9 Best DSLR Shoulder Rigs for Video Use
Here we have reviewed the top 9 best DSLR rigs to help you decide the right one for your camera and personal preference.
Have you ever had a beautiful, a perfect event where every guest had a great time, and it turned out to be a function you thought youd never forget? With everything at the right place and just as you imagined it to be, what if, the entire photo album turned out either full of blurred or out of focus photos?
All the memories you thought would last, just turned out to be good for nothing! Such a waste and what a big turn-off! Nowadays, its quite easy to own a DSLR/camcorder, however taking the perfect shot, without any shakes or unwanted movements is not something anyone with a DSLR can promise.
Welcome to the world of shoulder rigs; the ultimate solution to holding your DSLR stable as you take your perfect shot.
Ikan TT-03-A DSLR Rig
If you are into actual professional photography, here is one great DSLR shoulder rig for you! Made to give you the smoothest photos and videos every time, this rig delivers what it promises. The strong built, adjustable metallic support, the DSLR cage system, compact and light matte box, are all the factors which make it the right choice for most expert photographers.
Many of its features like the Baseplate with the V-lock mount, make it surpass all standards and functions the other types of shoulder rigs perform. This also justifies the cost; if you own an expensive DSLR, you need to have a high-quality rig for maximum support, safety and for enhancing the functionality of your DSLR.
There are three places you can adjust the rig for fitting your camera perfectly. This helps hold the camera firmly and with securely for the right shot to be taken at the right time. This rig is usually good to go with the smallest as well as the largest DSLRs, cameras/camcorders.
The best part, it is manufactured mainly from carbon fibers, with aluminum used just to provide a solid grip to the whole frame. This helps in minimizing the load and keeping room for adding more accessories with your camera, yet giving you a strong, sturdy grip and stable photography experience, with every shot.
Movo MFF400 DSLR Rig
Available at a much affordable rate, this Premium Motorized shoulder rig is nearly compatible with most types of camera lenses.
Made for fun as well as professional use, this is a great camera rig for DSLRs and is built strong enough to be used for a long time.
The structure contains premium, highly durable motors as well as a zoom memory, to enable precise focus and smooth photography. You can use this rig for a whole day, and the motors and rig work as smoothly and well as ever.
Working ever silently, it gives you complete control of each shot and the entire footage. It includes control switches with speed settings, placed at the most accessible handles, for ease of usage. Part of the package is the manufacturers one year warranty, the MMF400 is a battery powered rig which lets you zoom in and focus on various objects, at your desired speed.
Ikan ELE-OFLY Flyweight
Are you a professional photographer but limited on your budget? Then, Ikan ELE-OFLY is the best one for you. Very light on the shoulder and soft padded for maximum comfort, it includes the rubber handles for giving you the best grip.
This shoulder rig works best for DSLRs as well as camcorders; all other than the very large ones, fit perfectly within its frame. Reliable, of the top quality and with unsurpassed style elegance, this shoulder rig is built to give you multiple features that only a professional rig offers.
Most suited for the medium and smaller sized cameras, you can adjust the rig for maximum comfort while shooting from any height or angle as preferred for the shot.
ELE OFLY is simple to use and requires minimal assembling. The rods are 15mm in length, allowing adjustments vertically whereby resting the camera at the most comfort of the photographer at all times.
The rig has been made from anodized aluminum; a solid construction makes it the top choice for most photographers for covering various events as well as for all other sorts of professional filming.
FILMCITY DSLR Shoulder Rig
A rig with literally everything you need and that too at such an attractive price! This one has a base that is compatible with almost all DSLRs, camcorders, DVs as well as the HDVs. The rig has been made with the soft padded shoulder for providing ultimate comfort to the user all through the strenuous shooting hours.
Amazing DSLR Steadicam rig, FC-02 gives you the smoothest shooting experience with minimal undesired shakes and vibrations, no matter how long the shooting goes on. Made from the strong high-quality material, this rig lets you shoot actively, without making you any tired or letting the camera go through any unwanted shaky movements throughout the tenure of the shoot.
