Cheesycam $20.00 Shoulder Rig

Videos, Photos, instructions, and articles related to the $20.00 Cheesycam DIY Video Camera Shoulder Mount Rig

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As some of you might have noticed, this blog went a few days without an update. I was busy attending CES - Las Vegas. Since there were several days of event coverage and many hours of walking, we needed to travel light - super light. The area was sooo crowded with what felt like hundreds of thousands of people, it was too cumbersome to even bring out a simple Tripod. We knew that we had to rely mostly on hand held shooting. Not to mention all the Taxi and Shuttle rides that made it difficult to travel with excessive gear and navigate through crowds. Our weapons of choice were two $24.00 dollar shoulder supports with a basic set of rails and handles. At times, the shoulder support was put in the backpack and the cameras were stabilized through the basic rail system which includes handles.

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(Above) Camera on Basic Rails from Express35

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find-price-button Manfrotto Shoulder Support Adapter

Quick tip: If you want to make a straight shooter out of a basic set of Rails and Handles, you can also carry around the Manfrotto 361 Shoulder Brace for Monopods. This adjustable shoulder support will connect directly to the Tripod plate of the rail system giving you that extra point of contact.

One of the benefits to using a modular rail system is that when it's taken apart, it has the smallest footprint possible and extremely light weight. It's also the core foundation of building up to Follow Focus systems, Matte Boxes, and other accessories that are designed around the industry standard mounting solution. Another benefit is that it can be reconfigured into different ways by shifting the parts around. (I bet you guys never though about doing this). By just rotating the camera sideways on a set of rails and repositioning the Handles to each side, I was able to make a Fig Rig type stabilizer. I didn't want to pack the Flycam, so instead I used this type of setup for all my walking shots. Switching to my Tokina 11-16mm wide lens helped smooth out any walking motion too. When I was done, things packed up very neatly into a small backpack. When I get a third handle, i'll show you guys how i'm planning on adding a 'Top Handle' to the basic rail set. This would have all the same functionality as my DIY DSLR Fig Rig with two handles to each side and one on top. Of course it would be more lightweight and can be broken down for easy traveling.

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(Above) Shown using rails sideways in a Fig Rig Stabilizer Configuration

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(Above) Traveling with Basic Rails

For those who were hunting down a way to mount a set of rails to the Cheap $24.00 shoulder support, here's the answer you've been waiting for. This is a custom offset adapter that I requested from Express35.com. Unlike the mock-up version that I first received, this is a set of parts that allow multiple axis adjustments to get the camera where you want it. If you're looking for such an adapter to mount your Redrock, Zacuto, Gini Rig, or other rails you can contact Express35.com here and let them know you want that Cheesycam Offset for the cheap Shoulder Support.

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(Above) Custom Offset Adapter to Cheap Shoulder Support

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find-price-button Cheap Shoulder Support for Video Camera

Supposedly a few other people have been requesting this same setup of rails to 'cheap shoulder support', but didn't even know where to start. For those of you who haven't invested in a basic rail system yet and looking to adapt to the cheap shoulder support, a new bundle of parts labeled as 'RigX' became available on the Express35.com website. The RigX Project is the custom offset adapter (above)+ basic set of rails + DSLR base + Tripod mounting Plate + HD Handles - all ready to be used seamlessly with the Cheap Shoulder Support. The bundled parts are designed specifically to be used in what many are calling the most comfortable entry level DSLR shoulder rig (you'll need the cheap $24.00 shoulder support) combination. If you want more information and prices on the complete RigX project from Express35, you can check it out here: http://express35.com/rig-x/1857/

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find-price-button Express35.com RigX

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The Gini Rig I posted about in this article is an awesome piece of gear. Definitely something you should look into if you're looking for a solid DSLR shoulder rig. I suggest doing some research on what your options are and compare prices with other gear. Like many others out there, I didn't pay the asking price for the Gini. On a good day the Gini Rig can be had for rock bottom prices, so it's all about patience and just making an offer you feel you would be comfortable with. More on the Gini can be found here: http://cheesycam.com/the-gini-rig-arrives-from-korea/

There was one piece of gear I wasn't so lucky to have with my DSLR shoulder rig package, and that's a good Shoulder rig Counter weight system. Having a balanced rig is definitely going to help stabilize footage and take lots of weight off the hands. I got this DSLR shoulder rig for cheap, so i'm looking for something just as cheap. Aside from the Gini Rig here, there's a million different DIY shoulder rig solutions that could use a good counter weight. Many DIY solutions are even built around PVC pipes, and I don't think you're ready to throw down $100 bucks on a weight. So I began my quest to locate a good solid, cheap, yet professional looking substitute for a counter weight.

