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December 19, 2012

Want a Dirt Cheap DSLR Shoulder Rig? Filmcity Has You Covered For Less Than $100

If you want to do steady handheld work with most small cameras -- like DSLRs -- a shoulder rig is almost a must. They vary in price rather drastically, and they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. There are plenty of budget rigs around, some from better known companies than others, but not many of them can break $100 as a starting price point -- but that's exactly what the Filmcity FC-10 Shoulder Rig does. Click through to check out a video showing off the rig.

Thanks to CheesyCam for the link:

Well, for $95, it's probably worth a shot for anyone who really doesn't want to spend a lot of money. Of course, gear made out of aluminum or some sort of composite metal will probably last a lot longer, but if you're an owner/operator and you have a DSLR, your rig doesn't have to take nearly the beating that rental gear must withstand.

I haven't used any of these rigs before, so I can't vouch for the quality, but if you're just getting started and you have a Canon T3i or Panasonic GH2 or some other budget camera, it doesn't make much sense to spend tons of money on shoulder rigs, follow focuses, and matteboxes until you are either making money with your gear, or you have the experience to fully utilize something more expensive.

You can find these rigs on eBay as well as through the Proaim website. If you're interested in more budget gear, Filmcity of India makes everything you can imagine for seriously budget prices.

Does anyone have experience with this particular rig or one like it? What do you think? Does anyone have any recommendations for other budget shoulder rigs that are built well?

Links:

[via CheesyCam]

Your Comment

38 Comments

That actually looks alright. Shame about no thumb screws, but it's an alright payoff for a cheap rig.

December 19, 2012

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Tyler

Rods are Carbon Fiber, and your average 15mm rails. It's a good start. You can replace all the components as you go on, little by little.

December 21, 2012

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Cheesycam comments are telling.
CPMCameraRigs claim they are stealing their designs, and others comment that it is flimsy plastic and breaks easily.
Couple that with 'No Returns' on the listing AND another $25 delivery (plus probably import penalties for me in England), then this is a big no.

December 19, 2012

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Fresno Bob

It's £105 from http://www.camerakings.co.uk/proaim-filmcity-shoulder-support-mount-rig-... delivery included so its not such a bad deal. I personally dont understand why some rigs have to be so damn expensive, and am all for these cheapo solutions.

December 19, 2012

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Robert

I bought a lot of products of Proaim. Always from their ebay shop. And no problems, no extra taxes, only 1 week for delivery from India to Spain and for me, no problems.

December 19, 2012

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I was checking out the Proaim website and I noticed their own shoulder mount rig: Proaim DSL Rig-120 Shoulder Mount.

Has anyone tried these? For $225 they seem like a much better deal than the Filmcity $95 plastic rig. The Proaim even includes a counterweight and the rods are aluminum. That alone, for me, would justify the $100+ difference.

Has anyone tried these? How would they compare to other budget rigs like, say, Jag35?

December 19, 2012

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Nicolás

Hi Nicolas. I bought the 120 rig a few months ago and have been using it with my FS700. As Julian mentioned, the counter-weight's absolutely worth the extra cash. The baseplate's a little small for the FS700, but I bought an extra clamp and glued on some slices of foam for cushioning and was able to position that as an extra point of contact to stabilise the FS700 body. If you'll only be using it with a DSLR I imagine you'd get along fine without any of that malarkey. I also bought extra rods to compensate for the FS700's longer body. With the extra 35cm (I think) rods, there is more than enough room, and I've been using it with fairly bulky Canon L-series zooms. Again, if you're just using a DSLR, I think even with longer lenses the provided rods would probably be enough. Once put together, the clamps on mine were difficult to remove (not impossible, though), so if you want to be able to reconfigure the rig reasonably quickly I'd get something else. If, however, you want to set it and forget like I do, this is a great buy. It'll mount to your tripod easily and is very stable on mine (mine's rated up to about 13 pounds). The handles are secure and comfortable, and the weight distribution seems even especially with the counter-weight. The difference, especially for the FS700, between handholding and shoulder-mounting is night and day. All in all, for this kind of price (with the extras and the postage mine came out to US$325, a bit less for me because the Aussie dollar's strong), I don't think you can go wrong, especially if you've no need right now for really pro gear. There's a lot of steel on the 120 and it's been dependable for me so far. One thing: one of the thumb screws broke when I was putting the rig together, but that hasn't caused problems because the slack was taken up by other screws. Still, it's something to keep in mind; these things happen with budget gear. Maybe invest in a few extra thumb screws if you do go for the 120. But so far, I'd definitely recommend it.

December 19, 2012

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Thank you very much for your response. I ended up getting a gini rig!

December 21, 2012

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Nicolás

Yeah I bought one last week. it's not bad, pretty plasticky. I plan on slowly replacing the components with better bits. Also, I bought one with the rear weight. which makes a big difference. Definitely $100 worth

December 19, 2012

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Just like over on CheesyCam, it was immediately apparent that this is a design rip-off of the CPM Film Tools rig design. I haven't used the CPM one, so I'm not sure how this differs in terms of build materials, but all the plastics don't exactly instill confidence.
Then again, it's $95.

December 19, 2012

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Blah

I bought one of the older rigs with the matte box and follow focus and for the price the build quality is excellent. Once you get a 70-200 a camera, monitor, beech box and mics attached to it though it's bloody heavy.

December 19, 2012

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Neill Jones

A year ago I got myself a Gini shoulder rig for $200,- off eBay. Very good quality. They're a bit more expensive now, but I think they're still worth it. See http://ginirigs.com/

December 19, 2012

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I'll second Gini Rigs. As far as "cheap" rigs go, I've got no complaints. Love the rig I got from them.

December 19, 2012

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Eric S.

I'll third Gini Rigs. For the price, I don't think there is much competition. I scoured the internet for reviews of rigs at the price level and Gini was always recommended. The only negative remark I saw was about shipping, but I never experienced any problems considering they come from Korea.

December 19, 2012

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Just to give you a heads up, to anyone who plans on buying a gini rig. I was about to buy the Puing I for $350 + 97 Shipping ($347) last night when I found that there's a discount code at Gini rig's facebook page for the Puing A (much more complete than the I). With the discount (20%) it costed me total (including shipping) $464 for the Puing A. I only had to pay like 17 bucks more and I got a much more complete system had I bought the Puing I. I think the discount code's limited so check it out if you're thinking on buying a ginirig. code: PUINGA20

December 20, 2012

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Nicolás

Just had a look on their website a d the cheapest rig I could find was $350. Where's the $200 one? They look great but are obviously a different level of quality/price.

December 19, 2012

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You have to watch Gini's ebay store like a hawk.

December 20, 2012

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Whether it's a rip-off design or not is irrelevant to a buyer. The lack of a return option is troubling though.

December 19, 2012

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moebius22

Fresno Bob makes an interesting point. If that's the case (especially with the no returns stipulation), I might as well use the $95 to BUILD something similar.

December 19, 2012

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DIYFilmSchool

Everything I've bought on the recommendation of CheesyCam has failed after a few months. Do yourself a favor and save up for the real thing.

December 19, 2012

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Returns are accepted on ebay.co.uk

December 19, 2012

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Robert

I wouldn't go near anything with the Proaim or Cinecity name on it. Their customer service is non-existent once they have your money and the quality of materials they use is completely inconsistent. A lot of their parts are often coated in some weird kind of oily grease too. Ugh.

The guys at CPM Filmtools have worked really hard over the years building their product line. Their gear is excellent and their customer service is fantastic. This rig is a 100% rip-off of CPM. If you're into buying this style of rig it really is worth spending a little extra and getting a product that has warranty, has a support system in place that actually cares about the customer and is reliable. Plus, it keeps people working in our part of the world.

December 19, 2012

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Neil

What about brands like sevenoak or aputure ? Does anyone have experience with that? Sevenoaks sells provideo kit's with z-finder and follow focus for about 450e...

December 19, 2012

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Dana

Not too shabby.

December 19, 2012

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the key word here is PLASTIC... what happens when you show up on a shoot with a plastic rig and your handles keep sliding out of position on your rods... I'd rather spend the money... and rest assured I got what I paid for...
I recently purchased a C1 Pro-Rig from Cinemecanix after having seen it at the last "shoot the centerfold" event and this thing does it all... its so well balanced I can use my hands for something else than holding up the stupid front heavy rig. (my old zacuto)... check it out and by the way its not as heavy as it looks its all aluminium.

just sayin...

December 19, 2012

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rick

Yeah, they ripped off several of our designs. I've had a ton of emails and phone calls from people that bought the gear looking to replace a broken part with our gear. We are primarily military molders with a little more then 20 years molding some really crazy stuff. The Indian rig is straight up plastic. The have the ability to copy designs but not the R&D to figure out the material or why certain thing where done in the design. We design, tool and build all our gear in Maryland, all under one roof. Our rigs are a composite of several items, Carbon Fiber being a large percentage of it. Problems is Carbon Fiber based resins cost money, so you are not going to get that in an Indian Rig. We also include a 100% lifetime warranty, noticed they didn't copy that..

Steven

Co-Owner
CPM Camera Rigs

December 19, 2012

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I've been weak at times and have purchased cheap products looking to save money. I always end up returning them because you get what you pay for. It's just never been worth it to buy cheap junk. If you're looking to save money on a shoulder rig like this, buy a 2x4 and a few other things and you're set. Otherwise buy the quality stuff. It's more expensive up front, but longterm ownership costs will be less.

December 19, 2012

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Julian

I just couldn't imagine when you shoot with a plastic rig! Why you want to save a little money to put your camera or camcorder in risk. I wouldn't try though I don't know how it is.

December 19, 2012

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I've bought A Flowcam and a crane. I dont recommend. They use too cheap material.

December 21, 2012

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Sinan

I was surprised about the quality of this rig for this price.

This rig will not put your camera at risk, carbon fiber rods are very stiff and the plastic parts are thick enough.

Shot using, canon 550D, 5D, and 7D, no problem whatsoever. Only major problem for me is the standard weight is not sufficient for my size when adjusting the shoulderpad.

Check out my complete review at: indiefilmgear.blogspot

January 13, 2013

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I think NoFilmSchool should clarify about this on the post. I had to go through all the replies to see yours and checked your rigs and parts. The craziest thing is that by spending little more money you get a proper rig with trusty materials and construction from what I'm seeing.
I'm actually leaning towards buying one of your bundles now, having gone through all the options!

I'm glad you stepped up to clarify this on the replies. Again I think NFS should at least mention it in the post.

February 8, 2013

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Ernesto

I'm gonna flip this around on you a little. Are you losing money on the front end because a competitor stole your designs and makes cheap knock-offs? YES. Yes you are.

But...

If someone on a tight budget (like me) buys the cheap knock off and it's 'good enough for now', when I DO go looking to upgrade (and I will) instead of just scouring the internet for the thing I need I'll look at your brand's products FIRST because I'll have already had the opportunity to test-drive your designs and will likely have become fond of the GOOD parts of the rig while chalking up the things I don't like to the rig's cheaper build quality.

Without the knock-off I'd likely have never heard of your company. And I certainly can't AFFORD your product right now. But I know it's there. Brand recognition. That's worth something.

Is it ideal? No. But it's the way it is.

April 10, 2013

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My FC-10 is extremely stable, comfortable, lightweight and well balanced. I am really impressed with the build quality and versatility of this Rig. They also provide additional accessories if required.

July 4, 2013

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movieorigin

I just ordered a Advanced Extreme 17 online on the new Shop of them http://www.ginirigstore.com and i found out they have some discount coupons this time as well , limited time for sure! Coupon for everything 30% off is: GINIOFF30
and for the Advanced Extreme 17 ... as on the website written: EX17

October 29, 2013

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Dom

I am using Camera Shoulder Kit from proaim/ cinecity.com from last 1 year.I am impressed about the quality of shoulder kit cinecity gave me.I am thankful to them as they are consistent and very prominent about their dealing.They take care of customers after/before delivery of the product.

www.thecinecity.com/eshop/PROAIM-KIT-3-Fully-Featured-DSLR-Cinema-Rig-Ki...

Now, I am planning to purchase 3ft Linear Slider from PROAIM.

March 27, 2014

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Yuri Ritter

I am using Camera Shoulder Kit from proaim/ thecinecity.com from last 1 year.I am impressed about the quality of shoulder kit cinecity gave me.I am thankful to them as they are consistent and very prominent about their dealing.They take care of customers after/before delivery of the product.

http://www.thecinecity.com/eshop/PROAIM-KIT-3-Fully-Featured-DSLR-Cinema...

Now, I am planning to purchase 3ft Linear Slider from PROAIM.

March 27, 2014

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Yuri Ritter

I've been slowly building up my own rig over the last 6 months or so. I'm a techy sorta guy, so I like things to work well. I started out with a film city rig thinking that I would upgrade the bits as I went along, but I found in practice that the rig was so flimsy with any weight on it that the only thing left now are the rail rods. The Fotga components however, are very well made and all metal except for the tightening screw-heads. Well worth the extra few £/$.
in fact, the main mounting plate was so badly moulded that 12" rail rods were 55mm apart at one end and 65mm at the other. My Giottos (also very well made) quick release plates would twist from side to side on the mounting plate, even with extra mounting screws. On close inspection I could see that the two halves of the plate were actually slightly convex. I bought the 'c' cage rig with the top handle. The 'c' brackets weren't strong enough to hold my D800 with starting to buckle. Very flimsy. The mounting plate and quick release plate are similar in size to the Giottos, but also made of plastic, so they also flex.
If your intention is to have a rig which can be adjusted for use on or away from a tripod, which you might be able to attach extra rods and front handles to for use as a shoulder rig, I'd strongly recommend that anyone with a camera bigger than a GoPro gets a lightweight metal rig rather than plastic.
The slightest amount of flimsyness in a rig will cause it to flex dramatically with any accessories attached to it. It will cause 'judder', especially at any significant level of zoom.

I now have a Fotga DP3000 based 'c' rig with top handle, a Camtree X5 follow focus on the rails, a light matte box, rear battery pack, a Zoom H6 an HDMI splitter, a Lilliput monitor and a mount for a shotgun mic. on top of the 'c' bracket. I bought 2 cheap, hard plastic, folding shoulder mounts for £11 each from eBay and used the extension arms rather than buying articulating ball mount arms. They mount onto the bottom of the rig as low down as possible, to keep judder to a minimum and to ensure that the counterbalance springs in my fluid head can deal with the weight gracefully
.
Basically, keep it metal and solid, but light and keep the accessories as low down as possible. You'll be onto a winner.
I hope that there's a little advice here which people might find useful.

April 12, 2014

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Ian James

Hello Joe,

I can't seem to be fine with the dirt cheap dslr shoulder rig thing. Because most of the time when you buy a cheap rig they have all sorts of cons like loose fitting, rusty rails and more.

It is better to go with a medium priced shoulder rig if price is a constraint rather than having to pay for 2 cheap rigs. Pay once for a decent one and be satisfied.

I have reviewed a couple of affordable dslr shoulder rigs on my blog, you can read it here : http://www.drippingdawn.com/top-4-dslr-shoulder-rigs-choose-best-dslr-sh...

Thanks a lot for sharing your article. :)

August 10, 2014

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Hello everyone,
It doesn’t matter whether this rig is knock-off or not. For me it’s in my budget that matters a lot, this is the only rig that comes across my all necessities; it’s like a small investment that fulfills all my film making requirements. I think it’s not only me who faces price frustration but every budget film maker is facing.
Recently, I bought Filmcity rig FC-10 and this rig is really well-built not made of plastic but it is of hard-wearing plastic. Everything is same quality, functionality as other brand offers, the only difference is price. Filmcity FC-10 satisfied my demands. Really they have improved their quality.
This rig is perfect for DSLR camera. The handles of the rig are secure and comfortable, provides good grip and shoulder pad is also quite comfortable. Only few parts are of durable plastic rest are of aluminum, rubber etc. which can securely carry your camera setup. At very low price they also added free Matte Box, really a great addition or saving for me. This rig makes my every shoot stable and accurate. The main thing which I liked most about these guys is that they really care about their customers.

September 26, 2014

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