If DSLRs weren't so great at capturing video this post wouldn't even be necessary because no one would waste time designing aftermarket accessories. Unfortunately, the body design of a DSLR camera is completely inadequate for video. For that purpose, shoulder mounted cameras are king. I know what you're thinking - "Clint, that's so 1989." You're right. But some things just work better when mounted on your shoulder. Things like missile launchers and cameras you have to hold for more than a minute.
A simple Google search for "DSLR Shoulder Rig" will deliver a truckload of results with everything from top tier primo manufacturers to "homemade" shoulder rigs and everything in-between. There's even a clever post on how to convert a cutting board into a shoulder mount.
I don't know about you but when it comes to mounting MY delicate camera equipment, I don't trust anything but the best. Fortunately Zacuto has delivered the goods. Meet the Scorpion. Not only does it sound cool as all get out, it looks like it's been assimilated by the Borg.
A series of elegant and common sense design elements are incorporated into the rig to make it comfortable, customizable and durable - all things we want. I've summarized the most important ones below:
This is awesome. The Scorpion allows you to offset the viewfinder to match where your head is. The advantages are self-evident.
The most noticeable factor is the large counterweight that sits behind the shoulder, which offsets the weight of your camera and prevents your forearms from getting tired and giving you the shakes - a common problem with most existing shoulder rigs. The guys at Zacuto seem fixated on this feature being exclusively for ENG (Electronic News Gathering) shooters but I think that a simple counterweight is a must have for anyone that's holding a camera steady for more than 2 minutes.
OPTIONAL JOYSTICK CONTROLS
Zacuto promises a future upgrade that will allow focus pulling and zoom from the handgrip.
ADJUSTABLE BALL JOINT
Additionally, the ability to adjust the position of the camera with a ball joint on the rig makes the Scorpion ideal for shooters of any size or shape.
Check out this great video where the boys do a bang-up job of convincing people to spend a small fortune on this piece of kit. Don't sweat the price just yet, though. You can still snag it at the 'introductory rate' of $2500 - IF you hurry...