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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Gadget Bag: DSLR Video Support

Gear to keep your camera steady when you’re shooting motion

Labels: Gadget BagGear
This Article Features Photo Zoom

VariZoom FlowPod
The VariZoom FlowPod DSLR camera stabilizer system uses a handle and gimbal to reduce jarring movements for smooth panning when shooting video. In Monopod mode, the gimbal is locked, giving you a perfectly good monopod; when combined with VariZoom's optional Low Flow kit, the FlowPod becomes well suited for working low to the ground and even macro shooting. Estimated Street Price: $398 (FlowPod); $86 (Low-Flow Kit). www.varizoom.com

The NOVOFLEX MMR uFLY and MMR BLUEBIRD combine into a highly effective stabilization kit with a variable friction ball joint and a quick-release platform. The MMR uFLY lets you hold the camera in a variety of configurations for shooting from a low or high position, and you can adjust camera position for balanced, comfortable shooting. The MMR BLUEBIRD adds a chest support and neck strap for better stability during longer video takes. It has a pair of handgrips that work with the adjustable friction MagicBall joint for aligning the camera and accessories. Estimated Street Price: $1,039 (MMR uFLY); $1,399 (MMR BLUEBIRD). www.hpmarketingcorp.com

If you use a DSLR or mirrorless camera with a swiveling LCD, check out the Camtrol Prime. Its cage-free design makes it a good choice for these cameras, and it has an ergonomic handle that's comfortable for low-angled, one-handed use. Four retractable legs and a vertical stabilizer bar give you options for positioning the camera on the ground. The Camtrol is compact, folding down to 10 inches in length. The company makes the Camtroller remote for controlling camera functions in LANC-enabled camcorders and DSLRs. List Price: $399 (Camtrol Prime); $99 (Camtroller). www.camtrol.com

Shoulder-Mount Devices
The BushHawk 320D keeps your Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax or Sony camera steady with a shoulder support system that's reminiscent of a rifle. The device is especially useful for longer telephoto lenses. You can use the BushHawk 320D either left-handed or right-handed. List Price: $299 (Deluxe Kit); $399 (Professional Kit with quick-release system). www.bushhawk.com

The Cinevate Simplis Solo is a compact and easy-to-use device. It consists of a Simplis Quick Release plate, a swiveling ¼-20 grip that attaches to the camera's tripod mount, a shoulder stock and three lengths of Shoulder Stock rods. To make it easy to frame your shots as you move, Cinevate make a Cyclops DSLR Viewfinder that attaches to the Simplis. It's particularly useful in bright conditions when it's difficult to see your camera's LCD screen. Estimated Street Price: $299 (Simplis Solo); $517 (Simplis Solo and Cyclops DSLR Viewfinder). www.cinevate.com

The ikan Shoulder Mount Deluxe kit gives you a package that features adjustable foam grips and an adjustable 3-pad shoulder mount. For comfort and stability, there's a single static pad and two pivoting pads, and an adjustable 18-inch lateral cross bar rail for mounting accessories. You can adjust both the camera and shoulder mount forward or backward as needed. Estimated Street Price: $499. www.ikancorp.com

One of the most popular steadying device makers is Redrock Micro. Known for producing fully modular systems, its Universal Bundles for DSLRs can be configured into many different rigs. The Nano Universal Bundle is lightweight, portable and effective for nature photographers. It has four basic setups: single grip, a shoulder brace and low shooting with the stripped-down Low Down configuration or the more elaborate Low Down Deluxe kit. If you want to cover all of your bases, the Complete Universal Bundle gives you enough gear to create almost every DSLR rig that Redrock Micro offers. Estimated Street Price: $1,276 (Nano Universal Bundle). www.redrockmicro.com

The Zacuto Striker is a gunstock-style steadying device with three points of contact: the handgrip, shoulder stock and chest. It's light and easy to use. The Striker is eminently adjustable, as you can add other accessories to it, if you like. It attaches to your camera via a Zacuto Gorilla, and a tripod plate can be installed on the Gorilla plate for quickly switching from handheld to tripod use. Estimated Street Price $855. www.zacuto.com


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