What are the benefits of a cage over just open on top? Well there are a number of them. With a cage you will be able to mount your shotgun and portable audio recorder in convenient places for yourself, and even lights! A cage will also give you the ability to add light deflectors for your lens on the front by simply attaching it to the front rods or do the mounting deck. Protection! If you drop your camera with other rigs, most likely your lens is sticking out beyond the rig it is attached to and will result in nearly instant destruction. But with this you will at least know that your camera is completely surrounded by pvc, which will take most of the punishment assumably with at least flat surfaces. Weather elements: Something I hope to test out, is making a rain over that will drape and attach over the cage with possibly a plexiglass window for shooting out and a large cover extending from that to protect the operator as well. I would love to actually be standing In the rain and snow and not have to worry about damaging my camera, yet getting cool weather shots.
Another little thing I added was the thread screw for the camera. I have created it so the screw will stay as part of the rig without falling out but you can turn it form the bottom instead of spinning your camera in circles to tighten it. Plus its really easy to attach with how its setup. You will see soon enough though how I did it. For now though, here are a few pics of the rig with my camera attached. Once I figure out what the best method is to glue the pieces together, I will record a video of the basic DIY portion so I may share it with the rest of you. My guess as to how much it will cost is kinda dependent on how far you yourself want to take it. But the very basic design should be just under $20 and that is without the weights attached and simply having pvc rods with foam rest on your shoulders. This is doable but may make you tired faster holding your camera and how much gear your attach. With everything I have it might be more like $35. Thanks for reading and feel free to share this post with others. I will do a second posting when I actually create the DIY video. Merry Christmas everyone!