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Though it won't keep your camera's horizon completely level as if you're flying (like a Steadicam), Fig Rigs make great hand held stabilizers allowing you to move the camera around and change positions very quickly while getting rid of those unusual micro-vibrations. One problem that you'll run into is that you won't have an easy way to pull focus.

Here's an interesting solution Vimeo member Bruno Chansou has come up with using a window seal as his DIY Follow Focus belt. I'm sure this idea can be translated to many of the other hand held tools out there. [Thanks Bruno].

In the video Bruno looks to be using the Manfrotto style Fig Rig which is a complete circle and makes it odd to place the camera down. I find the the Halo Rig is a good design which incorporates all the benefits of a Fig Rig, but uses a flat base for resting the camera, or mounting to Tripod Heads. You can find these Halo Fig Rigs via eBay (Click Here).

Halo Fig Rig Stabilizer
find-price-button Halo Fig Rig Handheld Stabilizer

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I'm excited to be able to offer another Giveaway with the support of such great companies. This time it's a Kirk Neff edition DSLR Cage from Shape. Shape products are made in Canada, built by CNC machined pieces, and covered by a lifetime warranty. A very high quality piece, and thanks to Shape for offering such a great product to the followers of this blog.

[This giveaway is for USA residents only, but I'm continuing to find new ways to work directly with companies to offer exclusive promotions, discounts, and special deals to the readers of this blog.]

In just a few weeks I will be posting a few more very rewarding opportunities that everyone can engage with. Remember, that your participation is really what makes these promotions a success and allows me to offer more opportunities to you, so help join in and share this Shape DSLR Cage Giveaway (found here).

DSLR Cage Shape Canon 5D Mark III
Register for Shape - Kirk Neff DSLR Video Cage Giveaway



Stabilizer Feet Sirui Monopod Carbon FiberSirui Monopod Carbon Tripod

Add this one to the growing list of stabilizing monopods to offer tri-folding feet. The sturdy base on these types of monopods can equally offer an advantage to photographers as well as video shooters. One unique feature on this particular Sirui Carbon Fiber Monopod shows an adjustable pan friction base at the ball socket, yet it doesn't appear to be a true fluid cartridge.

The Sirui Carbon Fiber Monopod adjustable base can rotate a full 360°, but can only sway (tilt) 15° in any direction. Similar to other tripod-footed monopods, the feet fold flush for easy storage. You can find this Sirui Carbon Fiber monopod via eBay (Click here).

Sirui Monopod FeetMonopod Stabilizer Feet Sirui
find-price-button Sirui Carbon Fiber Monopod with Swivel Base Tripod Folding Feet



Here's a closer look at these BlackMagic-Cinema-Camera-Cage-production-4K1 inexpensive BlackMagic Design Cinema or Production 4K Camera cages. The unit is entirely made from metal and can be mounted fairly quickly to a BMCC camera.

The cage will allow dozens of new mounting points along the sides of the BMCC, but the top threaded plate may be too shallow to use with accessories. There is another version available that offers more mounting points in the handle.

Typically the cage requires the rail clamp to use a quick release plate, but in the video I share a tip on how to add a longer shaft 1/4 QR plate screw. Remember that this particular screw has a longer shaft, so it will be too long to use directly under a camera. Of course there are shorter versions of these screws if you want to replace all your Manfrotto (or other) screws into tool-less types. You can find these Extended-Long-Shaft-D-Ring-Dring-Tripod-Screw-Quick-Release-Plate Extended Shaft D-ring Quick Release screws via eBay (Click Here).

Extended Long Shaft D-Ring Dring Tripod Screw Quick Release Plate
find-price-button D-Ring Extended Shaft Tool-Less QR Plate Screw



Here's an interesting new Quick Release Top Handle that uses a slotted mount to fit a variety of cameras including the BlackMagic Design Cinema, or 4K Production cameras, RED Scarlet, and EPIC. The Quick Release handle can be removed by sliding it off the sides by depressing the safety pins.

The QR Top Handle uses a leather design, and can be adjusted left/right along the rail for perfect center of balance on many different rigs. It's not cheap, but it's a very flexible design that can be used across many different cameras and rigs. It basically just requires a flat surface with 1/4 threads regardless of where the threaded holes lineup.

If you're thinking what i'm thinking, this also means it can be mounted to fit a variety of different DSLR Camera Cages. Check it out at (found here).

Scarlet BlackMagic Epic RED Top Handle QR-Handle-V3-multi-purpose-top-handle-blackTop handle BlackMagic Cinema Scarlet EpicQR-Handle-V3-multi-purpose-top-handle-black_01
find-price-button QR Top Handle for BlackMagic Design Cinema or 4K, RED Scarlet, EPIC, Cages



Monopods are not normally associated with smooth dynamic camera movements like what can be achieved with a Steadicam, wheeled dolly, or crane, but 2013 looks like the year to break that mold. In this article, i''ll list a few Monopods that are trying to take stabilizing video along with creative movements to the next level. Let's hear your thoughts in the comments section.


