None of the cameras in this guide can be used like a consumer camcorder, i.e. ‘palmcorder’ style. Due to the enormous differences between lens designs, it is almost impossible for a third-party manufacturer to make a universal zoom rocker or (servo zoom) that can be used broadcast style. Having said that, I’m confident we’ll see a lot more options soon, like the Sony SELP18200 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS:
Here are some options:
- DSLRs – This looked promising for a while, but the videos have been removed and the site is still under construction at the time of this writing.
- E-mount – Sony SELP18200 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS
- PL-mount up to Super 35mm – Fujinon 19-90mm Cabrio / T2.9
Some of these solutions show promise. For an excellent article on zoom rockers for DSLRs, check this article from StreamingMedia.com.
The biggest advantage of the DSLR form factor is its small size and weight. Even though for ergonomic reasons these cameras are hard to rig, there are many situations where their size helps:
- News and sports
- Run and gun work
- Tight spaces
- Aerial and jib work
- Crash cams
Whatever the purpose, I only recommend these rigs (collectively called ‘Palmcorder’) for short bursts of shooting.
Palmcorders or Run and Gun Rigs
Less than $100
Less than $200
Less than $500
Less than $1,000
More than $1,000
For steering-wheel setups, try these:
Less than $100
More than $100
Stabilizers or Steadicam Rigs
Single hand DSLR stabilizers
This stabilizer can take up to 2.2 kg, which is quite handy for light DSLR and BMCC setups. For a more ‘well-known’ solution:
For prosumer cameras, as well as DSLRs or the BMCC with heavy lenses, you’ll need a rig that can take up to 5 kg (10 pounds approx.):
Holding 10 pounds is no joke. For long use, you’ll need a full system to go with the above stabilizer:
Heavy, up to 10 kg (22 lbs)
Heavy, up to 16 kg (35 lbs)
If you remember, our Red Epic rig weighed in at 15 kg. An Alexa with a big zoom will almost double that.
An average operator can’t take a lot more than that. If it’s any consolation, a well-fitted soldier carries about 25 to 50 kg (50 to 100 lbs) of weight!
We’ve completed handheld setups. It’s time to put down our rig. Next, we’ll look at tripods and heads.