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How to assemble a camera shoulder rig

How to Assemble a Camera Shoulder Rig

Filming is fun: you can visually transfer what's going on in your mind and share your creativity with others. However, it becomes less fun when wearing your camera gear for long periods of filming causes neck and shoulder strain.

A shoulder mount helps you carry your camera while ensuring superior image stabilization performance. Assembling a camera shoulder mount seems pretty simple at first. You just need to get some parts and put them together, right? Not exactly.

If you feel stuck at this point, keep reading to find the accessories and steps needed to assemble your next shoulder support. But first, let's remember why you should use a shoulder support.

What makes shoulder supports so special?

DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are designed to be increasingly portable and lightweight. However, filming tasks require many external accessories, and holding the camera for a long time can be tiring. This is where a shoulder support comes in.

A shoulder mount is a versatile mounting system designed to rest on your shoulder for greater comfort and more professional image quality. Using a shoulder support allows for greater stability, which is essential if you plan to shoot something that requires mobility.

What do you need?

The parts needed to build a shoulder support generally vary from model to model. It also depends on your camera type, intended use, and level of mobility needed.

The most common elements of a shoulder support include:

– A camera cage
– Support rods
– A handful
– A battery pack
– A monitor or recorder

In terms of what exactly you should add to your shoulder support checklist, there are even more items to consider. From shoulder plates to cheese plates, stems and monitor arms, the list is almost endless.

You may decide to build your shoulder support step by step, one piece at a time. In this case, it is better to stick to the same manufacturer to avoid any incompatibility problems. For example, on SmallRig you can find a wide selection of over 900 camera accessories for all uses and budgets.

Now imagine you want to start small and then build your shoulder support as your skills improve. It's completely justified, too. In this case, you will need to start with a camera cage designed for your camera model and brand, different types of handles, a shoulder pad, and a base plate to attach your camera to the ball head of a tripod.

If you already feel like you're on the verge of a migraine, start by choosing a camera base plate and shoulder pad. These are the most important components for stable, comfortable and balanced shoulder support. Next come the handles, which attach to the base plate rods. They are used to orient the shooting plane and adjust the direction of the camera. The handles also make up the main body of the stand itself. On top of that, you can add many other optional components to the mount body, including a follow focus, extra battery space, and other items mentioned above.

If you prefer to speed up this process, you can always opt for a pre-made shoulder support. At SmallRig we have a wide selection of shoulder mounts for all camera brands and models.

Steps to Building Your Camera Shoulder Mount

SmallRig accessories are designed to meet the needs of both beginners and professionals. In addition to being affordable, they are all extremely easy to set up and assemble.

Step 1:

Start by installing the base plate and rail system for your shoulder support. Use the wrenches to put the screws into the appropriate holes to adjust the shoulder support to your preferred position.

Step 2:

Once your rail system is assembled, place it directly on the rods. Next, slide in the shoulder pad and handles. And that's about it !

It's literally that easy to set up a SmallRig shoulder mount for your DSLR or mirrorless camera. Now you can focus on your gig or creative project without worrying too much about pain or discomfort.

What should you consider when building your own DIY shoulder support?

For shoulder supports, there is no universal concept. Not all shoulder supports are created equal either. Different models have their unique strengths and weaknesses. While some are designed with an emphasis on durability, others are more versatile.

Depending on your unique needs, there may be special considerations to make. In general, here are the main criteria to consider when purchasing a shoulder support:

– budget
- Quality
– Compatibility
– Movie style

In conclusion, when you are focused on managing pain, you will have less energy to inspire you for your shoots. Not to mention, the last thing you want is to turn your passion into your next trip to the doctor or physical pain. Shoulder supports also go a long way in ensuring stable shots.

Check out our wide selection of shoulder support components and start building your own DIY rig today!

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