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Sony NEX-EA50 (all variants)
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Old March 20th, 2014, 10:02 PM   #1
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Ok I give up with weights!!

Hi Guys

Well I spent much time making a rear weight for one camera with just over 1kg and seriously the camera feels like a rock (I wonder how Tom manages with a Matte Box and a 2.1kg weight?

The centre of balance only moved back a small amount so for me it's not the answer. I have reverted to my new ENG rig version now that only adds a mere 300g to the camera weight and takes ALL the front weight off the camera via the spring rod going down to the waist belt previously mentioned.

Having an extra stability point at the front also gives you an amazingly steady shot too.

I think I will abandon the weights at the back as this is really a much better option and much easily from a weight point of view.

Chris
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Old March 21st, 2014, 02:39 AM   #2
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Re: Ok I give up with weights!!

Having used the camera for a year I also would say your solution is by far the best if you have to shoot longer times handheld, I shot interviews last year with the ea50 and after a while I was really started to feel the weight and I saw my image shaking so I just held the camera with my right hand and supported it with my left arm by pressing that arm against my body and lean on that with my right arm. Not a comfortable position but at least I could keep it all steady that way.
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Old March 21st, 2014, 03:27 AM   #3
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Re: Ok I give up with weights!!

Hi Noa

Great minds think alike! That what I was doing too but to keep things level I found I had to bend backwards a bit which was a killer on my back! You actually jam your elbow into your gut so your forearm acts as a stabiliser.

I don't think Tom will manage to do that with a 2.1kg weight plus the Matte Box! If only Sony had used the JVC HM700 design..that was brilliant with the shoulder pad near the centre of balance .. it just sits on your shoulder already balanced as they have a lot of electronics behind the shoulder pad just like an full ENG camera.

The spring arm actually works very well and you can get the Indian version for as little for $70 and the rails are another $110 ... still a cheap option which really works too!! Like my rail system the support is also made by Camtree ... mine is a slightly earlier version and I just bought the rod and belt and added my own mini ball head under the camera.

Chris
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Old March 21st, 2014, 06:50 AM   #4
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Re: Ok I give up with weights!!

Reminds me of the DVTec ENG rig that I used with my full sized cameras before. My Sony DSR series and my JVC HD5000 and 5100. Those cameras far outweighed the NEX-EA50 when rigged out with Anton Bauer Battery, receivers (2) on camera light...anywhere from 18 to 25 pounds and that ENG rig made them feel like nothing. PLUS when at the far end of the lens I could hold the camera still for a much longer period of time. I wish I could make it work with my HM700 but frankly 99% of what I do now is on a tripod so I guess it doesn't matter.
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Old March 21st, 2014, 07:29 AM   #5
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Re: Ok I give up with weights!!

Hi Don

Camtree actually copied the DV Tec unit I think and their latest version is almost identical at a fraction of the price!! I just got the rod and belt and the rest is bits and pieces. I used to have this on a little fixed aluminium frame under the camera but you do need to adjust the attachment point so the angle is correct for maximum effect, hence the adjustable rails now. DV Tec use a flexible pin under the camera but I found the ball head works really well!! My rod when new was a little sticky so some 1200 grit paper cleaned that up and after washing all the sticky grease inside the spring and tubes it's silky smooth now!!

It's hard to believe but you can actually make the camera front end a negative weight so if you relax your grip on the camera it moves upwards...I find it easier to have to gently pull the camera down to horizontal rather than have to lift it up. Yes you can have the front end close to feather-weight and that's a huge plus when filming a handheld sequence. My last wedding had the bride's grandfather come up and do a quick toast to the couple so I was handheld and he talked for 8 minutes!!!

Chris
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Old March 21st, 2014, 07:45 AM   #6
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Re: Ok I give up with weights!!

Hey Chris,
Yeah with FS cameras the key is to be a bit back heavy so when your hands are on the lens your arms do the natural thing and pull down. The ENG rig allowed me to actually let go of the camera completely and it would stay right there on my shoulder. Great balance. Not that I ever really did that since I was afraid my camera would end up in a heap on the floor but I did try it a couple if times. ;-)

Yeah I could hold steady for quite a while. I never timed it but it sure beat the heck out of "moving" camera.
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Old March 22nd, 2014, 12:48 PM   #7
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Re: Ok I give up with weights!!

CHris,

I tested the 1.kg and 2.1 kg counter balance weights out.
I think I really need those 2.1 kg for better balance on my shoulder otherwise there is too much front weight.

The stocklens is about 700g, so front heavy. That 2.1 kg weight was made on feeling.
The person who made it cut off a part of a metal bar and give it to me if it was good or to heavy.

first it was even heavier but I saw this would be too much for the shoulderpad for breaking.
So I let cut a part of so it became the 2.1 kg.

On the other side:the mattebox makes it more front heavy but I can use my left hand and put it beneath the mattebox bars to hold it. That's easier than without those bars I think.
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Old March 22nd, 2014, 08:43 PM   #8
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Re: Ok I give up with weights!!

Thanks Tom

I did a long reception last night and with an all up camera weight of 6+kg I think I would have been dead this morning! I certainly would not have survived all the hand held shots without ending up with a severe back issue ... I used the ENG rig only and you can actually use the camera one handed too!! As you can see the rail system is the same as your one and if needed I can pop a matte box onto the rails if I need to.

Wow! even with my 1kg weight hanging off the back I could feel the discomfort and it didn't do much to lift the front end either whilst the ENG lifts the front weight to zero or even negative!! The rod has a large and a small sprung section (both adjustable) so you normally use the larger one to provide the "lift" so the camera is just a tiny bit higher than horizontal if you let it go and then the softer top spring section gives you tilt facilities.

