Thursday, April 2, 2015
Frugal Cage 2.0
The Frugal Cage is probably my favorite DIY rig since the advent of the Frugal Filmmaker. An inexpensive camera cage that allows for the attaching of all kinds of accessories (without rods!), I'm constantly impressed at what I can do with this thing. Now in it's second incarnation, it's come a long way since evolving from the Frugal Stabilizer II. In this video I go beyond Frugal Cage Fixes and address two key issues I've had with the cage, as well as a suggestion that should aid flexibility if you are using a smaller camera with the rig.
The first thing I do is elevate the camera so I can access the battery bay. If you are doing consistent short-form content (like my Q&A), you want to be able to swap batteries (if not using some form of external power) and dump the memory card easily and quickly. This was a problem with the original rig, but by stacking two quick release systems on top of each other, the camera is high enough (while remaining stable) that the battery bay door can now fully open. Now the battery and memory card can easily be removed and replaced as fast as possible, without having to remove the camera.
Next up was raising the top bracket and being able to lock it down in two places. In the first version, you could raise the top bracket, but you'd lose a point of contact. By adding an extra hole and tapping it with 1/4-20 threads (detailed in the Fixes video), you give the rig a critical lock-down point and eliminate instability.
After messing with this setup to create this video, I came across ways to add a lens support, a teleprompter, and a matte box. Those will be detailed in future videos. Until then, enjoy all the cool stuff you can do with this rig, and let me know if you come up with any of your own!
Posted by Scott Eggleston