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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old September 22nd, 2009, 08:15 AM   #31
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Nothing much I can add to what's already been said about this unit other than this. I was forced to shoot handheld with my EX1 a few days ago. Thanks to the Hoodman loupe it wasn't too bad at all.

The BP-U60 pressed into my body just under the shoulder blade. Right hand took most of the weight. Left hand on the focus ring and / or bottom of the lens hood. Managed to get focus right and pull off mostly stable shots. It was murder on my right arm though, still hurts, not from the weight as much as from the unnatural position of it. I can't see anyway to avoid this. Move the camera forward and the viewfinder / loupe is too far from the eye.

I was mixing it with a few ENG guys at the event. Those digibetacam cameras are just so much easier to live with. Everything fits onto the camera, the mounting is strong enough so you can simply fold the legs and hoist camera and legs over the shoulder and walk to the next spot. Obviously they are a dream on the shoulder. I cannot understand why Sony do not have an XDCAM EX camera in that format.
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Old September 25th, 2009, 11:55 AM   #32
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my quest is over!

Guys,

Sorry if I sound too enthusiastic to those with different opinions - but having just tested my EX1 with the Hoodman kit, all I can say is: WOW!

I'm not going to repeat the reviews other have given here to this product; it's elegant, well made, etc. while at the same time, it could be even better in some aspects...

What is important is that - for hand-held, naked camera (with just a PAG light and a shotgun on it), run-and-gun shooting - the Hoodman loupe makes it possible at last to hold the camera close and tight to your body (thus stable), while providing ability to use the LCD at its full glory even with full sunshine.

What I could add is:

- when trying to use the EX1 just like another hand-held camera, using its stock viewfinder, not only is the viewfinder not good enough, but also it makes you stretch your arms so that the camera is positioned further away; this causes more fatigue and less stability. With the Hoodman kit, you can hold it tighter as mentioned above - resulting in a much more stable picture and less fatigue (yes Bob - the only gripe is that after a considerable period of time, your right arm gets tired because of the tight angle it is at the elbow; this is probably what EX3 users experience as well)

- equally important to me is the ability to use the LCD with the Hoodman on, with the camera on the Redrock shoulder mount - thus getting rid of the heavy monitor (see my comment in the relevant thread here: http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdc...d-ex1-3-a.html

Congrats Hoodman; thanks Lou!
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Old September 25th, 2009, 12:15 PM   #33
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So the camera is not too high off the shoulder (with the Redrock Shoulder mount) to be able to use the HoodLoupe?
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Old September 25th, 2009, 12:23 PM   #34
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Barry, I'm surprised myself - but it's just OK!

Yes, even with the smaller (circular) eyepiece that comes with the kit, my cheek is touching the rear (fat) camera body, but otherwise, I can use the loupe just fine - and the whole rig is soooo much more manageable now :)
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Old September 25th, 2009, 12:55 PM   #35
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Piotr I trust your reasoned look at things and will now order one of these units.
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Old September 25th, 2009, 01:08 PM   #36
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I'm sure you won't be disappointed, Bruce.

The diopter adjustment allows to use the loupe even with glasses on; also it doesn't need to seat deep in your eye socket in order to see the LCD clearly; pointing down it doesn't need to be absolutely light-tight. This is why it can be used even with a rig as awkward as the one I'm using with Redrock shoulder mount.

With a hand-held, naked camera, and the large eyepiece, you can actually press it against your eye socket enough to seal out most of the unwanted light (which is important, as in this scenario, it's pointing upwards).

Oh, and one more thing: yes, as some people mentioned, it does move around the LCD a bit - however, I guess this is actually good, as it will never put excessive strain on it.
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Old September 25th, 2009, 01:13 PM   #37
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Piotr, do you also own the Hood One sock loupe? Is the Hoodman EX1 kit much better?

My Hood One box couldn't withstand a few months of use. I tried to repair the corners, but the carboard material itself buckles, in part from the tight elastic used for the sock loupe. It's ok if heavier plastic is used. I'd rather pay more for a product that lasts more than a few months.
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Old September 25th, 2009, 02:09 PM   #38
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Gints, you mean the Hood-Pro, right?

Well, it also has advantages; even if left unattended it will prevent frying your LCD by the sun. Also, it's absolutely black inside, so the LCD looks really gorgeous.

But yes, the hood edges could be better. As to the durability, we have to wait and use Hoodman solution longer to compare, I guess.

All in all, I much prefer the Hoodman solution as it can stay in the same position once adjusted, and it can create the additional contact point between you and the camera.

