Rubidium Wu

Rig a Studio Camera for Run and Gun with a ‘MiniMax’ Build

Here’s a new configuration that I've got rigged to my C500 Mark ii that I'm calling the
MinMax. So, one of the things that I love about the Canon C500 Mark ii is the compactness of the body. You don't have to get full-out Alexa style. Before you rig it you get this amazing full-frame sensor with an interchangeable mount with a small little body as big as if not a little bit smaller than the classic C200 that I used for years. 

Canon C500m2 Configurations

The problem I find is that because of the larger sensor and because of the accessories you put on this, you almost immediately have to add rails. Now I'm not against rails on principle, but it just means that you suddenly double the width of the camera. You also increase the weight and make it critically top-heavy. Now, this is great if you want to shoot on the shoulder. You need to do this if you're shooting on a shoulder because
you can't just put one little thing if the handles are in an awkward position. 

Expansion Modules

Even if you get the Canon expansion module for this with straps on the back, you end up making the camera larger. There is a weird little empty spot on the back of the canon C500 where the expansion module screws in and a couple of people have tried to make accessories for this. There is one called the “full frame camera plate” which is something similar to this but it didn't have any extra d-taps. You only get the extra d-tap that you put on a battery which I wasn't a fan of, so I decided to make my own.

Tilta now sells a $20 plate that goes on the back of those four screws on the C500 Mark ii. All I needed was a battery plate and Bebob make one. It's about $120. I grabbed that and then I suffered a small disappointment which was that the tilde plate does not accept the screws of the bebop battery plate.

Bebob sells another accessory for $90 dollars which is just a piece of metal with a belt strap to hook batteries and power stuff from your belt I guess. Just take the belt clip off and you can screw the bebob plate into that plate and then screw that plate into the Tilta plate which screws into the camera. You can mount it high so that you leave the C500 native battery compartment exposed, which is a really good idea. If you don't like the overhang, you can always choose to mount it lower. But it attaches pretty firmly and you get a d-tap in three spots. 


The way we rigged this camera for “Devil's Fortune,” and the way I use it a lot, is with a
Teradek. That's 1 d tap remote follow focus, 2 d taps external monitor, so 3 d taps together. So if I do need them and if I want to power the camera as well off of this battery, I would need four d-taps. 
What I've tended to do is use the internal battery for the camera the BP-90 which will power for around half a day and then use my other battery to run the accessories if I'm using three accessories. If I'm just using two, then I'll use this to power the camera and have the internal battery as a backup. This can be really great because you can just keep shooting and if you run out of batteries you have an extra couple of hours. 
Another thing I picked up is NANO batteries at around $200 or $250 dollars for what's essentially a BP-90. It's 98-watt hours, it's much longer, but it also has its own d tap so if you're just running this with your external monitor you can run it off just the one battery. The two sit flush so what I'll tend to do is use this to the main camera which will get me through if I'm shooting all day. It will get me through until lunch and then a second one will get me through at the end of the day. Then I use the v-mount battery to power all the other accessories and I usually go through about three of these in a day. 
On the film, we used the rails. We used a dummy, non-powered v-mount holder, and then we placed a second single to double battery converter.

The one from Intellitech gave us two more d-taps and then two batteries which gave us a d-tap each so we got four d-taps. This is much fewer points of failure and much fewer complications. The one thing I haven't worked out yet is the best place to put the Teradek.

Right now I've been putting it on the back handle, but kind of interferes with how you slide your hand in. The way I'm able to do the follow focus without the bottom rails is top rail mounts. These are short carbon fiber stubby rail. This mounts onto the focus and I could do a second one if I wanted a second one onto the iris to do iris pulls mid-shot or just have control of the iris. 

It is a fun little package and much more conducive to shooting run and gun, moving the camera around, putting the camera somewhere that it's going to get jolted, like the back of a car or on the end of a crane.

I had no issues at all so far powering it off this and the whole solution is a couple of hundred dollars and is a lot cheaper than that dedicated module from Canon, even though you don't get the extra two XLRs.That's my look at the Canon C500 MiniMax.

Write your awesome label here.
Created with