DSLR Camera Support/focus Rig for Documentaries

Lighter materials plus a focus wheel make this DIY “Fig-Rig” a good tool for documentary videos. The benefits are;

1) Steadier hand-held camera
2) Option for external mic for better sound.
3) Focus with one finger by distance or Marshall monitor.

Camera support with focus wheelFor the smoothest footage while walking I stretch a light rubber resistance band around the back of my neck to the hand grips. I focus with one finger by either estimating the distance and rotating the wheel till marks on the elastic band line up with the top of the lens; or I use the Marshal monitor. I don’t take credit for the design of the basic rig but I used much lighter materials than the steel used in previous designs. The materials are as follows:

1) 1/2 x 1″ channel aluminum for top and bottom, about 17-18″ long.
2) 1/2 x 12″ sprinkler PVC pipes cut down to 10″ length. filed to fit into channels.
3) Bicycle tape for grips.
4) Four 1/4-5″ bolts joined with a rod coupling nut (2) and 4 washers.
5) One pipe clamp to hold focusing gear.
6) One autorotation tail drive gear (helicopter) from a hobby shop. held by 1/4″ nuts and 1/4″ brass collars.
7) 3/4″ black elastic from fabric store to turn lens barrel.
8) Pearstone Line-In transformer to connect XLR mic to 5D 1/8″ miniplug.
9) Cold shoe mount to secure Marshal monitor.
10) Velcro to hold HDMI and audio cables.
11) Giottos camera mount with sliding plate, elevated to access locking lever.

2017-05-19T23:56:12+00:00DSLR Video, Video|

Saving Your Video Settings on the 5D Mk II

When you need to shift quickly from shooting stills to recording video it is easier to just change the mode dial and have your favorite settings dialed in. Before a shoot, set up the camera for video in the “M”, manual mode using the “Live View/Movie func set” in the Tool 2 menu. Be sure to set your shutter speed to about 1/50 or 1/60. Then go to the “Camera user setting” in the Tool 3 menu and register (save) the settings to one of the custom modes on the mode dial (C1 or C2). Then when you need to capture a video clip you can just change the mode dial. It is important to remember that if you change any setting, say you change the aperture from F4 to F5.6, and then turn off the camera, when you turn it back on the C1 mode dial will not show the new F stop. So, I recommend that when you change any settings, you re-save your settings to the C3 mode dial. This can be done more quickly if you save your favorite menu items to the “My Menu” (star menu) and set it to open first when the Menu button is pressed. You can check your settings while recording video by pressing the “Info” button once to see the current aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc. Now for the easy part, when you need a raw photo just press the shutter button. I prefer to stop recording video first to avoid the 1 second still frame.

2017-05-19T23:56:12+00:00DSLR Video, Video|