First up is a the new Steadicam Solo. A familiar Steadicam setup that doubles as a full sized monopod. The folding sled moves the counterweights out of the way when you need to operate the system from a stationary point. The handle can be used with or without an optional Steadicam Vest when you have to fly for long periods of time.

Steadicam Solo Stabilizer Monopod,jpg copy
Steadicam Solo Stabilizer Monopod Adobe PDF

Speedly Stabilizer Monopod

Prior to the Steadicam Solo, a similar Monopod / Steadycam has already been available (seen above) sometimes called the 'Speedly'. This one offers a few interesting additions.

speedly camera monopod jibspeedly monitor
speedly adaptersSpeedly Adapter

Besides transforming quickly between a Video Stabilizer and a Monopod, the gimbal can be relocated along the post and can be used as a makeshift crane/jib (probably not a very good one). The bottom weights can be swapped for a monitor, and there are quick release adapters at the post to throw on various other stabilizers without compromising the balance of your setup. You can find the Speedly Monopod / Stabilizer via eBay (here).

Speedly Streadicam Monopod Stabilizer Solo
find-price-button Speedly Multi-Function Monopod Video Stabilizer

Wondlan Magic II

Another new product that attempts to offer the stability of a Monopod with the convenience of a Stabilizer is the latest Wondlan Magic II. It looks like your basic hand held stabilizer, and offers many features similar to the Speedly. One main difference is the adjustable Tilt Head. This is a very simple, yet clever design that many stabilizers seem to miss out on.

Wondlan Magic IIWondlan Magic II quick release

Most Steadicams only offer a level horizon, but many shots require a different angle i.e. looking up, looking down, or just managing the headroom. It's advertised to work like a make-shift crane, provides a quick release system at the post to maintain balance position when the camera is remounted, and quick release adapters to be used on other mounts. The post can also be used as a handle. You can find the new Wondlan Magic II Stabilizers online (Click Here).

Magic II Wondlan Stabilizer monopodMagic II Wondlan Stabilizer monopod video
find-price-button Wondlan Magic II Stabilizer Monopod

Cinematics Scorpion King

Next up is Cinematics' Scorpion King Monopod / Dolly. Adding wheels to monopods has been done before, but they've come up with a creative way of using one wheel on the back to control steering. I'm sure the other uses such as a shoulder support may help to stabilize footage, but looks fairly awkward in use. You can see more images of the Cinematics Scorpion Monopod (here)

Cinematics Scorpionscorpion king cinematicsScreen Shot 2013-05-13 at 2.47.02 PM
find-price-button Cinematics Scorpion King Monopod Dolly



Did you know, the new GH3 battery grip relocates the tripod mount to the right side? We're not talking millimeters here, it's way off to the right. This new position can be highly problematic as it will throw off the optical center of your lens when you want to mount your camera to rigs, and use matte boxes, or even follow focus systems. So one solution is to just not use a battery grip, the other is to use an adjustable 15mm baseplate like Stewart Eastep has shared. [Thanks Stewart].

photo 1photo 2photo 3photo 4

If you need to get proper alignment back on a set of 15mm rails, check out a few of the adjustable baseplates on the market. Here Stewart is using one of the CAVision adjustable baseplates which offer up/down as well as left/right adjustments found via B&H (click here).

find-price-button CAVISION Adjustable BasePlate with 15mm Rails



Kamerar.com will be giving away a FREE Video MAX-1 Matte Box this Friday (5/11/13). One person will be selected randomly, contacted via email, and the chosen person will be announced at the Kamerar.com Blog.

To enter you basically like the Cheesycam & Kamerar Facebook pages by first following the directions in the form below. For more information about the Kamerar MAX-1 Matte Box specifically, check out the product page at http://Kamerar.com.

Kamerar GiveAway

Good luck, and if you want to share this post with others on Twitter simply (Click to Share on Twitter)



Vimeo member geco campos provides an overview of the Opteka FFR-900 Shoulder rig that offers a motorized Follow Focus and Motorized Zoom feature. Each handle up front controls one of the motorized units, and variable speeds can be dialed right from the handles if you wish to zoom/focus slower or faster.

The motors spin the focus/zoom rings through a belt system - no lens gears required. My guess is you should be using a lens that has a smooth and easy to rotate focus or zoom ring. The rear holds a master controller that can be used to operate the motors when the shoulder rig is tripod mounted. The motors are powered by an LP-E6 battery (generic LP-E6 battery + charger included), and can be found via eBay (click here).

FFR900_GEARSOpteka FFR900 Motorized Follow Focus Remote
find-price-button Opteka FFR-900 DSLR Remote Motorized Follow Focus Zoom Control System

For USA residents, the FFR-900 is also available via Amazon (found here)