There are a number of mounting points for the camera so that you can give it the right height, direction or angle to get the best professional quality shots and footage.
The cage includes soft handles for giving you a comfortable hold. Also part of the rig are the matte box and the release plate, to let you mount your DSLR safely and securely on the rig.
Fotodiox WonderRig Elite
Another awesome low-cost construction, this Fotodiox WonderRig Elite offers great support and stability while shooting videos as well as photos. If your camera does not cost too much, theres absolutely no point of buying a highly expensive rig.
WonderRig has a diverse range of options for adding all accessories. It comprises of a matte box, rail rods (size 15mm) and the stabilization system. All these work in cohesion to enable you to take sharp, clear photos and vibration-free videos.
This rig also includes the follow focus and is made from the good quality metal, which makes it all the more durable than the other rigs which are priced at around the same level.
The rig includes soft and lined shoulder pads for maximum comfort and offers maximum support to the camera while shooting on the run. A great thing about this rig is that its light and can be adjusted any way you prefer, to let you take the shots as you desire. This rig too works with most DSLRs and cameras with its -20 universal base mount.
This one has been manufactured from high-quality aluminum. The dual rails and hand grips give you maximum control and grip over your camera and let your inner photographer have all the fun!
This is one of thebest DSLR shoulder rigs and allows a lot more flexibility and adjustments than its counterparts.
This rig is designed to let you take all shots in the most professional way, by letting you hold the camera face front, where you are in the most comfortable position to view and thereby take the shot.
You can use this rig with various other accessories as well. The dual rods give you a whole lot of space for adding all sorts of fittings/attachments for enhancing your photography experience. It includes the follow focus, allows ease of upgrading as well as gives provision for user customization.
One superb feature is the balanced top handle, which is part of its design. This handle enables you to shoot low shots so conveniently, without having to move to uncomfortable positions.
If you do not feel the need for having two handles for support, you can either add more handles or remove one, as needed.
Filmcity Belly Cruzer
Are you looking for a good supporting partner for those long hours of shooting?
The Filmcity Belly Cruzer is a low-cost feature-packed shoulder rig, which gives you the utmost support and grip during all the tiring continuous shooting hours.
An excellent DSLR video rig, asit offers top quality design, technology and can be upgraded with ease. The rig includes a battery plate for mounting your DSLRs, a sturdily built cage and the top quality matte box as added features for maximizing its performance.
It offers the perfect comfort and balance and has an unlimited number of options for mounting the DSLRs. This rig is suited for all amateurs, professionals, for coverage of all types of events like birthdays, weddings, etc. as well as for the hobbyists.
The base plate works for most of the DSLRs and camcorders, and the dual handles offer maximum support. Also, the rods can be adjusted to any position or angle, and are slip-proof for giving you a solid grip over the rig.
The DSLR camera rigs cage includes a foamed center, for offering the maximum support and fit your camera.
Morros DSLR Rig
Manufactured from aluminum and stainless steel, this is one best low-cost DSLR camera rig. It allows you various adjustments in heights as well as angles. You can easily use it from various positions, angles and modes for your shoots.
The rig offers utmost comfort for the user, the design includes sufficient margin to take the load off the user's arms; like the handle bars have been made with flexible material for maximum grip. It also includes a shoulder grip for a solid support.
This rig weighs over 3 kilos, however, the assembling and storage are a breeze. The shoulder brace is padded for support and giving you the most comfort; the rig allows ease of mounting all your DSLR cameras in the most secure manner.
Also part of the design is the matte box and the follow focus. You can produce high quality, professional type videos using this rig with your DSLR, along with any other accessory or attachment you require.
Make the best videos without any unnecessary shakes or jerks with ease, with the Morros DSLR Rig Video chest stabilizer. At the current price, this is the best deal you can get with all the latest features and a year-long manufacturers warranty.
Available at an attractive price, this rig is the best for you if you want excellence but do not want to spend too much on it.
