Cheesycam BodyPod


Vimeo member Stanislav submitted this tip on holding a tripod for extra stability. I know this isn't the most advanced thing on this blog, but you'll be surprised how many people will find this useful. Let's not forget our budget film making roots. I've used this method myself a couple of times when in a pinch and any stabilizer is better than nothing. His video says Shoulder Rig, but it's more of a 'Shoulder Support'. Using the same 717AH fluid head, he's taking advantage of the lengthy pan handle as if it were a DSLR shooter. You might think this would be crazy heavy, but looks like he's purchased a set of the FT6826T Carbon Fiber Tripod legs, keeping things light.
[Thanks Stanislav]

eBay Carbon Fiber Tripod Legs - click for pricing

717AH Video Fluid Head - click for pricing


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Wow pretty overwhelming day already. Just received the Tiffen Steady Stick and the Glidecam HD1000 I posted about earlier. The Steady Stick isn't really anything fancy and pretty straight forward about how it works. I will run through some of the details of their build quality and features a little. The Glidecam HD1000 is really the one I want to dig into. It's much more expensive and quite large than say a Hague or IndieHardware (which i'm reviewing today), but it's just another option in the line of moving DSLR stabilizers I wanted to share with everyone. Hopefully i'll get these video reviews knocked out soon enough.


video from YouTube by rattusvulpes

This Golden Oldie (literally Gold) looks very very familiar. If i'm correct, I remember seeing the transformations of this thing while it was coming out of DIY progress on the Internet. I think it was called Pegasus. It looks like it's a pretty finished project now that's gone into mass manufacturing under Wondlan as the 'Ares'. (Doesn't Ares mean 'A$$' in some languages?)

Because of it's entry level price for a Gimbal style stabilizer, I'm finding more and more people doing reviews on the Ares. Although it looks like a Steadicam Merlin, it doesn't have a full functioning Gimbal as the Merlin. The Merlin has much more travel in it's design. Then again it's not priced like a Steadicam Merlin, and it appears that this Ares stabilizer can handle much much more weight than the Merlin can, so it's not ALL bad.

I'm not a fan of the Gold color scheme, it looks like something Austin Powers might have carried in his last movie, or a prop designed for the next Marvel Comic movie. Hey, you can't knock the awesome smooth results this bad boy is putting out though. You can find the decently priced Stabilizer here if Gold is your thing.

Update: Good news, you can send an email to the seller and specifically ask for 'Black', and that should solve that Gold color issue.


click images to find Wondlan Ares

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iPhone teleprompter

Everyone is hyped about the new iPhone release and is ready to dive into pre-orders. There's already been a ton of previous accessories out there like the Teleprompter (above). I can't wait to see what new line of gear comes out to fit the new features of the iPhone 4.


Being camera geeks, my friends are most interested in the new HD video feature. Of course we talked about stabilizing the iPhone video and the Zacuto Z-Grip or Zacuto Jr. came into conversation. C'mon are you kidding me? over $250 dollars for a handle Zacuto? Even the Jr. runs around $65-70 bucks, but it's just a handle!

So here's the solution one of my buddies came up with. Just get some epoxy / JB Weld putty and permanently glue a screwdriver to the back of a cheap 0.99 cent eBay hard case. Done, you got your handle and the iPhone can mount in and out!


Now the Z-grip runs about $269.00. I can make these screwdriver/hardcase designs and sell them to you for $269.00 if you think spending more money for a handle will make it work better..just let me know. I'll even include FREE SHIPPING anywhere in the WORLD! LOL



Jeff Ello sent this photo in to share his build of the Cheesy DSLR Cage I posted about. It's a Behind the Scenes snapshot of a short flick titled 'Disorient'. Seen in this photo is the recent DIY DSLR Cage / Fig Rig / Stabilizer that was also featured on Jeff made some additional modifications with free swinging handles on the side. I've asked Jeff to send in more photos and information about his project and his rig. The strut channel works perfectly for mounting accessories such as the LCD monitor Jeff has in his image. Very cool! If you haven't checked out the DIY Cage, read my article here:

Now i'm not always very clear about my DIY builds, so Marcus V Warner & Brian created their version of the CheesyCam DIY DSLR Cage with alot more detail on the parts list. I'm calling this the LP version because they really get thorough on the build and it's about 20 minutes or so. So if you can't get through understanding my video, check out Vimeo user Vitaphone's below.

They even have a detailed parts list on their Video page at:

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First of all I wanted to thank all the readers that come to this blog, provide feedback, and comment on some of my really Cheesy DIY ideas. So many people have picked up on the things I make, link back to my blog, and even take the time to create videos about their own DIY adventures. It's been an exciting week having been featured on the News section of, one of the largest DSLR video forums. Now just yesterday I was Podcasted by Dave Dugdale over at I'm a pretty boring guy on audio, but Dave grabbed me for some really good questions about the projects I've been sharing with the DSLR community. I even mentioned a little secret information about the next version DIY Skater - 'Spider Trax Dolly' i've been drawing out (get your wheels turning). Check out my Podcast with Dave at, and stick around his website to view more Podcasts and some very informative Video tutorials.


