It's too small.. how do you stabilize it? at DVinfo.net

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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old November 10th, 2006, 05:22 PM   #1
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It's too small.. how do you stabilize it?

So I just got these in the mail a couple of hours ago and these are my first thoughts:

I am so used to my 12 lb XL2 (yes I said 12 lbs!)

The Xh-a1 feels like a toy compared to my xl2.. especially the plastics.
The body does feel solid though.

The weight and ergonomics are so totally different I don't know how to handle it.. I am used to shoulder mount.. and even when just handheld on the xl2 I am used to the size and wight supporting my stabilization.
I'm feeling clumsy when using this camera! I know I will get used to it sooner or later but does anyone have any good tips?


Also there are so many more things in the menu then on the xl2.. which is not a plus.. like audio switching to and from XLR's.. don't like. We'll there is a lot in the menus that I'm not used to.

I am also finding it hard to mount accessories as there is little room and no back-plate... humm custom work needed!

The wide angle on the xh-a1 20x lens is super impressive!
Iris ring and shutter dial absolutely A++
Lack of light on side status monitor.. annoying but wont miss much.
Attached Thumbnails
It's too small.. how do you stabilize it?-dsc00049.jpg   It's too small.. how do you stabilize it?-dsc00047.jpg  

It's too small.. how do you stabilize it?-dsc00045.jpg  
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Old November 10th, 2006, 05:30 PM   #2
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Load it up brother, rods, mattebox, shoulder mount.
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Old November 10th, 2006, 05:31 PM   #3
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There are a wide variety of shoulder supports available for a camcorder like this. Sounds like you'd be much more comfortable shooting with one of them.
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Old November 10th, 2006, 05:34 PM   #4
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This thread about shoulder mounts for the Z1 should also apply to the Canon: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=57910
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Old November 10th, 2006, 05:35 PM   #5
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thanks for the quick responses.. i will check them out!
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Old November 11th, 2006, 12:12 PM   #6
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This is a concern of mine too .. although I haven't picked up an A1 yet, as they're not yet available in the UK.

I haven't found any shoulder mount supports that I've liked the look of.

Cavision offer great rods ( http://cavision.com/rods/minidvFF.htm ) and also offer a shoulder pad thing ( http://www.cavision.com/pictures/SonyHDV/btsps2.htm ) .. but I read a bad review of the shoulder support. It doesn't look that comfy or practical to me, PLUS, it's way too far back.

I emailed Cavision to ask why all their pictures show the shoulder support to be waaay far back ( http://www.cavision.com/pictures/SonyHDV/SonyHDV.htm ), when obviously you would ideally want the shoulder support to be under the centre of mass ... They said yes, this is a factor, but these HDV cams only have a rear viewfinder or quite rear LCD .. they need to be mounted "in front" of the operator in order to see them.

This is a fair point.

So ... the best solution I can think of at the moment is this--

Cavision rods ( http://www.cavision.com/rods/minidvQR.htm ), but slide the camera-holding bit off the rails and insert it backwards ... this would cause it to jut off the back of the camera, and you could fasten accesories to it somehow. This would also leave completely bare rods underneath the camera, where you could custom build a shoulder pad ... like the zacuto one ( http://store.zacuto.com/product.php?...&cat=13&page=1 ), but, er, cheaper.

Then put these on the front- http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

For monitoring, I'm thinking something like a Noga arm ( http://www.adorama.com/ZONDG11043.html ) holding a 7" LCD quite far forwards, even just behind and to the side of the matte box.

For Mattebox, there are good options, personally I use a Formatt FM-500 I picked up on ebay for £70..

This would be a great setup, centre balanced over the shoulder, and can think of fastening stuff to the back plate somehow also ...

Thought I'd share my plans/thoughts, in case others are going to go through this!

I need to think about focus though, I don't shoot anything auto focus (events included), so I don't know how I'll manage that... HDV has tougher focus requirements, so maybe I'll have to switch to auto for events and FF for Cine/Promos
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Old November 12th, 2006, 06:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noel Evans
Load it up brother, rods, mattebox, shoulder mount.
Hey Noel, which mattebox are you using? Can you give me a link?
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Old November 12th, 2006, 11:01 PM   #8
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I previously used a GL2 and find the A1 to be much heavier to hold. After about 30-40 seconds of handheld shooting... my hands and arms begin to noticeably shake as my muscles begin to fatigue. And after about a minute, you can definitely see my shaking in the shots. So some sort of stabilization system is def. recommended. I have started bracing my camera-hand arm at the elbow with my other free hand to kind of give extra strength for myself... but I am still fatiguing very fast.

