottom so I can pop from tripod to hand held without taking the camera off the rig.

I'd personally spend the extra $150 and buy it new with the Cavision follow focus, but for $700 that is a pretty good deal. The follow focus he is selling doesn't look so solid and I can't see spending that kind of dough on something with a flimsy FF. Who cares about the bag.

Let me know if that is enough info. First shoot with new rig is tomorrow morning.

Good luck,
Jeff
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Old April 19th, 2010, 08:06 PM   #11
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Jeff et all, I got the rig today for $680...so far things look good, the follow focus will need the V2 focus gears that mount to the lens, but what's interesting is that when I mounted my 5D2 and 17-40 f/4L and the 24-105 f/4L I just moved the FF main large gear and meshed it up against the lens' focus ring and it gripped it quite well...very well without any play. I just need to order an $8 rubber piece between the 2X's LCD loupe and I'll be good.

The guy was very knowledgeable and gave me an hour of his time just talking video stuff. He said he added a soft leg weight to the shoulder mount (shown in the picture of him making that film) which did 2 things, added rear counter weight and cushioning.

He said he would recommend spending the $35 to upgrade the D-Focus to the V2 (they sell the kit) and buy the new V2 lens gears and I should be set. The Rode Videomic is soooo much better than the internal mic...did a quick test with my son talking about 10 feet away using the Rode and then the internal mic...MUCH better...all-in-all I'm pleased with the kit...now it's time to have some fun.

Thanks for all the help.
-Roy
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Old April 20th, 2010, 04:46 PM   #12
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Ok, back from the first shoot and everything went really really well. All but one teeny tiny problem... I fried my LCD screen with the Cavision viewfinder. I accidentally pointed it at the noon sun and it instantly burned yellow marks on the LCD screen. It is still under return policy so I'm going to try and swap.

The Cavision LCD viewfinder has a x6 magnification and no cover. If you put it on your 5D and let the sun touch it... it will ruin your LCD. Please be careful. I ended up taking some black gaffer tape and rigged a cover. Otherwise the rig was great. I'll post some stuff later if anyone is interested.

-jeff
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Old April 20th, 2010, 07:54 PM   #13
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Jeff,

I have been looking at the cavision, looks like a fine rig for the money. How do you rate the eye piece? Not as fancy as Zacuto's but is that any good? For people wearing glasses or contact lenses, is there any kind of diopter adjustment. Also, which shoulder piece did you get, the one that can swivel? I'd love to see pics and details of your rig.

Best.
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Old April 21st, 2010, 12:26 PM   #14
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Thierry,

Here are a few cellphone pics of the rig mounted with a quick release plate to a tripod.

The microphone bracket is an old $10 photo L bracket that I used to raise the camera up about 1/4" to mate up with the viewfinder. If you have a 5d this wouldn't be needed, but it was handy for mounting the microphone.

There is no diopter on the viewfinder, but I really like the swing away mount that comes with unit, so I guess it is a wash. My rig came as a package with the viewfinder, but I'd probably go with the Zacuto Z-finder (in fact I might at some point), but the cavision is really clear and easy to focus with.

(removed link)


As I said in my above post, I fried a few spots on my LCD screen when I accidently pointed the viewfinder at the sun. I think because the Cavision is 6x, combined with the giant eye piece and little to no rubber surround, makes it very very easy to damage the camera's LCD. The Zacuto finder seems to have a much smaller opening, thus cutting down on the chance of it getting exposed to direct sun light. On the other hand, being so wide open makes it decent for looking through with eye glasses.

If you want to see it, you are welcome to stop by. I'm about an hour North of DC.

(edit: can someone help me to post images within the post. I looked at the help section and tried the [img] [/img] and some other things with no luck. thx)

Last edited by Jeff Krepner; April 21st, 2010 at 11:00 PM. Reason: question
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Old April 21st, 2010, 10:20 PM   #15
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Thanks Jeff, can't see your pics even after logging onto my Google account. Love to see the rig... Please, send me your contact info at info@telecamfilms.com

Best,
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