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 you’d 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, it’s 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. This is especially true with low-light camera photography – you need to keep very still and stead as to not cause any blur on your precious images.
Welcome to the world of shoulder rigs; the ultimate solution to holding your DSLR stable as you take your perfect shot.
Table of Contents
- Reviews of the 9 Best DSLR Shoulder Rigs
- Ikan TT-03-A DSLR Rig
- Movo MFF400 DSLR Rig
- Ikan ELE-OFLY Flyweight
- FILMCITY DSLR Shoulder Rig
- Fotodiox WonderRig Elite
- Jag35 KSRV2-DSJRBH
- Filmcity Belly Cruzer
- Morros DSLR Rig
- Fancierstudio FL02M
Reviews of the 9 Best DSLR Shoulder Rigs
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 photographer’s 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 photographer’s 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; there’s a right model for everyone. Let’s 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 operator’s 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 on here.
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 manufacturer’s 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.
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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.