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Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1

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Craig Moore
Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 4, 2010 at 9:50:49 pm

Any recommendations for a shoulder mount system/rig for an EX1?

I shoot lots of on-the-fly stuff and looking to stabilize things a bit more. I've had enough of resting things on the nub of the long-life battery. It's bound to break something soon.

thanks in advance

Craig

Spider Video
http://spidervideo.tv
XDCAM Ex1-R
MacPro FCP3


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Craig Seeman
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 4, 2010 at 10:16:20 pm

There's a plethora of shoulder mount systems for the EX1. Sometimes it's not which is better but which is better suited to your working method.

Some examples are:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/674695-REG/Sony_VCT_SP2BP.html
This interests me because I may need the "tummy" support and it looks to be unobtrusive on a tripod because it folds.

http://www.vortexmedia.com/SB_VSB1.html
Some like this but it needs a counterweight and sticks out too much on a tripod. Some people don't like the "tummy" support because breathing can be an issue amongst other things so this would be an option for that style of shooting. This might feel more "traditional."

http://www.redrockmicro.com/microShoulderMount/index.html
Scroll down to see it used specifically with EX1. Some don't like the two handed approach and others find that more stable. The shoulder pad location pushes the camera forward so counterbalance may be important here too. It can be reconfiged to single handle and the pad placed under the camera (go through pictures) but I suspect that isn't very easy to get on/off the tripod.

There are others but you can see the main style variations. Others seem to be variations on the above.



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Craig Moore
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 4, 2010 at 10:43:50 pm

Thanks Craig,

I saw the Sony one and wondered about the breathing component too. It looks like good potential. The vortex also looks slightly cumbersome for some reason. Like I'd whack someone with it or take out an eye.

The red rock looks good though esp s i like a free hand to manually work iris and zoom. I've also seen this from Cavision:
http://www.cavision.com/rods/RC1580DSPE.htm
that has a remote control as well and a single/dual handle option.

Ive spoken to a few EX1 owners and all have options but no definite winner. I've also seen some ppl using a tiffen steady stick to balance things out a bit.

Just try to see who has used what.

I appreciate the input

thanks

Craig

Spider Video
http://spidervideo.tv
XDCAM Ex1-R
MacPro FCP3


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William Urschel
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 5, 2010 at 11:33:10 am

Please see following link: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/210200-REG/Davis_Sanford_SS3C.html#Re...

And my review of the elcheapo Davis and Sanford Steadystick - my review is under Bill from Austin, and the longest review there - I gave it five stars, despite quality issues - and it is still at the top of my list for best hand held support of EX1, and since then I've tried two others (I now have a bunch lying there!), and Steady
Stick is still best for me. I have the whole thing mounted on a quick release under Olof's baseplate on the EX1. As you can tell,
I love it!


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Bob Mark
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 5, 2010 at 12:46:58 pm

I'm looking at this:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/98763-REG/Video_Innovators_125_S_800_...

I think the handle is adjustable. I don't know about putting the camera down with it attached and it doesn't seem to have a pin to hold the camera in place (one screw is not too effective). I tried another unit and it required too much counterbalance for my liking, even though I'm used to a Betacam. It's hard to find the right balance.

Bob


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Craig Seeman
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 5, 2010 at 1:46:05 pm

Apparently Davis & Sanford have another version as well. Both claim 30lb payload. It seems to have a handle.

http://www.tiffen.com/displayproduct.html?tablename=davissanford&itemnum=SS...

Addendum - apparently this is not very good due to awkward attachment to the camera, unlike the one you mention which has very good reviews.



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Chris Babbitt
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 5, 2010 at 4:31:44 pm

I use this device with my EX-1, and have been quite happy. It is simple, solid, well-built, and above all, CHEAP. At this price, you can afford to try it out.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Camcorder-Video-Camera-Shoulder-support-stand-brace-/27...