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find-price-button Vinyl Coated Lead Diving Scuba Belt Weights

I placed this order about a week ago, and wanted to have it in my hands before talking about it, just to make sure it's worth the pennies. It's definitely the solution I was looking for. Very small and compact, with a chemically bonded heavy duty Vinyl coating, and a flat black finish to match your video gear. These scuba weights were designed to withstand ocean salt and hard reef bumps. Simply dropping these weights on hard gravel wouldn't do damage to the coating, it's that tough. There are slits on each side to allow me some mounting options, but as dense as Lead is, it's probably not difficult to drill through either.

[Update] Took a drill to it, it literally drills through like butter. Lead is a very very soft material to drill through. Keep in mind that this is a Lead weight product known to be hazardous if not handled correctly. You should read information about safely handling Lead Metals.
diy-weight

The rounded edge design ensure you're not going to scratch or gauge yourself. The vinyl coating is very smooth and comfortable to handle in the hands and keep the system very clean. These weights are available from 1 pound and increments to 12 lbs. 4-6 lbs is probably a comfortable weight for most DSLR rigs. Now that i've had the chance to handle this product, there's plenty more ideas that come to mind. If you're rocking a super lightweight tripod system but need some extra stability at times, these are much more compact than your typical sand bag to hang. If you're working on that DIY DSLR crane and need to add some weights to the rear, these are much more compact and have a nicer finish than normal lifting weights. The possibilities are endless. So if you're looking to DIY a shoulder rig and are in need of a good cheap solution to a counter weight system, meet your new best friend.

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find-price-button Vinyl Coated Lead Diving Scuba Belt Weights

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Ok, you professionals can skip right over this article. This may even fall under 'tacky' for the seasoned Pro's. There's surprisingly a lot of young readers at this blog, possibly still in high school and unemployed. Aspiring to make fun YouTube videos with a standard handheld camcorder, they need an extra hand in some low budget DIY advice. These are probably the easiest & cheapest DIY stabilizers I could think of. So here you go kids, I hope you enjoy it, as I looked quite silly modeling these brackets on various parts of my body in the aisles of Home Depot like i'm creating the next Lady GaGa costume. It's ok though, I can rock a $2000 dollar Steadicam setup and still rock a $2 dollar Shelf Bracket, it's all good....i'm all about inspiring the creativity.

All of these 'Heavy Duty Shelf Hangers' can be found in the same place. These curved brackets are typically used for hanging heavy objects in your garage such as bikes and ladders. Unlike flat steel angled brackets, these are round (tubular) which are more comfortable to grip. There's plenty of different shapes and sizes to use these for adding extra support for your video camera.

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click images for larger view

First up is a one sided angled bracket. By just adding a quick release plate on the bottom, you'll have yourself a very sturdy (very very sturdy) handle to your camera. Flat black paint and wrap up the handle with some Tennis racket grip tape, and you'll be in business. Notice the little angle at the top? Could be a nice place to add a cold shoe to mount another accessory. The rest of the bracket can be drilled to further hold more accessories like LED lights and portable recorders. By the way, just click any of the images to get a better look.Single bracket stabilizer for just $2.36.

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click images for larger view

Second on the list is a double sided bracket. This is actually larger than what appears in the photo, and the double sides can act like handles on a Fig Rig. Hey this is way easier than trying to build the Cheesycam DSLR Cage Fig Rig. Just place a Quick Release adapter dead center, a little grip tape along the sides, and you'll have yourself a fig rig style camera stabilizer. Yup, there's another angle up top for that cold shoe accessory too for just $5.98.

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click images for larger view

Third on the list, another simple bracket. Used in the position shown in the photo (above) the short angled end (left) actually feels comfortable as a small handle. The (right side) flat side has enough area to act as a chest plate. Throw a quick release adapter on top and you'll have yourself a steady little camera shooter for $5.24. Sure it's not offset, but should work pretty wicked for an HV20 or HV30 with flip out LCD, hey maybe even a Canon 60D with it's flip out LCD.

