If you’re a regular reader on my blog, you’ll know I bought a new camera not long ago. However, I’m used to the ergonomy of a video camera. I shoot ‘skate style’ a lot, so the Sony is pretty awkward to use in that respect.

I needed a rig with a top handle. I looked at a few DSLR rigs and even considered 3D printing one using Alfreds printer. Unfortunately, the 3D printer is too unreliable so I opted to buy a rig instead. I could have spent less and just gone for a top handle only style but I wanted something that I could use ‘on the shoulder’ too, so I can also shoot documentary type stuff.

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It dwarfs the little A7s rather, but there’ll be plenty of space if I ever use a battery grip or audio module on the camera. I’m planning on buying a field monitor too, so I can mount a screen in a more sensible place than the current tiny one on the camera.

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I bought one with a matte box as I’ll need ND filters to use the SLOG2 picture profile on the Sony which has a minimum ISO of 3200. I also splashed out a little extra for the follow focus as I thought it’d be a useful feature to have in the future. I had a quick play with it earlier and it’s much easier to shoot with than handheld. I should be able to get some really nice looking skate style stuff with it.

In addition, I built a second slider. I already had the parts from when I built the last one, but they’ve just been collecting dust on a shelf in my room. I had everything I needed, I just couldn’t be bothered to machine the ends. I actually did most of the work on this last Saturday, but I made the legs and finished it off today.

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This one has a few design changes from the previous version. I used grub screws to secure the rails into the ends, as I thought they looked tidier. I’m probably going to cut them down so they’re flush though. I also only used two roller bearing sets rather than 4. I realised that I was losing a good 100mm of movement on each end by using 4 bearings on the sliding carriage. Even though the rails on this one are slightly shorter than the first one I built, it actually has a longer range of movement.

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First generation with 4 bearings
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Second generation with 2 bearings
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I think I’m going to make the carriage from perspex so that it soaks up the tiny vibrations better. I don’t think it affects the image quality, but I feel that the perspex does a better job to dampen them than the aluminium I have at the moment.

Looking forward to getting out and shooting some stuff with all this new kit!

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