DSLR cameras have revolutionized the world of independent filmmaking. One of the most attractive features is their relatively low cost, but once you starting adding rigs and other accessories that cost can go up quick. In an effort to expand your DSLR’s capabilities without shrinking your wallet we put together this DIY DSLR round-up for you.
$20 DIY PVC SnorriCam
A SnorriCam (also chestcam, bodymount camera, bodycam or bodymount) is a camera device that is rigged to the body of the actor, facing the actor directly, so when he walks, he does not appear to move, but everything around him does. A SnorriCam presents a dynamic point of view from the actor’s perspective, providing an unusual sense of vertigo for the viewer.
Here is a simple SnorriCam using PVC tubes.
VIA: Tom Preska
DIY PVC Dolly
This is an simple track dolly using 40mm PVC tubes and some wheels taken from a pair of Rollerblades. You’ll also need a few pieces of hardware to attach it, like screws.
VIA: Knut Uppstad
DIY Automated DSLR Timelapse Slider
If you want an automated slider/timelapse rig, but don’t want to pay the cost, here is a DIY one you can build yourself.
VIA: Greg Royar
DSLR DIY Pocket Dolly
This is a version of a diy pocket dolly, driven by an adjustable 12V gear motor. The power comes from 8 AA rechargeable batteries, which are integrated into the controller. The dolly is pretty light and compact so that it fits in a backpack and can travel well.
DIY Cable Cam
This video tutorial shows you how build a do it yourself (DIY) Cable Cam using parts from the local hardware store.
VIA: Auston Shadow Wilson
Super Easy DIY Camera Motion
There’s a lot of DIY camera motion systems out there involving either roller skates wheels or elaborate balancing rigs, but this easy technique (although it is limited to certain uses) beats them all in terms of it’s sheer simplicity.
DIY Lego Follow Focus
Here is a DIY Follow Focus made with LEGOS. It is variable in size so it fit to various lenses. It’s very small and stable. The second video is a 3D rendered tutorial on how to build this LEGO follow focus.
DIY $14 Camera Slide
This DIY Camera Slide was put together with very common and inexpensive parts, as a bit of an experiment in frugality.
VIA: Darren Levine
DIY Mechanical Crank Driven Camera Slider
Sliders have caught on in popularity recently with the lightweight DSLR camera explosion. Some say that the effect is overused – perhaps it is, but in my mind adding some slight subtle camera movements to your shot adds a tremendous amount of production value. And when it comes to subtle movement, sliders deliver the most bang for the buck, both in terms of cost and ease of setup and use.
Build a DIY Fig Rig
Have you ever wanted to have a sweet steady cam rig, but don’t want to spend up to $300? This video teaches you how to build a crazy cheap Fig Rig!
DIY Tripod Steadicam
This video will show you a technique for converting a tripod to a “steadicam”, or MerriCam using only a screwdriver. The Sunpak Platinum Plus 7500 Pro tripod was used for this video, along with the Canon HV20. This technique is not meant for very large or heavy cameras, but is ideal for consumer-sized camcorders like the HV20.
Cheap DIY Follow Focus
Here’s a simple way to make yourself a kind of follow focus. Not perfect but works really well for rack focus.
VIA: André Desrochers
DIY Timelapse Skateboard Dolly
The skateboard is pulled by a motor which you can buy at electronic supply stores all around the world. The Camera is controlled by a selfmade interval-o-meter with Arduino. You can find the set-up here: openmoco.org/node/88.
VIA: Pascal Schneider
$25 DIY Spider Trax Dolly
This is a video describes how you can build a cool little do it yourself “Spider Trax Dolly” for only $25.
DIY DSLR Wooden Shoulder Rig
A wooden shoulder rig for a DSLR videographer. Two handlebars, one can change the focus.
For more info please go here:
Sample video: vimeo.com/11535111
Build a DIY Slider for $20
In this video DIY tutorial BFX shows you how to make a super effective and compact camera slider! This awesome filmmaking tool attaches to the top of any tripod and lets you get super smooth professional looking shots!
DIY DSLR Camera Jib for Under $200
This video tutorial demonstrates how to build a Do it Yourself (DIY) DSLR Camera Jib for under $200.
The DIY ZazaSlider allows you to add dolly and slider shots to your cinematography in a highly portable and efficient way and you can save you hundreds by building it yourself.
For more info on making a ZaZaSlider, go here:
$13 DIY Camera Dolly
Learn how to get camera dolly shots for under $13.
DIY Camera Motion Control
Here is a cool little do it yourself motion control system.
“The system consists of a ready-made IGUS DryLin W rail system and a small stepping motor which is controlled by an Arduino interface board. Once the controller program is loaded the system works stand alone. It can be powered by a battery and can be controlled by a simple power switch because the programmed task starts automatically each time the Arduino board is powered on. It’s possible to move loads (camera + mounting head) of up to 6 kg (3 lbs).”
You can find a detailed description of this project along with instructions and build list: HERE
An example video can be found: HERE
VIA: Martin Koch
Evil Dead Shaky Cam Effect
This video tutorial pays homage to the Evil Dead series by showing you how to recreate the ‘Shaky-Cam’ effect made popular by the cult-classic horror film.
DIY Snorricam Tutorial
This video shows you how to build a cheap DIY Snorricam for all your filmmaking needs. Darren Aronofsky and Martin Scorsese have famously used the Snorricam in their films and now you can, too.