You can have the superb quality, crisp pictures without any aberrations caused due to the undesired shakes or jerks. Moreover, the rig is designed to keep you at comfort and enable you to shoot for long, continuous hours without any fatigue.
The rig is compatible with most camera types, and offers slip-proof precise movements, for ensuring the smoothest footage whenever used.It can also be used along with the standard 15mm sized rods. This model exhibits a great follow focus and comes with a gear belt as well as a matte box.
Best for use for indoors as well as outside, during the day or night. You can have all the flexibility you need for your movement and balance while shooting to minimize stress.
Assembling the equipment is really easy and can be done without much expertise.
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Buyers Guide Top DSLR Rigs for Shoulders & Video Use
A shoulder rig is a great piece of invention, which forms an important part of any photographers gadgets. Anyone who owns a DSLR knows that the cameras are usually made light in weight and often do not yield the results you require, due to certain hand movements which actually cause blurred or jerky photography as well as footage.
A good quality rig does wonders to your photography. It gives you the stability and support you need for minimizing all sorts of unwanted movements and vibrations, to get the highest quality results.
So, what are the main essentials of a good DSLR camera rig?
Here, are a few major considerations to keep in mind once you set out for your purchase:
- Price: An essential point; the DSLRs already cost a lot, often you are not left with enough budget to buy other accessories or stabilizer rigs. Moreover, when you have the cheaper options widely available, why should you buy the expensive types?
So, keep your budget in mind before setting out to buy one.
- Weight: With everything getting compact, one would obviously prefer a light weighted, compact type of rig. Often you will have to just carry it on the shoulder, hence it is better to keep the weight you can easily carry around in mind.
This will also prove helpful for you to add more attachments or accessories to your rig.
A DSLR rig is really the best thing you can get for your DSLR. Here are a few benefits of using a DSLR shoulder rig:
- If you are a professional, the way you and your equipment looks makes a major difference to the clients. Someone just holding a nice DSLR, versus someone who uses a professional type of rig; people automatically judge and decide on the professionalism and go to the one with the rig.
- Then, the level of stability you achieve with the DSLR is unmatched with that of any built-in stability in your DSLR. The pictures will speak loud and clear about the major benefit of using the shoulder rig.
- These are particularly most important for shooting while moving. Since when you move, the camera often moves in an undesired pattern; this effect can be completely minimized with the use of a simple rig.
Other Important Considerations
- The Design
There are typically two types of rig designs available in the markets today. These include the Rail system and the flat metal surface.
Usually, people prefer the rail system, as it can be easily used in different situations. Moreover, it also enables you to use it along with other accessories and attachments.
- Type of Mount
There are two types of mounts. The straight shoulder mount and an offset shoulder mount. If you have a DSLR with a display screen, the offset shoulder rig is recommended. Here the viewfinder stays in front of the photographer. However, if you own the other type of DSLRs, you may buy the straight shoulder mount.
- The Weight
You will find many of the designs have an additional support for the chest or arm. These are the best especially for the continuous shooting hours, as they offer the most comfort.
Your camera in isolation may not seem to be heavy, but once you use a rig and any other attachment, the weight considerably increases and often gets uncomfortable to carry with time.
In these, the photographers chest provides support to the front part of the camera and makes it easy to be carried, without causing much fatigue.
- Counterweight Options
Often as you add your attachments and accessories to your camera, the rig gets heavier on the front. It may get hard to balance with the heavier front in this scenario. So, look for one which gives you the option of adding the accessories to the backside of the rig.
These rigs are essential for the commercial photographers, amateurs, professionals and the hobbyists; theres a right model for everyone. Lets go through some basic types of DSLR rigs.
The Handheld DSLR Camera Rigs
These types include a mount for the camera and a single or dual grip handles. If you are working on your photography skills, this one is great as it lets you get a perfect view and gives your hands the freedom to work on the support.
Types of DSLR/Camera Rigs
These are the most widely available types of rigs and can be found in a variety of designs and colors.
The Shoulder Rigs
These are further divided into three categories. They either:
- Provide support through the operators shoulder.
