Tag Archives: shoulder pad

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I still love the look coming out of the BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Cameras, but I'll admit that i'm pretty lazy to take the cameras out as much as I could. The batteries have incredibly short run times, the large camera files eat through SDXC cards, the tiny low resolution screen makes it hard to set focus and practically disappears under bright lights.

For me to solve this, I use an external battery, Atomos Ninja HDMI Recorder, and a better EVF screen. This adds up to a lot of parts that I still need to find a way to mount as ergonomically as possible. Throwing a few pieces together, here's what I ended up with.

Blackmagic pocket cinema camera small rig tilta cage spectrahd evf

Even though the system was relatively small, it was still somewhat awkward. After shooting for a full day, I realized the style of shooting on one particular project did not require the camera operator to move around within a few feet. So I decided a better way would be to split up the equipment, which makes the camera setup smaller, and now offers the benefit of a remote Director's monitor. Here's a video look on my new setup.

blackmagic pocket cinema camera rig

For the camera i'm using a Tilta BMPCC Cage with a Top Handle, mounted on PVGear.com 8" 15mm Carbon Fiber Rails with some short handles.

pvgear 30 percent off sale
find-price-button PVGear.com 15mm Carbon Fiber Rails


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find-price-button Tilta BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera BMPCC Cage

For better focus and viewing, we're using the new F&V SpectraHD EVF Monitor mounted to an adjustable EVF Mounting Bracket.

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find-price-button SpectraHD 4 Monitor EVF

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find-price-button SmallRig EVF Holder

The shoulder pad is the flexible PNCGear.com Hybrid Pad which can be folded up to use against the chest, or folded down to use over the shoulder.

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find-price-button PNCGear Hybrid folding Shoulder Chest Pad 15mm Clamp

I'm using the HDMI output from the F&V SpectraHD EVF with a 6 foot HDMI cable over to the Atomos Ninja2 Recorder. This now serves both as a directors monitor and an external recorder which is both cheaper and larger than any SD Cards I can afford.

With the Atomos mounted in a CMR Monitor Yoke, I have room to add a 14V Sony BPU battery to power up the BMPCC for hours and hours.

Sony BMCC BP-U30 BP-U60 battery adapter wall charger BlackMagic CInema CameraBlackMagic Cinema Camera 14V Battery Sony BP-U60 adapter
find-price-button Sony BP-U60 BP-U30 Battery Plate 14V for BlackMagic Cinema Camera

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find-price-button Sony BP-U30 / BPU60 Batteries

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find-price-button Atomos Ninja2 HDMI Recorder

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find-price-button Camera Motion Research Monitor Yoke

I find this setup to be perfect for the type of shooting I do with this camera, but still easy enough to disconnect if I want to run the BMPCC on it's internal battery and record to internal SDXC cards.

You can see in this BTS photo sometimes space is too limited for a tripod, and it's also nice to move the camera around instead of having it completely static. The photo shows the old rig, but I feel my reconfigured setup will now be easier for this type of workflow and shooting style.

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Here's a few first day tests using the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera with @satostudios. The samples may not make sense, but I was sampling different MFT lenses, Canon FD Lenses, and ND Filters for sharpness. Also testing out different ProRes LT vs HQ settings to see how much exposure and color difference there was when I threw a slight color grade on it. There is also a Film Grain Scan thrown over the graded footage so it will purposely appear 'grainy'. I decided that we just have to suck up all the large data and shoot ProRes HQ all the way for the rest of the project.

So while a dual operator setup may not be ideal for live events where you are constantly on the move, this setup can be beneficial when you have time to plan your shots with a crew. It keeps the camera rig small so that it can easily go from handheld, to slider, to tripod, etc. It allows you to work in very confined spaces and fairly ergonomic to switch between low angles or off the shoulder. It may also be easier to pack up your gear into two separate cases without having to break anything down.

Hopefully this may inspire some of you guys to rethink your rigs as well. Remember that this is not limited to the BMPCC. The GH4 can output 4K 10bit from HDMI, Sony A7s requires an external HDMI Recorder for 4K, and even cameras like the Canon 5D Mark III can benefit using recorders that capture to ProRes HQ. Instead of throwing everything on one rig which can quickly get heavy, oversized, and awkward to work with, it may be easier to split up your HDMI recorders, power solutions, second display, and even Audio Recorders off camera.

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Vimeo member LJ Lee gives us a look at the new Lanparte Shoulder pad that integrates a quick release camera mounting baseplate [Thanks LJ]. The design is drilled out to shave off some weight and allows you to carry the camera over the shoulder instead of further out over your arms. Essentially you'll have a more balanced and stable rig, but you have to configure this to use an EVF or LCD monitor. You can already find the new Lanparte shoulder pad via eBay (Click Here).

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find-price-button Lanparte New Shoulder Pad Quick Release Camera Baseplate

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YouTube member TheJoeDigital shares a video review with a look at some of the new designs from the Lanparte DSLR rigs. The video above shows the Follow Focus with two hard stops, a new clever swing open cage design, and variable position handles with geared locks. They also make Matte Boxes and other accessories.

I picked up one of the shoulder pads a while back to replace the not-so-comfy Gini silicone pad on one of my rigs. As seen in the video above from Vimeo member brandpartners, the shoulder pad from Lanparte I picked up has a much more contoured soft pad and rails on top to mount other accessories or a V-Mount battery pinch solution (which they also make). The V-mount battery dock provides various voltage out to power different accessories, but also includes an HDMI splitter to send video to a second monitor. You can check out more of their gear following the link (here).

