DIY: Camera Shoulder Rest

December 4, 2008 by Derrick Faw · 3 Comments
Filed under: Equipment, Filming 

Rather you are a professional or amateur camera user, you probably have experienced fatigue after shooting for extended periods of time or had difficultly keeping the camera steady under certain situations. A few years ago Samantha came to the conclusion that we needed a shoulder rest for our camera. One day she came home from work with a piece of paper of a rough design and told me I was going to build one for her. After looking at several models available for purchase, we came to the conclusion it was a good idea to give it a try. No one model at the time had all the features we thought would be beneficial and would of stretched our pocket book at the time. We set a budget of €50, roughly equivalent to $65. This price also included the tools needed for construction, such as a drill, file, and hacksaw. I had just moved to Paris and unfortunately I had to leave behind a multitude of tools back in the US. Our first stop was Leroy Merlin the French equivalent of stores like Lowes Hardware and Home Depot. I have always like to design things in the hardware store, looking at pieces and get inspiration of what all can be possible. The design was simple, piece of flattened steel, some nuts and bolts, a flashlight (for the handle), and a nylon strap. We then went to a fabric store for cloth and foam padding. The most expensive piece of the whole design was the purchase of a €16 tripod mount from Fnac. With tools in hand I put together what we affectionately call the Cam-Perch. The hardest thing in the whole construction was sewing the shoulder pad together. We’ve had great success with the Cam-Perch. It offers a stable and adjustable method of holding the camera. It can be strapped on offering more control and hands free filming as Samantha discovered while she used it while riding a bicycle through NYC. Actually she was even stopped by a filmmaker who inquired about it. I told her I wished she would of sold it to him on the spot, but she would in no way part with it. The Cam-Perch was first designed to mount a small camcorder, but holds our Canon GL2 just fine.


For those of you wishing to build your own shoulder rest you can take ideas from my design or ask questions, which might lead to another post of how to construct it. You can also check out for a very good tutorial on how to make a simple and cheap shoulder rest.

NOTE: This post has been continued DIY: Camera Shoulder Rest – Part 2

There are several good camera rest available for purchase for those not wanting to attempt your own model. Use the link below for a nice selection from B&H.

BH Photo Camera Rest

S-800 Super Pro Shoulder Support

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