I'm known to be a bit of a shrimp though, so I don't know how fatiguing it would be for a beefier cameraman.
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Old November 13th, 2006, 12:49 AM   #9
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I don't think I would call my self a "Beefy" cameraman.. but I think it's too light.. or actually no.. the A1 is a perfect weight for it's size;
I really just prefer shoulder mount cameras over handheld ones..

At our ministry TV set we use Hitachi Brodcast shoulder cameras (about 30lbs) I love em! they are so much easier to keep stable for long periods of time. Love having a manual lens too.. (OH I'll just have to get an H1 too :)
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Old November 13th, 2006, 08:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Padilla
So I just got these in the mail a couple of hours ago and these are my first thoughts:

I am so used to my 12 lb XL2 (yes I said 12 lbs!)

The Xh-a1 feels like a toy compared to my xl2.. especially the plastics.
The body does feel solid though.

The weight and ergonomics are so totally different I don't know how to handle it.. I am used to shoulder mount.. and even when just handheld on the xl2 I am used to the size and wight supporting my stabilization.
I'm feeling clumsy when using this camera! I know I will get used to it sooner or later but does anyone have any good tips?


Also there are so many more things in the menu then on the xl2.. which is not a plus.. like audio switching to and from XLR's.. don't like. We'll there is a lot in the menus that I'm not used to.

I am also finding it hard to mount accessories as there is little room and no back-plate... humm custom work needed!

The wide angle on the xh-a1 20x lens is super impressive!
Iris ring and shutter dial absolutely A++
Lack of light on side status monitor.. annoying but wont miss much.
Hey Michael sorry to change the subject, but I see that you are using the new Varizoom LED Light.
How do you like it so far?
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Old November 13th, 2006, 08:48 AM   #11
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VariZoom Rocks.. Lights!

I love it.. infact I'm going to order a second one.. Although please mention the fact that they don't have a canon battery mount yet and that they MUST!!
I am using a very small sony battery and it never goes dead; even when shooting all day..

Here are some pics with it mounted to the A1 without the barn doors.
I really didn't know where else to mount the battery.. this wouldn't be appropriate if you plan on using a shotgun mic..
Attached Thumbnails
It's too small.. how do you stabilize it?-dsc02038.jpg   It's too small.. how do you stabilize it?-dsc02039.jpg  

It's too small.. how do you stabilize it?-dsc02040.jpg  
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Old November 13th, 2006, 08:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Padilla
I love it.. infact I'm going to order a second one.. Although please mention the fact that they don't have a canon battery mount yet and that they MUST!!
I am using a very small sony battery and it never goes dead; even when shooting all day..

Here are some pics with it mounted to the A1 without the barn doors.
I really didn't know where else to mount the battery.. this wouldn't be appropriate if you plan on using a shotgun mic..
Why don't you just mount it on the handle further back?
I know that it might cover the VCR controls, but at least you would be able to use a shotgun mic with it.

BTW just saw this on Varizzoms website for Canon batteries. The last picture (S7200C DV Battery Clamp for Canon).
http://varizoom.com/products/batteries/s7200.html
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Old November 13th, 2006, 08:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot
Why don't you just mount it on the handle further back?
I know that it would cover the VCR controls, but at least you would be able to use a shotgun mic with it.
Because it would cover the VCR controls :)

(and I don't have a shotgun mic.. so no worries there)
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Old November 13th, 2006, 08:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot

BTW just saw this on Varizzoms website for Canon batteries. The last picture (S7200C DV Battery Clamp for Canon).
http://varizoom.com/products/batteries/s7200.html
Sweet! Ok, its time to call them.. :)
BTW please be sure to mention us (michael & rebecka a.k.a. VisualMasterpiece) when you call in :)
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Old November 13th, 2006, 09:46 AM   #15
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Ok, Michael this is strange.
Myself and the wife are also names Michael & Rebecca. But on the other coast.
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