Tripod Fixing on EX3 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds

Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old September 2nd, 2008, 02:52 PM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Suffolk, UK
Posts: 9
Tripod Fixing on EX3

I am very concerned about the tripod fixing on the base of my new EX3. It only has a single small ¼ inch dia. screw to hold this large camera to the tripod. When fitted to my Manfrotto 503 head using the standard quick release plate (501 PL Slide Plate) I find that the camera vibrates from side to side in a light wind when outside, resulting in unstable video images especially when on telephoto. Also the fixing screw worked loose after a short period of use.

I have now carefully examined the base of the camera and am very concerned that this single screw which is only screwed in a few threads will shear off or pull out and allow the camera to drop off of the tripod. The small rectangular fixing block in the base of the camera appears to be fixed to the camera chassis by 4 very small screws which also concerns me.
The surrounding plastic base area appears (by gently pressing) not to be load bearing other than 4 small raised blobs (2 at front and 2 near rear corners) which when the camera is set on a flat surface make contact and stabilise the camera.
I use both miller DS20 and Manfrotto 503 (501 similar fixing) Fluid Heads with plates approx. 95mm x 40mm wide. These in my opinion are not large enough to spread the load on the camera base and probably the reason why the camera was unstable and the screw worked loose in field use.

To help this overcome this I have made up an adapter plate that sits between the tripods quick release plate and the camera base. This plate is approx. 120mm long and 70mm wide and 3mm thick (could be thicker)

The load is now spread more evenly across the camera’s base onto the main centre fixing and the 4 outer corner spots. The screw now keeps much tighter and the camera is now much more stable with less force on the fixing screw. However I am still very worried that with only one small fixing screw for a camera of this size and weight that one day the camera will end up falling to the ground and Sony telling me its not their problem. The camera is sold with the options to fit larger lens units, hard drives, bigger batteries, lights, mics, etc. I feel that someone at Sony seems to have forgotten about how this ¼ inch screw will take the strain out in the field. To me the camera fixing is of poor design not suitable for the EX3 camera.
My advice - if you move the camera while its fitted to your tripod make sure you keep it upright because if you carry them at an angle you will be lucky if does not shear off. Best to remove the camera before moving tripod location if you can. Also may be best to avoid any artistic shots that require moving the camera sideways (side tilt) on the tripod head – keep it upright!.

Have not seen this EX3 issue before on the forum so would welcome your experiences and thoughts also has any one any similar problems with the lighter EX1.

Many Thanks
Jamie Peters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 2nd, 2008, 06:55 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: York, UK.
Posts: 224
Not a problem for Sony, I guess.

This really sounds like a problem with the plate design that came with the head. I believe that there are a few after-market options for fitting a screw and pin arrangement and I would check with the head manufacturer first. Certainly my Miller DV20 Solo has the double arrangement.

However......, I will still be purchasing a separate plate and adapter next week when I collect the remainder of my gear from NY. This will mitigate the issue of small plate area which, as you say, is likely to induce a shearing effect on the screw, even if it doesn't completely eliminate the leverage effect and could, in fact, be said to accentuate it albeit indirectly. If you feel you need this you might look out for plates like Panasonics SHAN-TM700 or Sony's own VCT-U14 (half the price). It's not a cheap solution. Meant for larger cameras, you will need an adapter plate such as one offered by Protech (ST-1) to fix to the bottom of the camera so it can attach to the larger, much longer plate.

I have seen photos on the web of folk like Steve Cahill and Phil Bloom use such an arrangement to good effect (Phil can be seen using this set-up on the DS20 head too).

