Shoulder Stabilizer for Panasonic DVX100? at DVinfo.net

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Old February 19th, 2004, 01:55 AM   #1
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Shoulder Stabilizer for Panasonic DVX100?

I've read here that the shoulder brace from Studio 1 is good. B&H recommended me the Varizoom VZ LST. We think a stabilizer that sits on the shoulder might make more sense than a monopod or one that goes on your abdomen, etc, but that's us going off theory. We're looking for something that will help us avoid those jerky shots when we're moving, and that is comfortable to wear and carry the camera with for long periods of time. Can anyone give their recommendations? The Panasonic AG DVX-100 is about 4 lb. Btw, this is my first posting here. Hi everyone.
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Old February 19th, 2004, 02:35 AM   #2
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Welcome Renee,
In general there are two categories of such devices.

Motion stabilizers such as Glidecams and Steadicams use inertia and gimbals to isolate ("fly") a camera from irregularities of its operator's body motions. There are hand-held versions for small cameras (like yours) and full vest mounts generally for heavier cameras.

Shoulder braces are designed more with operator comfort, rather than camera stabilization, in mind. To the extent that they make lengthy hand-held shooting more comfortable to endure they may offer some steadier shooting benefits with practice. But, in fact, their basic designs can actually make small camera shots shakier by resting the camera directly on your shoulders and/or torso. In normal un-braced hand-held shooting your arm absorbs much of the vertical vibration from footfalls. But when you use a shoulder brace those vibrations are transmitted directly to the camera.

There is a hybrid design that you may want to consider. These rigs feature a belt and vest to which an overhead boom mounts. The camera is attached to a cable suspended from the boom. This design looks a bit strange but accomplishes both a comfort goal and some degree of stabilization.

I'm really sorry that my tired brain cannot recall the names of any of these hybrid rigs at this hour. Hopefully someone else will fill this gap.

Have fun!
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Old February 19th, 2004, 04:38 AM   #3
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Welcome Renee! Here are some solutions you might want to consider, after the excellent summary Ken provided.

If not mistaken, I believe these are the hybrid rigs he is referring to, or at least two of them. One is the EasyRig 2 and another is the TortleRig. Visit 16x9 for more info:

16x9inc

Otherwise, another solution to consider is the DV Caddie. This is something I may purchase myself since it isn't as expensive nor very bulky:

DV Caddie

Hope that helps a bit.
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Old February 19th, 2004, 08:42 AM   #4
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Renee - there is a post a few pages back in this section dealing with shoulder supports that specifically talks about the Varizoom and the Studio 1. To sum it up, camera dealers are reccomending the Varizom over the Studio 1 because of screws that are hard to tighten that also come loose while shooting for extended periods of time.

Regarding Shoulder stabilization - I think Ken makes a good point about the vibration sent directly into the camera - however if you plan to mainly stand in one place, then the shoulder would most likely provide better results. Are you shooting narrative, documentary or news / event coverage? If it's where you'll have to be moving a good deal, then check out the post also listed a few posts back that gives some GREAT tips on hand holding techniques that should work better than a shoulder mount if moving around. Best of luck.
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Old February 19th, 2004, 11:09 AM   #5
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Christopher,
That's it! Thank you for back-filing my memory lapse.
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Old February 19th, 2004, 02:41 PM   #6
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No problem, Ken. In fact, I probably only learned about those rigs after coming across one of your many informative posts. Thanks!
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Old February 20th, 2004, 10:40 AM   #7
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Thank you!

Wow - this forum is great! I posted my question last thing at night and got your answers first thing in the morning. Thanks for your input - it's very helpful!
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Old February 21st, 2004, 06:01 PM   #8
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Another option to the shoulder brace is the MARzPAK.

http://www.marztech.com/index.html

I use this with a DVX100 and it works well and it not tiring during long run and run shots.
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Old February 22nd, 2004, 12:50 AM   #9
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definitely check out the mini-rover

i thought it looked really stupid when someone recommended it to me but i took a chance and ordered one and its great.

instead of adding a longer connection between your body and the camera ie. a shoulder ext. it adds width to your connection between your hands and the camera.

i even use it when i have my camera on a tripod for the increased leverage.

matthew
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 09:07 PM   #10
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I second the marzpak. It'l be the best money you ever spent. for $400 you get a whole lot more than anybody else offers. Christi wrote the book on customer service. The workmanship is top notch.

Second to that is the mini rover. Do a search on both, there has been a lot written
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Old February 24th, 2004, 07:19 PM   #11
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mini rover

How does the mini rover work exactly? From pictures of it, it looks like you would hold the mini rover grip with your left hand and then you would still put your right hand thru the camera's hand grip...? So, that way you're holding the camera with two hands instead of one, providing more support?

Is that correct? If so, how would you adjust the manual focus without a free hand? I mean, I assume you could just take your left hand off the grip temporarily to change focus, but it seems awkward to me to not always have a hand by the focus ring.
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Old February 26th, 2004, 06:22 AM   #12
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Re: mini rover

<<<-- Originally posted by Krishna Narayanamurti : how would you adjust the manual focus without a free hand? -->>>

You don't. Zoom is about the only control you can play with, using your right hand.

Just lock the focus and stay a constant distance away from the subject. The mini-rover is better for waist level or chest-level shots. For any level, the Marzpack is a better solution.
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