Yeah I know what you guys are thinking, pretty crazy right? For a group of young students looking to have a bit of fun making videos, so long as the bully doesn't steal your lunch money, you could gain some steady shots with these ideas. Oh and i'm guessing a few of you DIY'ers will be heading down to Home Depot later today to secretly play 'Heavy Duty Shelf Hanger Dress Up'. LOL...Try it, you'll be surprised.....

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Mixed Martial Arts Madness from alexis wanneroy on Vimeo.

Shot using the a Canon 5D Mark II + Cheap A.S.S.(<--that's an acronym) shoulder support from this article: http://cheesycam.com/a-s-s-implants-how-to/ along with an LCDVF viewfinder, Alexis Wanneroy was able to pull off some pretty stable footage. Not bad for a $20 dollar camera shoulder support.


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Looks like Ikan has a new product in their website called the 'Recoil' for Camera Stabilization. Let me emphasize that I like Ikan, I really really really like Ikan. They make some really good products and I like how they are really stepping into the DSLR accessories market, but this 'Recoil' product might not be a good marketing move. This 'Recoil' product newly released by ikan for $79.95 has been around for quite some time as the $20.00 dollar shoulder support in DSLR world. It has already been popularized by many 'big big big' websites, so not many people will find this as a new product. My oldest article post dates back before November of 2009, and even I had my share of tweaking this shoulder support rig found in this article: http://cheesycam.com/a-s-s-implants-how-to/. I'm glad Ikan is stepping into more products for DSLR shooters, but this one product is released a little late and a little too pricey.

Below is a video I did having fun with this product.
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One thing I was keeping my eye on from Ikan was their Ikan fly Pack DSLR Support Kit. It's like a Fig rig, DSLR cage, LCD monitor, LED light, battery packs, some magic adjustable arms, you name it it's all in the bag ready to shoot your next DSLR event coverage. It's a great idea that just needed a bit more marketing behind it. Jump over to the link at bhphotovideo.com to get more information.

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IKan Fly Pack 1 DSLR Bundle w/V5600

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Just happened upon a couple of videos that linked back to the blog. Here's the original articles they were referencing.
http://cheesycam.com/test-diy-dslr-cage-fig-rig-stabilizer/
http://cheesycam.com/20-00-diy-offset-shoulder-rig-cheesyrig/

Wow, these guys really know how to DIY! I'm glad the videos they shot are much more creative than my forte 'on the floor of a bedroom with a carpet background'. I really hate to post this up right now, Vimeo is having issues with their Play Stats. It would be great for these guys to see how many plays they get for their hard work.

I very much appreciate these guys linking back to the blog, and I ask as much as possible that everyone does, so that we can point others to all of this information for budget film makers. Most importantly thanks again to these guys for taking the time to inspire others to try DIY equipment too. Details of their videos are pulled from Vimeo.

DIY Shoulder Mount

Inspired by www.cheesycam.com I decided to save myself a few bob and build my own shoulder rig for some stabilization action. Works pretty well, and am pleased with it. I have a few long screws on it....but i can cut them to length later.
Looking forward to getting some use from it now!

DIY Fig Rig

Here is our very first attempt at a DIY rig. The plans came from CheesyCam and we thought we take the rig to our good friends at Rustworks for some metal cutting and assembling. Enjoy the video. We had a good time putting this Fig Rig together.

RUSTWORKS
830 Bransten Road
San Carlos, CA
(650) 593-2276

Big thanks to: www.cheesycam.com

Shot with the Canon 5D Mark II

Visit our website: www.calixteworks.com

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First of all, I want to apologize if i'm not very responsive to many of the comments or emails that come in. I'm pretty overwhelmed with the response this blog has, and being a one man show, i'm trying my best! I'm an average guy, with an 80 mile commute (one way) in the mornings, I get home late at night, hang out with the kids & family, but still try to take time responding to questions, posting informative information, and sharing my most random DIY ideas.

Don't worry though, my eyes are open to the work you do, and I enjoy sharing everyone's hard work, especially those who always link back. Case in point, I just ran into this DIY DSLR support rig video. He never contacted me asking to share this video, but by linking back to the blog, I get alerted by these pingbacks.

