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Old August 29th, 2004, 04:55 PM   #1
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Camera Support Needed

Hi all...

I recently added on a Beachtek DXA-8 to my Sony VX2000 to provide me access to better quality mics. Anywho...

Since I added this to my camera, the camera weighs a TON. I had spinal-cord surgery a few years back that left me with alot of nerve damage in my right arm/shoulder. I am weak on that side and if I overuse it, I have alot of problems with pain/muscle spasms.

Needless to say, I need some sort of support/harness. I'm wondering if any of you has suggestions. I also need to know just what I will be looking at as far as cost goes. I am rather short and small - not sure if that matters or not. I'm only 5'2" and weigh under 120lbs.

The sooner I get something, the better. Thanks in advance...
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Old August 31st, 2004, 01:56 AM   #2
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Well, VariZoom makes something that might be what you are suggesting. Unfortunately, it is $400.

Am I the only one who thinks that cam accessories are obscenely overpriced...like mic muffs and and just about anything else you can mention? Jeez!

http://www.varizoom.com/pages/lsp.php
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Old August 31st, 2004, 02:09 AM   #3
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Linda,
There are several braces available ranging from cheap junk to professional quality, with commensurate prices.

But perhaps this is not really what you need. Is your goal to reduce the weight directly on your shoulder or to reduce the strain on your right arm?
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Old August 31st, 2004, 08:27 AM   #4
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Well, I was thinking about transfering some of the weight to my shoulder... I pretty much thought that's how these braces worked.

I'm looking to relieve my upper/lower arm of weight. I am also looking to be able to steady my camera as well. Steadyshot only does so much, as you know. When my arm starts to get strained, my ability to aim and shoot gets a little shaky.
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Old August 31st, 2004, 09:41 AM   #5
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Linda,
There are as mentioned many different shoulder mounts out there. I have a Studio1store brace which is the same as the HabbyCam. In theory it works, but here's the reality as I have lived it. :-)

I use a PD150 which is a front heavy camera to begin with. Add a WA lens attachment, on camera light, long shotgun mic, put a big Sony battery on the back and just for good measure add a wireless receiver and the rig weighs a whole lot. Now add to the mix, that even though the shoulder mount has adjustments both up and down and forward and back to get the camera in the right place and even with the bracket I fashioned and installed on the over the shoulder part to put the wireless receiver to the rear for better balance and even with the camera set for me to use the VF and or LCD without straining my neck the rig is still so front heavy that after about 5 minutes I have a problem with my left arm shaking, and I'm left handed. So the long and short is I hardly ever use it anmore. If I need some kind of bracing I use a monopod with a Bogen 501 head on it and the monopod has feet. Its a Bogen 682B and for me, it works out better than the shoulder mount. Otherwise, I tripod the camera.
I'm sure the mount probably works well for some but for me it doesn't work well for anything more than about 5 minutes and for under 5 minutes I'm better off handholding.
BUT....That's just me.
Don B
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Old August 31st, 2004, 12:31 PM   #6
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Wow Don!

That's alot to digest all at one time... let me do the research on the stuff you suggested. By the way, I'm a lefty too, but I do alot of things with the right hand, operating my camera is one of those.

My camera, as mentioned, is a VX2000, so I deal with the same things you mentioned, although my equipment at this time only consists of the Beachtek 8 box and the Oktava mic on the top. I will be adding a shockmount soon so that will be more bulk to deal with.

Thanks for the insight. Now I'll go to work checking all this stuff out.

Linda
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Old August 31st, 2004, 12:59 PM   #7
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I also shoot with the cam on the right but your left hand and arm support the front of the rig. I ALMOST started to "work out" to build up my left arm but then I figured I'm too old to be doing that stuff. ;-0

Have fun and good luck to ya!

Don B.
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Old September 1st, 2004, 01:18 AM   #8
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There is a back pack rig out there, where the backpack has pole sticking out the top and bends forward, a cable is hanging from the pole, and the camera clips onto the cable. The camera is adjustably suspended in front of you, basically holding the cam up for you. It might be overkill, but it might also be a necessity.

http://www.easyrig.se/tortlerig.html
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Old September 1st, 2004, 07:43 PM   #9
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http://www.16x9inc.com/easyrig/tortlerig.shtml
This is another link for info about the Tortlerig. I had an opportunity to test out its big brother, the EasyRig, with about thirty-five pounds of Panavision CineAlta camera, and I was truly amazed at how comfortable this rig made carrying the camera. This is not a Steadicam, so you won't be able to do super smooth tracking shots, but if I were shooting hand-held with a heavy camera every day, I would consider this rig a good investment in my health. Yeah, it looks goofy, but the damn thing works.

I have no reason to doubt that the smaller Tortlerig works equally well with small format cameras, but the $1995.00 price tag is a tough nut. But, if you can write it off, it could be a Godsend to anyone with a physical disability.

At the budget end, I like the Mighty Wondercam from http://www.videosmith.com/
I suggest you look at the model with the Ab Pad, for additional support. This device offers a number of adjustment points that allow you to "customize" where the camera positions for your personal physique. Look for the Mighty Wondercam at B&H for a good price.

BTW, Linda, I was in Cleveland for a wedding week back in July. Beautiful for two days, then rain for the next five. Ugh. Plus, it was dissapointing to see what a rag the Cleveland Plain Dealer has turned into. And all the young people in the wedding are Republicans. What's with that?

Wayne
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Old September 1st, 2004, 09:49 PM   #10
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So off topic, but...If everybody is anti-establishment (and with the current administration, you probably should be), you can be sure it's hip to be anti-anti-establishment (hence all the young Elephants). I'm 23 and still in college (don't ask), and you wouldn't believe how many people my age claim Republican values just to be able to argue with everybody else, and claim to have "independent thought". My question is, what happened to Indepednents?

Ummm, on a side note ( ;) ), what do you think of the rigs, Linda?
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Old September 2nd, 2004, 04:05 PM   #11
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Umm...

I dunno about that funny looking contraption Wayne and Jesse! Kinda looks like the thingy that Neil Armstrong wore when he walked on the moon! :) I still gotta look into the info that Don gave me.

Yeah Wayne, The PD sux. I see grammatical errors all the time in top of it all. Republicans.... umm. That's a bad thing I take it? Don't worry, I ain't Repulican! :)

Anyhow... thanks for the advice all... I will keep in looking, thanks again! I could swear that I saw some sort of thing that rests on the shoulder. Kind of shaped like an upside-down U, not quite.
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Old September 2nd, 2004, 04:55 PM   #12
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There are defintely shoulder mounts/braces for smaller form cams, if that's what you mean by "upside-down U". Here is one such example...

http://www.studio1productions.com/dvbrace.htm
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Old September 2nd, 2004, 05:06 PM   #13
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Yeah Jesse, That's it, I think. And the price seems pretty fair. Have you used one of these? Actually, it says it's recommended for my type of camera - VX2000.
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Old September 2nd, 2004, 06:57 PM   #14
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Excuse me, Linda, but did you miss my reference to the Mighty Wondercam? While the Studio One is cheaper (by 30 bucks), it won't afford you the various adjustment points to position the camera in a comfortable position. As I said, I recommend you take a hard look at the "belly pad" version, or else you will end up supporting the weight of the camera with your damaged arm.

Wayne
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Old September 2nd, 2004, 11:13 PM   #15
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I have to apologize Wayne... I don't know how it happened, but I guess I skipped over that paragraph... sorry!

Looks nice... I like the reference to the "morphology"!:) The "belly brace"... I'll have to consider it, along with the other suggestions.
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