P&C Prime Shoulder Rig Sony FS700 Review

Sean Rivers shares this excellent review on the PhotographyandCinema.com PR-1 Shoulder Rig [Thanks Sean]. The P&C PR-1 shoulder rig is bundled with a basic set of rails, clamps, Swiss Rods, extended handles, and shoulder pad for beginner shooters, but can easily be expanded with other Industry Standard 15mm accessories. The baseplate of the PR-1 was originally designed for smaller cameras, but with a Manfrotto quick release baseplate added, Sean was able to mount up his Sony FS700. You can find additional information about the P&C Prime Shoulder Rig PR-1 (click here)

Prime-15mm-DSLR Video Shoulder-Rig-PR-1
find-price-button P&C Prime Video Shoulder Rig PR-1 Bundle Kit

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prime shoulder rig 15mm rails
find-price-button P&C Prime Video Shoulder Rig PR-1 Bundle Kit - Amazon





20 thoughts on “P&C Prime Shoulder Rig Sony FS700 Review

  1. Just a note most of these items P&C Shoulder rig and others items from Amazon do NOT ship to Canada which does not make sense.

  2. Been having a few problems with this rig myself.
    The tightening nob has got wedged between the sled and the metal ledge and the quick release won't tighten down either.
    Contacted p & c twice and was told technical department was away for the week. Bit disappointing after very limited use to have these issues, especially as i appreciate this site and all it does.

  3. Emm

    Post author

    @Dan - It's not a huge problem to attach weights to the rig and I think you're just complicating something pretty straight forward. Here's a setup I use for the BlackMagic Design Cinema Camera. It's a Prime Shoulder Rig and i've added the extension rods on the rear (this one here). There is no reason why you couldn't just mount a simple Round Counterweight to the rear in place of my battery pack.

    Take a look at this setup. No counterweights required and totally hands free: http://cheesycam.com/rods-budget-dslr-shoulder-rig/

  4. Dan

    Thank you for those short tips, Emm. They make a lot of sense. Of course, getting a scorpion is only for the rich & famous. Not an option here. What also doesnt make sense is to get an EVF which will cost hundreds of dollars, and will be annoying to switch it's batteries every two hours. I already have a great LCD viewfinder, so I must have the shoulder rig with its offset brackets.
    I take all of your suggestions to heart, Emm, and I really think them over! But, I'm not a production company yet. Only a guy who knows what his budget is, and that's why things are tougher, because if money wasnt an issue, then I'd get the scorpion rig and close the deal right then and there :)
    The cheapest solution is the weights solution.
    How to do it right was my main question for you, Emm :)
    It just seemed to me for a second there, that you suggested that the P&C rig isnt meant to be used with a counter weight. I hope I understood wrong, because every shoulder rig should be able to support it.

    I have a 5Dmk2+50mm 1.4+LED light, and I want to be able to fully balance it at the back (not having a funny weight of only 0.5kg, but just enough as when I leave my hands off the rig's handles, so the rig won't fall forwards or backwards), all that just because this is the key for eliminating fatigue, and for being able to take shaky but not stuttery walking shots. I'm not looking for steadicam at all. I love this sample @10:13:
    http://youtu.be/WHDhejVmEz8?t=10m13s
    I didnt expect it would be such a huge problem to attach weights solution to the P&C rig :\

  5. Emm

    Post author

    @Dan - Will the rods snap with your setup? No. Is that a shoulder rig I would use? No. Your configuration is getting too long only to support a counterweight. A lower counterweight is used on many rigs, so it's not an unusual concept. We're not talking lower back area, just under the shoulder instead of level with the rails.

    The reason why you are looking for such heavy counterweights is because your camera is too far forward. A better solution is to pull the camera closer and over your shoulder. Of course you can't see the LCD screen when it's pulled back that far, but that is the reason you add an EVF or an LCD screen to look at. Now that the camera is over the shoulder, you would require zero or much less counterweight.

    Take a look at this video from Zacuto, maybe this is more your style. And thought it may not have all the bells and whistles, it's possible to build your own rig with the same basic ergonomics and principles.

    If I have time, i'll try to get to a video showing a setup with the Prime Rig and a few counterweight options.

  6. Dan

    @Emm, at least could you please approve or disapprove my sketch for a weight setup?
    http://s11.postimage.org/babf560lv/P_C_shoulder_rig_counter_weight_setup.jpg
    Will this hold the weights well, with the little rods connected to the swiss rods?
    I know I could use a battery as a weight but this adds to the cost, and I won't benefit from it.

    On the other hand, you suggested a weight which is rigged lower, so it might balance that front heavyness using less weight at the back. Problem is, I only bump into these weights:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/300606305678?ssPageName=STRK:MESINDXX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1436.l2649
    which only fit this CXS-1 shoulder rig(?!).

    We must remember, Emm, that its quite important that we would be able also to take that rig off of our shoulder, and lay it on the ground! With those lower weights solution I feel like there's no option of putting the rig to rest.It wont balance on the ground. Therefore, maybe the rounded weights are the more sane option?
    Just got to understand if this sketch makes sense and that nothing will snap.

  7. Gabe.H

    @Emm. Could you please refer us to links for these two top handle solutions? You have so many videos, I might've missed that one, and its hard to visualize without actually seeing these workarounds. thank you.

