Shoulder Brace for PD-170 at DVinfo.net

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Old July 14th, 2004, 03:45 PM   #1
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Shoulder Brace for PD-170

I have read all of the current threads going in the shoulder brace debate, so my apologies if this is redundant. I have a Sony PD170 and it seems like a lot of the suggestions are for XL-1's, which have a different ergonomic makeup if I remember correctly, from using them a few years back.

I do a lot of shooting on a tripod, and I'm not looking to replace my tripod but ease up my handheld shooting. The doc I'm working on right now is on a clinic that is a true labyrinth of hallways, nooks, and crannies and I think that an ab support system (or anything with a bar that goes to the waist) would make it almost impossible to turn corners for long takes.

The habbycam and studio1 systems almost look like the camera is at a downward angle. Am I imagining this? If not, is this to try and compensate for the lens being lower than eye level?

Right now I guess I'm looking at the habbycam, studio1, and maybe varizoom although their website is SO annoying to me and I'm very turned off by the visual overload. Not that this gives any reason to not buy it....I also saw something from "video innovators" on B & H but it looks kind of cheap.

Thoughts?
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Old July 14th, 2004, 08:52 PM   #2
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I have a Studio1 brace, it's the same as HabbyCam. Once you get it set with the camera at the right height and distance from your eye it works pretty well. The challenge I've encountered is weight. The 150 is front heavy to begin with, add a WA lens attachment, on camera light, long shotgun mic and it's becomes quite a load. As I get older I find my steadyhand isn't quite as good as it used to be so I'm using my monopod more and more although there are times when I just simply handhold and either cradle the cam or use the VF and become the tripod. Old technique I got 30 years ago as a still guy. HOWEVER, if and when you do any kind of zoom, use something, tripod, monopod or shoulder brace for the extra support.

I also made a bracket for the shoulder brace on the back side of the should pad for my wireless receiver to throw some extra weight to the back of the camera.

It's still not like useing a well balanced full sized but sometimes the shoulder brace can make a big difference.

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Old July 14th, 2004, 09:03 PM   #3
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do you agree with the supporters of the "ab brace" type of mount then? as for weight distribution? it just seems so bulky! i've used one like it with 16mm cameras and i felt like i was walking around with a car on my chest or something.
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Old July 15th, 2004, 01:13 AM   #4
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Emily
Do a search on this forum for the mini rover. While not a brace it enables you to form a steady camera platform with your upper body.

A shoulder brace looks "cool" but it still keeps the weight forward of the shoulders. A mini rover allows you to lock your arms tightly agains your chest and upper body forming a perfect camera platform. No shakes at all, the camera moves with your upper body . lock your elbows into your chest and see if yours hands shake. they don't. i used one on a pitching deck and a jeep bouncing through the Arizona Desert. The camera moves but slowly and with your whole upper body.

Those that have tried it have all agreed.

The only thing better than the mini rover is the marzpak, and that transfers the camera weight to your hips. the camera movement is again dampened.

The Mini rover is $50 at B&H. before you scoff, try it. It doesn't look cool like a shoulder mount, it just works.

Imagine hanging onto the two front grips of a popular shoulder brace. it just doesn't make sense to me.

The following link is for the picture of the mini rover only. The prices are canadian so don't have heart failure.

look at the bottom of the page

B&H price

The Marzpak
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Old July 15th, 2004, 08:26 AM   #5
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Emily,

I have used braces with AB support, they are ok for some, but for myself, I didn't care for them (AB Supports). When I would breath it would pickup my breathing motion through the support. Rob
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Old July 15th, 2004, 09:38 AM   #6
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thanks for all of the advice. and bryan, i know what you mean about the "two grips" thing. when i saw the model with two handgrips i couldn't even picture a scenario where i'd be hanging on to both at once.

question about the mini rover. the angle of the grip looks like it would feel awkward for the supporting hand (for me, my left.) does it feel strange? also, correct me if i'm wrong, but don't you lose your free hand if you're hanging onto the camera with both hands? (one on the grip and one on the camera). maybe i don't understand this apparatus correctly...
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Old July 15th, 2004, 03:03 PM   #7
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You should be hanging on with both hands. The left hand grasps the hand gripand the left elbow is locked into your torso.

The right hand slips through the camera strap and that hand control the zoom and the camera control.

Try it, you'll understand.

Do a search
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Old July 15th, 2004, 03:17 PM   #8
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I just recently got the varizoom shoulder mount with the ab supporter. I've been happy with it. You have to place the ab support in a fashion that it won't move too much with breathing.

It's nice because it completely takes the weight of the camera off your arms.

I've also read some things about the Tiffen steady stick which sells for about $100. You may want to check that out.
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