I couldn't have done without it last night.

BTW: Just check your shoulder pad assembly to make sure nothing is being damaged by the extra weight! With 2kg on the pad I found it was bending quite a lot and Sony state that max load on the top of the pad should be 1kg only


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Old March 23rd, 2014, 05:26 AM   #9
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Re: Ok I give up with weights!!

Chris,

Look at my pictures. I think a "dslr" hand grip will my solution.
When holding my hands there I takes the weight of my shoulder.
In that position I can hold it much longer I think.

I've seen that solution on many camcorders.
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Ok I give up with weights!!-sam_4072.jpg   Ok I give up with weights!!-sam_4073.jpg  

Ok I give up with weights!!-pl2027549-dslr_hand_handle_grip_support_15mm_rod_for_bmcc_shoulder_rig_dslr_shoulder_rig.jpg  
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Old March 23rd, 2014, 06:50 AM   #10
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Re: Ok I give up with weights!!

I'm thinking about the Manfrotto video monopod as a solution. I'm borrowing one to do a test on a golf shoot, I'll let you know how it goes. I shot a wedding using one on a DSLR with a heavy 70-200 lens and it was great even on 200 zoom.
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Old March 23rd, 2014, 07:15 AM   #11
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Re: Ok I give up with weights!!

Hi Tom

My very first rig also had "handles" and yes they will help take the load off but you end up only using one hand as you often need a hand for the camera. I found that I still got sore arms as you are still using your arms to hold up the heavy end and often just one hand so it gets tiring but you will get quite steady shots with grip points on the two handles.

Obviously if you use the handles you can drop the end weight too because some of the 2kg at the back is still transferred to the front. Seriously I think you would be really happy with the Camtree rod support and you can get one for less than you paid for your rail (I think they are listed for $70) and also come with a fitting that slides directly onto your rails.

Dave ? A monopod makes sense but my only issue is that you are stuck with a fixed height .. the rod system allows you to raise and lower the camera simply by moving it as if the rod wasn't there which is awesome but obviously a monopod firmly on the floor is super stable. I looked at my footage from last night, right at the end when I was physically exhausted and sheesh, it's STILL rock steady with no wobbles even at midnight!!!

Guys? The thing we REALLY need is a transverse stedicam arm clipped into a vest that would allow the camera to raise and lower via two cantilever arms ..the only issue I find with the support rod is it isn't as smooth when I walk with it as with a normal walking motion you tend to sway slightly from side to side. I shot last night handheld from 6pm to midnight (obviously with breaks) but amassed close to 2 hours of footage all handheld and all looks good.

My rod/waist belt is simply a nylon belt with a "pocket" in the front and the sprung rod goes up to a ball head and the other end is locked onto the rail system. Now, the new Camtree one just has a spring loaded pin at the top at the rail but there is a ball and socket down at your waist on the belt...I wonder if that might be better ..ie: allow the base of the rod near your waist to swivel and then just a minor amount of movement near the camera...with mine the top allows all the movement and the bottom is fixed....Hmmm maybe I should put a ball head at the other end too???

Seriously Tom, I would rather look at the sprung rod and belt ....if leaves you hands free which the handles don't and you are lifting zero camera weight....After shooting for 10 minutes when I "unhitch" the rod I'm quite amazed how heavy the camera suddenly is ....I reckon it's a steal for the price!!

Chris
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Old March 23rd, 2014, 08:21 AM   #12
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Re: Ok I give up with weights!!

This is what you guys need:

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Old March 23rd, 2014, 08:41 AM   #13
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Re: Ok I give up with weights!!

This is the one for shoulder mount cameras.


Thanks Noa ... You forgot to mention that the model in this video costs more than the EA-50!!!! Ouch they are pricey!! On the 50 with accessories we would need the bigger model more than likely and it's well over $3000 at B&H so in Australia it would be even more !! Hopefully it doesn't extend any higher than a normal height door frame???
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Old March 23rd, 2014, 09:03 AM   #14
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Re: Ok I give up with weights!!

OK I know I'm not using the EA50 but I've used everything support you all mentioned other than the one Noa mentioned in the last post. That was commonly referred to as the "Turtle Rig" when it was first developed and sold. There are a lot of them out thee and they are still in use.

I've used the DVTec "MultiRig" which had the 2 handles and a spring rod that fit into a pouch. I used that with small form factor cameras IE PD150/170/Z1 and numerous others. It worked GREAT! I would generally set up a Varizoom Stealth LANC on one of the handles which I could use to control zoom/focus. I could hold a steady shot on the long end of the lens for quite a while AND with my wireless receiver on the back of the rig for which there was a special plate, it balanced out pretty well. I sold it when I bought the HM700 to my friend who uses it with his 5DMKlll.
I also used and still have a Manfrotto 562 (I think) monopod that I've used with both small and full sized cams. It was kind of a problem, only because I got locked into one height.
I still have my DVTec ENG rig for full sized cams that works like BUTTER. Hand's on the camera and weight off my arms. I've seen a number of guys who shoot golf, following the players that use similar setups probably by Varizoom which used to be made and might still be by DVTec.
I loved using the ENGRig and the Multirig more than the monopod except for getting "aerial" shots. Then the monopod was great.
We all have our favorite tools.
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Old March 23rd, 2014, 09:36 AM   #15
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Re: Ok I give up with weights!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
You forgot to mention that the model in this video costs more than the EA-50!!!!
How much is your back worth? :) I just got a vision getting stuck in the chandelier with that thing, but by the looks of it it does take all the weight from your hands
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