Test: DIY DSLR Cage / Fig Rig / Stabilizer

This article is referencing my DIY DSLR Cage / Fig Rig / Stabilizer found at http://cheesycam.com/?p=966

As I do different video projects, you realize there are many different tools for different purposes. This DIY that I've created was to provide additional stabilization while walking, be able to carry a few different accessories, but be very quick to setup. It won't replace a Steadicam / Glidecam setup, but then again it neither weighs as much, is as bulky, or takes time to setup. It's designed to be a grab-and-go type tool for extra stabilization. Above is an example of me using the tool. As you can see, just by seperating your hands away from the camera you can acheive some fairly nice results. Especially looking at the Horizon in the video footage it stays pretty level. There is just a bit of bounce which can be minimized with a bit of practice, but definitely something you'll want to have for a DIY price of $25.00 dollars. Read the article for information on how to build your own. http://cheesycam.com/?p=966

You might want to also reference the additional Macro Rail at http://cheesycam.com/?p=1106.

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78 thoughts on “Test: DIY DSLR Cage / Fig Rig / Stabilizer

  1. Emm

    Post author

    @Jack - Used a wide lens and closed down on the aperture. It keeps everything in focus as you're moving around. This rig won't replace a Steadicam, but by placing your hands further from the camera, it stabilizes the shakiness.

  2. Jack

    Dumb question here, but, how are you focusing and how is this a stedicam as well? It looks awesome!

  3. pancho

    Anyone think this cage (with Rode mic, H4nZoom, Small light and camera) would be too heavy for the "hands free" shoulder mount in the A.S.S. Implant blog? Would love to use the two together...if it'll work.

  4. Hackett

    How do you attach the viewfinder screen to the bottom of your camera if you have a 2x batter grip on it? Did you have to buy a specific viewfinder?


  5. Emm

    Post author

    @David - They are two different types of gear. One flies very smooth, the other just stabilizes the camera from micro vibrations. You would use them both differently.

  6. Emm

    Post author

    @Steve - You would mount a Quick release plate under the cage. On top of the bottom rail, you would mount another quick release adapter. You'll most likely need a long bolt running through both, and sandwich that bottom rail between.

  7. Steve

    I love your site...My father just finished assembling my cage for me. I was wondering if someone could tell us exactly how you would get this onto a tripod and what that would require. Thanks, Steve

  8. landon

    I can't figure out how to attach the quick release to the metal frame? can you explain more about that step??

  9. Emm

    Post author

    @steve-o - This will not replace a steadicam. This is merely a simple way to mount all accessories and then move the entire 'rig' from handheld, to tripod, to monopod, to slider, etc. Cages are mounting brackets, but it does add some features for 'hand held' shooting. You will not be able to achieve a floating or flying style of camera movement with this alone.

  10. steve-o

    emm - would this cage (or others like it) be a good alternative instead of using steadicams, was wondering if it can function well for real estate (web tours of the home/property)

  11. Using your guidance I built my own cage. I found the original dimensions to be a bit small, and the overall weight a tad on the heavy side. So I shortened everything by 2 inches and used PVC pipe to lighten the rig a tad (as I plan on attaching a monitor). I also just put some pipe insulation over the PVC to make the "handles" more comfortable. I know you were going for a pro look, which is likely why you didn't go for these options. Regardless, here's my work in progress: http://clayton-mclaughlin.com/photography/diy-dslr-camera-cage-for-video/

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  14. Emm

    Post author

    @ethan - You are correct. Not all stabilizers are steadicam like. They are simply called stabilizers. Much like shoulder rigs, they are used to stabilize the camera while holding.

  15. Daniel

    I am planning on making a PVC version of this because I am a student and cannot afford those two dollar shelf brackets you suggested. Wish me luck!
    By the way, I love your site and check it almost every day. Thanks for taking the time to make and review these products, God bless!

  16. Hey I was curious...I made a rig similar to yours but i used something different instead of the long steel bar...So I was wondering after you have your rig and just your camera attached to the rig...how much did your completed rig w/ cam weigh? basically yours looks a lot lighter than mine! =/

  17. Emm

    Post author

    @Alex - Yeah thought about it, but wanted something a bit more pro looking and something that held paint well. PVC is great though, like LEGOS for adults.

  18. Emm: ever thought about a PVP fig rig? I built one over the weekend, and I really appreciate how light it is (compared to a metal frame).
    Only just started video (since I got the 60D last month), so I'm still trying to produce something worth sharing 😀

  19. Boris

    @Emm- I saw it now, pretty stupid of me. so basicly there is no cheaper solution for buying quick releases than those ones in your video? I would love to have this rig but if I buy several quick releases from your video, it will be too much for me, having in mind the money I've spent on camera and accessories lately...

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