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Custom Rig for a6500 (or any small camera for that matter)

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Jesse Freeston
Custom Rig for a6500 (or any small camera for that matter)
on Sep 9, 2017 at 7:33:34 am

My goals:

1. Record solid audio from a wireless lav and a shotgun directly to the camera and monitor that audio (a6500 has no headphone jack).
2. Be able to shoot for hours without worrying about batteries (these little NP-FW50s go REAL fast, especially when shooting in 4k)
3. Go from bag to shooting in 5-10 mins. Then move easily between monopod, tripod and, as much as possible, gimbal.
4. Limit weight (trying to avoid a monitor and a big battery adapter/dummy battery setup).
5. Be able to carry it easily when not filming and put the thing down on a table when possible. (needed: flat bottom and a top handle)
6. Friendly to hold, able to see screen, and access to all the camera's buttons + knobs.
7. Add an LED light.
8. Smile while I'm working.

My current plan:

Build off


I want to take his setup and add:

1. My Beachtek DXA-Micro Pro pre-amp to the bottom of the rig (it has a flat bottom and screws in easily.)
2. Swap out his mic for my (considerably longer) Sennheiser MKE 600 shotgun mic.
3. Wireless receiver to the outside coldshoe of the L-Bracket (beside the shotgun mic).
4. A small arm to the right side of the front of the top-mounted handle for an LED light.

It will look something like this (rear view)...

One other thing I might try to do is mount the powerbank perpendicular to the handle and in front of the handle (above the lens) so that it's not on the handle itself.

My biggest worries:

1. Adjusting focus.
2. That it's not gonna survive. With cables running along one handle and the powerbank built-into the other and the audio recording section living perilously out on the ledge.
3. That it simply won't work like it does in my imagination...or in my horrible sketch (evidence of why I film people instead of drawing them).

Any thoughts?

Jesse Freeston
Documentary Filmmaker/Editor/Shooter

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