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$200 Review of Cavision rig with shoulder pad, handgrips, rods & camera plate

At just under $200, yes there are cheaper rigs, but Cavision has been good about putting out mostly good products, so they're always worth a look.

The sole reason i bought this rig was because of the camera plate, it's the lowest form factor and simplest/cleanest i could find, that's what i wanted and could not find elsewhere. So let's start with that.

As clean and simple as the camera plate is, the way it tightens on the rods is just not satisfactory. Part of that is its fault, the other part likely the not entirely even diameter'ed rods i have. Either way, the issue is that you can't just turn a knob until it's tight, there's a short lever which is the sole means. it has maybe 90 degrees of travel, and that's it. You can adjust it for sure, but it isn't foolproof. I did finally get it to usable, but it just plain needs better design. The other issue which happens if your camera has a large base, like many video cameras do, is that the screw holding in the tightening lever sticks out above, and i filed it down because otherwise it just doesn't work with numerous cameras and quick release plates. Those issues aside, i did get what i want, a low profile, simple camera plate. There are better out there, but not that i've seen at this price. There's also an alignment screw, which i have mixed feeling about. they could have just put a spring loaded pin as would be traditional. Making it wider and screw based gives you the flexibility to adjust it, swap it out with a bolt if your rig allows. But on the other hand, since the top is tapered, you need to set it to just the right height so it doesn't give any play.

How about the rods? pretty basic, i ditched them for my own rods.

The shoulder pad, which doesn't have any padding, is also a bit of a give and take. On one hand, i love how many configurations you can set it to. On the other hand, if you want to say, switch which side of the rods it sits on, you have to unscrew several tiny screws to move the mount grips to the other side. Not a huge deal, unless you like to make frequent major rig modifications on the fly. Other than that, you can also get some attachments to add counterweights or battery packs to the rear, nice for improving the balance. And i like now you can sit camera below shoulder height, a preference of mine.

Finally, the handgrips. Basic set really, the only thing you can do besides move them forward or backward on the rods, is adjust their angle. Can't make them longer, wider, nothing. The faux wood grain plastic feels as good as plastic can. 

Are there other options out there? Yep. How does this one stack up? Probably a great fit for those with certain preferences, probably a terrible fit for those without those preferences. 

Added on 2013-01-10 by
Darren Levine

Darren Levine

Stimulus Video

DP/Videographer, Video/Film Editor
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