Z1 seriously unwieldy at DVinfo.net

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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 April 14th, 2005, 09:50 AM   #1
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Z1 seriously unwieldy

Hi folks

I've just been issued with a Z1 to replace a PD150, and I used it for the first time on a job today.

With a Sennheiser shotgun & bespoke bracket, hi-capacity battery and radio mic receiver, it adds up to a rather heavy and awkward package IMO. I always go hand-held and found the PD150 to be ideal for this purpose, but after 20 minutes with the Z1 the small of my back was crying out in protest.

Does anyone agree? And does anyone know of a solution, maybe in the form of some sort of support brace or similar? I know such things are available but I'm interested in people's experiences. I don't want to look like I'm wearing a Steadicam, but maybe something small and inobtrusive...

These things aside, I think it's a great camera. The pictures are leagues ahead of the PD150, even in DVCam.

Cheers

Damian
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Old April 14th, 2005, 09:58 AM   #2
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I'll trade you for the 25+ lbs. BetaSP camera I have to lug around.


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Old April 14th, 2005, 10:08 AM   #3
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I also use a DSR570 which is considerably heavier than the Z1 but far more comfortable to use, given that the weight rests on your shoulder.
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Old April 14th, 2005, 10:49 AM   #4
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I really like the shoulder brace from Sony. There are others out there as well.. search here.
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Old April 14th, 2005, 11:44 AM   #5
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Is this what you had in mind? It is light yet strong.

http://www.varizoom.com/pages/DVRigJR.html
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Old April 15th, 2005, 09:03 AM   #6
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If you've got the cash for it Cavision do an awesome shoulder mount system with pistol grips (single or dual) for the 15mm rods system - also means you can add a mattebox and follow-focus if/when you decide you want one.

Here in the UK the shoulder mount and grip costs about 180 + VAT. You're probably looking at another 150 or so for the rods system, but I'm not sure exactly for that - bear in mind that the 15mm rods system is standardised so you may be able to find a relatively cheap option if you look about....

Pics of Z1 with Cavision rod system stuff at:
http://www.cavision.com/SonyHDRFX1.htm

Apparently (I don't use one, so not from personal exp), if you use a PAG light onboard and attach the battery to the shoulder pad (it has built-in mounts for this) the balance is pretty spot on, too...
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Old April 15th, 2005, 09:07 AM   #7
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Ah, I see you're a Geordie Damian!!!

Talk to Mitcorp (www.mitcorp.co.uk), that's where I got my rod system from - they're great, really helpful and among the cheapest I've encountered time after time... Closest showroom to you is Leeds, I think.
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Old April 15th, 2005, 09:28 AM   #8
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Sure am Dominic... I'm just lamenting NUFC's departure from the UEFA cup. All we had to do was not concede three goals, so what did we do? Concede four.

Thanks a lot for the replies, folks. Much appreciated. I'm going to have to get hold of one of these supports as I don't want to have to resort to the tripod.
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Old April 15th, 2005, 10:08 AM   #9
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Cavision shoulder mount

<<<-- Originally posted by Dominic Jones : If you've got the cash for it Cavision do an awesome shoulder mount system with pistol grips (single or dual) for the 15mm rods system - also means you can add a mattebox and follow-focus if/when you decide you want one.

Here in the UK the shoulder mount and grip costs about 180 + VAT. You're probably looking at another 150 or so for the rods system, but I'm not sure exactly for that - bear in mind that the 15mm rods system is standardised so you may be able to find a relatively cheap option if you look about....

Pics of Z1 with Cavision rod system stuff at:
http://www.cavision.com/SonyHDRFX1.htm

Apparently (I don't use one, so not from personal exp), if you use a PAG light onboard and attach the battery to the shoulder pad (it has built-in mounts for this) the balance is pretty spot on, too... -->>>

Do you know if you can get an Anton Bauer goldmount on the back for a battery holder or does it have to be a battery bag. I would love to be able to use my current battery set-up of trimpacs with a UL2 light. You could even buy the breakout cable for a dummy Sony battery to power the camera. Would this work?
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Old April 15th, 2005, 03:30 PM   #10
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Z1 is a shoulder mount camcorder !!!

