One of the best and most affordable ways to improve the quality of your footage is to use a camera shoulder rig. Of course, you may always rely on the good ole tripod, but there are times when you have to move or adjust your frame quickly. It is during those instances when you will appreciate having a shoulder rig.
This dynamic piece of equipment would also let you take shots without the annoying camera shake. You might agree when we say that the hand-held look in videos can be distracting and even cause audience members to get dizzy and nauseous. With the use of a camera shoulder mount, you can prevent that from happening. Moreover, you can capture clear and sharp photos and videos instead of blurred and out of focus images.
You will be happy to learn that there are plenty of options for camera shoulder mounts. Many companies offer rigs or bundles wherein you can buy a shoulder mount and other extras such as lens support, counterweight, matte box, and follow focus. Prices vary, from a low of $60 to as much as $3,000.
It’s hard to pinpoint which is the best camera shoulder mount. The “best” one for you is that one which compliments your camera, your gear, and of course, your budget.
Here are the 10 best shoulder camera rigs.
Ikan is a company based in Houston, Texas. It prides itself on being a firm composed of filmmakers. As such, they know what customers look for in production tools like a shoulder rig.
This DSLR shoulder rig features the brand’s EV3 quick-release baseplate system. This is designed for users to quickly mount and dismount the camera with a simple press of a button. The height of the base plate can also be adjusted to adapt to various cameras. It also has an anti-rotation plate that prevents the camera from rotating out of alignment.
It can be used on small DSLR and mirrorless cameras. It can also be utilized on micro 4/3 cameras as well as small camcorders. It has a lightweight shoulder pad which gives the device a comfy point of contact with the user’s chest. You’ll also get a better feel using the rig by pushing it against your body. There are also a couple of textured rubber handles for enhanced grip.
You can pick up this shoulder rig for around $250, which isn’t a bad price at all for the quality.
If you are looking for a portable, lightweight, and durable shoulder support rig, then we recommend you put this Filmcity rig on your shortlist.
Weighing a shade under 10 pounds, this offset shoulder rig is ideal for travel. Made of plastic, it is durable enough to withstand bumps and knocks. It has an adjustable cage for the camera meant to protect your equipment, and numerous screw slots in the rail system are also included for added flexibility.
It is compatible with almost all camera bases with its camera bolts. The unit also has a quick-release system for convenient and hassle-free dismounting of the camera from the rig. The shoulder support pad, meanwhile, is made with foam so that you can use the kit for an extended period without risking shoulder strain. It also fits snugly on shoulders and won’t easily slip off.
Movo is a company based in Los Angeles, California. It produces audiovisual equipment as well as smartphone-compatible gear.
The SG300 Deluxe is a compact and travel-friendly camera stabilization rig. It measures 19 x 10 inches and weighs less than 3 pounds. It is height-adjustable and can be used on either shoulder with a detachable handgrip. It is versatile enough to be used as support for lightweight cameras.
Aside from being compact and portable, this should support rig is easy to set up. You won’t need to be a techie to understand how to get it going. Solidly-built, it is ideal for the use of small to medium cameras. It can support cameras that weigh up to 5.5 pounds.
This video shoulder support rig features a handgrip and comfortable foam padded shoulder pad mount to reduce fatigue even after prolonged use. The said features also help users to keep it steady.
For more quality camera accessories, check out our guide on the best camera sliders.
Simple but highly effective, this shoulder rig from ePhotoInc is best for small cameras. It is made by the Hayward, California-based firm which specializes in photo and video equipment.
Weighing less than 3 pounds, this is a lightweight camera with a simple construction. It fits easily in a bag, satchel, or purse. Attaching accessories is easy with its standard tripod screws. The bottom plate has a ¼ inch tread for connecting to a tripod or monopod with a ¼ inch screw head.
The design can transform to suit different shooting styles, too. It can be used as a one-handed camera set, or, alternatively, the rear arm can be extended for shoulder support. Handgrips and joint can be rotated and adjusted depending on the intended use.
Neewer is a relatively young firm that was established in 2010. It specializes in advanced audio and video enhancement equipment, such as ring lights, LED panel lights, tripods, and microphones, and accessories.
