Building the Ultimate Panasonic S5 II Cine Rig

Building a cinema rig is a very personal thing. The problem is knowing where to start. Finding out what pieces are essential and which ones you might be able to skip, figuring out which brands are to be trusted, and then getting into the specific accessories for your camera can be a lot if you are on your own.

That is why checking out what others are doing with their rigs can give you insight into how to build your own.

One personality we have highlighted before is filmmaker Armando Ferreira. He just showed off all the bits and pieces he used to build the ultimate cine rig for the recently released Panasonic Lumix S5 II (and S5 IIX).

If you made it this far into a seemingly S5 II-specific video there is some good news. Besides the cage, practically everything here can be used on any other rig without issue.

These videos all start with the cage. In this case, they are using the Kondor Blue Cage. Panasonic actually worked with Kondor Blue to get this cage made and it has some very nice touches that elevate it above your average.

Kondor Blue Cage for Panasonic Lumix S5 II

Image Credit: Kondor Blue

To make the system a bit more flexible and able to switch between different supports (e.g. a tripod, a gimbal, or jib) he picked up an ARRI Bridge Riser Plate.

This one was originally designed for the KOMODO but works just fine here. It takes 15mm rods, which you’ll need, and it actually supports a dovetail system. This makes it easy to move from one to another. Plus, the plate’s QR system is Arca-type.

Lenses are going to be a very personal decision. If you want a good place to start looking then the DZOFilm Catta Ace series of full-frame zoom lenses might be right for you. These are spectacular and relatively affordable lenses.

DZOFilm Catta Ace Zoom Lens Bundle

Image Credit: DZOFilm

These are PL-mount lenses and for that you’ll need to get a decent adapter. Armando is actually testing out an adapter currently on Kickstarter that features a built-in ND filter and can easily be changed to work with other camera systems.

There are tons of adapters out there though so find one you like.

Big lenses do mean you’ll want some extra support. Kondor Blue makes a great Universal Lens Support Kit that attaches to your 15mm rods.

These are cut out on the bottom to make it easy to install even when you have other accessories already on your rods.

Kondor Blue Universal Lens Support Kit

Image Credit: Kondor Blue

Mounting a follow focus and similar devices calls for a rod on the top of the cage.

The Kondor Blue cage has a neat trick for this. There is a mount where you can attach a non-rotating screw that you can then simply screw in a threaded rod into. Now you have a secure mount and rod.

The follow focus system, in this case, is the SmallRig MagicFIZ. Only one motor is needed for focus on this setup and that is how he has it set up.

SmallRig MagicFIZ Wireless Follow Focus Handgrip Kit

Image Credit: SmallRig

Powering your devices will call for a more serious battery. Kondor Blue makes a Cine V-Mount Battery Plate that attaches to 15mm rods.

Now, before you get the battery attached, he pops on a wireless video transmitter – the Teradek Bolt 4K. It attaches in between your battery and the plate.

As for the battery, he is using a massive Anton/Bauer Titon SL 15 143Wh battery to power everything. To do that he uses a D-Tap Splitter Hub to get all the outputs ready for his devices. Mondo Ties help with cable management.

Anton/Bauer Titon SL 150 143Wh 14.4V Battery

Image Credit: Anton/Bauer

On the side of the cage is an ARRI rosette. This is perfect for a side handle. The Kondor Blue Trigger Wing Side Handle has various mounting options along with a start/stop record button.

The rosettes are very good at keeping things secure but that makes them less-than-ideal for fast adjustments. To fist that he added a Quick Release Rosette Module to the handle.

Time for the top handle. He loves the Kondor Blue Talon Top Handle and finds it to be one of the most comfortable ones he has ever used. Can’t do better than that.

Kondor Blue Talon Top Handle

Image Credit: Kondor Blue

The top handle will hold the monitor using a NATO rail. The Kondor Blue system features an anti-twist design that will keep things extra secure.

This is an incredibly comprehensive rig that will transform the S5 II into something that is extremely close to a traditional cinema build in functionality. Hard to beat that.

Anything you would add to this rig?

[source: Armando Ferreira]

Order Links:

  • Panasonic Lumix S5 II Mirrorless Camera (B&H, Amazon)
  • Kondor Blue Cage with Top Handle for Panasonic S5 II (B&H, Amazon)
  • Kondor Blue LWS ARRI Bridge Riser Plate (B&H, Amazon)
  • DZOFilm Catta Ace FF 3-Lens Bundle (B&H)
  • Kondor Blue Universal Lens Support Kit (B&H, Amazon)
  • Kondor Blue PPSH 15mm Rods (B&H, Amazon)
  • SmallRig MagicFIZ Wireless Follow Focus Handgrip Kit (B&H, Amazon)
  • Kondor Blue Cine V-Mount Battery Plate with 15mm Rod Clamp (B&H, Amazon)
  • Teradek Bolt SDI/HDMI Wireless Video Transmitter Kit (B&H, Amazon)
  • Anton/Bauer Titon SL 150 143Wh Battery (B&H, Amazon)
  • Kondor Blue Male D-Tap to 4-Port Female D-Tap Splitter Hub (B&H, Amazon)
  • Kondor Blue Mondo Ties Cable Management Clips (B&H, Amazon)
  • Kondor Blue Trigger Wing Side Handle (B&H)
  • Kondor Blue Quick Release Rosette Module (B&H, Amazon)
  • Kondor Blue Talon Top Handle (B&H, Amazon)
  • Kondor Blue Monitor Cage NATO Rail (B&H, Amazon)

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