Here's a simple way to DIY a Top Handle for your DSLR Video Camera for those low shooting scenes. The hot shoe of these cameras are very capable of mounting this little top handle, but please use common sense as to not overload your setup with bulky rigs. This is mainly a way to carry the camera in it's simplest form. The build is easy and cheap, assembled with common parts you may already have, or find it through the links below.
The Giottos Mini Ball Head is a native 3/8" mount, so you can get a 3/8" adapter, or use the reducer to 1/4" (comes with ball head) and use a 1/4" hot shoe adapter (click here).
Hot Shoe Adapter 3/8 or 1/4 Screw
These handles are all metal, knurled finish for grip, and you can actually stack them together if you want it to be very long. They come in a variety of colors if you want to spice up your aesthetics (click here).
A brand new Canon 5D Mark II will still run you about $2500 dollars retail on any website. A used Canon 5D Mark II Body over on eBay will still run you over $2100 dollars and that's not knowing it's true condition. Canon right now is running some specials on their Refurbished Equipment website with a 10% off Promotional Code bringing down the Canon 5D Mark II (refurbished) bodies to $1799. Yeah that's a pretty sweet deal for a full frame body with excellent low light capabilities. Sure it's a refurb, but it's coming from Canon with a 90 Day warranty.
If you're looking to pick up used equipment, I think these official Canon refurb units are still a safer bet than going for a used version off the auction site. Aside from the 5D Mark II, there's 7D's, T2i's, 60D's, and a bunch of lenses including L series refurbished. Promotional Code is fam211 and the link is here.
I posted about this Hague Mini Motion Camera Stabilizer earlier in my blogs, but I just thought I'd share with everyone what a Canon T2i looks like when balanced on the Hague. Now that high quality HD Video cameras are smaller, the Hague MMC is one good option. This stabilizer will only fly the weight of a Canon T2i with 18-55mm kit lens and nothing more. You can find the Hague MMC on eBay (click here)
Mini Camera Stabilizer
One stabilizer that pretty much resembles the Hague MMC but which is a bit cheaper is the MidX (found here).
Other Small Video DSLR Camera Stabilizers
If you're planning on Flying something a bit heavier, the next best option would be the Flycam Nano. You can see how well this stabilizer flies in this video (click here). This is what I feel the best bang for the buck. It can easily fly a Canon 5D Mark II or Canon 7D with a Tokina 11-16mm lens. You can find the Flycam Nano online (click here).
The Flycam Nano
One feature that the Flycam Nano lacks is what are called 'fine tuning knobs'. These knobs are available in some stabilizers for you to quickly and easily get your camera in balance. You simply turn the small knobs and the camera will shift slightly left / right, or shift slightly forward and back. If you need to be quick about getting a camera ready to fly, the Glidecam HD series are the best bet. For small cameras similar to what the Flycam Nano can fly, you'll want to look into the Glidecam HD1000 stabilizer. You can find one of my demo videos (click here). The Glidecam HD1000 is the smallest of Glidecam stabilizers under the HD2000 and HD4000 which can all be found online (click here).
If you're looking to beef up your Camera by adding a battery grip, LED light, or Microphones and need something to carry more weight, the next step up (price wise) would be the Glidecam HD2000-HD4000 stabilizers. You can find the different Glidecam HD models available here. They are all basically the same design, just different sizes to support different weight cameras. You can probably get away with the smallest one, but if you plan on adding something like an LED video light (like this one) , you might want to get the larger Glidecam HD2000 or HD4000. I personally own several different stabilizers, but here's a BTS video with the HD4000 (click here).
In your search for Glidecam stabilizers, you might run into the Pro versions. These will also work great and the difference in the Pro series of Glidecam stabilizers is mainly the lack of 'Fine Tuning Knobs'. They will balance fairly heavy loads and if you don't require the fine tune knobs you can find many of these used for cheap prices (click here). Getting back to the Glidecam HD series of stabilizers, you can find more information about how much weight each stabilizer can carry, along with prices following the links below.