A Reader Asked to See How I Was Rigging My Video Gear Around the Camera. Here's My Set-up.

This is the way I have my camera set up for shooting video on a tripod. If someone else was handling the sound it would less cluttered. If I was shooting solo I probably wouldn't use the monitor either...

This is the set up I used to shoot the video I talked about in the previous blog post. The box on the top left is the Beachtek DXA-2T which is a passive microphone mixer. I can combine both channels into one or keep the signals in separate channels. The important thing is that the Beachtek box allows me to control audio levels as needed. Always going down, never up; because there are no active preamplifiers in the box. But it also does a great job of impedance matching between the professional XLR connected microphones and the consumer level, mini-plug inputs.

Next to the blue Beachtek box is a Sennheiser receiver which is one half of the wireless microphone support set. Note that its output is connected into the mixer. 

I can add more utility shoes to the top bar of this "cage" in order to add more stuff but at a certain point more stuff makes the whole rig top heavy, plus it's already starting to look messy.... Don't try this with a little weanie tripod and head!

The Marshall monitor is a cheap one but it does a nice job. People can watch what I'm shooting without breathing down my neck and I can click on the focus peaking and see if what I'm shooting is really in focus or not. The headphones serve the same purpose only for ears. I will need to add a little hook to one of the tripod legs to hand the headphones on when we're between takes.

If I'm going to use a tripod it's really nice to have all the stuff I need right there, clustered around the camera. These are all simple and effective tools but they make a difference in the shooting. You can imagine that on bigger sets with multiple monitors and digital recorders sucking information out of the camera's HDMI socket and with the camera rigged with a follow focus mechanism and a matte box things get complex, crowded and more and more unwieldy. 

When I shoot with the Olympus stuff I don't want to wire it up like so. I want to shoot with them handheld and use the EVF finder. The D810 doesn't seem to mind the add-ons. 

Cost of stuff: The Beachtek box is about $170, the Sennheiser system, with lavaliere microphone is $700, The monitor is $349 and the grippy/cagey thing was a little less than $100. Not bad at all for stuff you can really use to make video projects work.


  1. That's no moon... it's a space station! :-) Star-Wars reference aside; the cinema/video rigging reminds me of some type of Rube Goldberg device.

  2. Thanks for the audio setup. What do you add if phantom power is needed!

  3. I only buy mics the don't need phantom power but I do have a Zoom H4n and could use that as a mixer providing phantom power to the set up.

  4. Hey Kirk, what kind of cage is that?

  5. Here are the details on the rig: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00939A2LG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  6. Looking at the images again it dawned on me that it's pretty obvious this rig is set up for someone who is left handed. Monitor on the right? Not for most people...


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