I am a big fan of shoulder mounted rigs for handheld DSLR shooting. With the flip out screen on the GH2 and now with the Canon 60D, it means that the LCD can be offset on a shoulder mounted rig so that it’s right in front of you.
Letus have released a new shoulder mounted DSLR rig which is extremely flexible and I will hopefully be reviewing it soon. It allows for so many shooting styles.
Some prefer an offset EVF, some prefer a monitor or the camera’s LCD, some prefer the viewfinder approach. Personally I prefer the monitor approach – using the GH2’s screen to keep weight to a minimum and battery life to a maximum – and a straight line from the camera to my right shoulder, with the screen offset to the left so it’s in front of me.
The length of the rods have to be adjustable so the screen is a comfortable distance away from my eyes.
I don’t like to be locked into a viewfinder, which I find uncomfortable to use over long periods and I don’t have to shut one eye.
With the offset LCD I am still free to look around and not tunnelled into only what the camera sees.
With the offset monitor, and straight rods which go under the lens and camera body direct to my shoulder it means the weight distribution is central – bang in the middle of the grips and the shoulder support, which makes for steadier shots too.
This Letus just seems so damn flexible… if you don’t have a offset LCD and you’re using a viewfinder or LCD at the back of the camera, you can offset the whole camera from the shoulder mount toward like this:
But I much prefer the approach illustrated at the top of the article, but with the shoulder mount a lot further back from the camera.
The weight distribution, steadiness, quality of build and comfort is everything and Letus have a very good reputation in regards to this, especially build. They use CNC machined steel and carbon fibre on most products. This one features steel rods for extra durability and strength, rather than the more fragile aluminium rods for elsewhere.
For casual shooters, some may ask why use a rig to stabilise a DSLR? Well, I prefer the look to handheld footage stabilised with some kind of contact point on the shooter, rather than by electronics or optics like with a lens stabiliser – because that tends to look weird, unnatural and floaty. So even if you are happy shooting handheld with OIS lenses, it just doesn’t compare to a proper rig.
I look to be quite minimal with equipment, and the good thing about this is that it’s light weight (yet durable) and relatively simple – but extendable when the need arises.
It’s certainly looking promising!