Step-by-Step DIY Camera Rig Tutorials

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   The tutorial projects listed below are for both amateur and professionals to want to be able to find out how to make your own professional camera rigs without spending a fortune on commercial ones!!! Our tutorials have all been built and used by ourselves and are supplied with tons of photos and step-by-step instructions. Almost all these rigs can be made with materials from your local hardware store and will cost you a fraction of the price that you would pay for a ready-made commercial model.

All tutorials are currently being converted to videos so they are easy to watch.   Go to our channel on You Tube to see the latest uploads and be sure to subscribe so you are informed as new tutorials are added 

 

 

        FLYCAM 5000/COMFORT VEST MODS

Do you have a Comfort Arm and Vest/Flycam 5000 Stabilizer??? These sub $500 "stedicams" don't work very well straight out of the box BUT with a few simple modifications you can turn it into a stable and professional rig that will really do justice to your footage.  Having owned 3 of these now let me tell you some simple DIY tricks that will make your rig a real pleasure to use and you will NOT BELIEVE how well it will operate!!!

Mods include :

  • Making the gimbal bearing work correct AND adjustable on the centre post!!!
  • Scrapping the terrible vertical handle and making an awesome horizonal handle
  • Adding an essential LCD Screen rail mount and Battery Pack
  • Offsetting the socket block so it works like a Pro version
  • Adding an extra spring arm so you have a dual arm stedicam!!!!!

 

         EXTERNAL ON-CAM BATTERY PACK

At Last!! You can STOP paying ridiculous prices for camcorder batteries by building this powerful pack that will literally last a entire day shoot!!  What's more it mounts on the rear of bigger cameras AND also can mount on your smaller camcorder using the tripod mount so it's a neat pack under your camera. To compensate for the lack of "battery time left" that manufacturer's batteries sometimes provide, we have even included an integral LED level indicator. Can you imagine having nearly 10ah of capacity that will cost you under $60????

Features include :

  • Awesome capacity (similar to the Anton Bauer Elipz packs that cost over $300) for UNDER $60.00!!!
  • Mounts on your camera either rear mounted or under camcorder mounted
  • LED Battery Level circuit included.
  • Uses inexpensive LI-Ion CCTV cell packs that are cheap on ebay!!  
  • The adjustable regulator maintains voltage exactly for your camcorder ..adjust for any camera voltage!!!

 

  MULTI-MODE STABILIZED CAMRIG

This will be the MOST USEFUL tool you will ever build for shooting video and you can build it using your existing monopod and a cheap mic stand for just a few dollars. It's balanced like a stedicam for awesome handheld shots and converts your monopod into a stable tripod that goes from ground level to the treetops in seconds. Shoot overheads with the harness and get unbelievable footage at the skateboard park in skatecam mode...You won't believe what you can do with this rig and to think that it started out as just a monopod!!!

Features include :

  • All you need is an existing monopod, a cheap mic stand and a few parts (less than $30!! (excluding monopod/ball head!!))
  • Shoots in tripod mode from 2' to 6' and is stable!!! Way more useful than a tripod !!
  • Simple harness allows you do go over the heads in a crowd or do stable overhead pans
  • Just flip it upside down and you can film the dogs on their walk or your buddies on skateboards smoothly
  • The stabilized weighted feet and rotational control grip means smooth stedicam type handheld footage

 

STABILIZED SHOULDER-MOUNT FRAME

Build an awesome aluminium rig that converts your camcorder into a professional shoulder-mount setup just like the professional ENG cameras but without the expense. Rock steady stability with dual handgrips AND a really impressive gimballed body support too!!!

Features include :

  • All the advantages of a shoulder mounted ENG style camera with gimballed stability!!!
  • Extra dual foam handle support and moulded ergonomic shoulder pad
  • Flexible support allows Dutch Angles... Removeable Handles too!!!!
  • A unique body stay support with built-in gimbal that gives an almost weight free camera

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MINI-DOLLY TRACK SYSTEM

Build a Mini Dolly Track system for less than $50 that will do much the same job as systems costing 10X as much. Simple easy to get materials from your hardware store. (Estimated cost excludes tripod and ballhead)

Features include :

  • Do tracking shots smoothly instead of panning..tracking shoots too!!
  • Really cheap to build with a super easy track sytem
  • Made from hardware store bits and pieces..no special components
  • Tripod or Stand mountable too

 

 

CAMERA SLIDING TRACK SYSTEM

Build an an awesome Camera Track system that will allow you to do professional left to right and back to front dolly tracking with a huge 50" range!!

