Building up a proper rig for shooting video isn’t that difficult, it’s just expensive. Well, usually. Fully geared cinema rigs can run into the tens of thousands of dollars depending on what you’re putting into them. But what if you could build something for around $2,000, including the cost of the camera itself?
In this video, Chadwin Smith takes a look at the humble Canon EOS M50. At its launch, the EOS M50 looked like a very promising camera except for the fact that there was a substantial crop when shooting 4K video, but if you can live with that, then it makes for an ideal inexpensive camera for shooting video.
There are many different routes you can go with a cinema rig for shooting video and the prices will vary a lot depending on where and when you buy. Most of the components from companies like SmallRig, Feelworld, Hollyland, etc. will vary in price depending on whether you buy them from the brand’s own online store, Amazon, eBay, B&H or even AliExpress. Different sites will also often have sales on at different times where one will be significantly cheaper than the others. So, if you’re not in a rush, it’s worth keeping an eye out on them all to spot those discounted deals on individual parts!
Chadwin details two setups in this video. One is a modest low budget rig which totals $2,143 including the camera. The other is a drastically more advanced and expensive rig coming in at $6,316. And, yes, the expensive rig uses the same Canon EOS M50 camera. So, no, he didn’t just buy a more expensive camera and put it into the cheap rig.
Personally, I’d have stuck with the SmallRig Mini Matte Box or stepped up to their Lightweight Matte Box (the filters are recessed for better shading) on the more expensive rig instead of going for the PolarPro Base Camp, but then I already have a bunch of industry standard Schneider 4×5.65″ cine ND filters here that work in anything and don’t have to buy PolarPro’s proprietary ones that only work in their matte box. Adding the Hollyland Mars 400s Pro, though was a nice touch. I use the Mars 300 Pro and Mars 400s systems regularly with my cameras.
It’s a good look at the two extremes of how you can rig a camera and the same basic features apply whether it’s a cheap little Canon EOS M5 or the shiny new Nikon Z9 or Canon EOS R3 (whenever you can eventually get your hands on one of them with silicon shortage). And you don’t have to go for one extreme or the other. You can take elements from both and mix and match to suit your needs and your own budget.
What does your video rig look like?