In TV News — where “run and gun” video is a staple of the camera operator’s repertoire — the standard handheld video camcorder is often preferred. But in this changing era of multimedia journalism, sometimes the camera operator is also taking still images for a station’s website. In that case a more compact DSLR with video capability is often desirable.
Zacuto, a specialist that makes support gear for video-ready DSLRs, has a run and gun rig for DSLR cameras that it hopes might solve the TV news conundrum. Called the “Marauder,” this camera mounting device is small enough to hide in a pocket, but it offers extreme stability with DSLRs when used for news-style video shoots.
Unlike more complex shoulder mounts, the Marauder unfolds instantly to fit the operator and is ready to shoot in seconds. It folds up just as fast and can then fit into any carry on, backpack, purse, camera bag or cargo pants pocket. It includes both a gunstock and an adjustable handgrip to create a small stable framework.
The Marauder includes a plate as the platform for your camera. The operator can optionally attach an accessory viewfinder to the plate. Attach the DSLR camera to the plate with the single ¼ 20 screw and quick release the Marauder with the red ratcheting lever.
The handgrip can be adjusted into five different positions for individual comfort and is locked with the release of the red lever. The grip itself also articulates and locks with the lever. Built into the Marauder is a gunstock with a comfortable rubber pad. Adjust the angle and/or position of the gunstock with the two Allen screws to conform to operator’s body size and shape.
The Marauder folds up by first quick releasing the camera off the rig. Then push the red push lever to snap the camera support arm down. Push down on the silver circular cap to flip the gunstock away and depress the paddle lever to tuck the handle in place next to the gunstock. Reverse to quickly get the Marauder ready to shoot again.
The price of the Zacuto Marauder is $775.
Click on this video to watch a short video demonstrating the collapsible features of the Marauder. It could help in the dilemma of which type of camera to buy.