Street price: £312/$499
If you were ever a dab hand with a Meccano kit then you’ll be well versed in how to put Walimex’s Aptaris Universal Frame together because it works very much along the same lines (and even looks similar).
The Aptaris is an adjustable frame that’s designed to accomodate nearly all DSLRs, mirrorless cameras or small form camcorders that have a shoe mount and tripod thread positioned along a common axis. Using nothing more technologically challenging than a hex key you can adjust the cage to precisely fit the camera you’re working with. If you’re working with a larger bodied DSLR and don’t have enough room then all is not lost, since it’s also possible to purchase optional extension pieces that will allow you to increase the distance between base and top plate.
Made of metal, the cage is solid and robust when assembled and is liberally peppered with accessory threads ensuring that anything, within reason, can be attached. Infinitely versatile, it can be used in a half cage form for smaller cameras and can also be combined with other Aptaris accessories to build into a full rig. Clever idea, and well thought out.
Accessory threads: 1/4in-20 and 3/8in-16 accessory threads
Weight: Approx 0.5kg
Material: Anodised aluminium
Pro Moviemaker Rating 8/10
Incredibly versatile, ensuring that it will have a long lifespan
Pros: Can tailor it to your kit
Cons: A bit fiddly to put together