No matter how steady you think your hands are, you will only really just how shaky a person you are when you shoot video. Though the handheld look can be very appealing when done correctly (think of The Office) don’t always think that those videographers are shooting totally handheld. Some of them use stabilizers, rails, and some use shoulder rigs. Shoulder rigs, like the DSLR-Pro/PB Camera Shoulder Support are excellent for news shooters because it gives them a balance of stability when shooting and a lightweight solution that can be carried around for long periods of time.
And if that’s all you need, then it gets the job done.
Pros and Cons
– Super light weight
– Convertible/collapsible design
– Interesting ways of ensuring security
– We wished the knobs had a smoother feeling to them
The Switronix Pro Shoulder Support was tested with a Canon 5D Mk II, Panasonic GH3, and the BlackMagic Cinema Camera.
Specifications taken from the B&H Photo listing of the product
- DSLR Camera Support System
- 1/4″-20 Thread for Mounting PB70 Battery
- Shoulder Brace
- Swing Arm
- Folds Down for Storage
- Short Slide Channel for Wide Angle Shots
- Three-Axis Movement
Switronix’s Pro Camera Shoulder support arrives in the box in a collapsed and compact form. In order to use it, you’ll need to unscrew an area on the shoulder pad/stock and place it the other way around.
The shoulder stock has the company’s branding on it and is made of a rubberized foam. In real life use, it’s really quite comfortable to use for long periods of shooting time.
To adjust exactly where your camera will be, Switronix put in this little knob that lets the main section slide. This, in practice, makes the use ambidextrous.
On the other end of this section, there is a sliding mount and a pin-lock under it to keep it in place. Then you’re supposed to tighten this knob to totally lock the mount or loosen it if you need to.
The mount has a 1/4 20 screw that goes into the tripod socket of your camera. The screw is large enough that the universal screwdriver (a coin or key) can easily turn it.
In order to keep your camera stabilized, there is also a handle underneath the area of the camera that gives you some extra control.
Ease of Use
As soon as you take this shoulder support out of the box, you’ll realize that it incredibly straight forward and simple to use. There isn’t a single complicated thing about the design and instead it just lets those getting into shooting video have a breath of relief. It only gets complicated if you think about putting a ball head or anything else on it.
One of the best things that we liked about this shoulder support was the fact that it is very light. We tested it with a Canon 5D Mk II and a Zeiss 135mm f2 on it without any problems. Additionally, we also put the BlackMagic Cinema Camera and a Sigma 85mm f1.4 on here with no issues either when it came to weight.
Granted, we tested it without rails and for a system like this, we would highly recommend rails and a follow focus, but then the entire package might become too heavy. Instead, it is seemingly designed for the shooter that will capture stagnant subjects, cut, and then capture more again. If your lens has a long focus throw, it might be a pain in the butt to work with due to how you’ll have to work operate it ergonomically.
We see ourselves using the Switronix Shoulder Rig at trade shows and for short tutorial videos. It is incredibly light weight, compact and can do the job that you need. We recommend it if you’re doing basic shooting, but otherwise you’ll want to consider a more complicated setup.
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