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Canon EOS Full Frame for HD
All about using the Canon 1D X, 6D, 5D Mk. IV / Mk. III / Mk. II D-SLR for 4K and HD video recording.


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Old May 16th, 2010, 08:14 PM   #1
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Shoulder Rig for 5D

I own both an EX-1 and a 5D, and I've found myself liking the 5D more and more, but the jello-cam is killing me at some points. From what I've read, it looks like a shoulder rig will help.

I shoot mostly action-sports, and the 5D won't replace the EX-1's versatility for me in that area, but for interviews and non-action-sport applications, I love the 5D's low light sensitivity and DOF that contributes to that cinematic feel. Regardless of the less rigorous shooting, I'm always on the go and need everything to be able to fit in my Kata backpack.

I use all Nikon glass with the 5D - a 28, 50, 105, and 300 - all non IS of course since they're all old lenses. The 300 is useless on anything but sticks, and even then - I really just use it for stills because of the jello caused from microshakes from just focusing.

Through my research on shoulder rigs, I've narrowed my choices down to the DVtec Multirig and the Redrock Eyespy. I wish I could try these out myself, but the multirig isn't carried anywhere, and the only place that carries the eyespy by me runs out so fast they lack a demo.

With the Multirig, I love that it can fold up tightly and fit in my bag without question. I'm intrigued how that support pod functions and if it dampens movement enough for it to double as a quasi-steadicam. I don't mind a little shake, in fact I prefer that cinema verite' look for the docuwork I do. My concern is jello with the 5D - it seems the microshakes by my hand shifting on the lens or small twitches cause the more irritating jello as opposed to larger jerks which aren't as bad. I'm always fine with my 28, and my 50 most of the time, but the 105 lens is next to impossible handheld. After watching this:

A WALK IN THE PARK - DVtec multiRIG Pro + DSLR DEMO - Canon 5D Mark II on Vimeo

The claim that it handled 135mm primes no problem sold me. However, with that demo, I'm not sure if he's using an IS lens and whether or not that makes the difference. Having never used an IS lens with the 5D, I have no frame of reference, and I've read both arguments that you hsould turn IS off by some and then others say turn it on. So if anyone has an opinion on that, I'm all ears. Also, the video was cut very quickly, so I couldn't get a bead on how jerky it got when walking.

My other choice is the Redrock Eyespy as I mentioned before. I'd opt for the version with the follow focus, because I feel like my hand on the lens contributes to a lot of the shake - anytime I have to readjust in case I need to make a large shift in focus. The big downside is that it's far bulkier and looks like it might not break down into my bag very easily. I don't want to defeat the huge upside of a DSLR and turn it into a huge beast of a camera.

I considered getting the RR follow focus coupled with the multirig, but I'd need to get rods and all of a sudden the multirig looses its compact size - the biggest plus for me.

If anyone has any suggestions or personal experiences or videos out there for reference, I'd love to see/hear them. Thanks.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 10:14 PM   #2
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I have the DSLR rig not the multirig but it looks like the same support rod, and I must say it is a must if you want to shoot for a long time, without it, it is extremely front heavy, with the support rod it takes away all of the weight and make it even more stable, I can acutally put a 300mm on and have zero micro jitter, couldn't believe it when I first put it on, before even when I use a monopod, anything at 85mm or more will have micro jitter, so yeah I think that support rod is worth the extra money.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 04:00 AM   #3
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I'm also loving my DV Tec Rig. Wouldn't use it without the support rod, though.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 06:42 AM   #4
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I got a DVtec Multirig Pro for my XH-A1 & now use it with my Canon 5DII. I am a big fan. The springy stabilising rod really does work well. The 5DII is a bit fiddly to get on & off the rig as the adjusting lever almost fouls the camera now & they do appear to have a rig specific to DSLRs now but it may well be that if I fitted a Manfrotto QR plate onto the Multirg first I would have less of a problem with getting the camera on & off.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 09:46 AM   #5
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I would recommend something that is modular and has the ability to use counter weights. I primarily use redrock gear for many different reasons, one being I can reconfigure my rigs for any type of shoot by adding or taking away parts. When something is updated or their is a new design, I don't have to buy a whole new rig, just a part or two. The difference I've noticed with redrock vs. other companies is their designs. Once the DSLR fad is over and the next big thing is out, I can just move a few parts around to accommodate it. Future proof. The redrock stuff breaks down really small and only take a minute or two to get rolling.

The shoulder rig will help with the smaller focal length lenses, but you can still encounter jello without image stabilized lenses. If you haven't shot with an IS lens, rent one and compare it with you current lenses. I have never used the DV rig with the spring rod, but you might try renting both of them to test them out.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 10:58 PM   #6
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Thanks for the responses.

The spring rod sounds like it really boosts the Multirig's effectiveness. But does that spring rod fit in the bag easily?

Khoi - the 300mm that you used with the Multirig - was that an IS lens?

Cody - I know the DSLR is a passing phase. That "future proof" aspect of Redrock is the biggest draw. I know if I got their gear I can use it for whatever the next big thing is. That's why, even if I got the multirig, I'd still consider picking up a redrock FF. I'd love to demo it, but no one has it available to demo that I've visited. And to rent it, well, the cheapest I've found is $125 - just seems like a waste of money - renting an IS lens on the other hand I'm game for since the rental value is far more appropriately ranged.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 11:44 PM   #7
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No that was a cheap 75-300 mm non IS I dig out of my closet from 15 years ago, I just want to see if I could see any micro jitter at that focal range, btw my camera is a 7D so if you add the crop factor into it, the dvtec is pretty good in that regard, but I don't think it can fold up as small as the multirig.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 07:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradford Holt View Post
The spring rod sounds like it really boosts the Multirig's effectiveness. But does that spring rod fit in the bag easily?
It doesn't fit in a bag but into elasticated loops on the belt. The belt is about 3" wide & has a pouch at the front that the bottom end of the rod sits in. The rod is in several spring-loaded sections (3 I think - I am in the office & don't have my Multirig in front of me). You compress it up to the required size & then turn a lever at each section to hold it in place.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 09:02 AM   #9
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I believe EVS in California has redrock gear you can check out... you might check them out and see if you can swing by some time.
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