Panasonic GH3 w/ Prime Shoulder Rig Bits

The GH3 is fun little camera so far, but i'm still not super comfortable focusing or stabilizing the little camera just by holding the body itself. I tried putting together a small stabilizer using a few bits from the Prime Rig, and here's where it's at so far.

GH3 Prime Pocket Rig-1  GH3 Prime Pocket Rig-2

Without the unique folding hybrid Shoulder/Chest pad from the P&C Prime Shoulder Rig, this little setup would be nothing more than a baseplate and set of rails. Attached under the base plate is the P&C Pistol Grip which makes for a very stable mini gun-stock target stabilizer for small cameras such as the Panasonic GH3.

GH3 Prime Pocket Rig-3  GH3 Prime Pocket Rig-4

GH3 Prime Pocket Rig-5  GH3 Prime Pocket Rig-6

GH3 Prime Pocket Rig-7  GH3 Prime Pocket Rig-8

With these few pieces i'm able to carry the camera with one hand, focus or zoom with the other, and use the wide Hybrid Chest/Shoulder pad pressed against my body for stabilization. The bits and pieces from this kit are all part of the P&C Prime Video Shoulder Rig and one P&C Pistol Grip

find-price-button P&C Prime Video Shoulder Rig Kit

find-price-button P&C Prime Video Shoulder Rig Kit

27 thoughts on “Panasonic GH3 w/ Prime Shoulder Rig Bits

  1. Luc

    Emm, congrats on the rig! I'm really tempted. Still deciding if I'll be going for a steadycam or for this. I do have one question:

    "Yes the long handles are way more stable, but I was going for minimum parts and weight."

    To which handles are you referring? I will need maximum stability, so if I do decide to get this should rig, I will want those!

    Thanks again.

  2. Flanders

    Does anyone know how can I look for the hybrid chest shoulder pad on ebay. I mean, I've seen that once (a chinese copy that actually ships to southamerica) but now I can't find it and I've tried all the combination of words that I could. Ideas?

  3. Would love to see you do a review on the camera. I am considering this camera and so far non of the reviews I have seen have really satisfied me. I am considering this or the c100...

    I am interested to hear your thoughts on how this camera holds up in color correction/grading compared to the GH2. Also dynamic range etc...

  4. AndersM

    Nice rig!
    I've had my GH3 for a day now, and one thing that really really bugs me is the fact that after 10 seconds of recording most of the on screen info including aperture/shutter speed and audio level meters just disappears. I haven't found a way to disable this "feature" other than touching a button every 10 seconds.
    Do you have any idea why anyone would implement this "feature" when you can easily remove the on screen info with the "disp" button if you wish?

    I'm actually thinking about returning the camera because of this...

    BTW I have my GH3 on a Skyler Minicam with a Velbon monopod permanently fitted on the bottom. Gear I've found on your site! 😉 Works quite well.

  5. Emm

    Post author

    @getem - I feel the same way but I can only speak from what I've done with the GH3 so far. I'm sure I'm going to get even better results as I practice more with it, but so far I'm completely surprised by the quality and image for this price.

  6. getem

    First and foremost great website and post Emm.

    Secondly people like Jason H do not shoot videos or projects and just sit at home and pixel peep. I can tell you coming first hand from the GH2 that the GH3 is a much much better camera. On the video and photo side.

    I shoot weekly on the GH2 and received my GH3 yesterday. having such a clean sensor with detail in the shadows is something I never saw with the GH2. Also GH3 iso 1600 is as clean if not cleaner than GH2 iso 800.

    GH3 has a beautiful image and using the right lens, set design etc. you can achieve most things you would see in a Hollywood production movie.

    I'm telling you now the GH3 is going to be a game changer....

  7. Nice rig, emm. Really appreciate your aesthetic - and your ability to see past brand names and pick the best camera for the job. Just got my GH3 and will look seriously at building a rig like this. Thanks,


    P.S. it's great that you're calling the GH3 a "fun little camera" - you've probably missed all the whining over in micro 4/3 land about how "huge" it is 🙂 Cracks me up.

  8. Emm

    Post author

    @mike_tee_vee - Yes the long handles are way more stable, but I was going for minimum parts and weight.

  9. mike_tee_vee

    Emm, does the pistol grip work better than the stock handles? I would think that the stock handles would be more stable.

