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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.


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Old August 1st, 2007, 02:59 AM   #1
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Shoulder Mounts? Monopods?

I'll be soon filming an even that will force me to film, while on the move. I will be walking around, stopping to film, walking more, etc....

Is there anything that you would recommend me to use on my Fx1? I've seen the shoulder mounts, I've heard to use a monopod, what is your opinion?
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Old August 1st, 2007, 10:37 AM   #2
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I'm facing a similar situation...

been hired as 2nd cam (using HVX) for upcoming shoot while on the move. (My first of this type in years).

My immediate impulse was to think shoulder-mount. However, upon discussing it, the producer, who will be working 1st cam, recommended a monopod.

Things we considered, (though not necessarily in order of importance):
1) cost: a pod is less expensive than most worthwhile shoulder mounts
2) portability: at some point, I'll have to board a bus AND possibly shoot in an elevator, and the vertical form-factor of a pod seemed likely to be a bit less cumbersome/more manageable than a shoulder mount.
3) weight: I'm not the youngster I used to be, (who is?), and using a pod would ease the wear & tear on my neck, back, and legs. Neither your cam nor mine are particularly heavy...for a short period of time and without the extra weight of peripherals. We already know this shoot will run a long time, all of it in relatively cramped quarters. We thought the added weight of mics, light, etc would just take its' toll earlier in the day and could lead to degrading footage as the day progresses (and my neck and back start feeling the effects).

One other advantage is that the mono works equally well for still cams, often eliminating the need for a separate tripod. (Not a consideration in my upcoming shoot, but helpful when using my DSLR or working w/a photog or an assistant)..

I opted for the Bogen 561B. You can find an owner's review of it here:
http://www.epinions.com/content_392160120452

If you research that, just be aware that, while it has little "feet", it is NOT a tripod. I would NEVER leave it free-standing, as it's MEANT to tilt easily from a vertical position. Also, now that I've had it a few days, I'm beginning to question the usefulness of the video head, i.e. since the entire pod-shaft turns, the head seems a bit superfluous. (Though, I've only had it a few days and I may yet be overlooking some versatility that isn't obvious to me). If I didn't want the QR plate, and the versatility that offers, the Bogen 562B may have been an overall wiser choice.

On reflection, something similar, i.e. a monopod with fixed, or fixable small feet,might be more helpful in this situation. Something that provided a fixed vertical position AND the ability to level the cam, but with a very small footprint might be best. (I still wouldn't rely on such a product to be freestanding, but anything to assist in keeping a fixed vertical would be a help in tight quarters. Unfortunately, I don't know of any products on the market like that.

Hope this helps.
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Old August 1st, 2007, 10:49 AM   #3
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Have you seen the following thread? http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=57910
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 09:06 PM   #4
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Thank you for the help. I ended up going with the Monopod.
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Old August 9th, 2007, 04:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis Danatzko View Post
If you research that, just be aware that, while it has little "feet", it is NOT a tripod. I would NEVER leave it free-standing, as it's MEANT to tilt easily from a vertical position. Also, now that I've had it a few days, I'm beginning to question the usefulness of the video head, i.e. since the entire pod-shaft turns, the head seems a bit superfluous. (Though, I've only had it a few days and I may yet be overlooking some versatility that isn't obvious to me). If I didn't want the QR plate, and the versatility that offers, the Bogen 562B may have been an overall wiser choice.

On reflection, something similar, i.e. a monopod with fixed, or fixable small feet,might be more helpful in this situation. Something that provided a fixed vertical position AND the ability to level the cam, but with a very small footprint might be best. (I still wouldn't rely on such a product to be freestanding, but anything to assist in keeping a fixed vertical would be a help in tight quarters. Unfortunately, I don't know of any products on the market like that.
I own a Bogen 682B, also with the accessory feet at the bottom, and it has proven a great tool. Shot one complete doc with it, doubling it as a tripod for the interviews, and it worked great.

But two things might be a great help:

1) A quick release plate, so you can move to your tripod or just remove the camera quickly from the monopod.

2) A small simple tripod head, as light as you can get and also with a quick release plate. It can be very useful for adjusting your camera better on fixed situations. While the pod can adjust only height, it's very hard to find the right position in such a way, and tilting it can be great thing.

That has been my experience.
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