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Old May 2nd, 2002, 01:59 AM   #1
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shoulder support

Hi. I was wondering if anyone could recommend a good shoulder support system for the XL1s. I have the ma100 (suuuuuucks) and whatever the one that comes with the camera is called (also suuuuuucks).

I find my back, as well as my shoulder and arm aching after about 10 or 15 minutes of handheld work, and it's especially bad if I'm not shooting straight ahead, at eye level (i.e. up or down). Anyone know anything?
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Old May 2nd, 2002, 07:36 AM   #2
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Check out the articles on Chris's XL1 Watchdog. There are a few on camera supports that should suit your needs. Go to the Articles Menu then Camera Support
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Old May 2nd, 2002, 08:47 AM   #3
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Yeah, I saw those. I was interested in the SP7 (I think that's what it's called) and then found out that the guy in Texas doesn't do 'em anymore, and that they're now sold by Varizoom for $500!
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Old May 2nd, 2002, 08:58 AM   #4
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Yes, VariZoom sells them for $500 which is a couple hundred bucks *lower* than what the original maker was selling them for. VariZoom *dropped* the price.

If that's still too much, consider the VZ-LSP at VariZoom. If this stuff seems expensive, just remember you get what you pay for in this business... you spend the money only once but you use the tool for as long as you take care of it.
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Old May 2nd, 2002, 10:49 AM   #5
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I've had a bit of trouble with my VZ-LSP lately. It creaks and pops...just like an old wooden ship, only the sound is metallic instead of wooden.

I've gone through repeatedly and oiled joints and retightened every nut and clamp...but it still creaks and pops loud enough to hear in the footage. Not sure what to do about it. I may just have to retire it.
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Old May 2nd, 2002, 10:51 AM   #6
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Which model. John?
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Old May 2nd, 2002, 11:03 AM   #7
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We must have crossed messages, Chris. I'd just gone back and edited my first post to include the model number...then your message came. Fast on the draw as always, I see.

Anyway...it's the VZ-LSP. I do have the abdomen brace attached, but that doesn't seem to be the source of the noise. As far as I can tell, it's the vertical piece that screws into the bottom of the camera and then attaches to the horizontal brace of the support. For some reaon, it appears to have been stressed enough to weaken it and cause it to groan the way it does. There are no visible cracks or bends, and I never dropped it or anything.

I wish the bracket piece came down in a U shape and clamped to both sides of the horizontal bar. Seems that would make it a lot more stable. I may just try to rig that up myself. The rest of the unit is fine...it'd be a shame not to use it.
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Old May 2nd, 2002, 11:27 AM   #8
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Yes, that particular joint is indeed the most critical. Let me know if you rig something, I'd like to learn the details.
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Old May 2nd, 2002, 02:39 PM   #9
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Well, has anyone used the shoulder support I was talking about? (Mediapro, or something)
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Old May 2nd, 2002, 04:04 PM   #10
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Plenty of folks here are using it... just do a search on SP7, SP-7 or Media Pro. Hope this helps,
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Old May 2nd, 2002, 05:32 PM   #11
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So it rocks the shoulder support world, then? I was going to buy a steaditracker, or something similar. I don't suppose the SP7 helps with stability, does it?
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Old May 2nd, 2002, 05:55 PM   #12
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The SP7 / Media Pro *does* help with stability; with it *you* become the tripod. A Steadytracker is a different kind of tool. Shoulder supports are one thing and stabilizers are another. Research them both, elsewhere on the web and here as well, to determine which tool would better suit your needs. A stabilizer is going to be tough to hold very long without the extra expense of a vest with camera arm system, whereas a shoulder support can be used all day long with little if any extra fatigue. Hope this helps,
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Old May 3rd, 2002, 12:17 AM   #13
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Ah, but now that's the trick, isn't it? Some days I may need to go shoulder mounted, whereas somedays I may need to do some kind of complex camera move where shoulder support wouldn't be much good.

By the way, how much would the aforementioned weight belt thingy be?
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Old May 3rd, 2002, 12:34 AM   #14
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Short of going with something extreme like a Glidecam V-8 rig (approx. $2,900) your best bet is to select the substantially less expensive SP7 or similar shoulder mount and practice, practice, practice with it, particularly walking backwards. Keeping the camera relatively still during motion is an athletic skill even with a full inertial stabilizer. The lightness of the XL1s works makes this a bit more difficult than with a 12-15lb pro camera. But it can be done reasonably well.
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Old May 3rd, 2002, 12:39 AM   #15
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Yeah, that SP7 sounds pretty cool. I need money though. Wanna give me some? I'm saving up for the wide angle lens.
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