SLR Video Rig




Introduction: SLR Video Rig

About: I'm a photographer and a father. I've been married almost 10 years and have a 8 year old son and a 6 year old daughter. I like to put stuff where it doesn't belong to create even better stuff. I work for an am…

I recently upgraded to an SLR with video which I think is the greatest thing ever! However the traditional techniques embedded in me to hold my camera don't work with video. It's way to shaky but there are solutions out there but they aren't cheap. I chose to do more of a gun style just for the ease of creating and I am very happy with the end result. Also the cheap versions you would buy don't have focus and shutter buttons in the handle.

Step 1: Materials

I started out with 3/4" PVC from Home Depot. It is super cheap and easy to work with. I bought two small sections for 1.15 or so each then 3 elbows and 1 T. I purchased 2 buttons from radioshack for a few bucks and I had the phone headset laying around. *I had an adapter from 3.5" to 2.5" from a gaming head set you don't need to do this step if you already have the smaller 2.5" and you want to just run that cable out*. You'll need some random wire from the old junk drawer and some solder/tape.

Step 2: Laying Pipe

The longer peices are 8.5" and the shorter are 6.5" on mine but I would encourage customizing it so that yours will fit you better. I had 2 of the 8.5" and 4 of the 6.5"

Step 3: Custom Head

I had a piece laying around from an old school flash bracket so I cheated a bit and used that. However I did make up a little schematic to supplement with a piece of wood or plexi-glass. Cut a notch in the end of the pipe and drill 2 screw holes. Then fasten the plate to the pipe. Make a handle with tripod thread by putting a tripod thread sized bolt through a cap and attach it to a 6.5" piece of pipe and drill a hole into the plate and viola.

Step 4: Wiring Part 1

Cut the headphones off leaving as much wire as possible. If your wires look like mine you'll want to add some of that wire you got to make them sturdier.  I just hit them with a dab of solder and taped them up.

Step 5: Wiring Part 2

Now you have to figure out your wiring layout. If your camera supports this you normally have 3 wires you'll be using. 1 ground 1 focus and 1 shutter. You can easily figure out which one does what by touching the wires together. Once you figure out your wires you need to split the ground into 2 wires and attach each part to one contact on your buttons. Then attach each other wire to one of the contacts on each button so your two buttons each have their functions. Test and make sure they work then hit them with solder and tape. Make sure you don't use too much because that can make it harder to get the buttons into the pipes.

Step 6: Wiring Practical Application

Now that we have our wiring all set its time to put it into place. Clamp your pipes down when you drill to prevent from slipping. I drilled 2 for the buttons and 1 for the plug. Once again if you don't have one of those adapters you can just run your plug right out that hole. Make sure your buttons loosely fit into the hole otherwise they will be impossible to get in. I used a rubberband and a sharpie to get the buttons lined up to poke through the holes. Once you get them in test your connections to make sure nothing wiggled lose.

Step 7: Assemble

It's super easy to assemble just look at the picture and pop it together. I used some black spray paint to paint mine. I'll have to retouch it because I got the idea for the buttons after I made it so I had to go backwards. Make sure you get a good matte finish paint otherwise it will get tacky.  I also have a nice decal cutter so I made a decal for it.  I have named it the clutch and gave it the new camera hacker logo I made.

Step 8: Success

There you have it a nice cheap and fun video grip. These are great for video and still pictures. Make sure your camera can use the 2.5" plug and you're all set. If it can't you can always just use the rig without installing the buttons.
Did a basic test and posted it from my cell phone.

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    10 years ago on Introduction


    I set up a Rig for my Nikon D4 and Atomos Ninja-2.

    From my blog:
    Once set up all I have to do is start Live View (in video mode) and start the Ninja-2 recording. When I cycle the Live View button on the D4, the Ninja-2 starts recording when Live View is on and stops when I shut it off. Each time the Ninja-2 creates a new file for the next take. I turn on the Focus Peaking to ensure perfect focus and it stays on the whole time (does not reset when Live View is cycled). Perfection!

    Check out my rig

    Dan at Vigorotaku


    12 years ago on Introduction