[PS - even though I have recommend Protech twice in a day, I'm not connected in any way - just noticed their gear might help bridge the gap between the EX series and pro-size cams].
Justin Benn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 3rd, 2008, 01:34 AM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bracknell, Berkshire, UK
Posts: 4,957
I think the design of the tripod boss on the EX3 is terrible. Such a shame on an otherwise excellent camera. The shape of the base of the camera is bad as it curves upwards away from the tripod mount. Anyone using heavy lenses will find it difficult to get stable. I'm using an adaptor the has integral matt box bars so the camera is supported by both the lens and tripod mount. This is much more stable.
__________________
Alister Chapman, Film-Maker/Stormchaser http://www.xdcam-user.com/alisters-blog/ My XDCAM site and blog. http://www.hurricane-rig.com
Alister Chapman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 3rd, 2008, 02:53 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cambridge UK
Posts: 2,835
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
I think the design of the tripod boss on the EX3 is terrible. Such a shame on an otherwise excellent camera. The shape of the base of the camera is bad as it curves upwards away from the tripod mount.
Yep, I agree, I noticed this when I first got the camera and thought it odd. I use a Manfrotto quick release slide plate on top of a Libec LS37 and it now seems to work OK though. Another one for Sony to fix for the EX5 (along with a stowable/fold away LDC for more compact bag carrying and a better SxS door, i.e. one that fits tightly flush/is less likely to be ripped off!)...Otherwise, an EXCELLENT camera from my use/opinion of it so far. Getting some stunning stuff! We filmed a vetinary operation with it today for a major client. Blood and guts in full 1920x1080. Definitely a Certificate Parental Guidance that one's going to be!
__________________
Andy K Wilkinson - http://www.shootingimage.co.uk
Cambridge (UK) Corporate Video Production

Last edited by Andy Wilkinson; September 3rd, 2008 at 03:56 PM. Reason: typos.....
Andy Wilkinson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 3rd, 2008, 06:48 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 596
I agree - the curving front of the base seemed very peculiar. I'm building a new mount entirely, but as a stop-gap I added smaller rubber feet (like for the bottom of electronics) on either side and just forward of the tripod receptacle. In this way, when I screw the adapter plate on the bottom of the camera, these rubber feet compress holding everything tightly. This also helps to prevent and lateral movement which can loosen the screw.
__________________
Sony EX3, Vegas 9.0 64bit, Windows 7(64), Core i7, 12GB, RAID1 & 0, HotSwap SATA, 30" LCD(2560x1600)-GTX285 & 24" LCD(1360x768)-7800GT
Ted OMalley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 4th, 2008, 06:12 AM   #6
New Boot
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Suffolk, UK
Posts: 9
Thanks for all your comments.
What ever method/adaptor plate we use to fix the camera to a tripod and improvements we may make the fact still remains that the camera is only held in place by one small screw. The camera needs 2 well spaced fixing points then I would be much happier.
Jamie Peters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 4th, 2008, 09:34 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 596
Except that they new mount I'm building will actually connect to the tripod mount as well as the two screw holes at the rear - three points in all.
__________________
Sony EX3, Vegas 9.0 64bit, Windows 7(64), Core i7, 12GB, RAID1 & 0, HotSwap SATA, 30" LCD(2560x1600)-GTX285 & 24" LCD(1360x768)-7800GT
Ted OMalley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 6th, 2008, 12:04 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: melb.vic.au
Posts: 447
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted OMalley View Post
Except that they new mount I'm building will actually connect to the tripod mount as well as the two screw holes at the rear - three points in all.
A sleek fitted base with multiple 1/4 20 holes that screws into the EX3 tripod base and the rear mounts would be a good seller I think. I'll buy one from you :)
David C. Williams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 7th, 2008, 08:56 AM   #9
New Boot
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Suffolk, UK
Posts: 9
Interesting Idea Ted to use the extra 2 (approx 3mm dia.) holes at the rear under the shoulder pad this should help reduce lateral movement. Perhaps when you have made it you could post a picture. By the way what are these 2 small threaded holes for? and will using these invalidate any warranty? Thanks
Jamie Peters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 7th, 2008, 09:05 AM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,414
The holes are for the cheek pad... that most folks don't use...

