Stabilisation Rigs

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by peskaa, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. peskaa macrumors 68020


    Mar 13, 2008
    London, UK
    Well, I thought the fount of all knowledge that is MacRumors' Photography Forum might be able to help here. First up, some background.

    I work in a hospital as a clinical photographer, and am currently in the process of starting a research project into the deployment of dvSLRs (digital video SLRs if you didn't work it out) into the clinical environment. We have the stills side of things down pat, but this is new territory.

    One of the biggest issues I have come across is that of stabilisation. Working in A&E (or the ER to the Americans) as well as various clinics and so forth means that tripods are not always the best solution, nor fast to set up. Monopods are an option, and will be trialled, but having been to several trade shows recently I'm interested in the handheld solutions that have hit the market recently.

    Of course, being an idiot, I didn't look at them in detail at the trade shows, or take any notes. I have no resources on what to look for, so, do you people have any recommendations? The breakdown would be as follows:

    - Suitable for EOS 5D Mark II/EOS 7D/D300s/D3s bodies
    - Lenses ranging from 16mm to 105mm
    - Portable
    - Good stability and lack of vibrations
    - Microphone mounting solutions or use hotshoe
    - Cleanable, which is pretty damn important in a hospital environment
    - Not ridiculously priced (I'm talking £1000 ridiculous)

    So, experience with anything? Seen anything good?
  2. Camerent. macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2010
    5D and 7D stabilisation

    Hi Peskaa

    Video tripods and stabilisers are something I am very familiar with, whilst the new range of DSLR cameras offering video mean many of the traditional video type of stabilisers including stedicams glidecams and the like have switched to offer smaller units designed for the camera market.

    Stedicams and glidecams require a great deal of skill to get good results there is also a Uk manufacturer that offers cost effective if a little home made devices as seen here however they can become very tiring after even a small period of use.

    I would highly recommend what may look like a strange device however the FIG rig designed to be used in movies many years ago has a massive following and once used is hard to put down, the fig rig will allow you to use both hands to hold the camera, offers a smoothing effect to hand held work and allows you to attach lights mics etc so you have a compact all in one solution, the fig rig is also easy to clean as you can see here it is a simple circular ring.
    Do not be put of by the simple design of the fig rig do a search for the device on the net and you will see the great reviews this simple but highly effective device gets.

    Just noticed you are in Oxford, stedicam are based there might be worth paying them a visit.
  3. peskaa thread starter macrumors 68020


    Mar 13, 2008
    London, UK
    Thanks for those links - the Fig Rig looks pretty good I will admit, and the ability to add mics/lights onto the ring is a pretty big plus. I'll pop over to Bicester and pay Steadicam a visit too :)
  4. PimpDaddy macrumors 6502


    May 9, 2007
  5. Camerent. macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2010
    Tell them Camerent sent you along I am sure they will look after you here is our fig rig in action and also the stedicam:) you can see the fig rig is a lot easier to use and keep clean not sure what happened to the camera in the fig rig pics.
    If you want to have a play with either one just let me know
    All the best Camerent

    Attached Files:

  6. peskaa thread starter macrumors 68020


    Mar 13, 2008
    London, UK
    I think somebody forgot to stick it on the quick release ;)

    I've been trawling the 'net and the Fig Rig is looking increasingly like an excellent choice - reasonable price, expandable system and as you said, easy to wipe down and keep fairly sterile.

    If we need a play I'll get back to you - we may just spring for one without trying beforehand!
  7. firestarter macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    I wouldn't get the Fig Rig.

    It's designed for camcorder systems which have remotely operated controls (a lot of the pro camcorders have the ability to move focus/zoom to the end of a wire, which you can then fix to the rig and still operate when you're holding the hoop).

    Just think about it - with the fig rig, you have to hold the hoop with both hands, and you're unable to adjust anything on the DSLR! Not good.

    You need to think about 'points of contact' when you're stabilising these things - as the more points of contact you have (and the wider these are separated) the less freedom the camera has to move. The fig rig works well, as it moves the points of contact far apart - and this cuts down on the amplitude of movement.

    Take a look at the Zacuto website. Their Z-finder is amazing on the new video DSLRs - and coupled with a gunstock, you get 4 points of contact (eye on eyepiece, shoulder on stock, both hands on the body).

    The person who has arguably done most to investigate and write about video on DSLRs is a British guy called Philip Bloom. Check out his website and blog:

    Philip sells some fantastic training videos for the 5DII and 7D (I have the 5DII video). There's no quicker way to learn exactly how to get the best results, what kit you need etc. - it might seem expensive, but I'd recommend you to buy the 7D video before you do anything else. Certainly read his blog too!
  8. Camerent. macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2010
    Your probably right another camera headed for the graveyard.

    Good luck they are not expensive so well worth the try and I am sure you will find many uses for it that will easily cover the investment.

    Im only in High Wycombe so give me a shout if you need a hand.
    Cheers Camerent

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