Weighing 3 pounds, this camera shoulder mount is suitable for all cameras and DV camcorders. The dual handgrip, made of a combination of aluminum alloy, stainless steel, and rubber, both feel solid when held. The camera base is height-adjustable and gives more flexibility and longevity to the rig.
It also has a soft rubber shoulder pad, which makes it easier and more comfortable to use. It helps alleviate pressure and stress while shooting. It is also curved so that it would fit around the shoulder of the operator.
This is another of the more affordable camera shoulder mounts you can get. It sells for around $60.
You may also be interested in these reliable DSLR stabilizers, Steadicams and gimbals. Don’t miss them.
Here’s another entry-level camera shoulder mount that you can get for a reasonable price. Lightweight, compact, easy to store and transport, it has the essential qualities you would be looking for in a camera shoulder mount.
This rig movie kit weighs less than 5 pounds. It has a quick-release camera plate flexible enough to adjust to different shooting modes. The hand grip is rubberized to make it easier for users to hold the device. The shoulder support is also well-designed to sit well on the shoulders of most operators.
It is compatible with industry-standard 15mm rods with the bottom plate having a ¼ inch thread for connecting monopod or tripod with a ¼ inch screw head. It fits any DSLR and camcorder. The height is adjustable, too, allowing it to fit lens of various sizes and diameters ranging from 43mm and up to 82mm.
Fotodiox has been around for the past 15 years, offering high-quality yet reasonably-priced photography and videography accessories. The company has won several awards for its well-designed and well-made products. This camera shoulder mount is a perfect example of how well-made the company’s offerings are.
Composed of three major components – a matte box, a stabilization system, and 15mm rail rods – the WonderRig Elite can help you take clear and sharp photos and videos. It is made from high-quality metal, which makes it more durable compared to other rigs within the same price level. There are also soft shoulder pads designed to make the taking of photos and videos more comfortable even during extended shooting.
This camera shoulder mount is also versatile as it can accommodate a wide range of accessories, including stands, speed cranks, and whips.
Ivation is a brand that manufactures and sells a wide range of products. Aside from camera shoulder mounts, it is into appliances like dishwashers and wine coolers, heating and cooling systems (air-conditioners and heaters), and safes. The New Jersey-based company is a reputable firm that produces high-quality products like this DSLR rig system with a shoulder mount.
This camera shoulder mount is lightweight at less than 3 pounds. It is ideal for travel not only because of its weight but also with the way it is designed. Every joint of the shoulder mount is adjustable and rotatable. It folds up into a compact size, allowing you to put it inside your bag.
This can be used in different ways. You can extend its rear arm for shoulder support. Or you can adjust it and use as a one-hand camera support. It also offers plenty of interfaces for connecting video light and LCD monitor screen as well as supporting frames and other related equipment. The handgrips are rubberized and won’t easily slip, too.
Tilta is a brand that specializes in photo and video equipment, such as DSLR camera rigs, matte boxes, and follow focus. Established in 2008, it is now considered as one of the premier makers of pro-grade solutions for filmmaking requirements. You’ll get to know more about the excellent design and manufacturing of Tilta when you use this DSLR shoulder mount.
Make no mistake about it, this is a professional grade camera shoulder mount, hence the premium price tag of around $1,900. It is complete with the accessories you need for filmmaking, such as a matte box, sliding balance plate, follow focus, and 15mm rod system.
It can be configured in many ways. You can use it for run and gun shooting or for full-blown tripod shooting. The quick-release baseplate has a removable brace for locking your camera. It also has a foam shoulder pad to make shooting more comfortable even for extended periods. There is also a Sony V-lock mount that will let you mount this to a tripod that has the Sony V-lock mounting system.
Rounding out our list is this DSLR rig kit from Fancierstudio, which like Tilta, is a brand that is into many products. This, however, is already a complete system, boasting of a matte box, follow focus, and shoulder mount.
With this kit, you can have a lot of flexibility whether you are shooting indoors or outdoors. It is portable and handy with a weight of 7 pounds. The shoulder mount can relieve fatigue while shooting and prevent jerk or motion problems. Configuring this kit is also quick and easy that you can do it without the use of special tools.