Shoulder Rig where the camera is on the shoulder + viewfinder

Started by Flocksock, September 17, 2016, 10:41:03 PM

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i searched the forum but did not found ONE good Shoulder Rig solution.
If you take a look at the "Black Ursa Mini" the whole camera is placed on the shoulder.
I want to build something similar for the Canon 7D, 5D mark II, etc.

A RIG where i don't have to counterweight the camera.
I want to place the Canon Camera directly in the middle of my shoulder. Than i want two handles in front
of me. And a monitor or viewfinder infront of my face. But the Canon Camera should be
exactly on my shoulder.

Reasons: I want to keep the RIG as leightweight as possible.
Camera + Rods, handles and a monitor. balanced with no extra weight.

Should i buy a RIG like this one:

and change the rods?
Is it possible to get a monitor, or field monitor infront of my eyes... if the camera is directly placed on my shoulder?
what fieldmonitor is the best. (small one) to have directly infront of you? (leightweight, small, but sharp) or should i go with a viewfinder?
And do i get all the Info like "Peaking" from the ML-Menu as output on my fieldmonitor / viewfinder?


You could probably change the configuration so it looks more like this rig from Zacuto:

The tricky part is finding the right monitor. Note that higher end monitors, electronic viewfinders and external recorders with monitors have peaking built in.


Thanks for the link!
Zacuto is a bit expensive, but i like the idea. Thats pretty much what i want.

I just want to buy "standard" stuff so i can build
things up and not stucked with one brand. (It have not to be supr cheap. i want
to spend some money. but not zacuto)

I just want a "shoulder pad" and some rods for the start.
Something like this:

And i also like this idea.. to attach a grip to some "Friction Arm".

I want to buy everything seperatly.
- Shoulder Pad
- Rods
- Base for Camera (to place on the rods)
- than grips i can "freely" attach to the rods... maybe with a 'friction arm'.
- second 'fricition arm' for a field monitor / or viewfinder

I want to find a brand where i can build the system i want to, and don't
habe to stick to their "handles" if i don't want to.

Adn with the field monitor" I found some pretty good threads here.
External Monitor Recommendations with MLV Raw Recording


Have a look at Lanparte - good quality, not as expensive as Zacuto.  I have a fair amount of their stuff and am pleased with it all.

You could try with this baseplate/shoulder mount, which will put the camera right over your shoulder:

(UK supplier I can recommend, you can maybe find a supplier in your country?)

then add what you want in the way of rods, handles, follow focus etc.

I haven't got this particular baseplate because a) with the camera that far back, you're possibly going to get cables in your right ear and b) with the 5D4 DPAF, I'm going to be using the camera touchscreen more and so will want the body in front of my eyes.

Let us know how you get on (with pics!).
5D3.123 | 5D4 | C100ii | 16-35 f4 | 24-105 f4ii | 70-200 f2.8ii | 50 f1.2 | 100 f2.8 | Samyang 16, 24, 35, 50, 85, 135


Thanks for the link. This is a good start.
it will be a problem with follow focus, cables, etc.
But i don´t want to have a camera infront of me, and weights behind me.
And i do get tired. So i decided that i want the camera on my shoulder,
monitors infront of me.. and maybe some externsion for follow focus.
but i want to shoot pretty mkuch dogma style.
I just want to hit record button. And thats it.
Maybe pull the focus a little bit.

At the moment i am busy editing another project, and i move
from one apartment to another. i am not in a hury. So it will take
some time, (2, 3 month) till i build up this setup. But i can take some pictures
when its finished. sure. Because i see so many BAD rigs on youtube... and i am
thinking: ok, this is NOT how i want it. And it doesn´t matter if its expensive or
cheap. Most of the time ist just to front heavy. or the handles are to high.
thanks again for all the tipps!

just found this one. You cannot buy it. But it looks pretty cool:


Quote from: Flocksock on September 18, 2016, 03:36:28 PM
And i do get tired.

Me too, with the classic camera+monitor+handles all out front shoulder rig. If I could afford a Zacuto Recoil Rig I'd get one, I just can't justify the cost for the amount of handheld shoulder work I do.
5D3.123 | 5D4 | C100ii | 16-35 f4 | 24-105 f4ii | 70-200 f2.8ii | 50 f1.2 | 100 f2.8 | Samyang 16, 24, 35, 50, 85, 135


Little Update. Did not buy anything yet.
(And i think i will buy a black magic micro cinema camera + speedboster, monitor, etc.)
but still want a shoulder rig solution. And this is what i found today... which looks pretty good:

i think this is a good starting point... to end up with something like this:



I spent ages researching this. Bought parts, returned them.. etc etc.

I've ended up with a Zacuto VCT ( and a set of Half Inch Rails handle bars (

The HIR handlebars have plenty of mounting points to attach a magic arm and an EVF / monitor. Currently, I'm using an Atomos but want to upgrade to a Gratical.

The whole setup is extremely compact and the centre of gravity sits right on your shoulder. I can literally let go of the handlebars and keep it balanced.

The VCT is expensive (I picked mine up used on ebay for about £370), but it's a very neat solution to quite a undersupported problem.