Here goes my first technical/gear related post.
Since I started doing video work on my Canon 5D MarkII there was always the problem of the low audio quality that the camera captured. The way to get around that is to record the audio to a separate devise. Like many others I went with the Zoom H4n. It’s a wonderful recording devise but it came with it’s own problems, how to record audio while shooting video. The most simple way is to get a bit to mount it to the top of camera using the hot shoe. It works but it depends on the so-so quality of the built-in microphones on the H4n. The real benefit of the H4n is the ability to use high quality XLR microphones. Most solutions provided by companies like Redrock Micro and Zacuto are wonderful products but are extremely expensive. I wanted something simple and cheap but it was proving to be more and more difficult to find something.
My first solution ended up being just too big for run-n-gun style shooting in tight places. I still use all the pieces but not as a shoulder rig anymore.
It was just too big and drew too much unwanted attention.
All I needed was a simple bracket to mount the H4n to the camera so I could then mount the mic to the hot shoe. It took a lot of searching but I finally found something that I could work with, which brought me to the rig pictured bellow:
These are the pieces in the rig:
Oben BD-0 Mini Ball Head – $13
LCDVF Viewfinder – $125
Rode SM3 Shock Mount – $50
All for a total of $284 if you buy it all or $109 if you already have the shock mount and don’t need the View Finder (but I highly recommend it!).
The Bracket, screw, and ball head are really what bring it all together though.
The DPL-4 mounts directly to the bottom of the camera using the tripod mount but it also has a place to put a tripod plate on the bottom since it uses the one on the camera.
You then take the smaller end of the screw and put it in the side of the bracket.
Now you take the Ball Head and mount it to the screw. It comes with an insert to accept either 1/4″-20 screws or the larger 3/8″-16 screws. Take it out to mount it to this screw but SAVE IT! I used it for another purpose right away and they can cost $10 on B&H.
Now you can mount it to the camera and place the tripod quick release plate to the bottom as well.
Put it all together and you have a compact and easy to use rig on the cheap!
If you have any questions feel free to ask them in a comment and I will respond as best I can.