The video above is a short overview of our latest camera rig and I thought I would walk you through the different parts of it and explain how it helps during various video production projects.

1. Lets kick off with the actual camera itself, it is a Canon 5D MKIII. The main advantages of this camera are that it has a full frame sensor and clean/uncompressed HDMI out. What does all this mean I hear you ask, well, below I will break it down –

Full frame sensor – in it’s simplest form this means that we can achieve a much shallower depth of field so your video looks more cinematic. ┬áIf we take a standard interview as an example, a shallow depth of field means that the interviewee will be in focus and the background will drop focus (or go blurry) over a much shorter distance. This helps us draw more attention to the interviewee and it gives the shot more depth so it’s more interesting to watch.

Clean/uncompressed HDMI – This will become clearer later but it allows us to output the video footage to an external recorder so we can bypass the cameras internal video compression.

2. The Atomos Ninja 2 external hard drive recorder –

This bit of kit is very important to us as film makers and it can have a huge impact on the final videos we deliver to our clients. The reason for this is because it records a lot more information from the scene than the cameras internal recorder. This means we can manipulate the footage a lot more during post-production so you receive a much more polished final video and it excels when doing green screen work as we can get a much more precise key.

3. The camera rig that surrounds the camera – This is made up of many components including a shoulder rig, matte box, follow focus and power distribution board.

The shoulder rig – This enables us to be able to use the camera off the tripod, known as handheld. This technique is perfect for a multitude of videos if you need to get shots quickly like during a festival or event. Additionally we can use this technique to inject a bit of energy in to a video by having a bit of movement or shake which you can’t achieve when using a tripod.

Matte Box – This helps us control unwanted light hitting the lens of the camera. When stray light hits a camera lens it can cause lens flare or haziness to appear on the image, these can be artistic but a lot of the time for corporate videos they can distract from the action and make the video look unprofessional.

Follow Focus – Making sure a shot is in focus is one of the most important stages of setting up a shot because if it’s soft or out of focus you can’t see what is happening clearly and it looks very unprofessional. HD DSLR cameras like our Canon 5D MKIII are very lightweight and any touch to the camera body during filming can result in jumpy footage so the follow focus breaks that barrier and enables the operator to change the focus during filming very smoothly. They are also extremely helpful when performing a technique called a rack focus or pull focus, this is where one part of the image is in focus at the beginning of the clip and then at the end of the clip another part of the image is in focus, this helps draw the viewers attention to certain parts of the image which is very useful as a story telling tool.

Power distribution board – This is simply a much larger capacity battery that lasts longer and runs multiple pieces of equipment, therefore speeding production up as battery replacement is not required so regularly.

If you have any questions or would like to find out more about how we can help you with your video needs please get in touch with Will or Andy on 01273 911345 or email

Will (Jan 2014)