So I took the collective flaws in these and removed them by creating a dual shoulder rig with removable shoulder supports. Thus leaving me with a fig rig cage that I could set on the ground, hold it any direction I desired to shoot, and could even let it hang from my neck if I chose to do so. While this is truly a simple rig to make the only issue was figuring out how to glue everything in a order that was simple to follow and left me with even and straightly glued pieces.
Now this rig is pretty robust with its uses by design but obviously any rig like this, such as a shoulder or fig rig, will never match the smoothness of a glidecam or merlin. But will definetly get the job done and much better than without one.
If you are deciding on whether or not to build this and have watched my demo short of me using this. You probably noticed that it appeared shakier than others. There is a simple explanation for that. Most people in an attempt to "sell" you there idea to build and share will use a wide angle lens combined with image stabilization built into the camera/lens. Resulting in a very smooth image which is deceiving. I wanted to break that mold by showing you what it would look like with a 80mm (50mm x 1.6 crop ratio of T3i) unstabilized lens. If you are wondering how could a wide angle make a difference, its simple. Try looking at something...like THIS word. Now kinda bob your head around. It appears still perfectly readable and not much motion is occurring. Now cup your hand to your eye and make a hole just big enough so that you can once again see THIS word and bobble your head again. And now you know...the rest of the story. That's the difference. So if you thought my video looked pretty good, imagine what it would like look with a wide angle lens and image stabilization on.
Ok, enough chitter chatter, I give you the tutorial! Its long, but not everyone follows along at the same pace and catches everything the same as others. So I tried doing the best I could so that all could build this. As a side note I used a crappy hand saw to cut my pipe just to prove that it is possible to use the bare minimum and still have a great looking product! Good luck and PLEASE comment below, thank you!