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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old June 27th, 2009, 02:17 PM   #1
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Not so El Cheapo

In the never-ending search for a better way to hand-hold the ex3, I tried Phil Bloom's advice and found an el cheapo shoulder brace on ebay. I'd wanted the dm brace, but it's already hard enuf fitting everything into one bag. In the brief time I've had the ec, it looks promising--fits nicely and holds the cam in the right location; pads are hard, but extra foam could solve that.

One problem is that I use a Vinten tripod quick mount plate and want the el cheapo to quick release, as I'm usually going back and forth to the tripod. The ones I've found are fairly expensive.

Gitzo | GS5360AS Dovetail (Arca-Type) Quick Release | GS5360AS

Arca-Swiss | Quick Release with Flip-lock | 802011 | B&H Photo

The Gitzo is $113 ,but looks a little cumbersome. The Arca's $180. Meaning that the ec cost about $35 , and the adapter will be 3 to 6 times that! Anyone had any luck with either of these or can recommend less costly ones? It has to be wide enuf to accommodate the Vinten at 2 5/16 " (55mm?) and accept a 1/4" (not 3/8) screw from the brace.
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Old June 27th, 2009, 05:24 PM   #2
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Are you able to mount it to the tripod currently at all? I'm also interested in this el cheapo shoulder mount solution. If it's not too much trouble, at some point could you please post pics of what your camera/el cheapo shoulder mount set up looks like?
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Old June 28th, 2009, 08:45 AM   #3
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Here are some pix, Rodney--fits nicely, it's just a pain to screw it in each time, plus the wear and tear. Not quite sure what you mean by mounting it to tripod. I've attached the ec to the camera and then want to be able to release it quickly, leaving my Vinten plate (not shown) attached to use on the tripod.
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Old June 28th, 2009, 09:06 AM   #4
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Mike,
Manfrotto or Bogen as they're known in the USA make a quick release plate that should give you what you want: Manfrotto by Bogen Imaging | 357 Pro Quick Release Adapter | 357
You'll need to buy two. One for the shoulder brace and one for the tripod.

Even if you don't want the DM shoulder brace I'd still recomment the support plate to avoid problems with camera's tripod mount.
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Old June 28th, 2009, 10:12 AM   #5
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Thanks, Bob, that looks perfect. Are you saying the Bogen plate won't slide into the Vinten head the way the Vinten plate will, so somehow I'd need to attach the Bogen quick release adapter to the Vinten tripod head?
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Old June 28th, 2009, 02:26 PM   #6
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Thanks, Mike. I was confused about whether it was even possible to attach the ec shoulder mount to a tripod. Your pictures underscore the challenge of finding a solution. The manfrotto/bogen looks like a promising solution.
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Old June 28th, 2009, 04:29 PM   #7
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I shot today for five hours at a track and field event with the dm shoulder mount and a $99 tiffen steadistick. No wrist, arm or back fatigue and rock steady. I wouldn't spend a penny more than that on any fancy devices.
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Old June 28th, 2009, 08:27 PM   #8
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Mike,

Just curious. Have you tried working with a monopod in lieu of a shoulder mount system --such as the Bogen 561B?:

Manfrotto by Bogen Imaging | 561B Fluid Video Monopod | 561B
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Old June 29th, 2009, 12:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Herman View Post
I shot today for five hours at a track and field event with the dm shoulder mount and a $99 tiffen steadistick. No wrist, arm or back fatigue and rock steady. I wouldn't spend a penny more than that on any fancy devices.
Never heard of Tiffen's Steadistick. They have a "pro" version available for $250 MSRP. I really think this is the ticket for quick and nasty stabilization.

I have the ElCheapo. While a good idea, the practical reality is it just doesn't cut it in most applications. When you put it up against the Steadistick, there isn't really a comparison.

I have been a fan of the Media Rig which employs the Steadistick concept but it is just too obtrusive unless you are shooting on a set or in a closed environment. The Steadistick doesn't make you look like a cyborg the way the Media Rig does and it effectively achieves the same desired effect: stabilization and reduced fatigue from a long shoot.
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Old June 29th, 2009, 01:59 AM   #10
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Here's the $99 dollar site for the steadistick. It's a super professionally made piece of equipment which fits easily into the side pocket of any bag and is simple to attach and detach for tripod use. I haven't ever spent that kind of money that well. and no, I don't have any connections to any commercial products. Steady Stick at DVcreators.net
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Old June 29th, 2009, 07:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney Minott View Post
Mike,

Just curious. Have you tried working with a monopod in lieu of a shoulder mount system --such as the Bogen 561B?:

Manfrotto by Bogen Imaging | 561B Fluid Video Monopod | 561B
Working with a monopod was my first solution, but I found it limited my ability to move while shooting, or more accurately, to have the shot remain steady and not bouncing up and down while "tracking" in and out. Fine if I were standing still, but I like to move a lot. I suppose if there were a gimbal or sliding telescopic mechanism, so that the stick dipped when you did, it could work, but then I think you're getting into the big rigs Andrew mentions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by David Herman View Post
I shot today for five hours at a track and field event with the dm shoulder mount and a $99 tiffen steadistick. No wrist, arm or back fatigue and rock steady. I wouldn't spend a penny more than that on any fancy devices.
Hi Dave--I'm trying to spend a lot of pennies less than that. Even with the adapter, the ec comes to less than $100.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Stone
I have the ElCheapo. While a good idea, the practical reality is it just doesn't cut it in most applications. When you put it up against the Steadistick, there isn't really a comparison.
In my limited use of it, I'm finding it a very good fit for hand-holding and letting me be mobile. Time will tell, but with the exception of the pads digging in a little harder than I'd like, it looks like a more promising route for me than a stick. But only if I can get it to quick release.
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Last edited by Mike Chandler; June 29th, 2009 at 10:38 AM.
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Old June 29th, 2009, 07:31 AM   #12
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so pleased with it I couldn't resist a picture or two
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Old June 30th, 2009, 12:46 AM   #13
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Thanks, Mike. Please keep us posted on any progress in finding a quick release solution for the ec shoulder mount.
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Old July 2nd, 2009, 06:28 PM   #14
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Well, the Gitzo worked. I'm not crazy about the lever sticking out, but it will have to do, as the Manfrotto with its nice flip-lever was 3mm too narrow for the Vinten plate and the Arca was way too narrow. I had to use a flange nut from the hardware store to accommodate the 1/4" screw from the EC, but the fit is very tight. I may loosen it to turn inline for transport, but I can now use the EC with quick release.
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 12:04 AM   #15
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congratulations!
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