New SP7/Mediapro --shoulder ouchies at DVinfo.net

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Old July 22nd, 2002, 01:41 AM   #1
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New SP7/Mediapro --shoulder ouchies

I just received my spankin' new SP7/Mediapro today, and have been reading the instructions and screwing with it accordingly. Maybe it's me, but I'm having a hard time making it comfortable. I know how it's supposed to sit, and I don't mind the gimbal so much. It's just that it doesn't seem to sit right.

I'm a small man. . .not quite small enough to fit in someone's shirt pocket, but close. I'm 5'2 and not a stocky dude. Is this relationship just not going to work out? The apex of the shoulder pad does not actually touch my shoulder unless I really put in a a weird position that feels all wrong. I remember someone saying that it was supposed to offer hands free shooting. Well, I tightened the appropriate nut as much as possible, and it's still not tight enough to stay on me when I remove my hands.
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Old July 22nd, 2002, 07:19 AM   #2
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Go to the Watchdog at www.dvinfo.net/xl1.htm -- click on Articles Menu, Support Options, SP7 Custom XL1 Shoulder Brace. The SP7 is what the brace was called before VariZoom bought it and renamed it the MediaPro. At the bottom of the page is the contact info for the inventor, Harold Greene. Give him a call, he's in Dallas. I'm sure he'll help make sure you get it properly adjusted and positioned.

In the meantime Josh, don't buy this stuff until you can try it out first. I'm glad you're finding my recommendations and articles on the Watchdog to be helpful, but I'm always the first person to tell you that after reading my stuff, you should try things out for yourself. Just because it's good for me, it may not be good for you. One lesson I've learned the hard way is, "try before you buy" and something like a shoulder brace definitely falls into this category, because people come in all shapes and sizes and the shoulder support that fits me well may not fit properly on you. I would not recommend it for a person of smaller stature and now I'm thinking I should have put this into my review.

Anyway do yourself a favor and don't buy gear when it's sight unseen. If one of my articles really gets your interest, then you should continue to explore it and thoroughly check it out, give it a try and then plunk down your cash. Just don't go out and get something just because it's on the Watchdog. I stand behind everything I've put up there, but there's so much variation in people and applications that I still have to strongly advise everyone to try before you buy. Unless of course, it's on my "Top Five XL1 & XL1S Accessories" page. I'll go down swinging for everything listed there. Hope this helps,
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Old July 22nd, 2002, 08:05 AM   #3
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Trying out equipment first

Hi Chris,

I'm having a little bit of a similar problem to Josh Bass - (see my thread posted yesterday inquiring about home-built shoulder mounts.)

Unfortunately, it's not always possible to try equipment out first. Some of us live in the boonies (even though I do make it down out of the mountains once in a great while.) I called all the biggest camera stores in Atlanta about shoulder mounts and finally got an answer about the Media Pro mount from Showcase. They said they stopped carrying it some time ago because it "just wasn't comfortable." Couldn't even find anyplace else that ever carried it. So I never got to try it out. Same thing with the Dolgin - can't find it anywhere. So even though your advice is quite sensible, it's not always possible to find the equipment in question in your own local area. That's why this forum is a godsend for all of us just starting out with the XL 1s. Any ideas where to go from here? Thanks for any help.

Christine
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Old July 22nd, 2002, 08:39 AM   #4
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Hi Christine,

All points well taken. With regard to Alex Dolgin, he is a mamber here and sells direct and through a few e-tailers.

In my opinion the best possible way for someone living in the American Outback (from West Virginia to Utah including Texas) to see this gear first-hand is to attend a major tradeshow.

VideoMaker Expo is this week on the east coast; the L.A. DV Show follows next week on the west coast. The cost involved in travel, etc. is ultimately well worth the price as you get to see and try everything in person. What's lacking is anything substantial in the middle of the country. I've been talking to a few equipment vendors about "going on tour" with a travelling roadshow of some nature, but it's only in the conceptual stage right now.

There is another VariZoom brace, the VZ-LSP, which might be a better solution for you and Josh. It has an ab support which takes most of the weight and transfers it to your hips. See http://www.varizoom.com/pages/lsp.htm -- also check out Jim Kundig's DV Caddie at www.dvcaddie.com -- hope this helps,
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Old July 22nd, 2002, 09:20 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info

Chris,

Thanks for the additional information. I was not aware of dv caddie, so I'll give them a look. I had looked at the VZ-LSP before at Varizoom. To tell you the truth, I was not impressed when I called Varizoom a couple of weeks ago to inquire about the Media Pro shoulder mount. I spoke to a young man who didn't know anything at all about it and he was not inclined to ask anyone else there until I gently insisted that he do so. I find it hard to buy from companies who don't have better representatives than that. I'm also looking into the habbycam and the Image 2000 which seem pretty similar. I'll let you know what I choose. Thanks again.

Christine
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Old July 22nd, 2002, 01:43 PM   #6
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"In my opinion the best possible way for someone living in the American Outback (from West Virginia to Utah including Texas) to see this gear first-hand is to attend a major tradeshow"
Chris, you are right, it is the best way, but... for the smaller size manufacturer, it is difficult to have the specialty item to be displayed at every major trade show; the dealers are not always interested in stocking every item they carry. So the only viable alternative is to read some reviews, find out what the return policy is, and go with what looks the best. If it does not fit, the loss is a few bucks in the shipping charges.
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Old July 22nd, 2002, 02:12 PM   #7
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Say Alex, are any of my guys (ZGC, Pro-Tape, Zotz) selling your stuff? Or are you direct only. Thanks for your input as always,
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Old July 22nd, 2002, 02:31 PM   #8
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ZGC sells our product. They actually have a few pieces in stock, talk to Chris. If she does not have something, or has a technical question from her customer, she is very good at calling here and following up.
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Old July 22nd, 2002, 02:47 PM   #9
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I think I can live with it. I was just really looking forward to the fact that I could go handheld all day and be fatigue free. Well, it ain't gonna happen.
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Old July 22nd, 2002, 03:38 PM   #10
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Hey Chris,

I like your idea of a "travelling road show".

One of the bigger video equipment retailers here used to do something like that. It was very well received and a great way to check out gear first hand.

Unfortunately they went out of business, and it's a long way to either coast from here.

Keep us informed if you pursue it.

Mike Avery
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