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.
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.
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
Disclaimer: I help to design products for PhotographyandCinema.com. The article below is information about the new P&C GearBox. There are many other great DSLR style cages available within articles of this blog that you may also want to consider.
There are many High End, Super Heavy, Robust video cages available for the Professional market, but we found a lack of more affordable options for smaller style video cameras such as the Sony NEX-7 or Popular GH2. The P&C GearBox is designed to be simple, lightweight, modular, and of course - affordable.
The GearBox has a solid metal bottom and top bracket with several 1/4-20 mounting options for your accessories such as an LED video light, Portable Recorder, HDMI LCD Monitor, Microphone, Wireless Receivers, etc. To take up minimal space in a bag when packing up or traveling, the GearBox can easily be disassembled with a single Hex driver.
The GearBox will support a quick release plate underneath if you want to mount the rig onto a Tripod. Extension adapters are provided to support taller cameras, or if you want to add a quick release system into the cage unit allowing you easy removal of your camera body. The rubber coated side handles provide a non-slip comfortable grip and are spaced further apart to add stability for hand-held shooting styles. Interested in a Rail System? Soon to be released is the 15mm Rod adapter (sneak peek here).
YouTube member NitsanPictures shares a few simple ideas on how to combine the P&C pistol grip with a P&C friction arm from PhotographyandCinema.com to stabilize your small camera. The combination of the two could be used as a basic target shooter or a long handle. A great tip if you plan on traveling light with only a small camera like the new Sony RX100. [Thanks Nitsan].
I'm officially lovin' the new Sony NEX-7 camera that just dropped in today. The quality, performance, and build is amazing. So far i've tried the Canon 28mm FD lens, Rokinon 35mm F/1.4, and Nikon 50mm F/1.8. Of course my favorite is the Nikon 50mm F/1.8 pancake because it keeps the camera pretty small (that's the whole point of using an NEX7). Sorry I have no samples yet as I haven't had anything interesting to shoot today.
The video quality is also quite amazing, but it's nearly impossible to shoot hand held with this tiny camera and these old manual lenses. The Nikon 50mm F/1.8 feels more like it's at 100mm (without image stabilization). My solution is to use the dual PNC Custom Pistol grips and friction arm configuration. Instead of using it 'fig rig' style, I turned the rear handle sideways and used it more like a gun stock placed against my chest. This made a world of difference and totally eliminated the micro vibrations and rolling shutter 'jello' effect. When it's time to pack things away, the whole setup breaks down to just two handles and a folding arm. The Custom PNC Pistol Grip Camera Handles are back in stock at PhotographyandCinema.com or via eBay for International buyers (below).
Slap on a Pistol Grip handle to your DSLR and you've got the feel of a Vintage shooter. These little handles are especially effective when combined with an LCD View Finder for another solid point of contact. Anyone thinking what i'm thinking? Yeah I think they are just begging to be DIY'd and Modified with a built in remote button to start / stop video, or even just a plain shutter release for Photography. Any takers? If so, here's an article to give you a head start http://cheesycam.com/diy-remote-video-trigger-for-canon-dslrs/
The Barska Camera handle was probably the most popular pistol grip stabilizer, but Opteka's got their own now. If it wasn't for the recent price drop of the Barska, they would be going head to head on price. Opteka's new Pistol Grip handle is just a few dollars higher now, but it does come with a QR feature to quickly remove the handle from the camera body. Barska's Pistol grip has a solid alignment pin that needs DIY extraction before it can be used on a DSLR, and that for Barska could be the 'deal breaker'. Either way, these are excellent cheap little stabilizer additions for run-and-gun shooters....
[Update] Apparently there is a handle with a Trigger [Thanks Casper], but the price is pretty steep. They've listed them as compatible with Canon, Sony, Nikon, and Panasonic cameras, but I can't imagine the Video mode being triggered through a hard wire. Canon's can only start / stop video through infrared. The cable is probably there for the shutter release, for other camera models maybe it can actually start video mode.... Found below.
For point and shoot cameras like the S95, G12, P700, maybe Flip HD's, or even small GoPro HD cameras. Here's an interesting Pistol Grip + Tripod handle, but not sure if it's DSLR worthy to handle the weight...