If it proves to last long as well, it's the winner hands down. Frankly, if I ever wished I could have waited and bought the EX3 instead of my EX1, I don't any more (granted I don't need the extra connectivity it offers, and I'm using 35mm adapter rather than removable lenses).
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Old September 25th, 2009, 10:13 PM   #39
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I have only used the Hood-pro sock loupe, and it works pretty good once you get it positioned right, but to be honest it looks cheap. At least this Hoodman looks like it belongs on the camera, and for that alone I am willing to buy one. The sad thing is, perception counts with my clients, who are all used to camera ops turning up with Digi-betas. I am buying a Matte-box, not for it's practical uses, but purely so my clients can be rest assured they are employing a pro
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Old September 26th, 2009, 02:02 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun R Walker View Post
I am buying a Matte-box, not for it's practical uses, but purely so my clients can be rest assured they are employing a pro
But once you get it, you will start using it - one of the things I consider a must for some outdoor shooting is a grad ND filter, for instance...
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Old September 26th, 2009, 10:58 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
Barry, I'm surprised myself - but it's just OK!

Yes, even with the smaller (circular) eyepiece that comes with the kit, my cheek is touching the rear (fat) camera body, but otherwise, I can use the loupe just fine - and the whole rig is soooo much more manageable now :)
Hi Piotr - I've been following this thread closely in my search for the "right" solution for stabilizing the EX1, and I'm glad to hear that the Hoodman and the RR microShoulderMount works for you. I think my options are down to the combo you have here or the combo that Barry is using with the Shape-WLB, although it appears that his approach would need the QRPro to bring the camera comfortably up to eye level, whether you have accessories or not.

Any chance you're planning to post pictures of your new set up, especially now that we can compare this with your old set up, especially pictures of you using the rig and how the whole thing "comes together" for you? This is an exciting thread for those of us in the EX1 world that need some decent stabilization without going to a full Steadicam-style rig...

Thanks for the detailed update!
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Old September 27th, 2009, 05:38 AM   #42
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Ryan,

I'd like to stress it that, while being quite enthusiastic about the Hoodman EX1 kit as such (and its use with hand-held camera), regarding its feasibility with my particular shoulder-mount rig (pictures of which I already posted in another thread) I only said the it can be used (in spite of what I and others were expecting, judging from the said pictures).

However, please keep in mind that my position is quite different than Barry's (or many other EX1 users), in that I already have invested in a shoulder mount, and been using it for some time. Hence, the possibility of getting rid of the bulky monitor and its battery, and replacing it with the HoodLoupe is just an added benefit in mu situation.

On the other hand, with all my current experience with the EX1 and the various add-ons, I wouldn't get this particular rig again. Don't get me wrong - the RR stuff is very well made and configurable, it's just that neither their shoulder mount, nor the mattebox, work best with this particular camera form factor. Same thing about the monitor you can see on those pics; it's great with my full rig (including Letus) on the tripod, but is just too bulky for carrying around. Additionally, in bright sun light, you cannot see much on it - while using the Hoodman loupe you can always see the LCD perfectly.

All the above considered, I guess that for those considering investment in their shoulder mount to be used in conjunction with the HoodLoupe, some pictures from Barry would be much more helpful than yet another pic of my own rig :)
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Old September 27th, 2009, 07:52 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
Ryan,
All the above considered, I guess that for those considering investment in their shoulder mount to be used in conjunction with the HoodLoupe, some pictures from Barry would be much more helpful than yet another pic of my own rig :)
Piotr -

Did you happen to see the pics here?: http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/1402150-post10.html

Look at the discussion "Best Shoulder mount..." from post # 82 on down.

By the way, SHAPE-WLB now offers a 15mm rod system for matte boxes and follow focus mechanisms but I don't think their units are configurable enough to put all the things that you put on your unit. HOWEVER - they do advertise: "Custom-built video/photo camera supports based on your needs and specifications"

I really appreciated the ability to walk around, sit and relax for nearly 2 hours yesterday with no shoulder, arm or wrist fatigue (had the unit on the whole time) - making all the manual adjustments on the camera, zoom and start/stop record with no weight bearing or rushing because my other hand is killing me from bearing extra weight (like handheld). I was also able to get some very nice slow, jerk-free pans in following the boys on the soccer field.
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Old September 27th, 2009, 08:07 AM   #44
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Barry,

I only saw the thread and pics now - thanks.

It really looks good; very compact and and the right height. Congrats!

PS. The Spider doesn't seem to have a wist belt on their web page, yet you're using one - could you enlighten me?
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Old September 27th, 2009, 08:38 AM   #45
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I can only add a bit here. With the Hoodman Loupe and my 'naked' EX1 I was able to shoot handheld for the first time. My right arm ached for days after though.

I'm going to take onboard Serena's suggestion about the Eazyrig. All it really needs to make the EX1 comfortable is to take some of the load off the right arm and the torsional load off the wrist. I'm thinking to have a go at rolling my own.
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