September 19th, 2011, 09:00 AM
is there any difference between the CVP shoulder mount and the ebay/amazon cheapos. the CVP is 4 times the price. is the build quality that much better? it'd be for a canon7d or a sony pd170 size camera. thanks!
CVP SM1 Shoulder mount camcorder support bracket system - Ideal for most handheld DV / HDV camcorders (http://www.creativevideo.co.uk/index.php?t=product/cvp_shoulder_mount)
Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: CowboyStudio Shoulder Support Pad for Video Camcorder Camera DV / DC
Amazon.com: Opteka Hands-Free Camcorder Shoulder Support: Camera & Photo
September 19th, 2011, 09:10 AM
Amazon.com: Opteka CXS-1 Video Shoulder Stabilizer Support System for DSLR Cameras & Camcorders: Camera & Photo
September 19th, 2011, 09:39 AM
As far as I can tell, the CVP is the same as the lookalikes on Amazon/eBay. I got one years ago as part of a camera package (albeit from another vendor) and it was supposed to be worth £100. No way was it worth anything in that ballpark.
The lower "pad" digs uncomfortably into my stomach (and I'm not that fat), and the strap doesn't seem to serve any purpose other than to get tangled up in or strangle me. Not worth the trouble. Even if the CVP one is made from better quality components, the overall design is the same.
I can't speak for the Opteka one, I haven't tried it.
Just my opinion, others may love this device!
September 19th, 2011, 10:02 AM
hi mike. i take it from your comments that you don't really rate it.
i'm trying to find something that can take a bit of strain off my wrists/arms/back when filming events (presentations, weddings etc)
have you found anything cheap that works for you?
September 22nd, 2011, 03:12 AM
Nobody seems to be rushing to help you here! I don't do event films, I tend to be a tripod person. Not much use when you have to move around quickly.
The primary problem I have is the part of that device that sticks into your stomach, I find it very uncomfortable. One of the other supports (such as the DV Multirig) seem to be popular. I'm sure some of the people in the Wedding forum here use them, Don Bloom I think uses a Multirig or similar. Maybe a search through that forum will help.
September 22nd, 2011, 05:52 AM
Knock Knock! Hi Andrew, thought I heard my name ;-)
Yes I do use the multirig have been for a good number of years. Love it but like any other tool there are times and places. For nstance, if I need to have a perfectly stable lockdown shot, I use sticks. If I need to be able to move from point to point and there can be some wobble in the shot (which many don't mind anymore) I'l use the multirig.
The multirig is my tool of choice for wedding receptions. I can be mobile and still lock down a very stable shot for the toasts/speeches (depends on how long they run if they're a toast or a speech). When moving from introductions to cake cutting for example I can maintain a very smooth transition which I couldn't do handheld or even with my fullsize rigs. For dancing I can lockdown to get very stable footage or I can move thru the crowd and still maintain steadicam LIKE footage. Notice I said steadicam LIKE not the same as using a steadicam but with enough practice you can get close. Not the same but close. I emphasize this only because someone once emailed me and was rather unhappy that he could get steadicam looking footage from the multirig that he had used once and basically took out of the box and ran off to do a paying job. Tsk tsk! Fool! I digress!
I love my multirig, wouldn't be caught without it but it does require some practice before using it and no it's not cheap but then quality never is. Danny at dvtec is great to work with. No I don't work for him but I'll schill the product whenever I can, DVTEC - Home (http://www.dvtec.tv)
September 22nd, 2011, 05:32 PM
I'll weigh in as well - you get what you pay for - that shoulder rig "works", but you have to have the breath control of a buddist monk, or at least that was my experience. I'm not a fan of supports that rely on a chest brace of any kind, preferring a belt support = less movement once you are in shooting position.
I've tried a few along the way and currently have both fixed designs and the MultiRig designs (one real and the Chinese one I'll likely sell), plus some "home brew" experiments...
The MultiRig is an excellent solution (having finally scored one in an eBay deal!!! YEA me, and my budget!) the multi-sprung support rod is definitely the "secret sauce" in the design. But it's expensive, and you don't find them used very often (for good reason). It's versatile enough to re-configure for virtually any camera, so it's a "buy once" solution, and can be re-arranged to mimic lots of other "rigs" as well!
You don't say what your exact application is - you can find a number of add on shoulder mounts (ala the Opteka you linked), and if that's all you need, there's a Chinese copy of the upper portion of the MultiRig (sans the support rod and belt) that is fairly versatile and being it's a "knockoff' (and they didn't get everything right from the MultiRig...) it's not overly expensive - the fundamental design of a shoulder support with dual handles is probably about the most stable short of a Steadicam, and with practice can get pretty close to that level of stability in a shot. ALL stabilization solutions take a little PRACTICE.
Two spread handles improve "roll" (ala "fig rig"), shoulder contact helps with longer clips, and a support pod/monopod hooked to a belt is even better for longer shots while not killing your back. Single handle designs work OK, with practice, but I prefer two, with some distance between them.
In the end there are inexpensive solutions (Spiderbrace is another that gets mentioned fairly often - something you can build from the local big box home improvement store plumbing dept. if you like DIY), inexpensive commercial designs, more expensive ones... and REALLY expensive ones...
As Don notes, there are times for a good stable tripod (and a Quick Release plate on your tripod and "rig"), times that a good monopod (such as Bogen 560/561/561) works, and times for a shoulder rig. More info on your shooting situation would probably help with further guidance.
September 26th, 2011, 08:59 AM
thanks for the replies.
i've been using a sony pd170 the last 8 years. when i shot weddings i shot hand held all the time sometimes with the lcd and sometimes with the viewfinder. i'm pretty stable and can handle the weight but i wouldn't mind a cheap support to take a bit of the load off my wrists more than anything.
the multirig looks great but it's out of my budget right now. that's why i'm looking at the cheap ones.