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How are you stabilizing your handheld small rig shots?


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I love image stabilization on lenses but sometimes you need more stability or a faster lens. I use a tripod, I use a monopod, I've used gimbals. But sometimes I just want more mobility with a small rig and the ability to handhold a shot without looking like a moron with a big clunky shoulder rig. I'm talking GH4, A7S, etc. I love the simple gun stock options, but most seen built of garbage. What works best for you? 

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I recently spent some time researching the most compact and light gimbal stabilizers for my A7R2.  The top choices seem to be (these are all pistol-grip stabilizers since everything that's not is a fair bit larger by necessity):

CAME-TV Single

Pilotfly H1+

Nebula 4000

I bought a Pilotfly H1+, just got it a couple days ago.. posted my first-day results here on the forum.

Here are some video comparisons with footage for more info (mostly Pilotfly since that's what I decided to buy):

Dave Dugdale's Pilotfly vs. CAME-TV Single review

CheesyCam Pilotfly vs. Nebula vs. CAME-TV Single comparison

Viktor Studios Pilotfly review (in spanish with English subs)

GH4 user w/ Pilotfly - unboxing / setup / test footage

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I never use stabilization, I use the strap to reduce the microshakes, and then just good old premiere stab. I cant afford a stabilizer, nor would I like to, they are heavy, tiresome and a total pain in the ass if Im doing it all alone. I have never tried the lightweight ones (Nebula or Pilotfly), so I could be wrong, but I still dont think its the best solution, at least for me, run & gunning all the way.

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I have only shot with it for 2 days so far, but grew quite fond of the Cullmann Cruiser ( https://www.cullmann.de/en/detail/id/cruiser.html )

For sure there are better options out there when it comes to pure shoulder/chest stabilizing rigs, but the combination of extremely compact package, dual use as chest brace/mini tripod, low weight and low price have made this a a very appealing (and strangely underreported) option for me.

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This Polaroid chest stabilizer was the first I ever got. It's not pro quality by any means, but it's so damn cheap that you could replace each individual component with better parts from SmallRig and still be happy with your bank account. The form factor is nice and small. Biggest problem with it is that none of the wingnuts ever seem to lock down completely. The camera plate is also pretty bad, but again, everything could be replaced pretty easily. Essentially, you're buying a $60 shoulder brace.

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I use this cage, minus the rails. I attached a strap to it and then keep my elbows tight to my body while I keep the strap taut. It works pretty good with a wide angle lens. 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00QI6Y3X0/ref=pd_aw_sbs_421_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=1DTTBTA732CY06ZKB35X

I don't have the rails, but I was thinking about getting some parts from Hondo Garage to set up rails and a follow focus. 

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Thanks for all the help guys!!! Much appreciated!!! The Cullmann Manuel looks like a cheap but good option-how's it working for you? I was also looking at a zacuto marauder but it's pricey as heck. I already use a walimex cage. Just need a little more help with stability and don't want to look like a moron in the process. 

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Thanks for all the help guys!!! Much appreciated!!! The Cullmann Manuel looks like a cheap but good option-how's it working for you? I was also looking at a zacuto marauder but it's pricey as heck. I already use a walimex cage. Just need a little more help with stability and don't want to look like a moron in the process. 

Like I said, I guess there are other dedicated tools out there which might do better, but the multi-functionality really works for me. Can't compare it with other options though as this is my first stabilizer. Here are some shots from our school project last weekend https://vimeo.com/140178318 which were all with the Cullmann (all with Sigma 30/1.4 and metabones xl at maximum aperture and high ISO). 

 

The thing has a bunch of reviews on amazon, though not so much for the video functionality: http://www.amazon.com/Cullmann-50090-Cruiser-Digital-Release/dp/B0045HNKCO

 

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