a Good, Inexpensive Shoulder Mount

Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
9,081
Location
Oregon
I wanted Something for those very few times I want to shoot video but don't want to do it from a trip. Since I want' sure if I'd even like doing this I didn't want to spend the $500 to $700 a good one costs. I also didn't want to put a couple of thousand of dollars of gear on a POS one.

I started reading the reviews for the Opteka CXS-1 Video Shoulder Stabilizer Support System for DSLR Cameras and Camcorders and was impressed. It appear that folks thought it was very well made for what it cost. I found a video where a guy demonstrated it along with a few accessories. So I ordered it along with a second handle, the body strap and the counter weight - all for $123 shipped (I'm a Amazon Prime Member).

It says it will handle up to 20 pounds, but 10 is more like it as the frame tube seems a little light for 20. But since I use DX bodies and feel that only my 12-24 or sigma 18-250 will be used that is fine for me.

I was surprised that using the Sigma I could get very stable video up to 125mm, and short segments at maximum range (say 10 seconds). Because of the 4 pound counter weight (which use with the strap really makes this a hands free setup) this unit weighs about 8 pounds but has a very good rubber pad so you can use this setup for a while before it hurts (a heavy shirt or jacket would help for several hours of use).

It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the more expensive rigs and it might not work well for a very tall person (small range of how high or low the camera can be adjusted to the rig). But for an DSLR, m43, or small camcorder it is the real deal. And for a $123 I think is it a very good deal.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
15,253
Location
Marysville, WA
Jeff, thanks for the info, I keep trying to decide if I want to try video or not, cost of a rig can certainly be prohibitive.

Looking at the Opteka site, the bits you hae are the same as the Hands Free Kit?
 
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
9,081
Location
Oregon
Yep, that's it. But I have to say a good fluid head for an existing tripod is probably a better solution. But this price makes this a winner if you want to do any "mobile" video - I'm too old for "Run and Gun" :).
 

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