A lot better than handheld, but not as smooth as a "glidecam" device.

A lot better than walking handheld, but not as smooth as a “glidecam” device.

Quick review since I have to send the Manfrotto 595B Fig Rig back, since I did not do a very thorough review with lots of test footage I am placing this on my 2nd YouTube video channel.

  • Works great for action videos
  • It is easy to set up
  • It is easy to learn compare to a glidecam
  • It costs too much
  • It looks silly
  • Doesn’t work well circling an object when you are crossing your legs as you circle (glidecam devices can do this much better)
  • Doesn’t travel well since you can’t break it apart.
  • Works well for both the Rebel or 5D3 cameras.
  • I like to use it with a wide angle lens
  • Works well with image stabilization turned on
  • You can’t focus with it unless you rig something up for that

I am not buying it since it is too much money, I own a lot of Manfrotto gear and I love the company but this is just too much for me.
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In this video is DeeJay from DSLRFilmNoob.com which I did a video with recently that will be out soon.

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Manfrotto 595B Fig Rig

 

23 comments

  • Yes, I think it’s expensive too. Especially, one can pretty much fabricate it and save a lot of money. I didn’t know how smooth it would be until you talked about it.

    Thanks

  • I like this video. It’s doesn’t have extremely good content (a bit repetitive) but you present it in a nice clean and funny way.

  • @Wander I’m glad you liked it, I put it together pretty fast since I had to send it back today. I put it on my 2nd channel because I thought some people won’t like it because I didn’t spend a much of time on the review.

  • People look at us funny enough with a pro tripod. I would feel funny walking around with that. (especially at $300) I was guessing in the $60-90 range.

    Your not bad shooting from the hip.

  • Hey Dave, I’m pretty sure that wheel is very easy on the wrist verses a glide cam which I have. Without the vest it’s impossible to hold that thing when you have the battery grip on there and 17-50 Tameron lens (Heavy) that thing is not easy on the wrist. That should of been a good thing to point out.

  • Why not just build a DIY cage for a tenth of the price? I see no advantage in having a steering wheel style ring all the way around. Wouldn’t a simple cage achieve the same thing?

    Keep up the vids Dave. Good job!

  • Check out Scott Eggleston over at The Frugal Filmaker. He has a couple of DIY cage rigs. One is under $5, not counting a mounting plate.

  • It does look goofy, but you did take some good shot with it. Hopefully it is a little easier than the glide cam. That was a little weird to get used to. 277 bucks? That is a little bit of an ‘ouch’

  • Hi Dave…I enjoyed your review. Having not seen a Fig Rig, I was wondering what is made of. Is the round portion a tube of plastic or metal?

    Thx

  • I was expecting since you’ve got the mark III some reviews. Are you happy with it? cause I keep waching footage from it trying to look with positive eyes but I’m very dissapointed.

  • Dave,
    I’m glad you featured the fig rig here.
    It doesn’t get a lot of love out there. I’ve owned one for about 5 years now and feel it’s earned it’s keep.
    I know a lot of folks do compare it to a steadicam or glide cam, but it certainly isn’t as you point out. And I don’t think it’s meant to be either. I will say that unlike one of those steadying devices, you can have this sucker up and running in about 1 minute… meanwhile, someone is still balancing their steadicam.

    Your mention of Freddie Wong is a perfect example, and the fig rig does a great job in a setting like that. I believe in many cases (like that) it can offer more general uses.

    I agree the price is a bit high, but in reality, aren’t all the accessories in our industry? I don’t think people should be too shocked when compared to some things people are selling out there (hello zacuto?)

    But yes, you can probably fashion up something with PVC – many folks have online I believe. I’d rather have the real deal on a paying job than anything PVC though. But for indy stuff and personal stuff, heck yeah.

    One thing not pointed out – which is super useful, is that the cross bar does include several threaded holes to include various accessories like mics, lights, etc. They also have clamps you can situate around the wheel to attach articulating arms etc. You can essentially build it up to be a crazy looking one-man-band. And when used with a traditional videocamera, a zoom controller is easily attached to the wheel.

    And as for it being funny looking – it is true. But I’ve shot a bunch of man-on-the-street interviews with it, and one thing I can say is that it certainly is a conversation starter. Often people come up just curious what you’re carrying around. Instant ice breaker – I’ve gathered a lot of interviews that way.

    It certainly does have it’s place out there. And the wide radius does indeed take the center of gravity away from the camera for some waaaay smoother shots. (more than a simple cage) a Wide angle definitely a must as you point out. But you get a bit more organic handheld look vs a ‘floating’ steadicam shot – and for many people, that can be desirable. For walking and talking shots to running action. And the ability to brace it against the ground for an impromptu low shot and quickly transition to a high shot then start walking is incredibly freeing.

    In any event – I wanted to pass on the love for the fig rig. And thanks again for giving it a little attention.

    Expensive – yes, but so are many things out there.

  • @Ed thanks for all the comments. I think the fig rig has a lot of practical uses, I just need to fabricate a cheaper version of this for myself.

  • To make a something that looks like this at home, use PVC pipe. PVC can be shape by placing it in boiling water. You start with the end and work your way around. But, a square design is probably more practical. That way you would just use 90 degree connectors.

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