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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old October 17th, 2007, 10:58 AM   #1
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Handling ergonomics

I attended the Sony demo for the EX in Sydney today and I'm interested in other's opinions who have held the camera. My camo commented that he thought that the ENG lens design was a bit tricky in a non-shoulder mounted camera. It seems quite hard to hold the camera still handlheld while adjusting focus and iris together. Of course we didn't have very long with the camera and it might just be a matter of getting used to it.

Wouldn't swap the new focus ring for any other handheld though.
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Old October 17th, 2007, 04:36 PM   #2
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I'd agree with what you're saying. Plus it's a heavy little blighter, more 'hands held' than 'hand held'. So driving it in full manual hand held would be quite a challenge. No fault of the camera design just something that's difficult to do.

By contrast the latest cine cameras now have remote focus control via a RF link. That leaves the camera op free to just worry about framing and ducking falling debris while the focus puller tries to keep it in focus.

Given the lens controller connector on the EX1 you could probably rig it to work the same way.
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Old October 17th, 2007, 06:20 PM   #3
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I too feel a camera this size and weight should be shouldermount, and think JVC have got the design about right. Same criticism for the Z1 and HVX200 as well.

That said, I feel the rotating handgrip is a huge ergonomic improvement over the Z1/HVX200. With the latter two, you have to support quite a weight with a bent wrist, with the EX you can keep the lower arm and hand in a straight line. I was sceptical until I tried it, but then did find it a huge improvement over the other two cameras. But styling it like the JVC range would have been far better IMO.
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Old October 17th, 2007, 06:36 PM   #4
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But styling it like the JVC range would have been far better IMO.

Agreed!
A shoulder mount EX would of been great.
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Old October 17th, 2007, 08:21 PM   #5
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I bet if enough people request it through threads like these, we'll probably see it this time next year.

Vaughan
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Old October 17th, 2007, 09:12 PM   #6
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Glide Cam

This format is perfect for what I chiefly uuse which is the Glide Cam 4000. I don't use the vest.

After reading that it was over 5 lbs I read a review here that said it was only a few ounces more than the Z which is exactly what I wanted.

If you strap this sucker on a GC you can put the base of the GC on your belt and it becomes "shoulder mount like".....

I hope it is not too much heavier than the Z in the real world.

Mike
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Old October 18th, 2007, 12:52 AM   #7
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Agreed!
A shoulder mount EX would of been great.
If you want a shoulder mount version, there's offerings from many suppliers that'll let you do exactly that, Zacuto, Cavision, Spiderbrace, Manfrotto are just a few that spring to mind.

Now if someone can tell me anyone that's got a way to turn a shoulder mount camera into a handheld I'm all ears.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 12:59 AM   #8
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Now if someone can tell me anyone that's got a way to turn a shoulder mount camera into a handheld I'm all ears.
It's called hitting the gym and building up those arm muscles! (grin)

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Old October 18th, 2007, 02:40 AM   #9
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Now if someone can tell me anyone that's got a way to turn a shoulder mount camera into a handheld I'm all ears.
Well stated. I hate shoulder mounted cameras (or large cameras of any kind). They limit kind of camera work you can do. The EX is pushing the size envelope and RED is already much too big for my tastes. I recently shot a film with my DVX that would have been impossible with a larger camera, no matter how strong the op was.

And, just did a shoot with an HV20 that we needed hand-held stability. Enter my DVRigPro which turns any camera, no matter how small into a shoulder mount cam more stable and comfortable than any shoulder mount camera I've ever used. Most shoulder mount cameras in the prosumer market are poorly balanced, padded and sit at as less than ideal position anyway.

I can't see why anyone would "want" a shoulder mount camera that can't be made smaller. Why limit yourself?

The shoulder is not an ideal height or place for narrative shooting anyway. News, some docs, events that use the talking to the camera perspective work okay but give me a 5lb handy camera any day.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 03:17 AM   #10
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I can't see why anyone would "want" a shoulder mount camera that can't be made smaller. Why limit yourself?
"Shoulder mount" doesn't necessarily mean big and heavy, and hence my example of the JVC range. The same size/weight (roughly) as such as the HVX200/EX/Z1 etc, but designed to sit on the shoulder, not held in front. But because they are the same size/weight there's nothing to stop them being held in any of the ways that any of the others may be used. (And which would be impossible with a big shouldermount.)

Yes, various mounts can help, but can be cumbersome, and can cause delay when moving quickly from handheld to tripod work is desired. The JVC styling also puts the bulk of the camera out of the way by the side of the head, not stuck out in front as with a Z1 (say) and mount.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 03:50 AM   #11
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Some prefer shoulder mount, some prefer handheld, some (like me) think it's horses for courses. I was asking about the ergonomics of this particular cam, given that it is actually a hybrid design. A large handycam, with an ENG style lens. Does that combination really work at eye level without a shoulder brace? I reckon the tendency will be for operators to sacrifice manual focus and iris in favour of supporting the camera with two hands.

Adding a shoulder brace in my mind takes away from the inconspicuous nature of a handycam (in fact making you far more conspicuous), and at best the camera still doesn't position the viewfinder next to the eye and leave your left hand free to focus and iris.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 09:59 AM   #12
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"Shoulder mount" doesn't necessarily mean big and heavy, and hence my example of the JVC range. The same size/weight (roughly) as such as the HVX200/EX/Z1 etc, but designed to sit on the shoulder,
It does not work this way. JVC and Canon's "small" shoulder mounts camera are much longer and heavier than the equivalent handy cams. By definition, a shoulder mount camera needs to be long enough and heavy enough to work well on your shoulder.

I don't know of any DVX-sized shoulder mount camera you would want to actually use on your shoulder. It would require additional brace to be functional. And certainly not HV20 sized. Small is good with camera. It's amazing the places you put an HV20 sized camera and the shots you get.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 10:07 AM   #13
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Adding a shoulder brace in my mind takes away from the inconspicuous nature of a handycam (in fact making you far more conspicuous), and at best the camera still doesn't position the viewfinder next to the eye and leave your left hand free to focus and iris.
A shoulder brace makes your more conspicuous that a large shoulder mounted camera? I don't see that. Having any camera on you shoulder is noticable from a consumer camera. It's not like someone is going to say - oh notice that guy with a camera on his shoulder brace. He's not stealthy like that guy with the camera on his shoulder :)

The EX (like the DVX/HVX/Z1 etc. will be tiresome for hand-held use held out in front of the body. Any camera is, even very small camera or a DSLR. I think a HV-20 size camera with decent manual controls is perfect (Red Handycam?). Small when you need it, grow it larger for whatever other use.

Again, easy to make a camera larger, heavier. Noble prize for physics to make it smaller, lighter.
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Old November 17th, 2007, 08:59 AM   #14
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I had a chance to play with an EX over the last couple days and definetly feel the need for some kind of shoulder brace. I would really love to find something very compact, inconspicuous that would be well balanced for this camera. Also, it would be important to be able to remove the camera from its brace quickly and be able to mount it on a tripod. Video Innovators have very simple braces that may be just what I need. I would also need to outfit the brace with a sliding plate matching the tripod one. Any suggestions on shoulder braces?

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