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Buyer’s Brief: Camera Support & Stabilization

With this month’s Buyer’s Guide we examine a range of options for camera support, each engineered to keep your shots smooth, balanced and steady, whether the camera is affixed to a tripod, controlled with a remote or mounted on a helicopter.

Adorama

Flashpoint ZeroGrav III

Adorama’s Flashpoint ZeroGrav Stabilizer III with boom function is a video stabilizer with a jib-like arm for low-angle shots. ZeroGrav III is designed for DSLRs and camcorders up to 6.6 pounds. The stabilizer allows filmmakers to get camera-in-motion shots without a dolly. While smoothly following the operator’s broad movements, the ZeroGrav’s armature absorbs jerks, bumps and shakes, making the unit ideal for shooting while walking, running, driving, going up and down stairs and moving over uneven terrain. Unique to this model is a boom function, allowing for both high- and low-angle shots in one tool. The Flashpoint ZeroGrav Stabilizer III with boom function is available for $300. 

EZ FX

EZ Jib

EZ Jib is a cost-effective, user-friendly and versatile jib arm ideal for field, studio or multicamera productions. It’s lightweight, portable and easy to set up. Designed to work with all camera sizes and formats, EZ Jib creates the lift and rotation movement that adds production value. Compatible with accessories like the EZ FX Handle, users can independently add pan and tilt movement for enhanced visual effects. An extension kit is available that converts the EZ Jib into a longer event-style camera crane. MSRP is $1,199. 

16×9 Inc.

EasyRig 3 Gimbal Rig

EasyRig’s Gimbal Rig support system, distributed by 16×9, is designed for camera operators who need additional support because of the increasing weight of handheld gimbal systems. The rig’s vest and hip belt provide back support that allows the operator to carry more weight further from the body. A basic EasyRig Gimbal Rig system includes a support arm, lockable camera hook, vest, hip belt and transport bag. Support arms are ordered by camera weight (up to 55 pounds) and arm length (5 inch and 9 inch). The EasyRig Gimbal Rig Vest, $2,115, can be ordered on its own or as part of a complete rig. The EasyRig 3 Gimbal Rig is $3,935 with the standard support bar.

Ikan Corp.

ELE-ENG Detachable Shoulder Rig Mount

Ikan’s just-released ELE-ENG detachable shoulder rig support system is ideal for any shooter on the go, particularly ENG and event videographers. This lightweight, portable shoulder rig fits easily in the average camera bag and is designed for expeditious assembly and camera mounting. The unique snap-lock design allows users to quickly attach the shoulder pad to the baseplate, which is also compatible with Canon’s TA-100 tripod adapter. The “smart wheel” lock system makes mounting the camera on the rig a breeze. No tools, no knobs, and no time wasted. In addition, the shoulder pad is reversible, so whether you like to push or pull, you’ll have the support that suits your shooting style. MSRP is $249. 

Manfrotto

MVM450A

The MVM450A fluid video monopod kit comprises the MVM250A aluminum fluid video monopod, MVA50A fluid base with retractable feet and MHXPRO-2W two-way pan/tilt head. At just over 2 pounds and with a maximum payload of 17.64 pounds, the kit’s fluid monopod is compact and portable. Operating height ranges from 26.38 to 75.2 inches, allowing users to comfortably shoot at eye level or overhead. The fluid base has a ball joint and three retractable feet so shooters can quickly go from one point of contact to three. The two-way pan/tilt head has dual fluidity levels, allowing for slow or fast tilt movement. The MVM450A kit is $249.99. 

Miller Camera Support

Cineline 70 Fluid Head

Ideal for use on feature films and high-end television commercial productions with heavy payloads, frequent re-rigging and diverse camera packages, the Cineline 70 Fluid Head accommodates industry-leading camera mountings including ARRI, Sony, RED and Canon, and features an ARRI-compatible side-loading camera platform. The heavy-duty fluid head offers advanced precision fluid drag control with soft starts and smooth stops and well balanced diagonal drag transition. It features an extended sliding range to promote seamless rebalancing of the rig when lenses and accessories are changed. The Cineline 70 Fluid Head will soon be a part of the complete Cineline 70 Tripod System, set to make its official launch at the 2015 NAB Show. 

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