Features include :

  • Do tracking shots smoothly from right to left and back again
  • Use a forward back tracking shot instead of zoom..much more professional
  • Made from easily obtainable parts from Hafele at a fraction of commercial sliders
  • Versatile and adaptive..use it on the ground, on a table top or on a tripod

 

 

LED VIDEO LIGHT PANEL

Build a LED light panel for less than $50 which will out-perform current LED Panels that are selling for $1000's or more!!!

Features include :

  • Include as MANY LED's as you want to!! The tutorial will show you how to make banks of any number of LED's. YOU choose the light output and panel size you need.
  • Use a simple easy to get (and cheap too) switchable power plug to drive your panel.
  • Super low current needed. Our DIY 48  10mm warm white panel runs off a 1.5amp laptop/wifi power plug
  • Versatile and adaptive..use it on a light stand for interviews or clamp it anywhere!! Only 5" square!!!!

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EXCITING LED VIDEO LIGHT

Build an "on-camera" LED light bank for less than $50 which will out-perform current commercial lights that are selling for $399 or more!!!

Features include :

  • Include as MANY LED's as you want to!! The tutorial will show you how to make banks of any number of LED's. YOU choose the light output and panel size you need.
  • Use any power source from AA alkaline batteries, NiMH rechargeables and also use your L-ION camcorder batteries too. A simple calculation at the design stage is all that's needed
  • Super low current needed. Our DIY 48 "superbright" panel uses a mere 480ma...run it on alkaline batteries for over an hour PLUS we show you how to use your spare camcorder battery so you have light for hours!!!
  • You can decide on whether you want 3200K light or 5000K light

 

NEW!!!

Build a Compact Fluorescent Lamp Video Light  Are you really tired of using halogen video lights that get hot enough to barbeque a steak and make everyone sweat??? You can now build a light that uses only 20% of the energy and best of all, a 400w (equivalent) one will cost you less than $30 to make AND it runs cool to the touch. Light output is at a convenient 5000K colour temperature too.

This project has it's own tutorial and it can be made in less than an hour

 

 

NEW!!!

Build a Remote for your Panasonic Camcorder  Most 3CCD Panasonic Camcorders come with a "MagicWire" remote BUT it only has fast zoom on it and NO way to use an external microphone!!!  You can now build our remote which mounts on your tripod handle and boasts both slow and fast zoom speeds, remote still photos, remote start and stop and you can plug in your external mike too!!!

Please note that this project requires the special 6 connector plug from the little remote that came with your camera so IF your GS Series camera does NOT have a MagicWire remote then you cannot use this project.

This project has it's own tutorial and it can be made in less than an hour

 

 

Build a Depth of Field Adaptor for your Camcorder

  •  We have an AWESOME DOF adapter for your camcorder that will allow you to use standard 35mm still camera lenses and create REAL depth of field and it will cost you less than $30 to build too!!! This allows you to make video that looks like and has the depth of field or film!!

 

 

Build a Matte Box for your Camcorder  Matte Boxes usually cost hundreds of dollars as they are classed as "professional gear". Now you have a chance to keep all the nasty reflected light out of your lens and also add filters too! You may not believe it but this rig will cost you way under $10 to build and you must admit it makes your little camcorder look very professional too!!!

 

Build a Multipurpose Camcorder Car Mount Rig  This useful and versatile vacuum mounted camcorder rig costs less than $20 to make and will support even heavy cams. The vacuum cups are rated at a massive 100kgs (220lbs) and this unit can also mount on the glass as well as be used as a steady mount on the hood of the vehicle!! Just jump out when you see the shot you want and lock it to the roof or hood and you have a powerful and stable mount!!!

 

Build two new improvements to the stabilizer  Our stabilizer didn't really have a very simple and easy way to adjust the counterbalance weights on the bottom sled nor was adjusting the camcorder position that accurate. Here are two modifications that you can add to your stabilizer to allow accurate camera positioning for balance and a real easy way to get around having to thread washers on the counnterbalance spindles. If have already built the stabilizer then get these 2 tutorials NOW!!!! They will make your life a whole lot easier!!!!

