Shooting movies and television shows using digital SLR (DSLR) cameras that also record high definition video is becoming much more widespread - in fact, the Season 6 finale of House was shot using Canon's EOS 5D Mark II camera, and Philip Bloom is said to have shot a number of scenes for the upcoming Lucasfilm World War II film Red Tails using the very same model. If you're looking to make your own DSLR epic, then you'll want to keep things steady while chasing someone down the stairs or running after your star through a busy city street. The Mount Kestrel Duopod concept from designer Ben Millett is a solid-looking shoulder-mounted steadicam rig that can also double as a floor-standing, two-legged camera platform.
Created as part of a final year industrial design project at the National College of Art & Design (NCAD) in Dublin, Ireland, the Duopod is a stabilizing rig specifically designed for DSLR hybrids capable of shooting high definition video. It features steel weights to the rear of the shoulder mount for counterbalance, rubber feet on the bottom of the shoulder supports, and a steadying handle underneath the camera mount plate to control the position of the camera. The rig can also be attached to a tripod to become a leveled tripod head for 360 degrees of free movement.
The Duopod folds away for transport between scenes (although those weights could make long-haul trips a bit tiresome) and quick release joints should make rig adjustment less of a chore.
Millett has also created a multi-function hot-shoe attachment under the same Mount Kestrel branding called the Talon. This can be used as a grip for the camera or telephoto lenses, or serves as a multi-accessory mount for such things as lights and microphones when docked in the camera's hot-shoe mount. It can even hold devices like an iPad when the camera is mounted on the DuoPod.
Both projects were recently shown at the NCAD Industrial Design degree show. At the time of writing, Duopod and Talon are still conceptual, but Millett is hopeful of future commercial manufacture - anyone interested in development news can register for updates at the Mount Kestrel website.