Master Guide to Rigging a Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera – Part 10


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In this part I’ll cover Bags, Cases and Straps for the BMCC.

Let’s divide our travel into quick and light, backpack, single person airline and full cargo. This is a highly generalized guideline – you can always make things easier or harder for yourself.


Quick and light is usually a trip that lasts for just a few hours. You arrive quickly, shoot for a couple of hours, and get back home for tea (substitute your favorite drink here).


My favorite for one camera and a couple of lenses is:

Think Tank Retrospective 10, Pinestone


Of course the previous example will hardly do for video. Video always needs more cubic inches. I recommend:

Lowepro 350 AW DSLR Video Fastpack


Backpack travel might include many days worth of trekking. It is cool for photographers to do on weekends, but hell for videographers. Forcing yourself to trek alone carrying the entire load by yourself means compromise, even if you are an Olympic athlete.


Trekker bags have to be soft and comfortable to carry, yet be strong enough to bear the load without sagging or having your gear mixed into electronic cocktail.

Lowepro Pro Trekker 600 AW Camera Backpack


This is for a one-man crew who travels alone with gear, but luckily doesn’t have to carry it on his/her back. We can go two ways:

Carry-on baggage

Think Tank Airport International V 2.0

Think Tank Airport Security V 2.0

Use the former link for international travel, and the latter link for travel within the US. An airline bag must hopefully fit into cabin baggage racks, so please check with your airline before you pack any gear.

Check-in baggage

These bags better be sturdy – they might get dropped from uncomfortable heights. And they are bigger:

Tamrac 694 Camera Rolling Case

Yet, they have to be rolled in airports for comfort. At this point, it might be a good idea to go sturdier with a different design:

Portabrace CAR-2B Cargo Case

It’s the classic box vs bag conundrum. You’ll have to figure out for yourself which style suits your body, gear and workflow. There is no such thing as a perfect bag for all scenarios.


Full cargo cases tend to be packed and forgotten while they travel through many hands. I would rule out soft covers entirely – I just don’t want people feeling up my bag!

Minimal Gear

For long distance travel, and absolute protection, I fully recommend:

Pelican 1650 Case w/Foam

Pelican 1659 Lid Organizer

Pelican makes them in various standard sizes, and can also be custom built. Having your gear in these little ‘tanks’ takes a load off your mind while you focus on more creative things. Why compromise?

Lots of Gear

To ship racks, mounts and other gear, it might be a good idea to use a specialized service like Fedex or DHL, with specially made rack server cases like these:

12 Space (12) ATA Rack Amp Road Case (20″ Deep) with Casters

Usually rack cases are custom-built based on each project’s requirements.

We can go on and on all day about this, so the options given above should be a great place to start hunting for your perfect travel companion.


Even though a strap comes free with your camera, there are more comfortable opions:

Neck strap

The BMCC with a zoom lens will weigh in at about 3 to 4 kg (6.6 to 8.8 lbs). For anyone who enjoys having dead weight hanging from their necks, a good neck strap is a must.

OP/TECH Pro Strap

Wrist strap

The BMCC has rubber pads on the front and back for supposedly good grip, but I wouldn’t trust that at all. A great wrist strap is a safety net as well as some support for fatigue.

OP/TECH SLR Wrist Strap

That’s about it! We have designed, built and wrapped a full BMCC rig and it’s ready for action.

Go forth and record something worthwhile!

Previous: Part 9: Miscellaneous Rigs and Tools

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One reply on “Master Guide to Rigging a Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera – Part 10”

  1. hi, regarding the neck and wrist strap that you recommend for the BMPCC, will th end threads of these actually fit through the very tiny openings where the original BMPCC wrist strap (barely) threads through? thanks.

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