The Best DSLR shoulder rig—an essential piece of equipment for any professional or DIY photographer and videographer trying to get the best shots possible.
These sophisticated pieces of equipment will help you do several things more effectively, such as shooting at various angles and while in motion (Source).
The right DSLR camera shoulder rig will help you produce the best handheld motion-picture works possible. For a rig to be helpful, it needs to be lightweight and ergonomically friendly.
In addition to cost and weight considerations, you also need to consider such aspects as the mount type, and design, weight distribution, padding, and counterweight system of the available shoulder rigs.
DSLR shoulder rig is a crucial gear that provides the flexibility of movement, which can really help increase efficiency during production. In case, if you are using Nikon DSLR whether, for photography or videography, you should invest in the quality lenses as it has a direct connection with the quality of images.
Apart from that, if you are having a hard time choosing the right unit, here are reviews of five top rated DSLR shoulder rigs.
Best DSLR Shoulder Rigs
1. FILMCITY DSLR Camera Shoulder Support Rig Kit with Cage & Matte Box – Best Overall
This goes a long way in enhancing your production efficiency. By buying this kit, you will get everything you need to support your DDSLR camera for the best motion picture works.
To begin with, the product comes with convertible cage brackets from 9-inch brackets to 6-inch brackets. These make the unit more versatile in that it can accommodate DSLR cameras of different sizes.
The rig features a top handle that you may use to take low mode shots using the camera you mounted on the rig.
The swing-away mechanism used on this shoulder rig makes it easier for you to switch from one camera to another without having to dismantle the entire kit.
This rig allows you to add several accessories to the mounted camera. In this regard, the kit has several threaded points. These make it easier for you to accessorize the kit. You will also love the quick release feature offered by this rig.
This feature makes it relatively easy for you to mount and dismount cameras. For enhanced stability, this offset rig is equipped with rubber grip handles that are adjustable.
Pros & Cons
- Features snug fit shoulder pads
- Comes with counterweight balances
- Features a handle bracket and a convertible cage bracket
- Fitted with adjustable rubber grip handles
- Features quick release
- Allows you to adjust the height
- Has 4 x 4 inch rotating filter holders
- Equipped with side and French flags
- Has adjustable aspect ratios
- Easy on the shoulders
- Easy to use
- You may have a problem using the rig with some Canon cameras
2. Morros DSLR Rig Movie Kit Shoulder Mount Rig – The Best Value for Money
Here is another great product for professional videographers and photographers, the Morros DSLR Rig Movie Kit. So, what do you get for this price? For less than $80, you will get a DSLR shoulder rig, a matte box for storing your accessories and Follow focus.
Having been designed to help users produce exceptionally high-quality videos, this unit has it all.
The kit is usable with almost any 15 mm rail system DSLR rig or cage for any handheld application. With this rig, you will be able to retain the quality of your videos, free of motion or jerk related shooting problems.
This is the DSLR shoulder rig that will make your video production and shoot precise, steady and smooth. You will also love the fact that the rig is relatively easy and quick to configure. As a matter of fact, you will not need any tools to configure and use this rig.
Pros & Cons
- Comes with a 1-year warranty by the manufacturer
- Relatively lightweight and easy on the shoulders
- Features a rubberized release plate for the camera
- Designed to offer enhanced flexibility
- Offers several shooting modes
- Compatible with all 15 mm rods
- Has a 1/4″ tripod thread at the bottom
- The height is adjustable
- Features a Swing-away mechanism
- Ideal for micro shoots and movable scenes
- Features a precision Follow Focus system
- The follow focus system is not super smooth
3. Fancierstudio FL02M DSLR Rig With Follow Focus Matte Box – The Best Affordable DSLR Shoulder Rig
For about $65, you will not only get a lightweight, easy-to-use rig, the package also includes a matte box, Follow Focus and counterweight.
This is, without a doubt, one of the best deals you can get in the industry today.The new model of this rig comes with an added shoulder pad, which makes the rig comfortable for shooting long hours.
The simple, yet functional design of this product is meant to give you optimal flexibility for indoor as well as outdoor photo and video shooting.
Owing to its light weight, you will also find this kit very portable. With this unit, you will not get fatigued by trying to balance the weight of the DSLR or camera on your shoulders. In this regard, the FL02M comes with a counterweight system.
DSLR shoulder rig helps you to do several things more effectively, such as shooting at various angles and while in motion.
If you are a professional photographer or videographer, you probably need a softbox for Speedlight as it will help you take better photographs. Softbox is used to diffuse light from an artificial source and make the spread wider. For instance, taking a product photo.
Pros & Cons
- Features shoulder padding
- Easy to configure and use
- Relatively affordable
- Comparatively lightweight and sturdy
- Comes with a matte box
- Uses a counterweight system
- Compatible with all 15 mm rods in the industry
- The gear may be mounted on either side
- Features a bottom 1/4“ female adapter
- Only best when used for smaller projects
4. Neewer Professional DSLR Rig Set Movie Kit – Best Shoulder Rig for Slip-free Performance
In this regard, this product applies a gear-driven mechanism to give you that accurate, slip-free movement you need.
With regards to versatility, the rig can be adjusted to suit different shooting modes. Additionally, the locking system used on this rig is also customizable.
