There's only a handful of companies that offer DSLR Video Rigs with a Support Rod that helps carry the front heavy load of a Video Rig. Instead of having to add heavier counterweights to the rear of the rig, the rod and belt combination transfers the weight to the hips. You can see how the Waist Support Rod is used in the beginning of the video (below) on the DVTec Rig.
It's not something you want to walk around with, but it will help to stabilizer slow moving or static shots. Internally the rod is spring loaded to reduce harsh bumps, and the top of the rod has a spring to allow a bit of tilt and roll. Varizoom, DVTec, and even Shape offer these waist support kits, but at a premium price. If this is something you've been looking into, there's a company selling a similar kit on eBay now to help you save your back, but it will still run you about $68 bucks (click here).
Steadicam has a smoothee, Cinevate once showed something for an iPhone about a year ago, Lensse has an iPhone version as well, but can be adapted to the GoPro. Somehow every company is finding a way to market tiny stabilizers for iPhones, Flip Cameras, and all types of point and shoots.
Olivia gets a demo from Tom McKay - President of Varizoom showing a regular FlowPod, as well as their new lightweight version. Now in the end of the video he throws out pricing, but when I was at NAB, I want to say that the smaller version was only around $150 dollars. That means it would be a bit cheaper than Steadicam's Smoothee as well as being a lot more functional.
Not long ago Rode announced a new VideoMic Pro and now it's available. Didn't I just grab a new Microphone Windscreen over my VideoMic? This does not appear to be a replacement for the already popular VideoMic, but a new microphone altogether. Smaller form factor, better shock mounting, external switches, and a new +20db setting. Price obviously is more than the non-Pro VideoMic, but the new shock mount and smaller form factor already has me sold. Unlike the large VideoMic, this new VideoMic 'Pro' won't look as awkward when mounting on the smaller GH2 camera.
If you've been hiding under a rock, you might have missed all the ads for Varizoom's Crossfire stabilizer. Seems like they are really pushing this product towards DSLR shooters. It's a hand held video stabilizer that combines a tripod as the lower weight. When you're not running around, you've got a tripod ready to go. This is another product similar to their stabilizer/monopod a.k.a 'FlowPod'. How well does it work? I don't know, but it's set at a price where i'm not willing to find out. So unless you really need a set of sticks under your stabilizer, you can find it here: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/750674-REG/VariZoom_VZ_CROSSFIRE_CrossFire_FP_Stabilizer.html
If you're in the market for a Battery grip but don't want to pay the OEM prices, you might be shopping for aftermarket. If you're a bit hesitant on choosing after market battery grips coming from overseas then maybe the new Vello line of grips might be up your alley. Available for both Canon and Nikon in select models, shipped from the big retailer B&H Photo Video should you run into any issues. Found here: Vello Battery Grips
You've seen me flying pretty lightweight Video stabilizers recently, including the Glidecam HD1000 shown in this video. Well lightweight is nice and very easy to fly for short periods of time, but if you're going to be focusing on longer video footage with any stabilizer, it's time to start looking into a Vest. A Stabilizer Vest isn't going to help stabilize your video as much as the 'stabilizer' itself, but it does help you stay in control by carrying most of if not all of the weight. This is especially helpful for fast walking to running type shots.
Well i'm pretty set with the Steadicam Merlin Vest modified to work with the Glidecam HD4000, but I admit it is a bit overkill not to mention a bit pricey, for something that might only see 5% of your video work. So in my never ending search for the best bang for the buck, I decided to check out the Varizoom DV Sportster, one of the smallest, lightest, and cheapest Video Stabilizer Vests known to mankind...B&H Photo.
When this dropped in, the box looked fairly large and I was a bit disappointed. I was looking for small and portable. Then it was like a Russian Matryoshka doll unfolding box after box down to it's smallest bag. Wow, this thing is tiny. The bag is like a small padded duffle with extra room for other gear. Description from Varizoom states it can support it's own Flowpod, Steadicam JR. and Glidecam stabilizers. Now it's time to put it to the test this weekend and see if it actually holds up. You can find the Varizoom DV Sportster vest here. Stay tuned....