  8. Emm

    Post author

    @Gabe.H - The friction arm may be able to handle the weight, but not the plastic handle itself. If you look in one of my videos I just use a simple 90 degree clamp, one rod, and a 15mm handle. There's also a half cage bracket that can be used to add your own top handle too.

  9. Emm

    Post author

    @Dan - Instead of adding very heavy counter weights to the rig, it's possible to mount a weight that is lower (on your back). Dropping the weight down from the rig physically creates balance without adding more mass.

    Also, instead of just adding pure un-functional weight with a solid block of metal, you can choose to use a power brick (battery solution) instead. This battery will add counter weight while being functional for powering all the accessories. There's plenty of variables for each user. I'll try to do a video with some suggestions or something about this.

  10. Gabe.H

    I love P&C as well, but, there's another question mark here that should be addressed. What about a top handle solution to this rig? Will using that P&C pistol grip + a magic arm, and screwing it to the 1/4" hole at the shoulder pad will do the trick? sort of reminding this:
    http://cheesycam.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/GH2-Top-Handle-1-of-1-300x197.jpg
    Could this DIY solution handle the weight of this P&C rig? Emm,Could you verify that for us?
    I'm surprised no one really mentioned the lack of a top handle here.

  11. Dan

    @Emm.
    I admit I don't know all the nitty gritty about shoulder rigs and how to cutomize them. Therefore, I wished P&C (or yourself) could throw us a bone here and help us, newbies, who want to purchase this rig off of your hands. Literally, help us pay you money! :)

    The problems are:
    A. Which counter weight to get?
    B. How should we fit it onto your rig?

    A. I understand P&C don't have to offer their own created weights. That's 100% fine. Still, there is no real helpful solution suggested by you. Isn't there any weight which is a solid 3Kg? Everything is 0.5-1.3kg? This won't be enough for balancing a 5Dmk2+lens. It's just weird we'll need to attach two of those rounded weights.
    Also, that link you gave to @Viv was for an American seller which won't ship worldwide.
    What about those 15mm-compatible empty boxes they sell where you can fill them with sand\lead balls etc? they should be cheap for shipping, but I dont know how heavy they could get? Please, any suggestions?

    B. Because these questions haunt me, I've made a quick sketchup:
    http://s11.postimage.org/babf560lv/P_C_shoulder_rig_counter_weight_setup.jpg

    Will this be the correct way to achieve what we want from this rig? Is this the right order of fitting parts, which makes sense?
    I'm just really worried those short aluminum extensions would bend because of the counter weights, and because theyre extended so far away from the shoulder pad. The swiss rod+those extensions are 'hanging in mid air' with those weights on, so maybe something could snap.

  12. Emm

    Post author

    @Dan - You don't have to use the Swiss Rods on the rig, and you can always purchase the extended rail kit that allows you to expand the length of the rails. http://www.photographyandcinema.com/products/2-8-15mm-extension-rails

    Keep in mind this is just a starter rig, but can be customized with any other industry standard accessory (including counterweight) depending on the user preference. To actually manufacture a counter weight costs a lot in materials, and expensive to ship the item (heavy). Unless there are thousands of these items flying out the door most companies don't find this to be something they need to produce.

  13. Dan

    @Viv and @Emm,
    I've been looking at what Emm was suggesting:
    http://tinyurl.com/b28y2kr

    The rounded weight feels better than that sharp box.
    But!
    It is only 1.36kg. And for balancing a DSLR you should have at least 3kg. So putting two rounded weights would be almost the minimum for avoiding front heavyness (~2.72Kg).

    Therefore, the main problem is, with those 2 nice black swiss rods installed at the back of the P&C shoulder rig, I dont think theres enough room to install two of those weights as theyre too thick for what the rods allow.
    Moreover, I feel like those back rods should, somehow, extend more to the back (so you could install the weights further away). The swiss rods end quite short and close towards shoulder pad.

    What, oh what could be the solution here?
    This whole weight system is the only thing stopping me from getting the P&C rig. No clear solution here.
    Unfortunately there's also 1-3 videos worldwide reviewing this P&C rig (on youtube). Usually you see people's personal solutions for these issues. So, P&C should understand that if their customers dont recommend or talk about solutions for weights on youtube etc.- then its P&C's responsibility to answer this cry for help from fans who want to purchase this rig. You cant sell a fine rig like that and just ignore the weights. Theyre #1 priority for not getting a back ache or fast fatigue!

  14. Viv

    I got this rig and I find it great!
    The only drawback is the lack of counterweight support or even just some suggestions from P&C for a proper counterweight. I m thinking of grabing the manfroto shoulder pad which has a mount for counterweight and apparently works with 15mm rods, but I ll have to put up $170 more for that set up which makes the Prime rig more expensive than expected..they really should make their own dedicated counterweight!

  15. Dan

    After all that time which passed since this first P&C rig, I was actually expecting news about a newer model. Maybe one with black rails instead of metal? Which will make you less shiny and reflective in events? It grabs too much attention in my eyes.
    But, this is only a cosmetic upgrade. With P&C's innovation, I bet there has to be a new shoulder rig in store for us. No?

  16. Jerry

    I agreed, I am looking for a shoulder rig too, if you can make the base plate bigger and also lower to the rod, from the video the fs sitting kind high?

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