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How to Setup Your Shoulder Rig?
Apr 15 , 2020

HDRiG Shoulder Rig

     The shoulder rig is a dynamic device that moves with the camera operator. It allows the filmmaker to move flexibly, which can actually help increase efficiency during production.

Why use a shoulder rig?

Because many of today's cameras are lightweight, and they are not ergonomically for hand-held operation. Using them without some type of stabilization system can render many of your shots unusable. A shoulder mount helps ensure that these shaking movements are not communicated to the camera.

What shoulder rig is best for your camera?

Before you want to order a shoulder rig, you need to ask yourself a few questions.

First of all, you need to consider the shoulder rig that best fits the camera you want to use.

One of the first things you need to consider is if you want a straight shoulder mount or an offset shoulder mount. If you’re using the LCD monitor on a DSLR and it opens up to the side (like the articulated LCD on the Canon t3i) then you’ll want an offset shoulder mount. The offset shoulder mount will keep the viewfinder in front of the camera operator’s eyes rather than beside him or her. The same camera on a straight shoulder mount would put the viewfinder off to the side a little bit which might get a little awkward for the camera operator. However, if you’re using an off-camera DSLR monitor then this becomes less of an issue, as you can either place the monitor in the camera's hot shoe mount, or on the rail support system if you’re using one.HDRiG Shoulder Rig H1769HDRiG Shoulder Rig H2170

Second, adding accessories to your Rig.

Having a rig that allows you to use add-one is important. Let’s start by adding a camera, after that you may want to add on an articulating arm, a monitor, a follow focus, and a matte box. You may also want to add lens support, microphones, a battery pack, handles and so on. The rail system is better because it makes it easier to add on attachments.

Balancing the Rig and Adding weight

Next, you need to consider the weight you will bear. This is one of the most important considerations in any shoulder-mounted system. The shoulder brace needs to be properly balanced.  You shouldn't feel like you're supporting the weight of the camera up with your arms.

To solve this problem, you need to put the weight on the back of the rig to balance the heavy equipment you placed on the front. Add a counterweight and battery pack to help us counterweight the rear of the rig to balance the front-heavy equipment.

Once your rig is balanced the first thing is to check your comfort. The rig should be able to rest on you without you having to hold it. After maintaining balance and comfort, you're ready to start shooting.

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