There are a number of rig manufactures and no lack of options. The trick is to find a good balance between design and price.  Products from companies like Cinevate, Redrock Micro, and Zacuto are designed well but are often out of the price range of most low budget film makers. With that in mind here are 2 very affordable DSLR Rigs to consider (I own both).

First lets start with the indisystem indiSQUARE. As you can see I’ve made a few changes to this rig. I started off by replacing the Giottos mh652 quick release plate with a Manfrotto 577 quick release plate. This works better for me since all of my equipment is setup for 501pl plates. After that I removed the rails. There isn’t anything wrong with the rails themselves it’s just that the shape of the rig doesn’t make the rails very useful. They would probably be fine for a matte box, but the indiSQUARE is much to wide to use a follow focus with out a whip.

Mounting options are limited on this unit with 2 threaded 1/4 20 holes and 4 3/8 none threaded holes. I would normally say thats plenty but because the holes are so close together you end up with very little space for gear to be mounted. I actually installed the arm upside down in order to leave room for a RODE VideoMic to be mounted. I will also point out that the none aluminum hardware on this unit is beginning to rust. The indiSQUARE is also very heavy, and the corner peaces are somewhat sharp. The handles are made of soft foam and after 8 months are starting to come apart.

The indiSQUARE isn’t a bad little rig for the price range. I miss spoke in the video, It looks as though the current price for the indiSQUARE is $130 plus shipping. But if you can squeeze together just $100 more you could have yourself the CPM FILM TOOLS DSLR Flyer kit.

The CPM FILM TOOLS DSLR Flyer kit is made of carbon fiber making it much lighter then the indiSQUARE. The handles are a nice rubberized grip that can be moved and adjusted. The unit feels very well made and very sturdy. The Flyer kit includes four 8 inch rails, 2 rubberized handles, a DSLR cage, and a 501pl compatible quick release plate.

There are 8 holes(4 of which are taken up by the handles) and 2 threaded 1/4 20 female holes on either side. The handle position makes it much easier to us a Follow focus and mounting holes on either side make the Flyer Kit a much more balanced mounting configuration then the indiSQUARE. The other nice thing about the DSLR Flyer kit is that with the addition of a few parts you have a shoulder shooter kit. So down the road when you’ve donated plasma 5 or 6 more times you can afford to upgrade.  This option isn’t really available with the indiSQUARE.

As I’ve said before I own both of these rigs. If you’re looking for the cheapest DSLR cage on the market the Indisystem indiSQUARE is it, but if you can scrape together a little more money I would definitely spend it on the CPM FILM TOOLS DSLR Flyer kit. At $230 the DSLR Flyer is worth every penny and the extra $100 gets you a great deal more in value and build quality.

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