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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old November 16th, 2008, 05:42 PM   #1
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Stabilize EX for Handheld Shots

I have been endlessly frustrated with trying to shoot the EX handheld. I've finally resigned myself to the use of a monopod, but even that simple solution can be a nuisance for run n' gun shooting.
I recently purchased the smallest available UGrip product:
Ugripô - Welcome
The description implies that it is for use with small 1 chip cams, but it fits the EX perfectly, as you can see in the attached photos.
IMO it is a huge, huge improvement for camera stability and control. The EX feels light, rock steady, and easy to keep level- zooming, panning, and even walking "steady cam" type shooting. The cam still fits in my bag with grip attached, so I just leave it on. Removal is just a single tripod plate screw. Parts are of aircraft aluminum, fit & finish are excellent, and the grip handle will tilt from 90deg to almost 0deg- locking firmly into position when you tighten the attachment bolt.
Attached Thumbnails
Stabilize EX for Handheld Shots-ugrip-ex-front.jpg   Stabilize EX for Handheld Shots-ugrip-ex-rear.jpg  

Stabilize EX for Handheld Shots-ugrip-front.jpg   Stabilize EX for Handheld Shots-ugrip-side.jpg  

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Old November 16th, 2008, 05:57 PM   #2
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I agree that this looks like an elegant solution, but......$380? It does look well made, but.....$380? I guess I'm just SO broke now with jobs drying up that this seems a little bit much.
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Old November 16th, 2008, 06:09 PM   #3
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It's interesting that you posted this, Robert, since I was about to ask if anyone had shots of them handholding the EX-1. Some people say it's not an issue, while 8/10 reviewers on one of DVInfo sponsor's sites said they found it uncomfortable. It's going to be a few weeks before I can rent an EX-1 to see for myself.

I came across the U-Grip site a few weeks ago and thought "Nice looking but way overpriced" for what's basically a metal plate and handle. I saw someone make something like this on Instructables.com using a piece of aluminum and broom stick handle. But the U Grip is far more elegant.

Does the craftsmanship support the price they are asking?
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Old November 16th, 2008, 07:27 PM   #4
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It is extremely well made, but I do agree that it's pricey @ $380. It's all part of a interlocking system they have that looks pretty sophisticated. The fact that I shelled out that much is a clue as to how desperate I was for a solution. Some people report no difficulty hand holding the EX1, but I'm not one of them. It's a constant struggle for me to get a steady, level shot. I had the same problem with the Z1. I seem to be fine with the Sony PD 170, and V1, but the EX1 particularly feels just clumsy to me.
I haven't had this out all day on a shoot yet, but just test shooting with it around here I must say that it's worth every penny to me. I mean, geez..., we're currently paying Sony $900 for 58 min of media storage, so $380 to solve a big chronic problem- why not? Actually, (using my wife's logic) since I just saved $1,600 on media cards by using the SDHC solution instead of SxS, the UGrip is more than covered.
Anyway, it's a pretty simple concept- I'm sure some clever person will make something similar for a lot less.
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Last edited by Robert Young; November 16th, 2008 at 08:07 PM.
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Old November 16th, 2008, 08:08 PM   #5
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Egripz

Anton/Bauer-EgripZ

I have used the Anton Bauer Egripz with a lot of success. For just $60, I am also able to focus and control exposure with my left hand. Both handle of the Egripz are flexible and can be bend.
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Old November 17th, 2008, 02:51 AM   #6
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I've seen the Anton Bauer- it looks good for VF shooting. However, I almost always use the LCD on the EX, and hold the camera lower, kind of bracing the back of the cam against my chest, elbows against my sides. The UGrip plus the rotated Sony grip on the right side seem to fit that config exactly and feels very natural.
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Old November 17th, 2008, 07:28 AM   #7
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Buy the MANFROTTO 561b Monopod. The problem with Ugrip is you are only likely to be able to use it at chest height and lower. With the 561B there is no restriction and you can keep the camera at head height all day long.

And its cheaper!
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Old November 17th, 2008, 08:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Shovlar View Post
Buy the MANFROTTO 561b Monopod. The problem with Ugrip is you are only likely to be able to use it at chest height and lower. With the 561B there is no restriction and you can keep the camera at head height all day long.

And its cheaper!
Shot a Short film this weekend In Austin using 2 MANFROTTO 561b Monopod with my 2 EX1's. The shoot was from 6:30am - 7:00 pm.
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Old November 17th, 2008, 12:09 PM   #9
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I do use the Manfrotto monopod quite a lot. I think it's great- almost as good as a tripod.
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Old November 17th, 2008, 01:05 PM   #10
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Hi Bob,
This Ugrip seems neat... problem, I think, for me, is that I keep the fingers of my left hand just underneath my EX, to support it, and use my thumb to adjust iris, zoom and focus. It seems to me that the Ugrip would get in the way of this. Is that right?
Thanks, Malcolm
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Old November 17th, 2008, 02:04 PM   #11
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That 561b is a great monopod. I got it prior to receiving my EX3 and played with it with a large SLR camera.

Once the EX3 arrived, however, I found it to be a little too heavy for the monopod.

Then I added a couple mics. Then I added an Anton-Bauer battery. Then I sold the monopod because the EX3 had become far too heavy.
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Old November 17th, 2008, 02:22 PM   #12
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This is what I use with my EX1 camera.

VB-50 handgrip, under $12.

Works great, camera is stable, plus it gives me two extra shoe mounts (at least one of them usable simultaneously with stabilizing the camera.)

What do I do with all the money saved, you ask? I invest them in gold bullions, which also double as my shoulder mount counterweights ;)
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Old November 17th, 2008, 03:05 PM   #13
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Malcom
The UGrip doesn't seem get in the way of left hand focus/iris adjustment, but you can't reach the focus ring if you are holding the grip. Using the technique you describe (I do it the same way) you can place the left hand under the UGrip plate and reach the focus/iris as before. It seems to me that, since the UGrip plate and arm are a broader surface than the camera itself, it is still offers a bit more stablity, but nowhere as good as grabbing by the grip handle. If your shooting style is to be constantly on the focus/iris ring, the UGrip may not add much to the situation unless you mount a lens controller on the grip handle.
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Old November 17th, 2008, 03:23 PM   #14
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What do you use as EX1's lens controller, and how do you like it?
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Old November 17th, 2008, 04:07 PM   #15
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Thanks for the info, Bob. I see what you mean: with my left hand, under (and supporting) the Ugrip, I might be fine... and then, of course, when I can stop focussing and grab the handle, it would be great.
I'll be thinking about this one.
Cheers, Malcolm
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