Keeping cameras steady or having complete control over their position is important, regardless of whether you’re shooting photos or video. We’ve already covered cameras, lenses and lighting, so in this gift guide, we’re going to be taking a look at tripods, sliders and gimbals. Let’s start off small and build our way up.
Many of us have our little rituals and must-haves we must buy when we get a new camera. For me, it’s usually some form a cage these days that I can bolt all my other doohickies to, but for Justin “Dunna” McDonough, it’s the humble L bracket. After recently picking up the new Sony A6600, he put together this little video to explain why.
If you’ve had a go at shooting video for any length of time with any camera that has a DSLR or mirrorless-like form factor, you soon realise that you need some form of cage. You need to attach handles, lights, microphones, external batteries and all kinds of doohickies. Sure, you have a cold shoe on many cameras, but you can only attach one thing to that.
When it comes to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, there isn’t even a cold shoe. There’s just a 1/4-20″ screw thread, and it can’t handle a lot of weight attached to it. The solution to this problem is to add a cage.
Whenever a new camera is released, the first company to produce cages and accessories for them is usually SmallRig. We use a lot of SmallRig kit here at DIYP, too. We caught up with them on their booth at NAB 2019 to find out about their latest offerings for the Sony A6400, Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and the Zhiyun Weebill LAB gimbal.
The Sony A6400 is a camera of choice for many vloggers: it has good video features, a flip screen, and retails at a reasonable price. However, if you want to add an external microphone to it, you either have to rig it on the side of the camera, or it will completely block the screen when you flip it. In this video, Jason Vong will show you a simple and dirt cheap solution that will let you mount a microphone on top of your camera for cleaner sound without blocking the screen.
The old cries of “If you want to shoot video, get a video camera!” are becoming fewer and fewer these days. Which makes sense given that DSLRs and mirrorless cameras basically are video cameras these days. And just like “real video cameras”, you need to bolt on extra bits to really get the most out of them.
Hybrid shooter and YouTuber Jason Vong talks about his 5 must-have budget accessories for the Sony A6300 and A6500 cameras in this recent video. It’s a good list of handy tools that many of us will need when shooting video.
Earlier this year I was visiting a few camera gear factories in Shenzen China. Aside from getting my phone nicked in a cab ride, it was an enlightening experience. One of those factories was the Small Rig factory. If you are following the blog, you know how much we love our A7 cage (and a bunch of other small gadgets from Small Rig). Actually, this is the rig we take on most of our productions.
DIYP has seen its share of interviews, aside our regular work we’ve been to over 10 shows including the latest Photokina. We need a rig that is robust, easy to carry around, and that adapts to various conditions. This rig has gone through many changes over the years, this is what it is now.
Since Nikon introduced video to DSLRs,the biggest complaint has been about the form factor of DSLRs. When Canon released the 5D Mark II, the demand for these cameras for video work surged. I’ve seen reports stating that as high as 40% of 5D Mark II sales were to video production companies. But, the ergonomics are just wrong. Today, there are many companies selling all kinds of cages and doohickies you can bolt onto your cameras to make them more useful.
But what if you could build your own? What if you could customise it to your own specific needs? That’s what Caleb Pike at DSLR Video Shooter wondered, and so he set out to build his own. He used about $240 worth of materials and components to build his rig, but you could probably build it for a lot less depending your needs and what bargains you find.
We got our hands on a SmallRig’ Sony A7x camera cage (its good for the A7II, A7RII & A7SII) , and we love it. I am going to go and break it down and explain the impact it has on my workflow in a second, but first…
Of course to review a cage, I would first have to explain why one would need a cage in the first place. And if you have never done any filming with a DSLR and mirrorless, you may be asking yourself the same question. So before I get to the review let me explain: