Filmmakers these days have access to an overwhelming array of camera movement tools. One that often gets overlooked, however, is the Easyrig.
In essence, the Easyrig is a nifty overhead cable mechanism that allows you to evenly distribute the weight of a camera throughout your entire upper body. This system greatly reduces the spinal and neck strain that heavy shoulder rigs can cause, especially when they're not balanced properly, and it completely eliminates the arm strain that comes with holding a MōVi or similar stabilizer for more than three minutes at a time.
Our friends over at Story & Heart recently put together a fantastic review/tutorial for the Easyrig Mini, which supports camera systems weighing up to nine pounds. There's also the Easyrig Mini Strong, which supports weights between nine and thirteen pounds. These weight ranges make the Easyrig Minis suitable for everything between DSLR and mirrorless rigs, to cameras like the FS7.
While the main benefit of using Easyrigs is that they remove undue physical strain on your arms, shoulders, and spine — thus making long days of shooting far less physically demanding and painful — they also have a unique aesthetic when it comes to the quality of the camera movement they create.
Obviously, the Easyrig isn't going to provide silky smooth motion like a Steadicam or a high-end gimbal stabilizer, nor is it going to resemble traditional handheld footage. It falls somewhere between the two, which produces a type of movement that mirrors the movement of the body when the camera operator is walking around, and which creates a unique floating aesthetic when the operator is standing still. As Justin mentions in the video above, this type of movement can have many practical uses in telling a story visually, particularly when trying to capture point of view shots.
At $1300, the Easyrig Mini still may be out of reach price-wise for many of us. However, for working professionals who are looking to alleviate the potential medical problems that come along with shooting loads of handheld, the Easyrig is almost a must. For everyone else, it's an excellent rental option for certain shoots, especially when the Easyrig aesthetic is called for in your particular story.