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Old July 3rd, 2009, 06:29 AM   #1
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Sony Mod for the EX3

Aparently SONY has admitted to a thing or 2 which they did very wrong on the EX3 and there is a modification available........

The first of which being a replacement bracket for the tripod mount.
The new one is the same size, but has 2 threads as apposed to the original, which just has one thread and a threadless hole for the nipple from the tripod plate.
Although this allows for better fixation of the tripod plate(mine is premanently coming loose)it is still just a little plate with the 4 tiny screws in the base of the cam....

The 2nd of which being a small plastic bracket which attaches to the base of the cam, below the shutter; assign 4 and white buttons.
the point of this little extra is to flatten the bottom of the cam, which is curved upwards at this point, which in turn leaves less contact surface for the tripod plate.
hence creating a better fit for the tripod plate and more steadyness in the whole setup when mounted on a tripod.

These 2 issues have always been a bit of a headache for me......how about you????

the complete package consists of 6 screws, the rectangular tripod mount bracket and the plastic bit for below the above mentioned buttons.
any idiot can mount it if they have a watchmakers tool kit, so one shouldnīt have to send the camera in.
Seeing as SONY has admitted the design fault, we should all (EX3 Original owners) recieve it free of charge.
A friend of mine was asked to pay for it by his supplier...but ended up getting it for free, after threatening to cancell his next order for 3 cameras, he has quite a bit more leverage with his suppliers than us little people, as he owns 5 EX3īs and 2 Digi Betaīs amoungst others....
I just have 1 EX3, but feel that if it is a design fault, I shouldnīt have to pay for it either

Anyone know how to go about getting the MOD.???
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 06:54 AM   #2
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I know it is more money, but the VF plate or the DM plate are much sturdier solutions.

I think they absolute requirements for the EX3.

EX3 Heavy Duty Base Plate System | VFGadgets.com

DM-Accessories - EX3-PLATE Reinforcement Plate for EX3 Camcorders
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 07:09 AM   #3
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I wouldn't go so far as to call it a design flaw, but the camera could have used a few design changes. I don't think you have any recourse with Sony because the design of the base was obvious to anyone as soon as they opened the box. You either accepted it or you didn't. I'm hoping to see the official MOD in person later this month, but in the meantime, here's a $25 fix for Sachtler and Oconnor heads. The Tiger Claw is cheap, lightweight, and invisble when mounted.
Tiger Claw Tripod Adapter


I don't want, or need, a big hunk of metal (like VF Gadgets) mounted on my camera.
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 08:07 AM   #4
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I have seen the MOD personally and am pretty keen to have it.

I have also contacted my dealer, waiting to see what they say.

also waiting for the mail from my friend where SONY states that it was a design mistake.

as I havenīt seen the mail yet, I donīt know what wording they used
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 10:04 AM   #5
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The Tiger Claw looks like a good solution for those who don't have the two threaded holes. Mine does, however, and Sachtler included an extra screw with its FS8 head and mounting plate, so my camera mounts tightly to it.

The four tiny screws that hold the mounting receptacle on the bottom of the camera scare the begeepers out of me when I tilt way up or down, but I've learned to keep a hand very close by. When I see people carrying their camera with the tripod hanging from the bottom of it, I can't help thinking they deserve anything that happens as a result.
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 11:09 AM   #6
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I'm with Olof on this one, (all Scandinavian blood aside) the single 1/4 20 hole was wrong from the drawing board and no Tiger Claw mod is going to change the torque forces to the base of the EX-3 like a DM plate or equivalent plate will.

Best,

Dave

Last edited by Dave Nystul; July 3rd, 2009 at 11:10 AM. Reason: sp
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 12:18 PM   #7
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Doug,
Thanks for your post ... I am ordering it today for my Sachtler Hipod tripod. I've never gotten the screw tight enough that it won't eventually rotate. This has driven me insane that the camera keeps rotating. I am more of an editor, not a cinematographer. But I shoot most of my own stuff. I need all the help I can get ... your training DVDs have been lifesavers fro me ... many thanx.

