The Manfrotto 595B Fig Rig is a cheaper way of keeping a camera steady when recording video
For those of us looking to shoot more video on a digital SLR, the Manfrotto Fig Rig may be the perfect solution to stabilization issues. Instead of outlaying over £1,000 on a full steadicam rig the fig rig offers a cheaper, simpler method of insuring footage is smooth when shooting handheld.
The structure is very simple, comprising a circular metallic frame and single bar spanning across the diameter just below the center. A removable plate then sits on a fixed tripod head so the camera can sit roughly in the middle of the circle. Two hand grips allow the user to move around, and in much the same way as a steadicam the Fig Rig is dependent on the user maneuvering to pan or track.
The main benefits to the fig rig against something like a steadicam or other support rig is the simplicity, as even an absolute beginner can get the gist of how it works. Due to the structure of the fig rig it’s tricky to adjust focus or zoom length as both hands are required to keep it level. The only real way round is to use a remote, then tack it onto the rig.
The tripod head can be removed and replaced for an option with a spirit level, which will aid in keeping the camera level, and clamps can be added to attach microphones, lights and other accessories.
The fig rig is a superb option for amateur filmmakers on a budget, and has the versatility to offer further options further down the line.