Good idea to use them... I sure we'd all like to see pictures of the plate...
Ray Bell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 7th, 2008, 02:51 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 596
Well, it isn't built yet!! The dilemma was to provide a shoulder-mount and tripod mount base all in one that would collapse easily without removing gear for storage. Also, it needed to be balanced somewhat for both duties.

In shoulder-mount duty, center of gravity is near the SxS slots - right near your chest. This isn't perfect, but it's a huge improvement.

In tripod duty, with the shoulder portion collapsed, the center of gravity moves to very near the tripod mount.

Oh, and the handle at the front is removeable - 1/4x20 threads - and top portion of it is a zoom controllor (libec, bebob, etc.) so you can zoom and support right-handed and leave the left free for everything else.

I'm just still designing and obtaining all the parts needed, but I do have a few images!

Enjoy...

(here's a short video also - but the pad is different) http://vimeo.com/1685711
Attached Thumbnails
Tripod Fixing on EX3-10s.png   Tripod Fixing on EX3-01s.png  

__________________
Sony EX3, Vegas 9.0 64bit, Windows 7(64), Core i7, 12GB, RAID1 & 0, HotSwap SATA, 30" LCD(2560x1600)-GTX285 & 24" LCD(1360x768)-7800GT

Last edited by Ted OMalley; September 7th, 2008 at 04:40 PM.
Ted OMalley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 11th, 2008, 02:47 PM   #12
New Boot
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Suffolk, UK
Posts: 9
Have spoken to Sony re the Tripod fixing and was told the camera could not be modified to give additional 1/4in fixing points in the base. Also told camera was probably designed mainly for hand held users. When advised of my concerns re camera falling off due to screw failure. I was advised to take care when fitting and using on tripod as any damage would not be covered by warranty.
I see there is another post asking about fixing to a monopod, my response would be 'this cameras too heavy for a single screw don't even think about it'.
Jamie Peters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 15th, 2008, 02:31 AM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bracknell, Berkshire, UK
Posts: 4,957
I have been told that Sony are very aware of the issue and are investigating various options, including the possibility of changing the bottom of the camera housing. No decisions have been made but I think there will be a modification available some time in the future or an adapter plate that will spread the forces across more of the camera base.
__________________
Alister Chapman, Film-Maker/Stormchaser http://www.xdcam-user.com/alisters-blog/ My XDCAM site and blog. http://www.hurricane-rig.com
Alister Chapman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 15th, 2008, 02:56 AM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: melb.vic.au
Posts: 447
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Peters View Post
I see there is another post asking about fixing to a monopod, my response would be 'this cameras too heavy for a single screw don't even think about it'.
I think that's a bit of an exaggeration. As long as the plate fits the full length of the base of the EX3, and the plate also has a rubberised surface for high friction, it will be fine for normal use. If you use it like a cricket bat you might break it.
I have mine mounted on a Steadicam Flyer-LE, and it mounts quite solidly. Yes it could be better, and if Sony had spent 10 seconds to think about it they could have done that easily, but it's not too bad.
David C. Williams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 15th, 2008, 03:11 AM   #15
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 1,570
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
I have been told that Sony are very aware of the issue and are investigating various options, including the possibility of changing the bottom of the camera housing. No decisions have been made but I think there will be a modification available some time in the future or an adapter plate that will spread the forces across more of the camera base.
This is what needs to be done. My concern is not so much that there's only one 1/4" screw holding the camera plate onto the tripod plate it what's holding that diecast plate to the camera. It appears to be only 4x 2mm CSK screws. The ones holding what appears to be an indentical part onto many other Sony cameras work loose over time. I'd also add we've had a number of much lighter cameras' (HC7, A1) bottom assemblies crack from the stress.
Some of the Miller release plates have two raised rubber inserts. They miss the tripod attachment plate on the bottom of all Sony cameras and as noted it gets worse with the EX3 due to the curve in the molding. As the 1/4" bolt is tightened the force is being exerted in a manner that's trying to rip the mounting plate out of the camera thanks to the two rubber inserts.
Bob Grant is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:24 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network