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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old October 1st, 2008, 08:15 PM   #31
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Nice looking setup, Ted. Well done. ;-)
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 10:59 AM   #32
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Yes, Dave, all done without leaving my house! Mail order is easy - though I kinda sucks for testing bags!
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 12:56 PM   #33
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Ted: I think you'll be fine with the 197. I just traveled with the 195, will post my first impressions of the EX3 in another thread, but re: the bag:

It worked very well as carryon. If the 197 were higher, you'd have a problem with the overhead compartments, but as it's the same height and just a little wider and longer, I don't think you will. It just barely fits height-wise in the overheads, and even then you have to avoid the compartment hinges.

I didn't really mind the horizontal fit on the trolley. I put my computer bag on top of it, plus my duffel bag. With all that weight, the handle is a little shaky, but I was very impressed with the trolley overall and very glad I had it for going thru security and changing planes. It's a bit of a hassle getting the case into the slot, but you'll find that on the 197 as well. I kept it on the trolley until the end of the jetway, where I slipped it off and hand carried everything down the aisle. Probably better to do it that way even with the 197, as it takes more than a few seconds to get it out of the slot, and a backed-up line could start to get peeved at you. I never found the horizontal mode annoying, altho I admit, vertical might be better, unless you're carrying extra bags, which would then put too much weight on the upper portion of the handle.

The bag is a good size for traveling; it's still a tight fit, and the 197's extra inches of space would help, so I'll be interested to see if that extra 3.5 inches of length makes it unwieldy for you. I don't think they'll bother checking its dimensions for carry-on--people were taking everything under the sun on board (like guitars), and I think the airlines are fine with that. I did have to rearrange the dividers while on location, though, as the lens barrel thumbscrew was in danger of rubbing every time I put the camera in and out. I wouldn't really mind just tightening it up, but it also means running the flange focus adjustment, which would be a royal pain in the middle of a shoot. The extra 1" of width in the 197 would be nice, but I just don't know about that extra length. The 195 is still a pretty big bag to be carrying around.

As far as checking bags in general: We were driving from Moab to Grand Junction with a flight to Denver and then to Houston and Austin. As we were driving to GJT, though, I was calculating that United was going to charge me over $600 for all the bags! I had a tripod case, green screen case, and Arri light case, plus 2 suitcases, computer bag, and backpack--so we just kept driving to Denver and skipped that flight! Continental only charged $100 for the extra bags after I made my duffelbag a carryon to avoid the third bag charge. And on the way back, I had to remove the green screen and put it in my duffel to bring that case under 70 lbs. (I guess we had a nice porter leaving Denver who ignored the extra 3 lbs).

The airlines are beginning to charge for any extra bags. United is the worst: $15 for the first, $50 for the second (doubled since 9/15), and $125 for the third. We noticed an article in the local Aspen Daily on the way home saying that skiers were going to be paying almost $400 to get their boots and skis to Aspen this winter! Frontier began charging for extra bags in June: $15 for one, $25 for 2 and 3, $50 for a fourth. Delta is first one free, second $50, third $125.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 01:26 PM   #34
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Glad the 195 is working well. I came to the same conclusions about the size as you did. I packed mine so that I can "crumple" the top 1-1/2" of the bag without affecting anything inside to make it easier to fit in the overhead.

Also, I'd noticed that it was a little tricky getting the 195 on and off the trolley. Somehow, the 197 is a little easier (or I'm just getting better at it).

Thanks for the report!
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Old October 7th, 2008, 10:39 PM   #35
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Strut Bag vs PortaBrace CTC-1

Well I can finally give some feedback on the Strut Bag that I ordered. It's solidly built. Very well put together. It will travel well, but it has a serious flaw.

I want to say, before I criticize it, that I've been on the phone with the owner of Strut (the designer of the bag), and he's taking my input into consideration and coming out with a redesign. I think it will be the best run and gun travel bag out there once he's done with it.

The fatal flaw of the bag is that the viewfinder blister is way too far forward. It needs to be moved all the way rearward. As it's placed right now, you have to drop the EX3 into the bag with the sunshade nearly touching the front of the bag. There's plenty of room behind the camera for another padded bag (I use one for some wireless mics). But, there's absolutely no room for a real mattebox. A longer lens would also not fit.

This also means that any mic placed in the stock mic holder sticks out past the zipper of the bag and needs to be removed before inserting it. Not what I want to have to do. I also asked for a little more height so that I could use an aftermarket mic shock-mount as well.

The other pockets on the bag are excellent! They are zippered with easy to pull zippers and with little weather flaps that protect the zippers. The shoulder strap and handles are comfortable and solid. When the bag gets redesigned I'm going to be first in line for one.

I am currently using the PortaBrace CTC-1 which is new and made for the EX3. It's nice. It has a viewfinder blister that's well placed, but could be a bit taller to accommodate the eyepiece in any position. If you're using the bag with another camera, that blister can be separated from the interior of the bag and become an outside pocket. The other pockets on the bag are velcro closure, and when the blister is extended for the eyepiece, are rather hard to access as the blister covers them.

The camera seats well rearward in the bag, and my mattebox and a Sennheiser ME64 can stay on the camera when I close the bag. It's wedge shaped, and the lens goes towards the front of the sloping side of the bag. Great shoulder pad and handles as on any PortaBrace. It's solid and well built, and I was able to carry it on the plane and it JUST fit in the overhead with a little persuasion.

