The best handheld sound camera I ever used was the Panavision Platinum camera. With a lens, lightweight 400’ mag, Preston MDR, focus motors, Mattebox and on-board monitor, the camera weighed in at about 45 lbs. The best handheld camera for action that I have ever used was the Arri 235. With a lens, 400’ dolphin mag, Preston MDR, focus motors, Mattebox and on-board monitor, it weighs in at 26 lbs. So why would you want your RED Epic, Canon C500, C300, 1DC, 5D, F3, BMCC, FS-100, etc. to weigh any less? This is called stabilization.
“Make It Weigh a Ton”
Operating with some girth on your shoulders gives you control. Having a shoulder cam rig that fits and conforms to your body is paramount. You need it to feel like it is attached to you as well as being perfectly balanced. When Letus and I set out to design the MCS 2.0 ShoulderCam, we took the Arri 235 and made it our benchmark. The long weight in the back of our rig weighs the same as the 400’ dolphin mag. The camera sits over the center of your shoulder, not far forward.
The shoulder pad is a wedge design because your shoulder is not flat. It trails away at an angle so the pad is shaped in a way to roll the camera to your eye. It is one inch that tappers to a half inch, with very comfortable leather and memory foam pads that can be replaced if they go bad.
This has velcro stitched into it, which then can affix to the Revolutionary V-Lock baseplate.
The MCS system does exactly that. Pans and tilts are more controlled and rolling shutter minimized. The EVF opened up all of this innovation. It took all of the cameras that look like still cameras or black boxes and made them into something that looks and feels like a film camera.
Grabbing Ahold of Something
I love handheld in many ways. It simply puts you there. You are present; you feel immersed. As an operator, it gives you a great amount of freedom so that you can react with the actors and not worry about 2 to 3 other people, like a dolly grip or a crane grip, having to be in sync.
When I operate handheld with a Panavision Platinum, I grab ahold of the MatteBox.
We noticed two things very quickly. Our MatteBox is very sturdy, and you can grab ahold of it and operate if you have it mounted to the rods.
To keep your conversion time down, I would advise you to use our clamp-on MatteBox set up with the T-Handles so that it will not spin on you. The reason for the clamp-on is that when you click out of the V-lock baseplate to convert to another rig, you are taking everything with you. Nothing will be left other than the rods and baseplate, which would be desirable if you wanted to strip it down into ActionCam or ManCam.
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