  10. Emm

    Post author

    @Alex McCranor – Don't get me wrong, I still shoot with the larger Canon 5D every week, but that is for different projects that I feel require this. For event coverage that just ends up on YouTube with a short shelf life, I am willing to compromise. Having less gear also allows us to work easier and more efficiently.

    Here is an example. Teamed up with Oliviatech for PhotoPlus coverage and used only the RX100 and a Zoom H4n.

  11. I find the little rig interesting but I find it more interesting how your use of cameras has changed. We have just upgraded to 3 5dmk3's in the studio for shooting video but still come here to see you shooting on point and shoot and carnt help but feel you have gotten it right. Small simple cameras when your shooting for web why use anything else. We might need to look at getting a few as b or c cameras.

  12. Mark

    Hey Emm, it would be nice of P&C offered components for us existing GB owners to upgrade without resorting to scavenging eBay for parts shipped from India or China. Particularly: plain 15mm rods, offset and z-offset clamps and shoulder pads.

    I would also love to see some kind of rod adapter plate that can quickly be removed/replaced on the GB instead of the current design. That would make it easier to fit in a bag without taking the entire thing apart.

    Hopefully you can relay that info to P&C for consideration.

  13. Emm

    Post author

    @Sqweezy - I haven't heard anything, but if there is one I'll post something here. Get on their newsletter just to stay up to date on any deals or coupons.

  14. Sqweezy

    @Emm - This mini gun-stock setup looks great for run-and-gun action. Is there any chance of another Black Friday-like deal for the near future? Perhaps the week before Christmas???

  15. Emm

    Post author

    @Sqweezy - Well the Prime Shoulder Rig is a bundle of parts that have to purchased all together, so yes it will work with many DSLRs out there. In this setup, I just used a few bits to assemble a handle and a chest pad. That's enough to get you moving around and reduce all those weird micro vibrations. If you have the basic parts you could mix it up and find something that is comfortable for you.

  16. Chimphappyhour

    Thank you for posting the Black Friday deal. I jumped on that one and couldn't be more pleased by a purchase. It's definitely a great base to start building out from. (My next additions will be a follow focus and matte box.)

  17. I think the GH3 aliasing issues have been blown way out of proportion by a handful of nerds that don't shoot much real work. There have been major improvements in low light performance, dynamic range and color reproduction, to say nothing of the new EVF and other usability functions. Maybe it's not perfect, but show me a perfect camera.

  18. Emm

    Post author

    @Jason H - Funny you mention iPhone as all the images on this particular article are shot with my iPhone. I also covered MacWorld earlier this year and shot all the interview videos completely on the iPhone. I thought it would be fitting, since it was MacWorld. At PhotoPlus New York in October, I covered all interviews completely with two Sony RX100 point and shoot cameras, yet I own a number of higher end cameras. I use what works for me, and what I am content with, not to please the world. I agree DSLRs should be way more advanced than where we are today, but it is what it is..

  19. Jason H

    Not pixel peeping at all. It's blatantly obvious in all the initial footage that's been put on Vimeo. I'm tired of seeing creepy crawlies all over the place and weird artifacts with anything that's not shot wide open with a fast lens. It screams cheap camera. That was acceptable a few years ago when the dslr video was in its infancy but now consumers are well-informed and aware of camera faults like these. Panasonic's stock is struggling and camera updates like this certainly won't help them gain any more customers.

    So if you don't "pixel-peep" and judge a camera by its image quality, you buy your cameras based on how many features they have relative to more expensive ones? Just use an Iphone, way more features than pretty much every camera that is currently out and a quarter of the price of a GH3.

    Thanks for the debate, don't mean to a nuisance, just stating my opinions! The rig looks effective!

  20. Emm

    Post author

    @Jason H - I try not to get too caught up with pixel peeping. The GH3 offers more features than a Canon 5D Mark III and is less than half the price. That makes it OK in my book.

  21. Jason H

    I think any camera that doesn't have much aliasing and moire in the previous generation trumps the whole point of the new one. Better build and codec is nice, but to regress with increased aliasing and moire over the former is retarded. I guess that's what happens when you outsource your sensors to Sony.

  22. Emm

    Post author

    @Jason H - At this price, compared to everything else available on the market, I think the ''aliasing and moire card' might be a bit overrated.

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