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.
(Above) Camera on Basic Rails from Express35
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.
(Above) Shown using rails sideways in a Fig Rig Stabilizer Configuration
(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.
(Above) Custom Offset Adapter to Cheap Shoulder Support
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/