Friday, February 18, 2011

Frankenrig: The shoulder-mounted, battery-powered 5DMKII

Here's a little gear porn for the weekend.  My very own 24 lb., shoulder-mounted, battery-powered Frankenrig.  So proud of my lil' monster.  We sat down with Thor to talk about his upcoming movie project.  He didn't give us much, but didn't complain either.

< Canon 5DMKII, 24-70mm f/2.8L lens, Redrock Micro shoulder rig, Redrock follow focus, Ikan v5600 monitor, Zoom H4N, DXA-SLR, Switronix Powerbase-70 battery, Rode NTG-2 mic, LitePanel Micro, articulating arms (x2).

Cables: Hosa XLR Y-Splitter, XP-DSLR-C p-tap cable, DR-E6 DC Coupler, P-tap to Ikan cable.

< With names.

< The cable on the monitor was loose, but I tied it up.  Thor seems unconcerned.  The camera and the monitor are battery-powered by the Switronix Powerbase-70, and the sound gear is running on simple batteries.  Thor runs on the sound of his enemy's breaking bones.

< Thor sat stone-faced for 2 hours while I shot him in his grandeur.

< The cine arm gave me more flexibility with where to position the monitor.

< Very important to have these port saver adapters from the camera's mini-HDMI out to the monitor.  It blocks the focus a bit, but well worth not having the hassle of a broken HDMI cable stuck in your camera.

< Mount the fluid head plate to the 3/8" hole in the bottom of the Redrock Micro shoulder rig.  I don't feel this in my shoulder at all.

< Attaches in seconds to the Manfrotto 504HD fluid head on Manfrotto 535 carbon fiber sticks.

< From shoulder-mount to fluid head tripod in seconds.  Just make sure your tripod head can handle the 25 lb. rig.

< My new favorite fill light.  The iPhone 4 and the "myLite" app.


  1. how much was that? lol

  2. Hello James, what is this mounting you've used to attach your iPhone to your rig? I'm looking for something similar but couldn't find something.

  3. Hey unHuman,

    I think you mean the iPhone fill light in the last photo. It's the "Thought Out PED3-tripod-PH tripod mount" mounted on a Manfrotto 496RC2 ball head.

    However, I recommend the Glif or Owle Bubo iPhone holder.


  4. Thanks for the quick response, James. The Thought Out PED3 is exactly what I was looking for! Cause I just need to get an iPhone mounted to my SHAPE DSLR rig. Thank you and have a good day, sir!

  5. people laughed at me when i rigged my HV20 like this back in 2008. Nice job. Is that a JuicedLink under the H4N or other preamp/mixer?

  6. James,

    I have a similar rig. What is the name of the circular price that
    attached to the top of the camera and supports the
    Rode NTG-2 mic and LitePanel Micro?

    Thanks in advance for your assistance.

  7. I think you mean the Cool Lux MD3000 Light & Sound bracket.

    Sound = Zoom H4n and Beachtek DXA-SLR

  8. Haha, these are brilliant pix! Can you explain your audio setup? I see the Beachtek, shotgun mic, and h4n . . . but why the Y splitter? I'm being dense!

  9. @ Onegarcia74 - I use the Y-Splitter to create audio on my in-camera dailies through the Beachtek DXA-SLR, and higher quality audio on a dual-system Zoom H4N, to sync up later. You could even use the Zoom as a backup, in case you peak out the DXA-SLR. More than likely, I'm using the dual-system Zoom, and sync it up in post, while using the DXA-SLR as a high-quality guide track.