- Require the operator to wear a single or more units on the shoulder.
- Include an additional type of support.
The first types are the most common types of shoulder rigs, and may also include a shoulder sock for comfort and reduction of stress and a provision for mounting it on the table.
Hence, it is essential that the rig is light in weight and fairly easy to get used to. Comfort is another factor one should look for; which may be in the form of additional belts around the stomach or additional rods for support.
The Hands-free Type
These are the more creatively built designs. Increasingly gaining much customer attention, these rigs are known for comfort and stability.
The soft padded shoulder mounts, make them easier and more preferable to use especially if your shooting hours are long. Furthermore, the rig can provide a good support and greater stability to your DSLR than the other traditional types of rigs.
There are also a number of self-assembling kits, for those users who like to add custom features to their rigs. These come with major instructions for setting-up and include all major equipment that constitutes a rig.
The main essential features a good rig must have, include:
- The Follow Focus: This gives you the precision you need to focus, without the need of manually setting the camera focus over and over again.
- Matte Box: This is mounted on the rail system, and comes on the top of the lens. It actually controls the amount of light coming through the lens.
- Rail System: There are two rails that form the actual structure for supporting your camera and its accessories.
For more information and details about these shoulder rigs, read onhere.
What Is The Best Cheap DSLR Shoulder Rig?
As you can see from our above list, we have discussed the best shoulder rigs; many of these come at a very low cost and give you a great experience.
Amongst the cheaper options, you have the Fotodiox WonderRig Elite, Filmcity Belly Cruzer, Morros DSLR Rig and the Fancierstudio.
In case you have a low budget or are just simply not inclined to spend too much on a shoulder rig, you can buy either of these rigs at below $200 only.
These are great options if you are just getting started, and you can later easily buy a more expensive one once you get a hang of it. Moreover, if you own a reasonably priced camera, a very expensive type of rig would not make much sense with it.
These cheap but good quality rigs are easily available on amazon, where you can avail a yearlong manufacturers guarantee on some of these as well.
Do I Need a DSLR Rig?
If you take photography seriously, or even professionally, then a good DSLR rig is a must have. It will let you take more stable and precise shots by enabling a more fluid movement of the camera and keeping it safe from any undesirable jitters or shakes.
Most of the DSLRs are highly sensitive to the slightest movement caused even by the human breathing or pulse! Hence, the importance of a good rig cannot be any less emphasized upon.
Since the recent cameras are being manufactured in lighter weight structures, the element of stability is often compromised. Hence, the need of a stabilizer. The shoulder rig works by moving along with the camera; it gives you further flexibility in your movements and enables you to take the shot from various angles.
What Is a DSLR Rig?
If you use a DSLR in isolation, you will often find certain photographs may appear blurred or shaky due to the unavoidable shakes of the hand.
A DSLR rig works as a stabilizer and keeps the 4K DSLR free from shakes and lets you capture a professional quality footage. It is one of the prime requisites of owning a professional camera, particularly if you plan to take on photography as a profession.
You can mount your camera on the rig so that any such shakes and undesired movements can be eliminated from your photos or video.
This mount rests on the shoulder and often gets the support from the chest, or arm for letting the photographer shoot actively for hours.
What Is a DSLR Rig Used For?
The DSLR shoulder rig acts as a stabilizer for your camera and helps move the load from the hands to the shoulder. This is mainly used for conducting a smoother and stable photography, which ultimately gives you crisp, clear results.
The rig keeps the camera safe from shakes and from capturing an uneven footage, whereby making it more stable throughout. It also makes the overall camera movement easy and more workable for the photographer.
There are other rigs which can be placed on tripods too. However, all types of rigs perform the same purpose; your camera is kept in a stable position safe from all sorts of shakes.
Here you have it, the review and a comprehensive guide about the best shoulder rigs for your DSLR. Keep in mind the above factors before you make your purchase it will be the best one-time investment you make for your DSLR- and have the most fun to take envious shots every time!
We hope you find this guide helpful and find the perfect shoulder rig for your DSLR.