The Easyrig has become an industry-standard solution for shooting for long periods of time in the film and photography industries. Designed to support camera operators with its simple ergonomic design, it comes in various models and sizes for different still and moving image applications.
Read our complete guide to Easyrig and what you need to know, including models, applications, and practical advice.
What is the Easyrig?
An Easyrig is a camera support system developed by the Swedish operator Johan Hellsten after noticing a gap in the market to help camera operators hold their equipment for longer periods of time.
He came up with this simple, now an industry-standard solution, which, like a rucksack, takes the load away from the operator's back, neck and shoulders and distributes it over the hips. Not to be confused with a Steadicam rig, the Easyrig is designed to allow you to shoot handheld for more extended periods of time, especially when using larger cameras with heavy lenses.
Why use Easyrig?
Easyrig is designed to spread the load of cameras across the operator’s body, whether in Shoulder, Freehand or mounted to a gimbal, allowing for longer takes and fewer bad backs!
They allow for longer periods of shooting without experiencing fatigue and are commonly used in film and video production to allow for smooth and stable camera movement while walking or moving over uneven terrain.
With gimbals becoming commonplace on productions (effectively adding weight to the rig and further adding to the need for something to help spread the load) they can be used in many production types.
Easyrig models, capacities & uses
Since the original Easyrig 2.5, there have been many alterations and improvements, with various types, load capacities, and arm lengths - some with third-party upgrades such as the FlowCine Serine.
Below are the key models to be aware of, their capacities, and their applications.
Easyrig Vario 5
The Vario 5 is by far the most popular Easyrig in any production.
The early Easyrigs tended to have fixed load ranges (measured in Newtons N) this meant careful matching of camera rig weight with a load capacity. Later on, in the development of the Easyrig system, the Vario 5 module was introduced, allowing operators to adjust the level of support with a simple Allen key, while the camera rig is in position. The Vario 5 has an adjustable weight range of 5-17kg (or 10-25kg for the Vario 5 Strong).
There are various arm lengths, which also have an option of having FlowCine systems added to them, this adds a little to the arm length.
Standard length - This is the shortest configuration and naturally places the camera above the shoulder, thus making it perfect for shoulder operation and or close-to-body operation)
+130mm Arm - This option still allows for shoulder shooting, but with the option to bring the camera further away from the operator's body.
+230mm Arm - This extended arm comes into its own when used with Gimbals, such as the Ronin 2 or Movi Pro, giving room for the operator to hold the Gimbal and manoeuvre it, without it fouling on the operator's chest.
Easyrig FlowCine Serine
As people adopted the Easyrig system one major shortfall started to raise its head, the Easyrig struggles with bounce, when the operator is walking - The introduction of the Serine by Flowcine stabilises this vertical movement and has become a popular modification to out-of-the-box Easyrigs (The Flowcine Serine can be added to the standard and +130mm arm, but cannot be added to the +230mm arm). The Serine has a large spring (there is also a heavy-weight spring for large rigs), the tension of which is controlled with a knob, while the camera is mounted, until a balance point is reached.
Easyrig Stabil G2
Following on from the Flowcine Serine, Easyrig has recently introduced the Easyrig Stabil to further improve a smooth shot whilst walking. The Stabil G2 is the pinnacle of Easyrig design allowing for camera setups between 5-25kgs, with a new improved Gimbalrig providing extra support around the waist, giving the operator full control of the fit.
At Direct we particularly like the fact the Stabil is foldable (making it much easier for travel) and also has the option to lock it at 90 degrees.
How to use Easyrig
Below are very basics so if you need more help with hiring an Easyrig, please get in touch.
Step 1: Put on the backpack
Step 2: Clip hook on to cameras top handle
Step 3: Adjust tension using the Allen key until the camera just hangs in the air.
Step 4: Get shooting!
At Direct Digital our team of experts can advise on the best equipment for your project. Get in touch for more advice or to arrange a demo.
Still want to read more? Here’s a link to the story of Easyrig Book!
Main hero photo © easyrig