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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old April 1st, 2002, 05:31 PM   #1
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XL1 shoulder support

Anyone have any preferences on a shoulder support device to use with a XL1. I'm going with a Varizoom remote and am wondering if one of their shoulder mounts is the way to go. I'm an airshow junkie and the XL1 is one awkward gizmo to horse around. I normally use a GL1, but would like to give my XL1 a try.
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Old April 1st, 2002, 05:38 PM   #2
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The "ultimate" XL1 shoulder support in my opinion is Harold Greene's SP7 Pro, which is on my website, the XL1 Watchdog at www.dvinfo.net/xl1.htm > Articles Menu > Support Options.

My sponsor VariZoom Lens Controls now carries this support and it's fully compatible with a VariZoom controller. The pictures on this page -- http://www.varizoom.com/pages/mediapro.htm -- don't show it with a controller, but if you call them at (888) 826-3399 and talk to David Locke or Tom Smith, they'll tell you about a bracket that goes with it for mounting the controller.

I too am an airshow fan... my friend Bob Jones in California sent me some great B-17G and B24 video, just him alone with the aircraft, no crowd, I was pretty jealous.
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Old April 2nd, 2002, 01:05 AM   #3
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I agree with Chris. I bought the SP-7 based on the Watchdog report, its looks, and talking to Harold myself.

I must say it is an outstanding design, and I use it exclusively for hand held work.

The only warning is that it adds some weight to the camera (becasue in reality thats what needed to happen to take the front heavy XL1s and make it evenly balanced). And this is not a big warning, becasue I love mine.

The extra storage it provides in the back is a big time saver. I actually use my batteries to balance it out.

I have bought many extras, and this is the real McCoy.
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Old April 2nd, 2002, 01:59 AM   #4
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Do you have any experience with stabilisation with this piece
of gear? How good is it? I assume it will not be a steadicam,
but I was wondering how steady you can get the footage while
walking/running.

Thanks!
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Old April 2nd, 2002, 06:33 AM   #5
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Codeman3D

Are you using a controller with the SP-7?
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Old April 2nd, 2002, 11:03 AM   #6
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I havent bought the controller yet.

As with any shoulder brace short of a steadicam system, your ability to hold the camera firm makes a big difference in the smoothness of the shot. The great thing about the SP-7, for lack of a better term, is it feels right.

I can either be firmly planted on the ground, walking, or running and the brace makes the camera into an extension of yourself.

Watching the footage I have shot chasing people through haunted (and dark) places, I have yet to be disappointed with any footage.
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Old April 2nd, 2002, 11:06 AM   #7
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Rob:

The real advantage of a good shoulder mount comes when one is standing still or moving slowly, in minimizing handshake by locking the camera to the body. In a walking or running situation, the movements of the body are thus transferred to the camera so it is only as good as one's handheld walking technique (the bent-knee heel-toe duckwalk). In some circumstances a light camera that is held in the hand may produce better running shots than a solid shoulder-mounted setup where the footsteps are apparent.
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Old April 2nd, 2002, 12:05 PM   #8
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We just released a new shoulder support - XL Pouch. Chris is planning to post a report on it shortly, but here is the link with Chris's permission.
http://www.dolgin.net/XLPouch.pdf
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Old April 3rd, 2002, 02:07 AM   #9
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Do you have any pictures of someone "wearing" this
piece? I'm a little bit confused as to how your supposed
to hang it on your shoulder.

Thanks
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Old April 3rd, 2002, 07:50 AM   #10
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Rob, there is no "Glamour shots" :-) taken yet, but if you look at the "Brace Classic" at http://www.dolgin.net, it would give you a good idea. The "Pouch" has a battery compartment added in the back of the "Classic".
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Old April 3rd, 2002, 12:30 PM   #11
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Varizoom says a contoller bracket for the SP-7 should be available sometime after NAB. I am impressed with the looks of it and the favorable reports. Looks like the way to go. Thanks for all the suggestions.
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