Shoulder support for Z1U at DVinfo.net

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Old July 1st, 2006, 01:26 PM   #1
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Shoulder support for Z1U

I am looking to get a should support for my Z1U. Does anyone have any suggestions? My camera is pretty heavy with the wide angle lens, matte box and follow focus.

Thanks
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Old July 1st, 2006, 01:49 PM   #2
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See the following: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=57910
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Old July 1st, 2006, 07:57 PM   #3
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I have been using the Spiderbrace mini for my Z1+Wideangle lens(Sony), and it works great for me. I like it because it is very light but also strong. Even with the set up you have it may work well for you. I liked it so much that I didn't even notice if they have a return policy...check their site and see if they do, and if you don't like it, just return it.
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Old July 1st, 2006, 08:40 PM   #4
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Isn't that a bit weird to have both hands away from the camera?
Are you shooting just in auto mode without even change zoom or focus?

I don't think I would use it without the basic controls on the handles...
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Old July 2nd, 2006, 05:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Johnes
Isn't that a bit weird to have both hands away from the camera?
Are you shooting just in auto mode without even change zoom or focus?

I don't think I would use it without the basic controls on the handles...
I use the SpiderBrace with my Z1 and have found a comfortable position to hold it whilst still maintaining control of the zoom and focus rings.

I hold the Brace in my right hand and tuck my left wrist under the left handle and actually hold the camera with my left hand - within easy reach of the two rings up the front.

It's very good but don't expect that it's going to help make your shots 100% steadier. I still have a long way to go to get much steadier shots with it.
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Old July 2nd, 2006, 07:24 AM   #6
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Perhaps it is possible to adapt one of those cheap camera heads used in photo tripods in the Spiderbrace, that may come with a detachable plate for the camera. They are usually light, so they won't add too much weight to the combo.

If that's possible, then the same setup could also be used as a sort of hi-hat for stationary shots, where you can put the camera on a table and shoot from it. Having a rotative simple camera head, which would be poor for movements, will help in framing the shot.

Just an idea.

Last edited by Carlos E. Martinez; July 2nd, 2006 at 08:29 AM.
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Old July 2nd, 2006, 09:07 AM   #7
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Just a general observation about using a shoulder mount for the Z1 based on my use of the Video Innovators support. Since it's a relatively small camera, when you mount on a shoulder support the weight is all in front of your shoulder. This makes it front heavy and it tends to tip downwards if you aren't careful. Ideally you would want more weight right over your shoulder to provide more stability. It helps if you use the LCD screen instead of the viewfinder because you can shift the camera farther back on the shoulder rest.

Another problem is that the camera is very prone to rocking left and right because the shoulder support is very narrow. I guess the Spiderbrace tries to address this problem by providing two handles. I've never used one myself though.
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Old July 2nd, 2006, 09:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Just a general observation about using a shoulder mount for the Z1 based on my use of the Video Innovators support. Since it's a relatively small camera, when you mount on a shoulder support the weight is all in front of your shoulder. This makes it front heavy and it tends to tip downwards if you aren't careful. Ideally you would want more weight right over your shoulder to provide more stability. It helps if you use the LCD screen instead of the viewfinder because you can shift the camera farther back on the shoulder rest.

Another problem is that the camera is very prone to rocking left and right because the shoulder support is very narrow. I guess the Spiderbrace tries to address this problem by providing two handles. I've never used one myself though.
The Video Innovators XSB Extended Shoulder Brace should address that problem, as it adds an extension that rests on your body.

Breathing movement from the operator maybe a problem, but you can always hold your breath ;).
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Old July 2nd, 2006, 11:24 PM   #9
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Go to the Spiderbrace website. The one I use only has one handle, and is called the Spiderbrace Mini. Once I focus with my left hand, I still can zoom if needed with my right hand. The handle helps take off any fatigue while doing long shots. I shoot mostly wide shots, and the sony wide converter is heavy I admit. I suppose somewhere down the line I might try one of the LANC zoom/focus controllers for the handle, but for now I'm still learning all of the various aspects that the camera has to offer. By the way, I had a lot of old S-VHS tapes that I wanted to convert to DVD, so bought the JVC SR-MV40, from B&H, because it also has an firewire input. The other day, I plugged in my Z1 to the firewire input and made a straight downconverted copy of one of my HDV tapes, and it came out excellent on the DVD. It's an interesting machine, because it will even convert a Tape to progressive scan to watch on a progressive capable TV.
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Old July 3rd, 2006, 09:57 AM   #10
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When I use my shoulder rest I put my right hand through the strap on the camera and leave it there which lets me zoom and push the record button. Then as I need to focus or use the other controls I can let go of the handle on the support and use my left hand.

If you're considering a LANC controller you may be disappointed (as I was) to learn that it can't access slow zoom speeds on the Z1: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=55047

Regarding progressive scan, many people may not realize that the Z1 can do 480p and 576p in standard definition mode via the component outputs. There's a menu item to enable this. Unfortunately it's only available as analog output and not via firewire. The FX1 doesn't have this feature.
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