The use of DSLR cameras as HD video cameras has exploded, even catching the camera manufacturers by surprise. And the industry in peripheral gear to make the kit more user friendly has mushroomed with it.  You can of course simply switch a DSLR (like the canon 5DmkII) to video, and shoot away, but if you want to add a more professional sound rig than the camera’s onboard microphone affords, things start to get tricky.  The market has not been slow to respond to the need to get a DSLR to handle more like a professional video camera and a plethora of third party rigs has come on the market to help.  I have tested many and have settled on the SHAPE system as the best of the bunch.  The centre of the system is the Paparazzi, a camera plate with a robust, square handle that entirely surrounds the plate.  This alone makes an ideal centre point to mount a camera with any lens, and add sound kit such as the Rhode NTG3 with a Beachtek amp and 2 channel mixer.  The paparazzi handle is peppered with threaded holes running both vertically and horizontally in 3/8 whitworth and ¼ inch to accommodate most accessories. (These holes are also ideal for stuffing vegetation like bracken in, to camouflage your camera in the field).
But this is just the start.  If you want to hand-hold rather than tripod mount your camera, SHAPE offers a number of thoughtfully-designed brackets and shoulder mounts to create a robust and very stable system.  Another stroke of genius is the two-handled front support with its unique quick release and position system hand-grips.  By pushing on the red button at the top of the handle, it can be disengaged from its locking ring, positioned at any angle forward or back and locked the moment you release the button.  This makes it super easy to store the rig on a flat surface and then pick it up and work with it in moments.  Extra weights can be added to the back of the system to balance the rig, or auxiliary batteries, radio mic receivers and other kit can be mounted on the rear to add weight and functionality to the system.  Every detail of the SHAPE rig has been carefully considered to allow for a modular and bespoke rig to be created to suit your camera and requirements.  All round top kit.

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