Being a handheld camera operator or cinematographer can take a toll on your body if you aren’t careful. I’m sure many of you came back from a shoot or woke up the next day feeling some aches and pains in your back and elsewhere without realizing you had terrible form when handling the camera. There are some off-the-shelf solutions, such as an Easyrig, but those don’t work for every person or every shoot.
Cinematographer Piero Istrice has his own simple solution that he finds works well for him and his setup. The best part is that it only take a few extra accessories to get it going.
Looking at Piero’s rig you’ll see it’s fairly conventional. The core is a small camera with plenty of key accessories, such as a large battery system on the back and decent lenses on the front. As for a solution, Piero started thinking with just some straps. However, standard strap mounting isn’t a great solution as it can easily get in the way.
Using some Peak Design straps, Piero did come up with a more sensible solution that changes the standard mounting points of the strap. Using a small baseplate with a couple lugs for the quick releases he can actually mount the strap directly to the top handle of the cage. Slinging the strap over your neck and shoulder you can now enjoy a more stable and comfortable system.
Having the weight distributed across more of your body will help longer shoots feel a lot more comfortable. The other benefit of straps like the Peak Design are the quick adjustments. This means you can get comfortable with different shooting heights or rigs. Plus, the quick release system allows you to take it off if you want.
If you work with gimbals, Piero did find a way to get that working as well. In this case, he mounted the strap to the rear handle of the gimbal. While it doesn’t necessarily work for walking and super mobile shots it can provide additional support for more static shots.
[source: Piero Istrice]
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