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Old November 25th, 2003, 06:42 AM   #16
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I'll probably end up needing to get a Mini Rover soon because
I'm running out of room to put stuff on my cam. I see on the DVshop site they show a mic mounted on the Mini Rover. My Rode
NT4 couldn't sit on the end like that. Because of it's size and weight it needs "extra attention" in mounting. It's attached in two places to the VX handle. It sits in a Lightwave Minimiount.
The Minimount is attached to the hot shoe. The rear part of the Minimount extends down the length of the VX handle, riding about 3/4" above it. What I do is cut about six 1" squares of padded double-sided tape and stack them up and stick them between the VX' handle and the Minimount. The Minimount itself also needs "extra attention" to support the NT4's weight. This involves use of a nylon bushing and two rubber washers. With all this, the mic is quite stable on the cam. Video hobbiests do look more at the cam with that two-headed silver mic on there and comment "nice camera". Gives the cam a more "pro look". (Maybe I should've posted this in the Support Your Local Mic forum.) I've considered occasionally that I should've gotten a smaller mic but I'm picky about good audio. I just read a newer multiple-mic comparison and the NT4, of course, kicked all a**. I'll probably put my Pag C6 light on the Mini Rover. Does anyone know if use of the optional Mini Rover wireless receiver plate will take away the option of using the shoe?
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Old November 25th, 2003, 07:51 AM   #17
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"Does anyone know if use of the optional Mini Rover wireless receiver plate will take away the option of using the shoe?"

I've been wanting to know this myself. It sure looks like it does in the photo.
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Old November 25th, 2003, 07:59 AM   #18
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Ya, it looks that way.
Does everyone use their monopod with a head on it?
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Old November 25th, 2003, 08:23 AM   #19
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I think the head is indispensible, especially if you ever want to get low angle shots, which I do a lot. It's one of the coolest things about using a monopod.
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Old November 25th, 2003, 08:31 AM   #20
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I mounted the mini mate and attached a secondary shoe to it for some earlier applications. The mini mate plate could also be used to mount your NT4. By installing the mini mount parallel to the camera, you'd have the required support.
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Old November 25th, 2003, 08:45 AM   #21
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The mini rover is my most used accessory and is even left on the camera when mounted on my tripod. I even use it with my Marzpak.

I recently bought a cavision bellows matte box with carbon fiber support rods. This is a close second as a camera support believe it or not. I have a cavision clamp on sun shade in use when not needing filters or that deep shade of the bellows. I found myself leaving the support rods on the camera. it wqas just so handy as a hand hold (sturdy as well).

My monopod is my least used support item , and yes i even leave the mini rover on when I use the monopod.

Again, the quality of build and the grip are worth the extra few bucks over a cheap L bracket.
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Old November 25th, 2003, 08:55 AM   #22
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Do y'all feel the mini-rover is better than the Studio1 Steady Bracket? I would think the Steady Bracket grip, being below the camera and not next to it, would be easier to handle than the mini-rover with it's handle next to the camera.
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Old November 25th, 2003, 08:59 AM   #23
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I really dig the mini-rover too. How did you attach a hotshoe to it? By the way, do you use an XLR adapter with that bellows? I'd like to get one, but it looks like the rods would get in the way of my adapter.
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Old November 25th, 2003, 11:30 PM   #24
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Marco
I use a beach sometimes and sometimes not. I use the Canon adapter plate (RSPC). You have to change the height of the sliding bracket that connects the adapter plate to the carbon rods. I also have the smaller DV plate. Either can be set up for a XLR adapter or without one.

I spent damn near the whole day in their office fitting it the way I wanted. I really doubt they'll forget that one. Catherine , the office mgr really tries to accomodate the customers needs.

http://www.cavision.com/Mattbox/rods.htm
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Old November 27th, 2003, 09:41 PM   #25
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Studio 1 Rocks

Bobby,

I recently bought three monopods for a special project we were covering and found them to be fantastic.

I purchased them, along with some mini-dv camera braces from Studio 1 in Orlando, Florida. You can see the application on their website at, http://www.studio1productions.com/skypod.htm

It is not often that I am wowed by a company or their services, but I have to say that David at Studio 1 was absolutely amazing in providing support for their products.

