DSLR is an inexpensive way of creating a 35mm look, but controlling video acquisition on what is essentially a stills camera requires some essential accessories. Great DSLR footage is nigh on impossible without them: one must "pimp" ones camera. The requirements are simple: something to improve your view of the image, something to help you focus, and something to help stabilise the camera.

Viewfinders/Loupes

Prokit offers two different tools designed to attach to the LCD on your DSLR and give you an image far closer to that of a dedicated video camera. If you’re on a tight budget we have the Genus Loupe, which sticks to your DSLR and magnifies the image well. If you’re looking for a viewfinder that offers a more rugged build and the ability to shoot from a low angle, then the Varavon Profinder is for you. The Profinder contains a mirror and a top door allowing you to look down at the image from above – a useful feature not offered by any other DSLR accessory brand.

Bars and Follow Focus

The distance the focus wheel has to rotate on a DSLR lens to change focus is minute, making it nearly impossible to rack focus during a shot. It’s a good idea to make it easier for yourself by adding a bars support system to the base of your DSLR and then connecting a Follow Focus system to the lens.

My recommendation?

If you’re on a tight budget take a look at the Genus DSLR Adapter Bars System and combine it with the Genus Bravo Follow Focus system. However if you can afford it go for the Genus Advanced Adapter Bars System and combine it with Genus Superior Follow Focus. Not sure which one will suit you? We have them both hooked up to a Canon 5D and 7D in our showroom on live demo.

Camera Stabilisation/Rigs

The moulded shape of a DSLR is so small that keeping the camera steady without a rig is difficult, and even small hand movements can expose the skew of rolling shutter. But do not fear: an army of manufacturers have designed shoulder rigs and handgrips to help evenly distribute weight and steady your shot. You can keep it cheap and cheerful with a handheld rig from Ikan: check out the Elements Fly Deluxe Kit for a lightweight handheld option with nifty 15mm bars. Want more stability with a more durable rig? Take a look at the rugged and well-engineered Shape Composite Fiction, a full shoulder mount stabilizer with an offset bracket so your eye matches up with your DSLR viewfinder.

Getting good results with a DSLR is too difficult straight from the box. Prokit’s range of DSLR accessories makes shooting with these powerful little cameras a whole lot easier.

Stuart Dennis