Dougmon Handheld Small Camera Support Stabilizer

I got a quick glimpse of this unique Dougmon Small Camera Stabilizer over in New York during PhotoPlus Expo, but didn't really get to try it out. It's an interesting little arm brace that gives you freedom to shoot with a steady hand, but it's no replacement for a rig where you need to mount all of your other accessories.

dougmon stabilizer camera brace support
find-price-button Dougmon Small Camera Support Stabilizer - via B&H

It's also not going to give you a locked off tripod-shot, but from the design I can see how it would alleviate those dreaded micro-vibrations, especially when shooting with lenses that don't have Image Stabilization. As much as i'd like to try something like this out, it comes with a $500+ US dollar price tag. I'll keep my opinions to myself, but who out there has thoughts on such product?

Dougmon Arm Brace Camera Stabilizerdougmon camera stabilizer support brace
find-price-button Dougmon Small Camera Support Stabilizer - via Amazon





38 thoughts on “Dougmon Handheld Small Camera Support Stabilizer

  1. Giorgio

    Hi,
    what's your site Doug?
    I've read here you spoke about students discount, could you tell us the details about this discount?
    Thanks

    Giorgio
    italian student

  2. Hi Guys,
    Remember, I'm a cameraman too. I built the Dougmon to make my life easier for handheld/documentary work. I'm not pulling the wool over your eyes trying to sell a product that doesn't work. I use it every other week shooting with an EX3 on the show Sister Wives, which I DP. We run 10 to 15 hour days with a 30 minute break and the Dougmon works for me. You have to realize that since I'm putting my baby out there, I want it to work well for other camera ops. I'm not a big company, so my prices are what they are. I'm trying to lower the costs, but right now we make these in the US, in small batches. It's not a steadicam or flycam, it's for handheld work so you can limit the shake and run for hours without fatigue. I will be posting user videos soon.... be patient.
    Johnathan, I do have guys using the Dougmon with arms coming off the plate to hold a Zoom recorder, etc., and it seems to work well for them.
    I'm more than happy to answer your questions if you email me from my web site. And remember, if you do purchase a Dougmon system and it doesn't fit your needs, you can return in in 30 days, no questions asked. I do think that once you use it, you will get it.
    Thanks!

  3. I emailed Doug through his website and asked him to explain where the product fits into a shooter's bag. After all it is not a flycam or a steadicam and it appears to be more flexible than my indisystem shoulder set up. But after you've sunk $500 or more into your shoulder mount, how can you justify another $500 for a little more flexibility?

    I would love to try it out and post some videos though. For handheld stationary shots or limited movement, it probably would be helpful. Like when you're shooting handheld interviews on a red carpet and can't use a tripod, this might be perfect. My back would thank Doug I'm sure.

    However, do you guys think you could load it up with sound and an LED light? Probably not. This limits its usefulness, I think.

  4. Dave K.

    Despite the crazy price tag and questionable 'functionality' that this tool provides this video gets to me.

    Creators of devices like this need to realize these are tools for filmmaking and a video 'demonstrating the device' NEEDS to be primarily sample footage, not just talking about what it 'does'.

  5. Lee Mullen

    DOug, any chance of sending Gan Eden Video a model to try for the Aussie market? ;D

    **gone quiet**

    😀

  6. Scott

    ^ What mike said.

    You'd definitely get more than your money's worth by letting Emm pass judgement on it. He hasn't let us down in the past.

  7. @Michael and all; Mr. Cheesycam is welcome to review the Dougmon system, I think our distributor is working on getting him product. We look forward to his thoughts. As to price, we do offer student pricing with proof of current student enrollment and student I.D. I believe B&H honors this pricing, if not go to our site and email us for particulars.
    @Stan - we think wedding shooters will fall in love with this rig and will be showing at WPPI in Vegas next month. If you attend the shows - SxSW, WPPI or NAB we will have special pricing for attendees - stop by our booth to check it out.

  8. Michael

    Mr. Douglas Monroe you could settle this for all of us by just sending Mr. Cheesycam one of your rigs to do a video review. When he reviews something we all listen. He gives it the stamp of approval and I will order it.

  9. Stan

    Still better than the "Jaybilizer" lmao. pricey as it is, it looks useful. I love handheld work and the shooting styles i love are like shane hurlbut's mancam style. But i guess this is bridging the gap between complete bare camera to mancam rig.

    Price wise, its USA made, look at Zacuto. The quality looks heaps better than usual china and india ebay stuff. Compare it to the "jaybilizer", a guy made the thing out of a ladder J hook from home depot and a mini ball head tripod then slapped them together and had the nerve to charge $300 for it. Yes it is better just in the build quality.

    This rig is for the ultimate run and gun shooter. $500 bucks, a bit pricey. Let us see more people test it out in more professional shoots. I shoot weddings and would like to test this out and see if it will benefit me. So dont whine about prices, like he said, all made in Merica!! People need to get paid. Though if he dropped the price and sold more, then maybe he could have covered his expenses. Who knows!?