My purchases were made on an emergency basis and everything was received within 24 hours of every order I placed.

Also, the SkyPods are very affordable and when combined with their Digital Zoom Controlers, we were basically pulling off "crane" shots at a moment's notice and under conditions that were less than ideal.

I had no problem keeping my zoomed in shots steady, although tilting and panning from one "leg" takes a little getting use to.

Give them a look, I think you'll be very pleased with their products.

RB
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Old November 28th, 2003, 02:51 AM   #26
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Manfrotto like Skypod

Rick, I took a look at the link to the Skypod and was wondering if I could duplicate something like it with my existing tripod. I can't believe I never thought of this before.

For a portable tripod I use a Manfrotto 190QCB with a 128RC head. This tripod has a removable center post. I also have a Manfrotto 681 monopod with a 128RC head mounted on it.

I noticed that the bottom extension of the monopod uses the exact same diameter tube as the center post. I took the rubber foot off the monopod and it fits exactly into the tripod as if it was designed for it.

Fully extended it's 8.5 feet and is quite stable. The nice thing is that it stands by itself. If extended to 7 feet I can actually reach up and work the pan handle. I also have a Varizoom and portable LCD screen so remote control would be no problem either.

I thought I'd share this discovery in case anyone else has a similar tripod and monopod and never thought to use the two together.
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Old November 28th, 2003, 11:23 AM   #27
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Nothing like a little ingenuity to better an already good situation!

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Old November 29th, 2003, 11:50 PM   #28
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Bobby, I'm strictly an amateur (have shot a couple of weddings for friends, a few sporting events, etc.) and I've pondered this as well, because I don't like to be tied to a fixed location with a heavy tripod. I like to mount my Canon Elura on my cheap, lightweight Hakuba tripod (w/ 3-way pan head) but keep the legs closed. It therefore serves as a monopod, but when I need extra stability, I just open the legs a bit - easy to do with one hand. As soon as I want to move again, I can pick it right up. If I need complete freedom, I can use the quick release and easily set the tripod/monopod aside.

This method evolved because I'm still on the cheap and have only one support tool, but I like it nonetheless and would probably adapt it to a GL-2 if I get one. I like the idea of the Bogen monopod with legs - very much like my method. Not stable enough for pans or tele shots, perhaps, but stable enough for most shots and to allow an occasional rest. I notice that Bogen also makes a monopod with a squeeze lever to control the length with one hand - this strikes me as a potentially very handy design. I also like the idea of the Skypod.

There's also the Flowpod - a steadicam device that doubles as a monopod. It's a bit pricier, however.

I have limited experience but I like the combination of freedom and stability that a monopod affords. My next goal for events is to have a fixed cam on a tripod and use a monopod for a variety of other shots. I've never used a steadicam so I can't speak to that, but a monopod is certainly better than nothing.
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Old November 30th, 2003, 01:39 AM   #29
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Once you migrate to a more stable and heavy duty tripod or monopod you'll never want to go back to one of the light weight and inexpensive models. I use a camera that all dressed out weighs 5 to 7 lbs depending on what i use and i'd rather use a mighty wondercam mini rover than a cheap pod. As a mater of fact I seldom use the monopod at all. I do love my Marzpak.
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Old November 30th, 2003, 02:01 PM   #30
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I went ahead and bought a monopod. It was a cheap monopod at one of the few camera stores around here, but I think it'll be better than nothing. I still notice some sway, but with practice I think I can reduce the amount of movement. It is better than nothing.

I think I'm going to give that mini-rover a shot as well. There are some other stabilizers I'd really like to try as well, such as the Flowpod. That does look really cool, but it's pricey. If they work as advertised, then I'd be willing to plop down my cash. It's just hard to take a gamble on someting that may or may not work for several hundred dollars that I might not be able to return from unsatisfaction.

Andrew, good tip about your tripod use. I've tried that and there are benefits. I might try to get better at doing just what you're doing.

Rick, I bet you're right, Studio1 does look to have some great products. I'll have to give them a shot sometime. Their Smoothcam and SkyPod look really cool, as well.

It's amazing at how many things I need, or think I need...and I thought just buying a decent camera would be good enough...doh! :)
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