 

Build a Lite-weight Body Mount for your Stabilizer  Using our stabilizer for extended periods can become a little tiring on your arm so here is a REALLY INNOVATIVE harness that you just slip over your shoulders and clip your stabiliser onto for a completely "hands-free" operation. The unique swing arm takes the entire weight of the rig and allows a smooth motion.

 

 

Build a Versatile Camcorder Car Mount Rig  This useful and versatile vacuum mounted camcorder rig costs less than $10 to make and you can get some amazing shots with it!!! Use it to film the driver or passenger or clamp it on the door panel for cool road shots. Each vacuum cup is rated at 10lbs (max) so it will carry most small DV camcorders

 

Our AWESOME MULTI-PURPOSE RAIL TRACK DOLLY IS HERE!!!   This is the ULTIMATE rig for you to build. Super strong and super lite aluminium track dolly with a lite-weight accessory tower. Ultra versatile change from ride-on to mini-crane in minutes, then to pan head.

THIS IS ONE RIG THAT YOU MUST HAVE

  • Ride-On or Walk beside the track
  • Quik-Change Pan head add-on
  • Quik-Change Mini-Crane add-on

This is 3 rigs in one!! Use the crane, use the pan head, just ride the dolly and hand-hold or use your own tripod.

 

Build a Custom Camera Case for your Gear  This really easy to make gear case looks the same as the ones you see in the camera shops for $350 and it will cost you less than $50 AND it's so easy to customise it EXACTLY to fit all the video gear that needs protecting. PLUS it looks professional too.

 

Making a PVC Camera Rig  You Here are step by step details on how to make this Ultra simple yet extremely useful rig that also has space to mount mikes, video lights and more. PLUS it acts as a stabilizer too!!! All you need is a trip to the garden shop and a hacksaw!!!  This will cost you maybe $20 and the commercial version is nearly $500!!!!

 

Making a Mike Wind Shield and Boom  You know how hard it is to eliminate wind noise when you shoot outdoors so here is the answer to your problem. The mike blimp and boom are simple to build from easy to get materials and your audio will be perfect again.  Are you building this one yet???

 

Making a Camcorder LCD Hood  You know how hard it is to use your LCD screen in bright daylight so here is the answer that we use on our camcorders. It's not very pretty BUT you will be able to make it from the pennies in your cookie jar!!  and you will wonder why you never made one before.

 

Making a front end for the Crane with a 'anti-shock' mic mounting  You For those who have already built the mini-crane, we have a new "front-end" tutorial for you which includes a very effective 'anti-shock' mounting for your shotgun mic (which you should be using always!) You can also adapt this to fit on the Rig below so the mic is shock mounted too!

 

 

Making a Camcorder Mounting Rig  You know how hard it is to hand-hold a small camcorder so here is the answer that we use to get steady, professional looking shots that don't look like "home movies". This rig will cost you less than $20 and you will wonder why you never used it before. Plus it holds your external mike and other goodies too!!

 

Making a Camcorder Stabilizer   How would you like to be able to film while walking, running, climbing stairs and get the sort of smooth shots you see in the movies?? Well if you don't have the $1000's for a commercial steadycam then let us show you how to make your own for as little as $30!!!! Each of our tutorials has expert advice, closeup photos and instructions and even gives you a shopping list.

 

Making a  Tripod Dolly that runs on Rails

 You already know how difficult it is to pan with your camera smoothly. You have seen those Hollywood shots where the camera smoothly moves around a group of people ? The correct way to do it is to "track" which requires a dolly and track and LOT's of money...correct?? WRONG...our tutorial will show you how easy it is to build a dolly from ordinary irrigation pipe for just a few dollars and get those shots you only used to dream about.

 

 

 

 Making a Mini Crane Rig  We have just finished our mini crane system that will make your tripod obselete!!! This clever new rig will allow you the stability of a tripod but the flexibility of being able to smoothly move the camera up and down as well as rotate and all the actions you would only expect the professionals to use. We will show you how to build it yourself for under $50 and that also includes the tripod!!

 

 

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