    Anywho, dont judge it yet without trying. It could be the best thing you'll use or the worst. Keep an open mind! =D

  10. chris

    My Lord! Stop with the complaining! This guy can charge what he see's fit. Don't like it, vote with your wallets.
    As for footage shot with the device, here is 9 minutes of footage with the device used with a canon 5dmk2. We all know just how hard the Mk2 is to hand hold.
    take a look and judge for yourselves. By the way, NOOBS who complain about no footage. It took me less than a minute to find a video with a sample of this device!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYMlddu45U4
    Looks good to me.
    Doug. While it's slightly pricey, good luck on sales. Drop it $100 and you would move more units. More units means more footage. More footage means more interest. More interests means even more units sold.

  11. Hello CheesyCam folks - just wanted to comment on your community blog for your additional information when evaluating my invention. It appears none of you have had the opportunity to try the Dougmon and Slingmon. I think once you get that chance you will be much more appreciative of the design and the price point retailers are charging for it. You can try it out at B&H Photo in NYC, Mel Pierce Camera in Hollywood and TV Specialists in Salt Lake City, UT. Watch our website at Dougmon.com for new retailers as they come online. We will be at SxSW trade show during the SxSW Festival in Austin, Texas March 10-13; WPPI show in Las Vegas March 11-13th and again for NAB in April. Try it out if you can and let me know what you think about the rig after you have hands on experience. We wish the rig were available in more shops, but without a large advertising budget we are building our market slowly.

    As far as the price, I wish it could be sold at a lower price point. We are USA made and want to keep it that way. We pay real wages for manufacturing which raises our cost. We have a distributor who sells the product to resellers. We and all of our distributors and resellers are charging normal margins for their cost of doing business.

    The Dougmon has been granted a patent demonstrating there is nothing else like it. It is a new invention. I honed the Dougmon to its current state over the past ten years as I was using it for my work as a professional news, reality, documentary and corporate director of photography. I wanted to use small cameras off my shoulder – it seemed a shame to stay stuck to the axis of your torso when the camera could fit in your hand and go “where ever your hand could go” if you could hold it long enough to get the shot. I’ve been using various models of the current product over the years, and once I struck upon the ball head adjusting in the hand I knew it was right for me – finally I was getting the shots I wanted to get and could work with the camera all day long without getting tired. My wife (and partner) suggested we should patent the device and get it on the market. She loved using it and felt other pros would also appreciate the rig.

    You can’t get a true appreciation of the Dougmon system from a photo or video. The feel of the grip, which has been ergonomically created to alleviate pressure points in the hand, makes hours of shooting a comfortable experience for the user. The ball head in the grip has been created almost as one would create a surgical steel ball joint replacement. The action of the grip is smooth like a fluid head, with loose to lock tension. The adjustable arm is made from stainless steel and aircraft aluminum to balance the weight and strength needs of a camera operator. The Dougmon arm can be adjusted for any arm length; the adjustable strap allows the rig to fit all the way from a bare arm to one dressed in heavy snow gear. The forearm support was made so it would not pinch yet fit perfectly in the crook of your elbow so as to create balance and weight control. The strap around the forearm support is made to adjust and release quickly allowing the operator to get in and out of the rig fast and effortlessly.

    Once the Dougmon was designed, we started to think of all the other positions Pros could use it in the field. Check out our website dougmon.com for ways to position the Dougmon when on your arm, off your arm, in monopod mode, etc. Adding the Slingmon to the mix expands the Dougmon system even more, allowing two hands on the camera, and allows heavier camera support. I’ve been using that system with an EX3 while working on the TLC reality show Sister Wives I think you can view the show online or on demand. Although it worked well I wasn’t satisfied (the EX3 was a little too front heavy for the Dougmon with Slingmon) so with necessity being the mother of invention, I am now finishing final touches on a vest/harness system to use with the Dougmon, which allows support of a 12 lb. camera. This system will keep both hands on the camera and allow a pro to shoot that way for hours. We will introduce the new vest/harness system at SxSW and NAB this year.

    As far as footage shot with the Dougmon system, please check out our website – we have a few examples there now and will get more as we can. It’s a double edge sword putting raw footage on a site, as some of the footage is obvious that it is not to be considered “usable” but is there so you can see the transitions between shots when the camera is still running. Some folks may dis the shots as “not good” without realizing those shots would never appear in a finished work. Also, the quality of the footage is dependent upon the ability of the shooter. Generally a professional documentary shooter can know the value of the instrument by the way it works for them, how it feels for them and what type of footage they need to capture. The Dougmon system is not for everyone, or every type of shooter. It is manufactured with the professional Documentary style shooter in mind.

    In the next year we hope to introduce a consumer model of the Dougmon system, which will be priced for consumers and hobbyists. It will be great for GoPros and small handycams or Smart Phones. Hopefully that smaller model will make the folks on CheesyCam happier with the price point.