Also, I must say that I am very impressed with your airshow production. The photography, editing, music ... all were absolutely top notch and superb.

I have no intention of slamming anyone, but it is quite apparent that many people in these forums have no background or OJT (on the job training) in the motion picture business. Thanks for being of assistance to these young people. They do need your help, and you always give sound advice. So I am saying thanks for them . . .
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Old July 6th, 2009, 01:09 PM   #8
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Having read the original mail my friend recieved, I am convinced that it is a design fault.

I said it the first time I ever held the EX1, that the things are probably designed by people who never get out there and use them, hence the fairly poor ergonomics and handling of the EX1.

This "GAP" between the cam and the tripod plate is nothing short of a lack of in the field testing in different conditions, with different tripods etc.

Donīt get me wrong, Iīm still loving my camera and the possibilities it offers me, but I really need some more stability when itīs mounted.

While the Tiger Claw does sound like a great idea, I unfortunately donīt have one of the tripods in question, for which it was designed.

so itīll have to be the MOD for me and the chunk of metall will follow, cause it scares the hell outa me to think of whatīs gonna happen to those 4 tiny little screws when I mount an ENG broadcast lens, making it longer and heavier in the front.

still no word from my supplier...
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Old July 7th, 2009, 05:27 AM   #9
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All the tripod release plates I've come across have a screw and a pin so the camera cannot rotate. I'm left wondering which tripod would require The Claw.
Aside from that, providing a pin in addition to the screw or even using two screws as per Sony's mod kit does not solve the fundamental problem.

The diecast plate that provides the attachment between the camera and the rest of the world is only held onto the camera chassis by four 2.5mm screws. The only fix for this problem that Sony could offer was to Locktite the 4 screws. I'd suggest anyone trying this fix should use the correct type of Locktite otherwise you may have great difficulty if or when the screws need to be removed.

There's an additional problem that The Claw fails to address. The Euro style release plate is not designed to hold the camera securely by itself. Instead this system relies on the camera body contacting the slightly raised rails on the sides of the head. Due to the design of the bottom of the camera this does not happen. To address this issue and to remove the risk of the plate simply ripping out of the bottom of the camera you need either the VF or DM plate. You should also check that the plate is wide enough to cover the rails. On the Miller Arrow 25 heads we've had to add a Miller offset plate as well to get correct camera to tripod mounting with no wobble.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 08:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Grant View Post
All the tripod release plates I've come across have a screw and a pin so the camera cannot rotate. I'm left wondering which tripod would require The Claw.
Hi Bob,

I guess you've never owned a Betacam or full-size camcorder because none of the heads built to handle a 20-40 lb. load have a pin. They all have two screws. Even Sony's VT-14 plate is designed to accomodate two screws and not a pin.

I can't tell you exactly which heads have two screws, but tvery professional video tripod I've ever used in 30 years in this business has two screws and no pin. That includes the entire O'Connor product line and much of the high-end Sachtler. Up until recently, pins were for still photography heads and prosumer gear. I know that is changing now with new products from many manufacturers, but the fact remains that the heavy-duty heads still don't use pins.

Okay, so a head like the O'Connor 1030B might be overkill for an EX1 or EX3 if you are out shopping for something new just for one of those cameras. But a lot of experienced shooters already own big professional heads and we don't want to buy something smaller jsut for the EX cameras. I love using my EX cameras with my big O'Connor and Sachtler heads because they are rock solid.

In my opinion, the EX cameras should have been built with two screw holes instead of a pin and a screw. So the Tiger Claw allows those of us with older, bigger heads to attach the camera much more securely than we have been able to do up to this point.

