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Old January 16th, 2003, 11:06 AM   #1
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MiniDV Shoulder Brace

I am on the lookout for a good simple shoulder brace (the kind without the abdomen brace). Doing some run and gun filming where this could be really handy.

So far I've seen two that seem do-able, but I'm wondering if anyone out there has experience with one of these.

http://www.studio1productions.com/dvbrace.htm

http://www.varizoom.com/pages/oneshoot.htm

I've searched around on this forum and only found info on the kind with the stomach brace, which is a little too much for what I need....
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Old January 16th, 2003, 06:09 PM   #2
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I've been using the brace from studio1 for quite a while with a 150 and I love it. After the big battery, W/A lens, wireless receiver and light on top of the camera, the shoulder brace is great.
DonB.
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Old January 16th, 2003, 06:27 PM   #3
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I have a Mighty Wonder Cam shoulder brace, which I think is a knock-off of the VariZoom. It's OK, but I don't love it.
Still if that one sells for $99, that's not bad.
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Old January 16th, 2003, 09:29 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. I ended up getting the Studio1 model. I'll report back on my experience with it in case anyone else is interested.
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Old January 23rd, 2003, 05:36 AM   #5
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Imran, have you gotten a chance to try out your new shoulder brace yet? How do you like it?
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Old January 23rd, 2003, 07:59 AM   #6
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Nope, still waiting. According to UPS tracking it arrived in Jacksonville at 5am today... I'm really hoping I get it tomorrow since I'll have free time with it over the weekend.
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Old January 27th, 2003, 06:46 PM   #7
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Well I finally got it, the Studio1 miniDV shoulder brace.

Overall, I'm actually pretty happy with it. I was able to instantly create that kind of soft-moving camera effect that I really love in films like Next Stop Wonderland, and I was also able to keep it so steady it was almost tripod-like. Heck, if I lean against something in just the right way, I can actually make it look dead still like a tripod.

No it doesn't have any abdomen brace, but I was looking for something I could use in run and gun scenarios, and I am very happy with it. It is compact and seems very well constructed. I do wish the knobs for adjusting the 2 sliders (up/down and forward/back) were a little more 'tighten-able'. But the knob and platform for the actual camera's tripod mount seems solid and safe. I have never used the Mighty Wondercam or the Varizoom shooter equivalents of this brace, but I know this one can't be any worse than those.
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Old January 27th, 2003, 10:30 PM   #8
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Glad you like it. I finally got the nerve to shoot a wedding without the tripod using the brace and I have to say it was awesome. I got shots I wasn't able to get before (of course the B/G & officiant were good about my moving around on the alter)-remember I carry alot of stuff on the brace. I didn't use the W/A but I had my shotgun, BIG battery, wireless receiver and the magnifer for the LCD on the cam. I wasn't fatigued at all after the ceremony. I will be doing every wedding I can using this method. PS-my VX1000 was positioned to cover my moves just in case.
Oh yeah, I also use a Bogen QR plate (the same as for the 3063 head on my tripod, on the brace so I can switch quickly and cleanly)
Have fun,
Don
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Old January 28th, 2003, 12:19 AM   #9
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That's good to hear, Imran. Some people have said that it could stand to be more sturdy but it looks like it'll do. About how much weight do you think it can really handle, nevermind the manufacturer specs?

I'll look into it along with the Bogen plate Don suggested, thanks you guys.
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Old January 28th, 2003, 07:59 AM   #10
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My only complaints about sturdiness have to do with the knobs that I mentioned earlier, but other than that, this thing is actually really sturdy. It doesn't bend or sway, and seems to be of a durable construction. I don't know if you could put an XL-1 on it, but the config that Don mentioned that he uses would work for me as well. A GL-2, which is what I have, with a shotgun and a big battery would work swimmingly. Don even adds on an LCD thing and a wireless receiver!

I will eventually get a zoom control too, which will make it very convenient to occasionally switch hands if fatigue does kick in...
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Old January 28th, 2003, 11:27 AM   #11
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Oh yeah. The Knobs. I keep a small tool pouch in 1 of my cases and I ALWAYS have a pliers handy. Once I got the positioning set I tighthened all the knobs up with the pliers and promptly broke the plastic cover off of the bolt that would normally screw into the camera. No big deal, it's only a cover and as I said I use the Bogen QR plate. Also, I made a bracket for the back part of the shoulder brace for my receiver. I made it out of some 2"X6"X1/8" brass plates and pop riveted them together and then to the brace. It balances out really nicely and even during the reception with the light on the camera it stays pretty well balanced. I'll try to get a picture of it and get on here so you can see it.
Don
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Old January 29th, 2003, 05:26 AM   #12
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I'd really like to see a picture of that. Think the shoulder brace could accomodate an AG-DVX100?
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Old January 29th, 2003, 06:06 AM   #13
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It should hold it no problem. I'll post some pics as soon as I figure out how!!! (this is beyond me at 6AM)
Don
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Old February 12th, 2003, 08:59 PM   #14
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I went ahead and placed an order for a Varizoom VZ Shooter shoulder brace. I'll report back when it arrives.
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Old February 20th, 2003, 12:24 AM   #15
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Okay, my shoulder brace arrived today. First impressions:

The Varizoom VZ-1 Shooter is very light. At first I was alarmed when the FedEx driver handed my package over, I thought maybe it was the wrong product inside. Of course it was the correct item but I guess I was thinking along the lines of weight = sturdiness and so I had some doubts about how strong this brace really was.

It is also very simple in construction with drilled holes along the metal length, washers, some nuts. It looks like a proficient welder could put one of these together quite easily. There is no padding along the curved, fixed shoulder brace itself and the foam around the handle is of the variety that will flake off with extensive use.

I definitely think these are priced too high but to counter some of the points I've brought up there are some advantages as well. It is light! Why would one want to add on extraneous weight if its not needed? In this regard, the brace is actually good. The simple construction also means less hassle and once its setup, you're ready to go. It performs exactly as its required.

My only genuine fault with the product is the convenient 'stand' it comes with. I wish it could be removed as an option since I feel it gets in the way. And I'd replace the foam around the handle with something else. Otherwise, when braced against my shoulder it holds the shot fairly steady.

Here is a link to the product in question:

http://www.varizoom.com/pages/oneshoot.htm

I wonder if I should have gone with the Studio1Production brace instead?
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