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DuoPod concept designed to steady up DSLR film-making


June 27, 2011

The Duopod project from designer Ben Millett functions as both a shoulder-mounted steadicam and a two-legged camera platform for those wanting to shoot high definition action videos on digital SLR cameras

The Duopod project from designer Ben Millett functions as both a shoulder-mounted steadicam and a two-legged camera platform for those wanting to shoot high definition action videos on digital SLR cameras

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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.

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag. All articles by Paul Ridden

Great piece of design. As long as the right materials are used in the right places, it should be a brilliant product. Seeing what looked like wheels in the main photo prompted me to wonder whether it could be modified/optioned with skate or similar wheels to run on a purpose-designed track.


I suspect that what look like \"wheels\" in the images are actually counterweights for the camera.


Interesting concept.

However, I\'m not so sure UNI-LOC will be happy with the product\'s name. They own the Trademark to: DuoPod. Uni-Loc\'s DuoPod that has been in the market for at least a decade: http://www.uniloctripod.com/duopods.html


Speaking from the point of view of someone who has put hundreds of thousands of feet of 35mm motion picture film (much of it hand held) this device is just seems plain silly tp me. I\'m now doing a lot of shooting with the 5d2 and at least once a week someone else comes up with a gadget for users to spend their money on. Much of this stuff will never leave the truck... or even the closet. All of it is aimed at peole who are just entering the video market and have limited experience with the process.

Charles Slavens

@jonniesazzler.. I thought the same thing on first glimpse...

A set of (variable direction)wheels at the contact points would allow smooth panning, or rotation on a smooth surface, and be easily incorporated in the design, with little additional weight.

Al camera supporting devices are designed for a limited application, if you as a video maker have no need for it, that\'s fine, I\'m sure you have a few gadgets I would have no use for also.

Ok pick a new name....

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