Daniel Haggett

London based Lighting Cameraman / DoP


Easyrig camera supports have been growing in popularity recently.  I've used them on and off for a few years, so I thought I'd answer the question:

"Are they worth it?"

The first, and most obvious, benefit of using an Easyrig is that they spread the camera weight evenly around the hips, rather than all of the weight sitting on one shoulder.  Typically if you are shooting on the shoulder the camera weight is all on the right side of the body.  The back muscles on the left side of the spine have to work hard to correct this imbalance, and that leads to tension or back ache, usually in the middle of the back on the left side.  The Easy rig gets rid of this issue.

I don't tend to do lots of handheld work, so haven't had back issues.  My question then becomes:

"Will using an Easyrig improve my handheld work?"

This is a slightly tougher question to answer.  There are certain big pluses of using the rig, one being that you can get the camera to any height you choose and hold it there easily.  Without the Easyrig, you really have two options: shooting from the hip, or on the shoulder.  The Easyrig allows you to shoot anywhere in between.  The tension from the wire makes the camera a dead weight, so it's really easy to just pull the camera down to whatever level you want, and it will just sit there.

The other advantage is that it is so much easier to hold the weight of a camera that it allows you to use a larger zoom lens.  If you are on a shoot where you want to shoot without having to go back and change lenses all the time, having one big zoom attached to the camera can be useful.

Another question that I had before using the rig was:

"Will an Easyrig make my shots look smoother"

The Easyrig itself, isn't stabilizing the shot for you, the weight is just transferred from your shoulders, to your hips.  My feeling is that the rig doesn't actually make your handheld work look smoother.  However, I do think that the static shots are improved. I.E If you are doing a move from one thing to the next hand held, having an Easyrig won't make the shot look better.  However, if you are doing a static shot, the Easyrig does help in my opinion as all you need to do is keep your legs and hips static and the rig will do the rest.

So the final question is:

"Should I buy and Easyrig"

As always, this depends on the operator.   Personally, I don't really do enough handheld work to justify it.  If you do a lot of handheld work, I'd say it's worth it.  Years of work are eventually going to take its toll, and if you ever need a few days off from having a bad back, then the Easyrig would have paid for itself.

If you are thinking of using an Easyrig for use with a gimbal like the Ronin or Movi, then read this article.