Video feature: low-cost camera rigs for video and film making

The Fotga DP500IIS basic rails system

Fotga DP500IIs rig
Fotga’s DP500IIs rig is ideal for smaller cameras, including the Panasonic GH4

The Fotga DP500 II, which costs £62, consists of a pair of 25cm long, 15mm rails, connected by two brackets. The main bracket uses an Arca Swiss compatible dovetail plate, and a raised, quick release plate for mounting the camera. A second bracket stabilises the system at the front, and also adds an adjustable support for larger lenses. Fotga also makes a slightly cheaper version, without the quick release plate.

The DP500IIS, also from Fotga, is based around the same 25cm rods but uses a different design for mounting the camera to the rig, and the rig to a tripod. While the DP500 II has a single, integrated dovetail and QR plate, and a separate front bracket, the DP500IIS fits the tripod dovetail to the first bracket, with a second unit for connecting the camera.

The DP500IIS camera railblock features a captive, ¼-inch screw fitting for connecting to the camera body. This is via a good-sized and easy to access screw wheel, rather than the simple, but awkward, screw fitted to some rigs.

A further useful feature of this system is the height adjustment for the camera mount, which makes it easier to adjust the rig to allow for different sized cameras, or lenses. It also has several spare mounting points, and a cut out suitable for passing through cables, such as from the camera to an electronic viewfinder or recorder. The DP500IIS costs around £80.

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