The Tiger Claw is not for everyone. It is only meant to address the needs of a certain group of people. If you don't fall into that group, then you don't need a Tiger Claw.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 08:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Grant View Post
There's an additional problem that The Claw fails to address. The Euro style release plate is not designed to hold the camera securely by itself. Instead this system relies on the camera body contacting the slightly raised rails on the sides of the head.
That is not my experience. I have never used a release plate or head that contacted the camera anywhere but on the bottom of the camera. I guess your head is different than every other head I've seen in thirty years. If you say that is how your tripod works, I believe you. But I think you are making the mistake of assuming every head is like your head. I can assure you that, whether the Tiger Claw would work on your tripod or not, the Tiger Claw does address the needs of the high-end Sachtler and O'Connor heads. Sachtler has even started referring customers to us because they don't have a solution of their own.

With the Tiger Claw in place, I'm quite happy now with the way my cameras functions with my heads. I know some people think the whole design of the camera base is fragile, but I do not. Unless I decided to carry the camera by the handle with the O'Connor 1030B attached down below, I don't think the base of the camera is every going to tear off . . . and I don't feel the need to add bulky, heavy, expensive plates to my cameras.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 09:03 AM   #12
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Doug,
All our Miller tripods have two release plates, one with the two screws and one with the single screw plus pin. That way cameras that use either system can be mounted onto the tripod. If you're finding you have a camera that needs a 1/4" screw and pin like the EXs all you should need to do is buy the correct release plate for your head.

Most of the larger heads / tripods that you're talking about are not designed to be used with cameras as light as the EXs, they will quite likely not counterbalance correctly. Check the minimum load figures. I've coped a good earfull from Miller for having an Arrow 25 head with a handcam on it on display at a trade show :)

I'm sort of in agreement with you that at least the EX3 should have been designed to use the VCT system. Note though that both the DM and VF plates enable that option. It's not just the better mounting, it's the speed with which you can get the camera on and off the sticks that makes that system attractive.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 09:04 AM   #13
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Doug,

I guess what Bob was referring to are the two "rails" (usually padded with rubber to increase friction), that the most popular tripod / head manufacturers put on their dovetail plates - one such example are all Manfrotto/Bogen plates.

While these can really do their job, Bob is right that the main problem is still not addressed: the four tiny screws!

When I build the full rig around my EX1 (shotgun mic, radio mic receiver, lamp directly on the camera, plus the matte box / follow focus on rails attached to the base plate attached underneath) - I must remember not to carry it by the camera's handle...
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Old July 7th, 2009, 09:27 AM   #14
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No,
what I'm referring to is the raised rails on heads such as the Miller Arrow 25. There's about 75mm between them.
The Euro plate quick release system cams the plate down, it does not lock the plate hard like the sliding plate system does. Instead the system pulls the base of the camera down onto the rails. I cannot speak for other manufacturers but this is first hand from Miller. If you're using a camera with Sony's VCT 14 release plate it will bridge those raised rails. If you check with a straight edge you'll find the rails are slightly higher than the three plates that make up the locking system.

There's certainly reports here of the plate coming right out of the bottom of an EX3. One of ours within a few days of putting it into service had all four screws loose by several turns. We're certainly not alone in having this problem either. We've sold a quite a few DM plates to EX3 owners, we don't even advertise that we sell them, this is just from EX3 owners asking if we have a solution to their problem. I think a couple were referred to us by one of the local Sony resellers.

For what its worth I've seen at least one pro shooter with a big XDCAM and heavy Satchler tripod carry camera and tripod around by the camera handle.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 10:00 AM   #15
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Bob and Piotr, you make some excellent points, but the fact remains that Tiger Claw was built to meet the needs of a narrow range of customers -- for 25 bucks. If it works for someone, great, if not, look for something else. I just felt some of the previous comments needed a response.

O'Connor does not offer a plate with a pin, and I'm pretty sure Sachtler doesn't have one for my Sachtler head, either. And if they do, a new plate is going to cost over $100 and then I'd have to carry two different plates because I own more cameras than just the EX1 and EX3. At $25 and 4 oz. the Tiger Claw works for me.

Vinten, Bogen, Miller, Manfrotto, etc. may very well have the mounting problem solved for little cameras, but nobody I work with uses anything but O'Connor or Sachlter.
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