This article is referencing my DIY DSLR Cage / Fig Rig / Stabilizer found at

As I do different video projects, you realize there are many different tools for different purposes. This DIY that I've created was to provide additional stabilization while walking, be able to carry a few different accessories, but be very quick to setup. It won't replace a Steadicam / Glidecam setup, but then again it neither weighs as much, is as bulky, or takes time to setup. It's designed to be a grab-and-go type tool for extra stabilization. Above is an example of me using the tool. As you can see, just by seperating your hands away from the camera you can acheive some fairly nice results. Especially looking at the Horizon in the video footage it stays pretty level. There is just a bit of bounce which can be minimized with a bit of practice, but definitely something you'll want to have for a DIY price of $25.00 dollars. Read the article for information on how to build your own.

You might want to also reference the additional Macro Rail at

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The above video is from Justin Salman shot with a Canon EOS 550D / T2i + Canon 50mm F/1.8

Not long ago shooting video with a consumer camera in low light would be a waste of time. The footage would be pretty much unusable unless you went for a more higher end $2,000.00 + pro-sumer camera with 3CCD. Once you start getting into these larger video cameras, it's probably something you won't be able to bring into most casual public venues. DSLR's are quickly changing that mindset, shooting great quality HD video under low light environments and yet coming at way under pro-sumer prices. The Canon EOS 550D / T2i is one of those cameras changing the world of video as we know it. Sure the Canon 5D Mark II was the first and recognized as the 'Game Changer' for video producers, but I strongly believe that the 550D / T2i is going to be part of a bigger wave this year.

Justin has only been a registered member of the Vimeo video community for about a month. I found Justin talking about the use of the Cheesycam Bodypod, so I thought i'd share his video. Thanks Justin for allowing me to post your video and share with others the great quality the Canon 550D / T2i can provide.


Since the dawn of HD Video DSLR's there's been some random and weird stabilizers being made by so many different companies. One thing is for sure, they are out to capitalize and mark up equipment from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Not to say they aren't functional. In fact many of these new DSLR cages and Fig Rig style stabilizers work well for these small cameras. You know me though, there's gotta be a way to make something cheaper, just as functional, and still look damn good.

Well i've been looking at a couple of different designs, and thought about what I needed from each one of the stabilizers above. First, I wanted a handle. Handles are a great way to get some really low shots. Secondly, my hands needed to be spaced apart. It's proven that spacing your hands further from the camera can really help stabilize your footage, even helps when walking. Third, I needed something to mount extra gear like a DSLR Cage. Finally, stay away from PVC. PVC is great, but doesn't give it that professional look or feel. After careful consideration and a trip to Home Depot, here's the latest DIY Camera Stabilizer from

My goal was to merge a couple of different products and functionality into a very very Cheap DIY DSLR Stabilizer with Cage function. Another goal was to step up my game and make it look a bit more techy and something not so 'DIY'. I think I did well this time around for approximately $30.00. Actually it can come down much cheaper if I could find a shorter rail and cheaper handlebar grips. Unfortunately I wasn't shopping for a deal, I had this idea stuck in my head that needed to get out. It's a bit of a rush job, but I really wanted to share it with the community. I'll go back and refine it later with some hot shoe adapters and a quick release plate.

I have a ton of photos, and a parts list i'll put together later if anyone is interested. The video should explain more about what you need and how I put it together. The hardest part was cutting this rail. I have more information about this rail in my photo gallery, I was able to take a picture of the Price tag / Description from my iPhone. After cutting the rail, I was able to purchase everything for straight bolt on without any further modifications needed.

Here's a real basic parts list:

  • 2 Hex Bolts (6" long 3/8 size)
  • 2 carriage bolts (6" long 3/8 size) Use these for the top, they give you nice finished look
  • 2 3/8" coupler nuts
  • 2 - 1/2 X 12" pipe rods
  • 1 - 1/2 X 10" pipe rod
  • Bike handle grips
  • Black flat matte paint
  • 1 - 8-10 ft strut channel bar
  • Enjoy the DIY video on how I made it (below).

    Update: Really good questions coming in, i'll try to answer a few.
    Reader: Have you thought about off setting the camera so that with the lens it's balanced front to back?
    CheeseyCam: Yes, this is where the quick release plate comes in. I decided on the Monfrotto 357 (found here) to give me that lateral as well as something to quickly move from the DIY cage to my 701HDV Fluid head. I wanted the camera more forward originally so that it is actually balanced with the handle (above). For shots that require using the Handle, it's much more balanced being slightly forward. Hopefully the Monfrotto 357 will help by sliding the camera either foward or back depending on what shot is being taken.

    Monfrotto Quick Release 357, click image

    Reader: If you were to use electrical conduit for you end pieces it might make your rig lighter.
    Cheesycam: Yes, I wanted to get something as close to 'off the shelf' as possible. I may try Conduit on the sides, but the top Handle I feel will work better if it remained as a Steel pipe. Conduit normally comes in super long lengths and requires additional cutting. It is lighter, and cheaper, just a little more time consuming though with the cutting. For information on the HotShoe mounts I plan on using, check out this article

    Ok well it's getting late, i'm tired and i'll get to showing it off more later. Leave some comments, ask some questions, and please don't forget to share, twitter, facebook, digg, etc. (use the icons below).