Zacuto DSLR Kits
Here at Zacuto, we know that video DSLRs have changed the game and we have just the support you need to shoot steady, stable video on your DSLR camera; DSLR kits.
One of the main problems with DSLR cameras is that they were designed for taking photographs and don’t have the correct form factor for shooting video. When shooting video with a DSLR camera, you must hold the camera out in front of you so that you can focus on the LCD screen. When holding the camera out in front of you, the camera becomes very unstable and produces shaky video. Therefore, some kind of support gear that stabilizes the camera and more importantly gets the camera into a proper position for correctly and comfortable shooting video is needed.
Zacuto has a whole product line of DSLR kits and accessories to cater to your various types of shooting styles. We have developed two different product lines of ready-made DSLR kits, our Gorilla and Cinema lines.
We understand that finding the correct DSLR kit for your shooting style can be frustrating and difficult. So let’s take a closer look at the differences between the two product lines to help make your decision easier. And if you still have questions or need help designing a custom rig please contact our sales team: firstname.lastname@example.org.
DSLR Gorilla Kits
Zacuto’s Gorilla kits are simply “points of contact” kits. These rigs have been developed to be lightweight for a more on-the-go gorilla shooter. We recommend the Gorilla kits for journalists as well as event and indie shooters who might be doing a combination of still photography and small clips of high definition video. However, these kits are not designed for long periods of shooting, for that, we recommend our shoulder mounted kits in our Cinema line.
Our DSLR Gorilla kits are extremely lightweight. They are easy and light to handle because they do not have accessory rods built into the Gorilla baseplate, therefore you cannot mount any film accessories like a matte box or follow focus. The Gorilla Kits give you just the stability needed to shoot small segments of HD video and keeping your overall rig compact, light and small.
The Gorilla kits have a unique design; by attaching your tripod plate to the bottom of the Gorilla plate you can go from the tripod to handheld just by hitting your tripod’s quick-release button. The Zacuto accessory port with red locking lever allows you to remove or install the entire Gorilla mounting system. Speed is the name of the game if you are a Gorilla shooter and these kits have it. The Gorilla line kits are compromised of the Target Shooter and the Striker.
Video: Steve & Jens Demo Zacuto’s DSLR Gorilla Kits
The Target Shooter uses a gunstock pressing up against your shoulder with both hands on the camera to help stabilize the camera; one hand is focusing the lens and the other is operating the video controls on the right side. This gives you three points of contact.
If you add a DSLR optical viewfinders, like our Z-Finder Pro or Z-Finder Jr., this will give you extra stabilization by pressing the Z-Finder up against your eye as well as bringing the camera closer to your body. The Z-Finders will help with focusing by shading out all light sources and magnifying the screen so you can make sure your shoots are in focus.
The second kit in our Gorilla line is the Striker. The Striker uses a gunstock pressing up against your shoulder, one hand on a handgrip and the other hand focusing the lens. The less hands holding the actual camera, the more stable the video will be. By adjusting the many Zacuto red levers, the kit is infinitely adjustable to work with any body type or shape.
The handgrip and gunstock uses a ball joint so you can rotate them 180 degrees for user comfort. The handgrip can also be positioned on the left or right side depending on what hand you like to focus your lens with and can also be configured for a left eye shooter. The Striker gives you three points of contact. Like the Target Shooter, you can add the Z-Finder Pro or Jr. for extra stabilization and as an aid to help with focusing.
DSLR Cinema Kits
Now let’s take a look at our DSLR Cinema Kits. The Cinema kits all start with the Zacuto DSLR baseplate which has a platform that allows you to grow your kit into anything you want it to be. All of your Zacuto components are usable to go from one kit to another or create your own custom DSLR kit (even if you have previously purchased Zacuto components).
The DSLR baseplate is height adjustable and can accommodate every video DSLR camera on the market with and without battery grips such as the Canon 5DMKII, 550D, 7D, and all others. It can also accommodate taller body cameras such as the Canon 1D Mark IV and Nikon D3s.
Integration of the DSLR baseplate to your system is easy; screw your tripod plate to the bottom of the DSLR baseplate and you are ready to go. Now you can go quickly from tripod to handheld. Let’s say you want to remove your entire camera with Z-Finder and leave your DSLR kit behind for quick down and dirty shots. Turn the red knob and pull your camera up and it releases.
The DSLR baseplate gives you two levels of rod support to mount additional accessories for a more cinematic shooting style. You can mount items such as a matte box, follow focus, single or double handgrips at any height, sound recorders such as the Zoom H4n or Beachtek, and HD monitors. It has 15mm rod holes on all sides of it to create your custom camera package of your own design; add handgrips at any angle, cages for mounting accessories, counter balance weight for shooting handheld — the possibilities are endless! This is truly a new and unique design.