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find-price-button Lanparte DSLR Rigs, MatteBoxes, Follow Focus

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DSLR Rig Battery Pack

Just a few days after I decide to pick up the redesigned shoulder pad, they show off their V Mount power solution. If you're not familiar, these types of adapters are virtual power stations for your entire rig. Using high powered V Mount batteries (like Sony or Anton Bauer), you can power up all the mounted accessories from LCD Monitors, LED lights, Portable audio recorders, and even down to juicing up your camera. The V Mount battery can be quickly swapped out with another to keep you running all day instead of having to deal with multiple battery types and chargers. This setup can also act as a counterweight on rigs, so instead of having useless dead weight, you've got a functional piece of gear.

V Mount Battery Pack

This V Mount power station has a built in HDMI splitter so that you can run two monitors, (2) 12V outputs, (1) 7.2V output for your Canon Camera, (1) 5V out, and even has (1) 5V USB port out to charge your cellphone. The kit comes with (1) V Mount battery, (1) V Mount battery plate (which also acts as the charging station for the V Mount battery), and the redesigned Shoulder Pad (the one I just bought). If you've shopped for DSLR Rig V Mounts + Battery Packs, this kit is very interesting. Additional close up images and information following the jump (click here).

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find-price-button DSLR Rig Shoulder Pad V Mount Battery + Power Station Kit

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DSLR Shoulder Rig Pad Old New v2

There aren't too many sexy Video Rig shoulder pads on the market, not to mention anything affordable. Immediately after getting the Gini Rig shoulder pad, I was already looking to upgrade. The Gini silicone shouler pads (even the latest version) aren't the most comfortable. So, a recent redesign of a Shoulder Pad that peaks my interest. To the left is the OLD and to the right is the NEW. I'll admit, I've already had my eye on the old version, but i'm glad I held out. In my opinion this looks much more comfortable than the Redrock Micro microShoulderPad, and offers a better look, and more mounting points. (Not to mention cheaper too).

All standard 15mm fit, so it will work perfectly on a couple of new Gini DSLR Rigs I picked up. Yeah I know how you guys drive prices up, so I had to place my order first. I'm all in for this one, so i'll let you know how it turns out as soon as it washes up on U.S. soil. More about the new Video Rig Pro Shoulder Pad designs (click here)

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find-price-button DSLR Video Camera Rig Shoulder Pad v2

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When I posted the article about Fancier's new product line of DSLR support rigs and related accessories, it grabbed quite a bit of attention. Supposedly these rigs were also shown in Photokina earlier this year, so they are really pushing these products. In pictures it looks like it's got all the right stuff. They've come up with several modular pieces in their designs from entry level to heavily accessorized full shoulder rigs. The Fancier Rod Rig systems looks to meet industry standard measurements with 15mm rods and proper spacing to accept various other accessories.

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This rig is designed with two main modular parts. First part is the DSLR cage type frame that can hold a few accessories and a follow focus. The cage can be released from the shoulder support for you to get hand-held shots and then quickly get the entire cage mounted back again. On this rig is Fancier's own friction follow focus system and Matte box. The follow focus has a smooth marking disc area, a very nice knurled black anodized knob that can support a whip. The follow focus is actually made quite nice, but the mounting and adjustment bracket is a terrible design. The matte box comes with large metal french flags and a standard sized plastic filter holder. The body of the Matte box is made of some type of molded plastic which is strong and light weight. There is very little adjustments to the matte box which makes it difficult to match up a combination of cameras or lenses for a decent fit.

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The DSLR cage (thing) has a solid base plate, but the follow focus is raised to where it hits the bottom of the lens. Even my cameras with the battery pack on were too big to fit into this cage. There is also no vertical adjustments for the follow focus - only horizontal. Without the vertical adjustments there was no way I could mount any of my cameras with any combination of lenses to their system. This is how the rig was shipped, so it's possible 'they' even messed up on putting it together. Looking at the follow focus plate, it's still possible to flip it upside down and move the horizontal adjustment under the lens giving me a few millimeters of clearance, but the threaded knob would still dig into my lens. Not to mention they weak two screw mounts they use for the bracket wouldn't hold up well either. Basically worthless, but don't worry this rig isn't mine. I didn't pay for this rig, but sure am glad I got an early peek at it, and to share some of this information with all you guys. Perhaps saving many of you the time and money.

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The rear shoulder pad for the rig was very comfortable and balanced the rig well with the counter weights. Once the rig was on my shoulder, I head quite a bit of squeaking and thought my clamps were loose. It turns out the shoulder pad was really just shifting around, and it's a flaw in their design. Too bad, because I really liked the shoulder pad and counter weight mount. It's much more comfortable that other rigs i've been playing with.

There it is folks. I really hope this information is helpful to anyone reading this. I'm quite pressed for time this week, and almost passed up the chance to review this one entirely. I didn't see any more information about this rig elsewhere, and wanted to get something online before anyone starts throwing money around on these rigs. This might be the first review anyone's posted about the Fancier DSLR rigs, and i'm really sorry to find so many things that just don't work. I still think they make decent budget tripods, LOL. If you have any questions, feel free to drop them in the comments.

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