Well I have spent all the money researching this for you and have come up with surprising results!
First up is the DVRIGPRO HD from dvtec.tv based out in Israel
I have a couple of these, one for my big cameras and the new HD one for EX1 size cameras aswell as 35mm adaptors. This photo is obviously not me and it is an HVX but you get the idea!
The great thing about this one is the springy support arm, it makes it superb for using for long periods of time and gives you remarkable steady shots. Although it means taking it off is not a simple affair! Sometimes could be dodgy is someone demands you take the camera off or you will be shot!
You can use it with a 35mm adaptor. It’s heavy and you need to make sure you have enough counterweights on the back (which you have to supply yourself) but it works. You can see in the EX1 viewfinder or LCD which is great.
It is just a bit cumbersome though. The joy of the EX1 is it’s size and having this big rig makes handheld much easier but removes a lot of the plusses of having this small camera. But that’s the downsize of the small camera, you need these rigs to make handheld work stable and possible all day and the this rig does it very well!
So yes I do recommend it, the sprung arm is superb for all day handheld and it is very well made and the lads there are top notch. Danny is very helpful and always quick to reply to emails. A good mid cost solution! Total cost around $450.
Next up is the very expensive but incredibly well made Zacuto system.
This is THE best modular system out there. Everything they make is so well made you know it will last for years. I have the rails to support my Extreme but how does the handheld rig compare?
The first pic is again an HVX as is the adaptor free setup. The counterweight is something called a lunchbox, instead of the professional battery option above.
It works really well, when set up, although a little high on my shoulder the weight and feel made it feel like a proper big camera, I don’t recommend the arms for non adaptor work, how on earth do you change focus or exposure with your hands there??! I hold the camera on the lens like I would with a proper cameras.
Now with the extreme the shoulder pad is moved to underneath the camera. This balances the camera because of the extra weight up front…the downside you can’t see in the VF and the LCD is as close to your eye as a pair of eyeglasses. Not good. You can move the shoulder bad back but the balance goes out. So basically it needs work for me. I think it’s going to be way I will shoot handheld Letus stuff, just not got the rig right. Steve and his team at Zacuto are astonishingly helpful and are going out of their way to help, sending lots of photos and advice and loads of emails. Top team who make amazing products.
The product setup was designed for people using LCD monitors to view, with the ex1 the LCD is so good you no longer need a monitor, this hasn’t been taken into consideration but I am sure they are working on the best solution for me. As soon as it is solved I will update this page.
You do need the arms for the 35mm adaptor setup though, just tricky to focus pull and change the iris. I need a remote FF.
I must reiterate, their support rods are the best I have ever seen and I have waster 3 times the cost of their rods on inferior ones which don’t last that long!
Total cost of this set up is around $2000 give or take.
Last up is by the baby of the bunch and easily the cheapest. The concept is simple. Let your body take the weight,
My god it works well. It stabilizes your shots, takes the weight off your arm and keep the camera small and portable. I have put a Manfrotto sliding plate on it so it comes off very easy and goes straight on the tripod.
For me, for non adaptor work this is the easiest rig to use and work with. I can’t recommend it enough. Best of all it cost my £65
This is the one I will be traveling with. This is the one I will be using most of the time when shooting “clean”.
You can buy it at creativevideo.co.uk I also understand some companies are giving them away free with the ex1. How good is that?
Next up is my test with the EX1 Letus fix and an interesting little surprise Letus has sprung on me when they returned my broken extreme!