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

Neewer chest rig, matte boxes and follow focus

The Neewer chest rig for DSLRs
The Neewer chest rig for DSLRs

Both Fotga units seem very well built for the price, with good-quality connections and refined machining, as well as a professional-looking matte finish, and clear markings.

Neewer’s DSLR Dual Grip Video Chest Stabilizer is designed as simpler and more compact alternative to a full shoulder rig. Chest mounted rigs require fewer parts than shoulder rigs – with shorter rails and no need for counterweights – which keeps down costs, and makes it easier to fold them away for travel.

The rig is made up of two, 15mm rails, and a railblock with a basic QR plate for the camera with a captive screw. The handgrip connects to a second rail block, with a horizontal bar to connect on the two, adjustable rubberised handles. The shoulder mount connects to a single railblock on the horizontal bar.

The combination gives plenty of configuration options, and the use of two rails means a matte box can be fitted – although at the expense of more weight than on a single rail chest support. The Neewer rig lacks the refinement of the Fotga systems on test, but the cost, at around £53, makes it a good value starter system.

The Ginirigs single-rail follow focus
The Ginirigs single-rail follow focus

Also featured in the test were Ginirigs’ follow focus, and a Veedion matte box, sourced from eBay, although the version featured, which takes Cokin-type filters, is not readily available. We will look at matte boxes and follow focus systems in more depth in a future article.

See the video below for our view on these low-cost camera rigs, and how they work with a camera such as the Panasonic GH4.

The following items mentioned in our review are available on the Audio Video Pro Amazon store:

  • FOTGA DP500IIS 15mm rod rail support system for follow focus Matte box in film Photography
  • Fotga DP500 II DSLR Quick Release 15mm rod rail support for follow focus Arca PU60 and Mattebox
  • Neewer DSLR Dual Grip Video Chest Stabilizer Support System with Camera/Camcorder Mount Slider, Shoulder Pad and Dual-hand Handgrip For All Video Cameras and Camcorders
  • GiniRigs iFocus Follow Focus