Keep your eyes peeled for the new Strut - it's going to be the run and gun bag of choice in my opinion.
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Old October 7th, 2008, 11:18 PM   #36
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Thanks Zachary,

I had a few email conversations with John Fairley, the owner and he was so quick & helpful. He indicated to me about the GTC-3 case's blister and having the Fujinon XS lens, certainly my camera would not fit.

As you mentioned, John is looking into a redesign. Not sure how long that will take to produce.
For the moment, it could be the Portabrace. I am waiting to see one to try my camera in.

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Old October 8th, 2008, 02:27 PM   #37
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And both the Kata CC-195 and CC-197 fit well. Not much extra room in the 195, but lots of room in the 197.
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Old October 8th, 2008, 04:16 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted OMalley View Post
And both the Kata CC-195 and CC-197 fit well. Not much extra room in the 195, but lots of room in the 197.
Ted - I looked at the 197, but could not visualize how the EX-3 would fit AND my Macbook Pro (15"). Are you saying it's not a problem?
I would forego the fact that it's not a backpack if the 197 could do what I need - EX-3, Macbook Pro, mics and lavs, batteries, headphones, etc.

I checked out the Portabrace CTC-1 - I heard also that it was made for the EX-3 but I have my doubts. The viewfinder blister offers no protection and did not seem properly placed to me.

The Ex-3 and bag choice just gets more complex to me. No clear winner yet.
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Old October 8th, 2008, 11:52 PM   #39
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I use the Porta Brace DVO-3,
Porta Brace | DVO-3 DV Organizer Case | DVO-3R | B&H Photo Video

It's not good for planes, but camera fits nice. You can fit a laptop next to camera in provided soft bag. Pockets on front and back for small cases to hold my cards and hard drives.
http://i37.tinypic.com/xnar1j.jpg

Batteries and matte box etc, go in med Porta Brace run bag.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 08:47 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Braeley View Post
Ted - I looked at the 197, but could not visualize how the EX-3 would fit AND my Macbook Pro (15"). Are you saying it's not a problem?
I would forego the fact that it's not a backpack if the 197 could do what I need - EX-3, Macbook Pro, mics and lavs, batteries, headphones, etc.

I checked out the Portabrace CTC-1 - I heard also that it was made for the EX-3 but I have my doubts. The viewfinder blister offers no protection and did not seem properly placed to me.

The Ex-3 and bag choice just gets more complex to me. No clear winner yet.
Jon,

The picture here - http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/945702-post30.html - is with my notebook in the bag, but it is a 13" notebook (I was going for compact). The bag accomodats about 10" of height and 14" or so of length. My notebook, inside the small protective case that it comes with, is about 12.5" by 9.5" by 1.75" (case at it's thickest)- this is a Dell M1330.

I selected it because it came loaded with 4GB RAM, 360GB HD, and Vista 64, yet was only $1100. I adjusted the partitions to dual-boot with XP for some other apps that I use, but Vegas 8.1 is 64 bit and was built for Vista 64 - and it is quite spry with it.

I was going to point out a smaller Mac notebook that would work, but only the Pro line has ExpressCard and it isn't available in a size smaller than 15". If using the SDHC solution, you don't need ExpressCard, but they don't have card readers! Maybe the 15" Pro would fit - It is 9.6 x 14.1 whereas my Dell is 9.4 x 12.5.

If you buy me one, I'll test it for you and even send you pictures. Really, I'm THAT considerate.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 12:40 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted OMalley View Post
Jon,
If you buy me one, I'll test it for you and even send you pictures. Really, I'm THAT considerate.
Aah - so, Ted you have your laptop inside the main compartment! And that is fine - you have the EX-3 well protected in this set-up? Does'nt the viewfinder knock against the laptop?

So, I have a choice to send you my new $2000 MacBook or get the bag anyway and test it myself .... tough decision...
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Old October 9th, 2008, 02:11 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Braeley View Post
Aah - so, Ted you have your laptop inside the main compartment! And that is fine - you have the EX-3 well protected in this set-up? Does'nt the viewfinder knock against the laptop?

So, I have a choice to send you my new $2000 MacBook or get the bag anyway and test it myself .... tough decision...
LOL, yeah, real tough. ;-)

If I carry the notebook, I unclip the viewfinder attachment and pack it. If I don't carry the notebook (generally the case), I can leave the viewfinder attachment in place.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 03:55 PM   #43
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Petrol is touting 2 new bags for the EX3, the PDRB-4 for no laptop and the PCBP-3N Cocoon with laptop. Anyone tried them?
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 02:51 PM   #44
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I had the Kata 502 for my XL-H1 (sold both yesterday) and it will NOT fit in the overhead compartment. Its too high
At least on the planes Ive been here in Europe.
I managed to squeeze it in if I took out the camera first. Kind of defeat the purpose.
I loved that backpack when I was in the mountains shooting action sport though. Got camera, 2 extra lenses, chargers,wireless mics, batteries, laptop and more.

Not sure what bag I will get for my EX-3 when I get it. I would prefere a backpack
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Old November 27th, 2008, 02:22 PM   #45
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I finally got my EX-3 today.
I tried a few bags at the place I bought it.
Im mainly looking for a back pack since when I use the EX cameras, we mainly shoot action sports and I have to move around on skis or hike in the mountains.

As posted above , I used to have the Kata 503 (or 502?), but it was too big to get on airplanes.
I have used the Kata 207 with the Z7 camera on a shoot recently and I really liked the size of the backpack.

I was surprised when I tried the EX-3 in it and it actually did fit.
Not much room left for other stuff, but youll get the charger, wireless mic and a few bits and bobs.
AND it has a compartment for a laptop, and a laptop is an essential part of the EX cameras.

I will by this backpack for my camera
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