I keep saying how I run though my DIY build videos so quickly sometimes, and I may not be as informative about how it all comes together. (sorry!). I'm not that fortunate to have another person interested enough to hold the camera for me. In any case, enjoy some of these recent videos that produced the DIY information better than I could. Thanks for taking the time to clear up things i've missed, and for sharing your work with the rest of the DSLR community. Make sure to leave them some nice comments, thanks guys.

How to Make a DSLR Cage
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Another great video I wanted to share is this one by JCN. Using the IndiSlider (see i'm still plugging you IndiSystems), and the Reverse Macro trick, referenced to this blog, JCN pulled off some very nice footage from the Canon 550D / T2i.

A Day at the Beach
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Tiffen iPhone Stabilizer
iphone-steadicam-stabilizer

Yeah you know Tiffen and Steadicam. The guys who make the Steadicam Vest and Merlin stabilizer I love so much. They got something going that includes a swap meet and special stuff you can't buy from Retailers. I'm hoping one of those items will be the Tiffen iPhone Steadicam Stabilizer called 'Smoothee'. I'm thinking that would be a hot product when the iPhone 4Gs comes out with HD video support.

Later on in the day it sounds like an educational experience. This is definitely something everyone should attend. Knowledge is power and an even like this hosted by the professionals doesn't come around too often. The event sounds like fun, and i'm sure there's going to be tons of DSLR gurus floating around. I just might take a trip down.

This information was copied from http://tiffen.com/swap_meet_2010.html Please refer the to Tiffen website for any possible changes that may occur after this posting.

Tiffen Pre-Cine Gear Extravaganza
The Tiffen Company and its Steadicam Division, invite you to its Pre-Cine Gear Extravaganza that will be held at the Tiffen-Steadicam Showroom and Manufacturing Facility, 6933 San Fernando Road, Glendale, CA on June 3rd, 2010.
Please RSVP by June 1st, for one or all of the following events by contacting Michael (mcraigs@tiffen.com) 1-800-593-3331 x7917 or Kathleen (khowley@tiffen.com) 1-800-645-2522 x3241.

Event #1: Steadicam Factory Sale & Swap Meet (3:30– 6:30PM)

* Purchase Steadicam products as well as Tiffen items that are not normally sold through retailers.
* New, used, demo equipment, overstocks, discontinued items, samples, one-of-a-kind items.
* Great opportunity for students and professionals.
* Ideal for trade-ups, accessories, parts.
* Limited supply of “damaged in handling” Steadicam Operator’s Handbooks at ½ off cover price.
* Open Customer to Customer Swap Meet - This is a customer to customer exchange.
* Trade or swap your unwanted items for cash or product with other customers.
* Please note Tiffen claims no responsibility for customers' items bought or sold.
* Limited supply of Steadicam logo Caps, T-Shirts, Tool Kits, Sand Bags and more -No phone or mail orders will be accepted for these items.
* Items for sale are not available through Tiffen dealer business partners.
* If you’ve been putting off your purchase, this is your opportunity to “fly” your preferred Steadicam rig. Have an older Steadicam parts requirement? Send a detailed request list to Michael Craigs, mcraigs@tiffen.com for first selection.
* Space available on first-come, first-serve basis.

Event #2: Tiffen Filter Experience (6:30pm-7:30pm)

* Presented by world renowned filter authority, Mr. Carey Duffy
* Educational seminar on what shooters want and need to know about filtration
* Light control solutions for the Canon 5/7D market
* Actual footage and stills
* Round and Square filters and the Matte Box
* Problem solution filters/The NEW Red Sensor
* "The Baked in Look" - Diffusion, Contrast & Color - WHY?
* Workflow of shooters in the field
* Dfx for Pre-visualization and Post Production
* Questions and Answers

Event # 3: Pre-Cine Gear Open House (7:30PM – 9:30PM)

* Featuring Tiffen products introduced at NAB 2010.
* Other products on display include our new Lowel equipment.
* Special guests include Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown and co-developer, Jerry Holway.
*
Fun, Food and Light Refreshments will be served.

Be sure to visit Tiffen Booth 119 at the Cine Gear Expo on June 4th and 5th, 2010.