The main rig platform is made of ABS and anodized black metal for enhanced support and durability. The unit also has padding on the shoulder part as well as on the handgrips. This makes it more comfortable for long period shooting.
This rag may be used with DSLRs, DVs and Cameras. It is designed to mount any 15 mm rod.
Pros & Cons
- Allows for gear drive mounting on either side
- The ABS Dial Index and gear nylon may be adjusted up to 360 degrees
- Compatible with almost all 15 mm rods
- Features a ¼ -inch female adapter on its bottom lens
- Compatible with DVs, DSLRs and Cameras
- Features padding
- Comes with a matte box and Follow Focus
- Does not come with assembly instructions
5. Fotodiox WonderRig Elite, Premium Grade Professional Video Rig – The Best Lightweight DSLR Shoulder Rig
This is one of the most affordable means of converting a conventional DSLR into a professional HD camcorder. In this regard, the WonderRig Elite is specifically designed to offer videographers and photographers optimal mobility with an affordable, yet versatile rig system.
You will also love the fact that this unit allows you to attach several accessories. Basically, the WonderRig Elite shoulder rig comes in three parts; a reversible follow focus, 15 mm rail rods and a comparatively versatile matte box.
With regards to versatility, the Follow Focus that comes with this kit may be attached on either side of its lens. This makes it easier for you to mark the start as well as end points.
The top and two side flags on the matte box are adjustable and removable to suite various shooting modes and conditions.
Pros & Cons
- Removable and adjustable matte box flags
- Can fit ant 15 mm rods
- The follow focus may be fitted on either side
- Features padding on shoulders and front grips
- Equipped with a camera base plate
- Lightweight and customizable construction
- Comes with a 24-month manufacturer warranty
- Offers adjustable height
- Does not have a counterweight system in place
Things You Must Know Before Buying a DSLR Shoulder Rig
The continually growing filmmaking industry is in a constant need for the best photo and video shooting equipment. Whether you are a professional or just a DIY filmmaker, you need to buy the right equipment for enhanced stability. This is the only way you are going to have improved cinematic movement whenever you are shooting.
One of the most important things you will need, in this regard is a DSLR camera shoulder rig. However, these come in an assortment of designs and structures.
This makes it hard for filmmakers to choose the right unit. To make this choice a little bit easier, you need to know what to look for in a DSLR shoulder rig. If you are shopping for the best one, here are some of the aspects you should consider:
1. Type of Shoulder Mount
For beginners, choosing the right DSLR mount can be a daunting task. One of the things you need to consider, in this case, is the type of mount that is suitable for your shooting. In this regard, you will have to choose between the two main DSLR camera shoulder rig mount types:
- Offset shoulder mount
- Straight shoulder mount
If you are buying a shoulder rig for a DSLR that features an articulated display—has an LCD display that should open up to one side—it is advisable to buy a rig with an offset shoulder mount. This type of mount will help keep the viewfinder of the DSLR in front of your eyes.
The Straight shoulder mount, on the other hand, is ideal for any fixed-type DSLR.
2. Shoulder Mount Design
Now that you know the right shoulder mount type to buy, you need to narrow your search down to the mount design. Again, you will need to choose between the two main design options available today, as explained below:
- Flat Metal Surface Mounts – the DSLR is supposed to be attached on top of these shoulder mounts.
- Rail Shoulder Mounts
Basically, you will find the rail system more appropriate for several reasons. To begin with, the rail shoulder mounts are more adaptable to an array of shooting scenarios.
Additionally, a rail system allows you to incorporate several DSLR attachments, such as a cage and lens supports.
3. Weight Distribution and Padding
While most shoulder rigs are relatively light, the whole things can be a bit heavy after adding other attachments. For instance, custom DSLR lens are known to be bulky and will automatically make the rig heavier on your shoulders.
As such, you need to choose a rig that has the right weight management system. In this regard, you need to choose between chest support and arm support for your unit.
The right weight management system will distribute the entire weight evenly across the body. As such, you will experience minimal discomfort when shooting for hours straight.
For enhanced comfort, you also need to consider the level of padding offered on your preferred DSLR shoulder rig. Basically, the costlier options tend to have advanced and more complex padding than cheaper rigs.
Most of the affordable DSLR camera shoulder rigs only use a foam block for padding. Other affordable models have unpadded sticks. If you will be using the rig for long hours, you should go for better padding.
If you are after the more affordable shoulder rigs, you are less likely to get counterweights in your rig. Counterweight systems are only used on the relatively costlier DSLR shoulder rigs. Again, counterweight systems are not built the same; some are more effective than others.
The best counterweight system should make you feel as if the mounted camera is weightless. Ikan is one of the leading manufacturers of the best counterweight systems today.
Ready To Buy The Best DSLR Shoulder Rig?
While there are some affordable DSLR rigs that are good, your choice should not be solely influenced by the price.
You also need to ensure that your preferred model is lightweight, comfortable on the shoulders for extended periods, versatile in application and customizable.
As you shall see throughout this guide, the various rigs available today are built differently. Regardless of the features you are looking for, we help you choose the best DSLR shoulder rigs.
Besides shoulder rig, Do you own a small or medium photo studio? One of the most important things you should have is a continuous lighting kit. They provide a balanced daylight light continuously which enables you to shoot high-quality photos.