Shooting for Zacuto in London. Also the new DSLR rigs from Zacuto


I was asked by Steve Weiss of Zacuto to shoot some footage of myself and of the gear in action. So I went out with my friend, Suresh Kara of to London for the day last Tuesday to go to some familiar spots and do some nice filming.

I shot using the EX3 and Letus Ultimate with full Zacuto rig, including the flippable follow focus, whip, rails, universal base plate, zeddie wedgie, locking lens support and Zacuto Y-Fronts for ultimate support. 

I didn’t buy Zacuto initially as I was put off by the cost. So instead I spent way more than I eventually did when buying the Zacuto rig by buying various cheaper alternatives that either didn’t do the job very well or just broke. Whereas my Zacuto gear is as good as new 18 months on. I won’t make that mistake again. You buy cheap and you get what you pay for. 

I have become somewhat of a fan so to speak of their gear, there is nothing more modular or well made on the market. It’s camera geek heaven. As long as they keep churning out the good stuff as they are doing (check out the bottom of this blog) then I will continue to rave about their gear.



This isn't a Panasonic!!
This isn't a Panasonic!!



Suresh was shooting on the EX1 with the Letus Elite, as you can see the image out of it pretty nice too! Suresh is a recent Letus convert after using the Brevis for a while he bought an Ultimate and is loving it. This was his first time with an EX1. He is an HPX/HVX owner. 

Mark Dawson  came along to make a little behind the scenes film. 


Mark was shooing on an F350 for his behind the scenes film. The first time he has done something like this and he has done a sterling job, apart from making me look like Tony bloody Soprano! I am no longer eating any food until July 2010. 

It’s quite hard being the DP and being in it but Suresh is a top class operator and together we got some cracking shots. 

I am pleased with both of the end results which you can see below.

On a totally different matter have you seen the new DSLR rigs from Zacuto. Wow. They have taken a really hard camera to shoot with and made a rig from heaven from it. I am seriously looking at buying a Canon 5d Mk2 now.

Watch the video below and wonder what on earth they will come up with next!


  1. OK, the major advantage for you film look guys is the depth of field, but appart from nice pictures so far we have not seen a 35mm DSLR with any decent sound options so using any DSLR on a wedding as they mention on the video will give you sub standard sound, this 35mm camera rig looks the part but I think the cameras need to develop more before you can talk seriously about using them for paying jobs, though I have just thought of one use. You could film shots for a musical montage with the DSLR.

    1. Agreed Philip,

      The sound on the D90 is useless. At least the sound on the Canon has a mic input which means you can use things like the beachtek box which give you XLR input and with the Zacuto rig you can easily attach it.

    2. Philip Johnston:

      Don’t forget about capturing sound separately. There’s no reason a seasoned wedding videographer (or any other videographer) couldn’t attach a digital audio recorder and shotgun mic to the rig.

      Combine in post, etc…you get it.

  2. Wonderful short and the behind the scenes is quite interesting. You do a wonderful job evangelizing for quality gear and how it can make a difference in the image.

    Do you need permits in London? I dare say setting up like that in New York City would attract the attention of the police!

    I’ve noticed that none of the footage/stills on your site have you using a matte box or monitor (at least none of the outdoor shots). Do you do that as a time saver or do you find you just don’t need them?

    Thanks again for inspiring work.

    1. am going to do a blog about filming in Britain. I didn’t use a mattebox for speed and it’s REDROCK one! Monitor not needed for type of shots we were doing. LCD on EX is awesome

  3. Some really beautiful work and a great illustration of the product. I have been looking for a FF / rail system and this makes me really makes me want to buy Zacuto – I just wish they had other distribution in the UK though.

  4. Re: The Zacuto video…….. “running & gunning”, “weaponised”, “sharpshooter”. God bless ’em, these tecchies think they’re in a battle situation. No! we’re shooting a corporate video in Basingstoke guys. Boys & their toys. This is how Iraq started……….. rant over. Keep up the good work Phiip.

  5. Hi Philip, I’ve been making some day to night timelapses with a DSLR with a timer and a motorized telescope tripod. The main issue, besides flickering (which is rather annoying!) is the exposure time, ’cause when lights fade away the camera needs more exposure time and starts shooting with smaller times. Suddenly the pan speeds up!… Flickering is never completely solved… If you work fully manual, you can’t calculate an average exposure time that works both with daylight and night… So, some automatic features have to be active… How do you get around that and make your Time lapses so smooth and constant? Thanks!


  6. Dr Bloom –

    Nice piece. How do to approach the 360 pan timelapse shot that starts at 2:19? Is the pan mechanized or manual?

    And what is the name of the lovely track?

    Thanks. Keep up the great work.

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