Camera operators throughout the video industry are using more DSLRs, and smaller cameras, what that also means is more attachments are being called upon - Manfrotto seeks to fulfill that need. The Sympla is a physical solution to camera operators needing to carry lights, batteries, accessories and get a handheld shot. In Las Vegas Manfrotto has the Sympla Shoulder Support System (MVA511WK, $1,150), Flexible Mattebox (MVA512WK, $1,150) and Long Lens Support (MVA513WK $1,050.)
The Sympla Shoulder Support System as the name suggests, supports the camera equipment on the camera operator's shoulder. It has swivel-joint handles to aid control, but still allow flexibility. The rig is best utilized to keeps controls nearby with an optional remote control that lets the operator continue to aim steady with two hands.Flexible Mattebox is set to hold 4x4-inch filters directly in front of the lens, but also protects against stray light. The box lets the operator change lenses easily, and has a variable plate and two-plane micro-adjusters for precision alignment.Long Lens Support, special attention is given to the reduction of vibrations that can occur when shooting with long lenses. This lengthy support provides a solid platform for even the longest lens and is compatible with all Manfrotto Video Heads. The components to each of these systems are really the highlight, each system starts with: a) a pair of 300mm (about one foot) rods have screw junctions and are the standard 15mm (.59-inch) diameter b) a variable plate which supports the camera along three axes, uses a repostionable ratchet and quick-lock along each axis then has fingertip-geared control for vertical and lateral adjustment. Then there's c) clips to hold attachments onto the rails, and there are no tools required when adjusting the plate.Fig Rig (MVA522W, $380) which essentially puts the operator in the driver's seat and can be fitted with either the Flexible Mattebox or Long Lens Support. And most importantly, these peices may be built and rebuilt in the configuration that works best for a specific need.