There is a bit of a "breathing" issue. If that bothers you, I have a slightly used DVTEC DV Junior Rig for sale, which uses the spring-loaded rod method.

http://www.dvtec.tv/id3.html



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Chris Babbitt
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 5, 2010 at 4:36:31 pm

The first link in my post doesn't seem to be working. Just copy and paste this into your browser:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Camcorder-Video-Camera-Shoulder-support-stand-brace-/27...



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Craig Seeman
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 5, 2010 at 4:44:08 pm

That's similar to the "El Cheapo"
The problem I have with that is I can't see an easy way to get that from tripod to shoulder. Some of us need to make that move quickly.

Sony allows for fast tripod removal.
Davis & Sanford uses waist to avoid breathing issue and it's not much more than the El Cheapo tummy support variant.



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Chris Babbitt
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 5, 2010 at 4:49:13 pm

I have a quick-release adaptor on my shoulder-support, monopod and tripod, and can quickly move between all three.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 5, 2010 at 5:00:54 pm

For me, it's not always easy to move from tripod to device if I have to pull a device out of the bag. Sony becomes part of tripod. D&S might require quick release but it looks much less cumbersome.

BTW it's not that there's a right/wrong better/worse it's important to understand our work style and situation may drive the decision as to which device to purchase. This is why I look at these as categories.

In tummy support I'd compare the El Cheapo vs D&S. BTW the renown Phil Bloom did a promotional a while back for a company with an El Cheapo variant and he said he really liked it.

Basically it seems key difference in this class is
El Cheapo doesn't need the use of a belt.
D&S uses waist instead of tummy to avoid breathing.

I really do miss the equipment trade shows in the north east because I really like to try on things before making a purchasing decision. You just can't tell on the internet.



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Michael Slowe
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 5, 2010 at 8:35:25 pm

Chris, this is EXACTLY the support I have and it's saved my life on two documentaries which involved moving around in restricted space with no time to erect a tripod. It is light and can be attached and detached in seconds. I too have the tripod quick release add on so if tripod use is needed it takes no time at all to swop over.

Craig has a point about needing to fish it out of the bag but it's so light it can almost be attached to one's body if you are scared to lay it down somewhere handy, it's not all that attractive for anyone to steal. The 'breathing' problem is valid with this and I've got blue in the face holding my breath on occasions and you can't get the camera high enough for interviews so beware of 'the nostril syndrome'. Philip Bloom used to demo this on his site but I haven't checked if it's still on. I repeat, for me it's been a lifesaver.

Michael Slowe


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Craig Seeman
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 5, 2010 at 8:48:16 pm

http://www.vimeo.com/1658379



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Craig Moore
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 5, 2010 at 8:58:43 pm

thanks everyone.

I was shooting all day today semi handheld and tripod and could have used one of these options...as soon as I figure out which one :)

Spider Video
http://spidervideo.tv
XDCAM Ex1-R
MacPro FCP3


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Michael Slowe
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 5, 2010 at 9:11:27 pm

Yes thanks Craig, that's the one. Cheapo maybe but I can't find anything that suits me better except for the height at which you have to hold the camera.

Michael Slowe


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Chris Babbitt
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 5, 2010 at 9:22:41 pm

The one I have, which I bought on E-Bay for about $45 including shipping, is identical to the one Philip demonstrates, although it carries a different name. It is made in India or China, I believe, but all those E-Bay adds appear to be the same unit. I found a seller in the U.S., but I can't remember who it was. Don't let the price scare you. It is a very solid unit, and a steal, compared to the other types out there.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 5, 2010 at 10:18:34 pm

Keep in mind that El Cheapo and D&S are both so inexpensive . . . expecially compared to other EX shoulder systems and EX accessories in general, you could really pick up both and bring the one that better suites your needs for the day (heck bring both if you're not sure).

It's the more expensive one's that are a bit tougher because one may not want to budget for more that one.

