Shoulder mount for Z7 at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-Z7 / HVR-S270
Handheld and shoulder mount versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.


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Old February 21st, 2008, 01:11 PM   #1
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Shoulder mount for Z7

I've been using a Spiderbrace on my Sony HVR-A1 for a couple of years and just love it on that camera. I really don't like it on the Z7 though. I want to put my hands on the camera controls and not work through a lanc if I don't have to.

I just ordered one of these after reading Phil Blooms praise of it in his blog:

http://cgi.ebay.com/HANDS-FREE-VIDEO...QQcmdZViewItem

Anyone have any other ideas?
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Old February 21st, 2008, 01:34 PM   #2
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I've used a few shoulder braces with my VX2000 and FX1 and the only one I really like is called a CB-105. It's counterbalanced behind your shoulder so all you do with your right hand is point and work controls, not support the cam's weight. I added an extra Manfrotto quick release mount on it so I can instantly go from tripod to shoulder mount.

I've only seen in on Ebay, and it's not always available. Do a search for CB-105 and you'll likely find it.
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Old February 21st, 2008, 01:55 PM   #3
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Is this it?

http://dynamicmotionvideo.com/

All the ebay links are expired, but it looks really nice.
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Old February 21st, 2008, 02:55 PM   #4
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Laurence, I have been using one of those with the HVX200 and find it to be very stable. It is, however, pretty heavy due to the balancing weights etc. It starts to hurt my shoulder after awhile. Good luck
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Old February 21st, 2008, 03:21 PM   #5
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I just got an email back from the guy at Dynamic Motion Video. Here is the eBay link:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MESE:IT&ih=023

It's a Canon link, but he assured me that it is a universal fit even though it is listed that way.

Anyway, it looks like exactly what I was looking for so I ordered one. It looks like it will work with the Z7 nicely.
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Old February 21st, 2008, 08:38 PM   #6
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Yes, that's the one. I bought the additional counterweight as well. It's a heavy sucker but it works.
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Old February 25th, 2008, 03:27 PM   #7
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Well so far I'm batting zero here. The CB-105 puts the eyepiece too high and too far to the right to use. Same thing with the Chinese eBay one. The quality on both looks nice, but they don't seem to work well for me with the Z7.

I have also tried the Spiderbrace (which I love on my HVR-A1) and the Tiffen Steady Stick. No joy out of either of them either.

By itself, the Z7 isn't that bad for the first few minutes, but after that the camera gets heavy.

Any more ideas?
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Old February 25th, 2008, 07:32 PM   #8
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I looked at the chinese one you mention, actually owned the Optex it is copied from. Isn't there a longish extension that can move the camera to the left? I know I've seen two different attachments out there - seem to remeber that the one in the eBay listing was more of a short riser affair - there's another extender that doesn't add much height, but puts the camera more "out front", and can swing to both sides. Not sure if the one you got has that part, but might work better.

You mention the Steady Stick ddin't work for you? I've tried a bunch of other options, and as much as I think "something" should be better, I end up back at the Steady Stick, with a stretch strap added to help make it more controlable. At least it's pretty flexible for height and side to side... wish the shoulder rest was a bit more refined!

The DVPro multirig might be worth a look too, but far more $$ (and looks like a lot more engineered solution)
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Old February 25th, 2008, 10:24 PM   #9
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The JVC 200/250 has the best design. Lightweight shoulder mounted camcorder with pro controls in easy reach. Too bad they still use 1/3" chips.
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Old February 26th, 2008, 08:34 AM   #10
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Larry trust me.

Get the DVMulit Rig. It will be the best investment that you can make for shooting with the Z7.

I don't care what anyone says. The DVMulti Rig http://www.dvmultirig.com is the best overall camera support out there.
It's not a Glidecam nor meant to be one. You can get decent moving camera shots, but not close to what a Glidecam can do.

But what you can get out of the DVMulti Rig, is fantastic static or moving camera shots. I shoot all day events with it, fatigue free, all day long. The only thing that hurts on me is my feet.

You can shot in Fig Rig style (handles up), handheld mode (handles down), shoulder mode, low mode. All of this either with or without 2 section pod support. Many have said that what I consider shaky footage is better than what they have seen with a monopod. Clients have even said that they had no idea that I shoot most of my footage handheld as it looked very steady to the eye. Grant you not tripod rock steady, but pretty darn good.

I load my FX1 (same size as Z7) up for the day with wireless mic, shotgun mic, Sony LVP-LBP LED light (which is large) and a LANC remote on the left handle (it's the only handle that doesn't change position). I shoot pod supported all day long and in all positions, and if needed, even mount the entire rig on a tripod in matter of seconds.

Check out these samples to see how I use the Multi Rig:
http://www.lvproductions.net/video.html

http://www.lvproductions.net/BeckiDan.html

Feel free to PM me with any questions. Also feel free to do a search on these forums as the DVMR has been discussed a lot.
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Old February 26th, 2008, 02:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot View Post
Larry trust me.