Damian:

It looks like most people do not know that the Z1 can be used as a shoulder mounted camcorder without any adapter.

Use the LCD as it was a viewfinder, flip it out, and position the Z1 ON YOUR SHOULDER just as if it was a BetaSP cam. With the difference that you have to hold the camera this way when you put it on your shoulder:

1. Mount the camera on your shoulder but make sure that it is the back of the base of the camera (not its middle base) the part that rest on your shoulder; otherwise, the LCD screen will appear just too close to focus for your eyes.

2. Place the left hand on the lens shade and focus ring with thumb and index fingers controlling the focus ring. The other fingers should be on the lens shade further stabilizing the camera.

The trick here is to use the palm of your hand (not your fingers!!!) and position it to rest the base of the lens shade on the upper part of the palm of your hand so the camera stabilizes properly and comfortably.

3. Place the right hand on the handle of the camera with the thumb supporting the handle from the bottom and the middle finger controlling the recording buttom and the zoom control located on the handle. You can use the upper part of your right arm to push in a comfortable manner against the camera for added stability.

4.Position your head as far as possible from the LCD screen so your eyes can focus properly on the image of the LCD.

At first, this may feel awkward but as you get used to you will feel you are holding a shoulder mounted camcorder with a lot less weight on your shoulders. And believe me, you don't need any additional support brace or shoulder mount adapter to use this camera on your shoulder.

There may be some variances on how to support the front part of the camera. You can make an L shape with your index and thumb fingers and rest the lens shade against that. Works best when the thumb is up and the index finger is perpendicular in a horizontal position as if simulating a gun. In this case the middle finger also acts as support. Find the most comfortable position for yourself.

The method I am supporting the camera on my shoulder provides for three key points of support: The back of the camera is supported on your shoulder, the front of the camera is supported with your left hand and the middle part of the camera is supported with your right hand and upper part of your arm. Three key points of support which translates into much more stable footage.

God bless the engineers who designed the Z1 and put the LCD screen on top of the camera rather than on the side like in the PD150/170.





<<<-- Originally posted by Damian O'Neil : Hi folks

I've just been issued with a Z1 to replace a PD150, and I used it for the first time on a job today.

With a Sennheiser shotgun & bespoke bracket, hi-capacity battery and radio mic receiver, it adds up to a rather heavy and awkward package IMO. I always go hand-held and found the PD150 to be ideal for this purpose, but after 20 minutes with the Z1 the small of my back was crying out in protest.

Does anyone agree? And does anyone know of a solution, maybe in the form of some sort of support brace or similar? I know such things are available but I'm interested in people's experiences. I don't want to look like I'm wearing a Steadicam, but maybe something small and inobtrusive...

These things aside, I think it's a great camera. The pictures are leagues ahead of the PD150, even in DVCam.

Cheers

Damian -->>>
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Old April 16th, 2005, 09:05 AM   #11
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Hi John,

Not sure about the Anton Bauer's, but it should be possible with some jiggery-pokery, at the very least - it's not a bag system, but rather a direct mount. All you'd have to do (assuming that there isn't one available from somewhere or the mount is not standard - as I said I don't use either system so this is not from personal experience) is find/make a conversion fitting to sit on the bracket and give you the mount you need...

Worth looking into!

As for runnig the camera as well, I'd talk to someone who knows mre about electronics than me, or you'll probably end up blowing up your camcorder - and I don't want that on my concience!!!!

Damian: That sounds about right! lol!!! My family are/were all Liverpool supporters and I remember some pretty rugby-like scorelines between them and the magpies in recent years!! Nevermind mate - go and buy a nice shoulder mount system to console yourself!!!
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