Phil Bloom had a blog post about just such decision although the Sony option wasn't out, no mention of D&S, shows another variant of a two handed mount and the Zacuto which he likes best. It's the shoulder mount for the "lifestyles of the rich and famous" EX user.
http://philipbloom.net/2008/02/14/shoulder-mountswhich-one/

Zacuto has huge configuration possibilities. All their EX1 pics
http://www.zacutoimages.com/p738605579

IMHO their site is probably one of the most user unfriendly sites I've every seen. Even surpassing Sony Pro USA.
http://www.zacuto.com/
Good luck trying to figure what kit to put together for an EX1. Their brochure helps
http://www.zacuto.com/PDF/ShoulderMountingEquipment.pdf
Looks like an erector set and then you attach things to see if it fits your camera and shoulder.



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William Urschel
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 6, 2010 at 10:24:14 am

Excuse me, but the "ElCheapo" mentioned above was one of many I purchased which subsequently went into the trash bin. As one of the reviewers mentioned, it presents the camera at an inordinately high
level. But my major concern was that given the nature of the plastic construction and "hardware", I might find my camera falling to the floor at any moment.


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Chris Babbitt
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 6, 2010 at 3:32:44 pm

When I bought mine about 2 yrs. ago, the seller was offering two different models. The one I bought was a little more money, and I believe he said it was a bit heavier build. The difference you will see in the pictures is that the better one has a larger chest pad. There is no way my camera is falling to the floor unless I drop the whole rig myself. I don't even use the strap.



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Michael Slowe
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 6, 2010 at 10:37:36 am

Craig, aren't you one of "the rich and famous EX users"?

I have now looked at the latest Philip Bloom site that you guide us to and still think that his final option is the best and is the one I use, referred to in this thread as 'el cheapo'. Mind you I think I paid £80 here in the UK, more than anyone else has mentioned!

The poster who thought that it was too flimsy and might result in a dropped camera puzzles me. I have the special quick release adaptor and tighten everything really tight, can't see a problem, but I'm shooting Sunday with it so better not tempt fate.

Michael Slowe


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Craig Seeman
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 6, 2010 at 11:01:53 am

[Michael Slowe] "Craig, aren't you one of "the rich and famous EX users"?"

Whereas Phil Bloom does major broadcast work I do low budget local cable spots and corporate video. I'm a very "blue collar" (grey collar?) business who has to carefully gauge my equipment purchases (as per this thread) vs Phil who seems to buy the latest greatest toys.

[Michael Slowe] "The poster who thought that it was too flimsy and might result in a dropped camera puzzles me. I have the special quick release adaptor and tighten everything really tight, can't see a problem, but I'm shooting Sunday with it so better not tempt fate."

I think an important thing to be aware of is that not all "El Cheapos" are of the same build quality. I suspect the one from CVP that Phil mentions is probably quit sturdy as is the one you use. The others may be cheap knockoffs. One might say it's the same as we've discovered with SDCH cards. Not all SDHC Class 6 cards are alike yet all superficially look the same and have the same class rating and some may be counterfeit knock offs as well.



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olof ekbergh
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 6, 2010 at 5:41:22 pm

You may want to check out my system for the EX1 and EX2 cameras. I developed them for myself but now I sell them.

http://www.westsideavstore.com/

If you have any questions you can contact me:
olof@westsideav.com
603.383.9283



Olof Ekbergh


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olof ekbergh
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 6, 2010 at 5:45:01 pm

I meant EX1 and EX3 in the above post.

Here is the EX3 setup:


If you have any questions you can contact me:
olof@westsideav.com
603.383.9283

Olof Ekbergh


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Craig Seeman
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 6, 2010 at 6:48:29 pm

On the EX1 how front heavy is it and assuming one doesn't have an IDX battery do you have a suggested counter balance on that?
How does that (EX1) look on a tripod or is that not something you recommend?



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Ronnie Martin
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 6, 2010 at 7:18:57 pm

I have the shoulder mount by Olof for my Ex-3 and it is outstanding in every respect. I didn't know Olof made one for the EX-1. In the near future I plan to purchase a EX-1R as a second camera and if Olof has one for the Ex-1R I will surely order it also.

