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So you've bought one of the Blackmagic cameras, the Cinema Camera, Production 4K, or the Pocket Cinema Camera, and you are off to shoot. Now you get to create fantastic video, but you also get to experience firsthand just how difficult it can be to handhold or accessorize one of these cameras, because in spite of their tremendous image capability, in the end they are just boxes with sensors, inputs/outputs, and recording devices, wrapped up in a very non-production-friendly box.
Not to worry. ikan has you covered with a wide range of handgrips, cages, rigs from minimal to full-on, and power solutions, as well.
Starting with the very basic support rigs for the Cinema and 4K production camera is ikan's Base Plate, which allows you to mount the camera on 15mm rods, provides 1/4"-20 and 3/8"-16 tripod mounting holes, and most importantly, accommodates the camera's airflow requirements―so mounting your camera to the base plate won't block airflow and cause the camera to overheat. The base plate maintains the standard lens center-to-rod height, which makes it simple to use available rod-mounted accessories such as matte boxes, follow focus units, or zoom motors. The base plate also provides a platform for building up your own support rig, by adding available rod-mounted handgrips, or you can step up to one of ikan's preconfigured rigs that uses the base plate, such as the ELE-Trifly handheld rig.
ikan's Trifly handheld rig includes a left and right handgrip, as well as a rotating top handle that keeps the camera's profile to a minimum, while providing you with a variety of handheld options. The Try-Fly top handle mounts directly on the camera itself, and if you would rather avoid that setup, you could look at ikan's BlackFly rig, which forms a rectangular cage around the camera's body, providing the base plate, rods, left and right handgrip/risers, and a crossbar at the top, which is tapped with 1/4"-20 threaded mounting holes for available accessories. Although it's a little larger than the Trifly rig, the BlackFly rig adds accessory mounting points around your camera, so mounting accessories won't stress the camera's body.
Both the Trifly and BlackFly are small handheld rigs that provide you with a much more secure way to hold the camera. However, they do require that you support the entire weight of the camera with only your arms; but if you are looking for a full shoulder-mount rig, then you can look again to the solutions provided by ikan. The ikan CineFly rig is a basic, full-sized shoulder-mount rig that builds on the base plate, providing 24" long rods, rubber handgrips with multiple articulation points, and a shoulder pad. The CineFly rig provides a basic shoulder-mount system that allows you to add rod-mounted accessories such as a matte box or follow focus. You can mount available ikan pro battery plates to the rods as well, which can power the camera and act as a counterweight.
If you’re looking for something a little more elegant and form-fitting for either the Blackmagic Pocket or the Blackmagic Cinema/Production 4K camera, then I would suggest taking a look at the Tilta line of precision-machined aluminum rigs from ikan. For the Pocket Camera, the Tilta ES-T13 is a form-fitting cage that allows unobstructed access to the camera’s functions, inputs/outputs, and battery compartment, and provides a cable lock for an included HDMI cable. It also features a wood handgrip, a top handle, multiple accessory-mounting points, a mounting base with integrated 15mm rod clamps, and a pair of 15mm rods. Of course, the rig provides the correct lens center-to-rod height for available rod-mounted accessories. In addition to providing a cage and rod system, the mounting base features a quick-release function that allows you to lift the cage off the rods, providing a smaller package that is comfortable to handhold, and still protects the camera while providing accessory-mounting points.
The Tilta ES-T07 is a form-fitting cage for the Cinema and Production 4K cameras. It gives you complete access to the camera’s functions, connectors, and the SSD bay. In addition, the base of the unit is vented, providing the necessary airflow for the camera to function properly. The ES-T07 features an adjustable top handle with two cold-shoe mounts, and multiple 1/4"-20 and 3/8"-16 threaded mounting holes. The cage's side risers also include multiple 1/4"-20 and 3/8"-16 threaded mounting holes, providing you with many accessory-mounting options, so you won't stress the camera body. The ES-T07 features both top and bottom 15mm rod clamps, so you can mount the included rods above or below the camera. The base plate features a dovetail mounting design, and the rig includes both a 5" and a 10" dovetail plate for mounting on an available tripod. The combination of base plate and dovetail plate allows you to balance your camera/rig precisely on a tripod. The base plate features ARRI-compatible rosettes on each side, and the cage's risers also feature ARRI-compatible rosettes, which allow you to attach the wood grip handles (one with a Run/Stop button) to the side of the cage, for a compact handheld unit. You can add the Tilta UH-T03 Universal Handgrip system, and a Tilta TT-0516 Offset Shoulder Pad to either the Pocket Cinema Camera Cage, or the 2.5/4K Production Camera rig to create a flexible shoulder support rig. A pair of ikan’s TT-E02 extension handles feature ARRI compatible rosettes that allow you to extend the length of the handgrips to provide more comfort and flexibility.
As far as powering your camera goes, there are a few things to consider. Both the Cinema and the Production 4K cameras feature an internal battery. Now, while this does have a nice application, since you can go running around and shooting without worrying about attaching an external battery, the internal battery is built into the cameras and is non-removable; when it runs out of power, you are going to have to use an external battery anyway, so you may as well be prepared.
ikan has developed a variety of battery solutions that allow you to power your camera while only slightly making an impact on the camera's small form factor. One solution is a versatile V-Mount plate that slides onto 15mm rods. It provides 12V, 8V, 5V, and a P-Tap output as well as adapter cables. It features an interesting swivel arrangement that lets you adjust its position while mounted on the rods. Also available is a wide range of less flexible, and less costly, rod-mounting brackets in either Anton Bauer or V-Mount.
For those with a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, ikan has an even broader range of power solutions, all compatible with the hard-to-find power connector on the Pocket camera. Most of the external power options are available as either Sony L-type, Sony BP-U type, Canon LP-E6 type, Canon 900 type, or Panasonic D-54 type battery packs. This means you can choose the mount you want for whichever type of battery you may already own. There is a top-mount battery plate that you attach directly to your Pocket camera, or you may wish to use a belt-mount style, which is also available. Lightweight single rod- and dual rod-mounted options are also available in the same battery-plate choice. ikan provides rod-mounted options for powering your Pocket camera, from either Anton Bauer or V-Mount batteries.
So remember―when you are looking to accessorize and/or power your Blackmagic Cinema, Production 4K, or Pocket Cinema Camera, ikan provides a complete range of elegant solutions that offers you affordable and ergonomic choices.