Video: Steve & Jens Demo Zacuto’s DSLR Gorilla Kits
The Single Action is a tripod only kit with a follow focus. This kit is great for tripod use as it gives you rod support to accommodate accessories. For example, you can add an articulating arm and a HD monitor for focus assist, clients or directors. This kit uses our DSLR baseplate so you can easily build up your rig to become a shoulder mounted rig or anything you want.
The Cross Fire is a combination of the Single Action and our Striker kit from the Gorilla line. This kit allows you to use a follow focus when shooting in compact handheld mode. This type of kit is requested a lot as people want a simple, compact rig for Gorilla handheld but want to use a follow focus. If that is you, this is just the kit for you!
The Cross Fire also uses our DSLR baseplate so if you wish to expand into a shoulder mounted rig down the road, you can easily do so. This kit does not include a Z-Finder Pro but we strongly recommend using it with this configuration as it will add another point of contact and give you the correct video factor to really make the kit work comfortably for you. The Cross Fire can quickly go from handheld to tripod by mounting your tripod plate to the bottom of the DSLR baseplate.
The Fast Draw is our simple handheld rig. It includes our DSLR baseplate, single handgrip, shoulder pad and our 7lb counterbalance weight. The 7lb counterbalance weight balances the rig which lessens user fatigue. The shoulder pad is offset so you can comfortably get your eye behind the camera LCD. However it may be very difficult to see if your picture is in focus because of the razor thin shallow depth-of-field and screen glare, especially outside. Therefore, we strongly recommend using a Z-Finder with this configuration.
The Fee-N-G is the ultimate ENG style rig compatible with all DSLR cameras. It is a lightweight and compact in-line kit ideal for run-and-gun and all types of handheld shooting. The single Zgrip attached to the front of the DSLR baseplate allows for precise camera control without the added weight of a dual handgrip system. With one hand on the grip and the other on the lens, the shooter is always prepared to make critical adjustments to focus and zoom. We recommend adding an Okii MC1 Remote for start/stop, and iris control on the Zgrip with the Zacuto Okii bracket.
The included EVF Standard Mount will hold any Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) and allow for quick adjustments using Zacuto’s Pan and Tilt technology. The Standard Mount also sports a built-in “kickstand” to keep the camera level whenever placed on the ground. A new shorter DSLR handle that sits at camera lens level is included giving the shooter exceptionally balanced control when shooting in low mode. Rounding out the Fee-N-G kit is Zacuto’s soft foam shoulder pad with 7 inch rods and a Z-Lite Double counter weight that is absolutely essential for ideal rig balance.
The Scorpion is Zacuto’s most versatile DSLR shoulder mounted rig. This system includes Zacuto’s height-adjustable DSLR Baseplate, Zgrips V3 with 4.5″ Rods, an EVF Scorpion Mount, a Z-Lite Double plus the Scorpion Shoulder Assembly.
The Scorpion’s new form-fitting shoulder pad is what sets it apart from other Zacuto DSLR shoulder mount rigs. The new Zacuto shoulder pad uses a cutting-edge permeable gel padding that conforms to any user’s body providing maximum comfort for long shooting days. This unique design lets the user articulate the shoulder pad in multiple directions allowing the rig to fit any shooter’s body type. The Scorpion’s collapsible handle is another modernized feature. This handle can be used for lifting the rig onto your shoulder or for capturing low sweeping shots. When not using the handle, simply fold it up and tuck it away for a more compact camera stabilization system.
Build Your Own DSLR Kit
If none of these rigs are something you are looking for, keep in mind that all of these pieces can be purchased individually so you can configure your own rigs! Or you can purchase an existing kit and then customize it to your specific need. You can never have enough Zacuto components for creating custom solutions for different shots in the field. Think of it as Tinker Toy’s connectors and rods.
Just remember, Zacuto has a rig for you no matter your shooting style. If you need help designing a custom rig, please contact email@example.com.
Zacuto products are designed, manufactured and assembled in the USA and carry a lifetime warranty.
Recent PostsIs it the End for the Visual Effects (VFX) Industry? Why Hollywood Could Look Different
How To Bring a Cinematic look to a Small Budget Commercial, part 4
Zacuto Joins The Art of Storytelling Tour
Looking For a Gig vs Creating Your Own as a Filmmaker
Consumer (Canon T4i) vs. Professional (Canon 6D)