Get the DVMulit Rig. It will be the best investment that you can make for shooting with the Z7.
The Multi-rig looks cool, but then you're back to using a lanc controller instead of having your hands on the camera itself. I really like having my hands on the camera. I like fiddling with the wheels and having my hand on the comfortable lens controller assembly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
You mention the Steady Stick ddin't work for you? I've tried a bunch of other options, and as much as I think "something" should be better, I end up back at the Steady Stick, with a stretch strap added to help make it more controlable. At least it's pretty flexible for height and side to side... wish the shoulder rest was a bit more refined!
I tried the Steady-Stick again and after a bit of drilling holes to mount a Manfrotto tripod plate adapter, I have it so that it is pretty good, maybe even really good. The belt support holds the weight of the camera and my left hand can be on the focus/zoom/iris wheels or on the handle for extra stability.

This what I'm going to use until/unless I can find something better.
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Old February 26th, 2008, 03:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence Kingston View Post
The Multi-rig looks cool, but then you're back to using a lanc controller instead of having your hands on the camera itself. I really like having my hands on the camera. I like fiddling with the wheels and having my hand on the comfortable lens controller assembly.
Larry, you can work with both hands on the camera if you like still. You would just put the Multi Rig in shoulder mode. You just fold the handles in accordingly.

I had to work that way one shoot, as I broke the cable to my LANC remote, as I had the tension too tight. So when I turned the hand grip upwards, the cable snapped.

So I just worked in pod supported shoulder mode the whole day. I just setup the rig in pod support mode (steady stick style but smoother support due to 2 section air support), converted the back support to shoulder mode, folded the right grip inwards, and used my right hand to make the appropriate camera adjustments.

The beauty of the DV Multi Rig, is that you have many options in which to shoot with. Trust me when I tell you that once you get this you very well may find many more ways in which you have shot before.

Plus, as I said, you can mount the unit on a tripod in a matter of 10 seconds flat.

I know several well known videographers who used to shoot with shoulder mount cameras and were used to having hands free to make camera adjustments. They have since moved onto Z1's and such, and absolutely love the DV Multi Rig. And, because of the smaller camera form factor and support, now shoot with much more freedom and creativity.

Oh and BTW, I don't work for DVTEC, the creator. But am truly passionate about their products and support.

But until you actually use it, you will never be able to appreciate it. There were many videographers who traveled to Orlando this year for the 4EVER 08 convention and got first hand experience with it. As a result I know of 20-30 who have purchased it. I brought one into my local BVA meeting a few months back and out of the 15-20 who saw and tried it, about half have purchased one.
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Old February 26th, 2008, 03:40 PM   #13
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I have another friend who swears by the multi-rig.

One big problem with the Z7 and my Varizoom lanc controller is that when you are using it in CF mode instead of tape, you get this bright flashing LED on the controller warning you that you are out of tape. I wish I could get rid of that. It really is distracting. I'm worried I will end up with footage of a bunch of people looking at my hand!

Which model of Multi-Rig do you have?
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Old February 26th, 2008, 04:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence Kingston View Post
I have another friend who swears by the multi-rig.

One big problem with the Z7 and my Varizoom lanc controller is that when you are using it in CF mode instead of tape, you get this bright flashing LED on the controller warning you that you are out of tape. I wish I could get rid of that. It really is distracting. I'm worried I will end up with footage of a bunch of people looking at my hand!

Which model of Multi-Rig do you have?
The Multi Rig Pro.
Actually I might have been one of the first in the U.S. to receive one from Danny, the creator, when it was released. I used to use the DVRig Pro and swore by it, but once I tried the DVMulti Rig, I quickly sold my DVRig Pro.

The DVRIg Pro was great and I would recommend it to anyone shooting with a very large setup, like a rails setup. But my setup wasn't that big, hence the DVMulti Rig.
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Old February 26th, 2008, 04:38 PM   #15
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The DVMulti Rig sure looks versatile to me, one of these days maybe I'll pick up a used one at a price I can justify <wink>.

The one mod I've done to the Steady Stick is to add one of those stretchy camera straps (those ones made of wetsuit material) - both ends attach to the upright and can slide up and down the shaft, giving me quite a bit of control, and I can use the quick release to go "shoulder mount" without the upright flying around. It also acts as a "safety" against the rig going out of control and respecting gravity to a bitter end.

I do prefer the "hands on" orientation of the Steady Stick myself, just want something to take the weight off my arm and most of the time the shoulder. For me any shoulder attachment is limited to around 1/2 hour of use before the ol' lower back begins to file a grievance...

Both the Steady Stick and the DVMR make perfect sense in that respect! Shifting the weight to the hips/waist can make or break a shoot since fatigue = shaky shots every time!
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