    If you’ve made it all the way here in this comment, thank you. I’m just a cameraman shooting everyday for a living. I use the Dougmon System in my work – it heightens my creativity – it is like my paintbrush; I find it to be the perfect instrument for my shooting style.

  12. andy

    Aside from the price issue, this has been designed for DV cameras with al controls on the left side (so you wear it on right arm), whereas most people shoot DSLRs these days and if you want to wear this on left arm, it's no use to a lot of people
    I'd say the design is outdated

  13. yin

    I was laughing at how it looks while I watched the video, but then I thought it might actually be useful. Then I thought 9 years to develop that is quite a joke. And I laughed again when I saw the price tag. I was expecting $200 with the sling strap. For that price, I would just get a second grade vest.

  14. Michael

    Love the idea but I have to agree that the $500+ price is a bit much. Also there needs to be an option without a quick release so that you can use your own assemblies. All I use on all my cameras are the Manfrotto 357. Great idea but a lil to pricey. Like others I would pay $300-$400.

  15. Lee Mullen

    Overpriced as usual. I'd buy one if around the $300 mark. He seriously needs to revise his prices.

  16. Scott: Two comments - Take your $400 rig and try producing it for the commercial market. Then, try advertising and marketing so others will want to consider buying the unit. You'll soon learn that your cost just doubled. I'll bet you couldn't find anything at a store, like B&H, resembling the rig you describe, for less than $1000. Next, read some of the reviews from American Cinematographer and this month's DV Magazine review by Jay Holben. Doug Monroe also has videos on his website to demonstrate the product so you can see that it works. Oh, I forgot to mention that Doug uses the Dougmon as the cameraman for a syndicated TV series called Sister Wives. Check it out. You'll see how the Dougmon works.

  17. Scott

    Interesting thing I noticed: check out the comments on his youtube video... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoYjaMsEL_o

    Click the usernames and take a look at the accounts, it looks like quite a few of them (3 so far) were created solely to upload one video, 'like' the dougmon video and/or subscribe to the channel and post a positive comment (in some cases their only comment). Even if these are real people, it's still odd.

    The other positive comments appear to come from people that have received a Dougmon for free to film with, or in exchange for posting some kind of "testing" video. There's very little detail as far as disclaimers explaining what exchanged hands or what the terms of the review were in the videos that I watched.

    ... Why isn't there any comments from people that tried the rig out at NAB? If I was Doug, I'd've been trying to get the rig into people's hands, then get them to visit his youtube and post what they thought (honestly) about it.

    Just my $0.02. Maybe I'm having too much fun with this. I find social media and product promotion an incredibly organic and interesting experience...

  18. Darryl

    What a waste... 7 minutes and no camera's POV footage. Went to BH website and both of the 5 star reviews are from guys in Utah - based on the dougman website, his mailing address on the contact page is in Utah. Also, here a link to his "reel" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6U1vPj3ZpBk&feature=youtu.be - not impressed with the little stabilized shots that are on the video.

    As others have said, a $100 price point would be more fit for this but even at that cost, I wouldn't buy it.

  19. Rob S.

    @Scott Don't you think that calling the guy a crook is a bit harsh? He can charge what he wants and you can choose to buy or not. It's all about what the market will bear. Crook implies that he's being dishonest. I don't see that. Unrealistic? Maybe.

  20. Scott

    ^ Doug: I built a complete shoulder stabilizer including a followfocus and top carry handle, and used it to film a feature length documentary, and it cost me less than 400$, so no: I'm going to have to disagree with you.

    This thing is a complete crock when there's so many other options on the market for less than 100$...

  21. It may look loke you can duplicate the Dougmon for a few dollars but it's not as easy as it looks. Doug Monroe (no relation to me) spent more than 10 years developing the Dougmon and recently received a U.S. patent for it. Compare to units like Zacuto and Redrock and you'll learn that the cost is not so much. Besides, the quality is first rate. Once you try it with a camera, you'll soon appreciate the value, unless you really like shakey videos.

  22. Marvin

    That Hoodmad Wristshot looks interesting. I wonder if it can be modified to act as an arm brace for flycam or other light steadicam as well so you can have a dual purpose brace... hmm let me patent that thought so i can charge $500 like him. hehe ^^

    But on a serious note, Em what is your thout on a dual purpose arm brace? Thanks.

  23. Rob S.

    Looks like an interesting product. Wish he had some sample footage. There was another homegrown product not long ago that was a freestanding monopod that also acted like a stabilizer. As I recall, that had a big price tag too and it was invented by a bearded guy.

  24. Scott

    Overpriced and already done in so many different formats. I hope he hasn't remortgaged his house to launch this... He clearly forgot to do market research. >_<

  25. Looks versatile..ish
    'Stable' is the the last thing I would think about it.
    No sample footage isn't a good sign.
    And that price made me laugh.

    *Strap - $5
    *8KG ball head - $22
    *P&C friction arm - $30
    *The fun of saving $643 - Priceless
    LOL

    No offense to you Doug! I love your enthusiasm and effort, but the price is completely unreal!
    :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



RSS Feed Widget