Ronnie Martin

Ronnie Martin
Kato Video Productions
http://www.dirtracingvideo.com
http://www.ramtv.tv


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olof ekbergh
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 6, 2010 at 10:22:53 pm

Craig,

Here is a photo of the whole setup on an EX1R on my Miller sticks and head.

I am using a VCT-14 wedge, I know that makes it look bigger, but I like the VCT-14 system. You can use any quick release system you want.

Both braces come of with the twist of a thumbscrew. And the large comes off by removing the pivoting screws. The large brace pivots to make it comfortable to either use the Hoodloop system or the built in viewfinder.



There are lots more photos on my site, and you can always contact me for more info. I often use Skype calls to discuss custom solutions.
olof@westsideav.com
603.383.9283
http://www.westsideavstore.com/

Olof Ekbergh


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Craig Moore
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 8, 2010 at 12:20:15 am

Olof, that should plate looks nice. I may be in contact. Price is fair i'd say

I do like the simplicity and extra lift you can get with the D&S steady stick too though.

I did take a chance just for the hell of it and dropped $40 for elcheapo from ebay/China so we shall see (1. if it ever arrives and 2. if it really works).

From the buzz on this post I'd say I'm not the only one with this question :).

I do see so many high end one that probably don't do much more than the basic except take your money and look cool. In the end I just wanted something a bit smoother for freehand.

Spider Video
http://spidervideo.tv
XDCAM Ex1-R
MacPro FCP3


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Les Wilson
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 15, 2010 at 11:01:28 am

How did it work out?


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Craig Moore
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Aug 16, 2010 at 6:42:47 pm

haven't received it yet. Will let you all know.

Spider Video
http://spidervideo.tv
XDCAM Ex1-R
MacPro FCP3


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Craig Moore
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Feb 21, 2011 at 6:36:27 pm

well I have used the cheapo a few times and it is cheapo for sure but as a worst case it would work. It makes you back tired and if you only use the supplied wedge it's a bit sketchy. But for $40 it's actually not too bad considering. I'm still looking for something that gives a better counter balance solution but it's the friggin wild west when looking for a solution. Any new products ppl like?

Spider Video
http://spidervideo.tv
XDCAM Ex1-R
MacPro FCP3


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Craig Seeman
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Feb 21, 2011 at 6:41:52 pm

Expensive but some people feel it's the best all around since it can remain attached to the tripod.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/674695-REG/Sony_VCT_SP2BP_VCT_SP2BP_C...



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Craig Moore
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Feb 21, 2011 at 6:51:09 pm

I have been eyeballing that. For nearly 500 i',m still considering others :)

Spider Video
http://spidervideo.tv
XDCAM Ex1-R
MacPro FCP3


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Craig Moore
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Feb 21, 2011 at 7:06:39 pm

I did just come across this too from Shape a new product from them. It's not shoulder mount but does enable both hands on the cam with more stability. Kinda like a pro tiffen steady stick :):

http://www.shapewlb.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=n_estor...

Spider Video
http://spidervideo.tv
XDCAM Ex1-R
MacPro FCP3


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Craig Seeman
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Feb 21, 2011 at 7:27:01 pm

The challenge I have in deciding what's worthwhile is that I really like to see lots of user reports. I really wish there were more trade shows because sometimes the only way to examine build and fit is to see and try the product.



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Bob Cole
Re: Shoulder Mount reccs for Ex1
on Feb 22, 2011 at 5:10:02 am

The EX1R is a brilliant camera, but the lack of a good shoulder-mount/viewfinder combo for exterior run-and-gun work can be a problem.

I agree about wanting to see more field reports or trade show opportunities. The biggest of course is coming up at NAB, but you run the risk of a crowd preventing you from being able to get time on the equipment. Do you know of any showrooms that will let you put several of these units together and test them? I'd travel a good way to do that.

On a related front: the EX1R needs not only the shoulder brace, but also proper viewfinder shielding and positioning. Any good tips on that?

Bob C


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