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Old December 11th, 2009, 04:35 PM   #1
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Thinking of getting Protech ST-7

I was thinking of getting the Protech ST-7 for my EX3.
With being so used with shoulder mount cameras, the EX3 takes a bit of getting used to.
It's far too front heavy and its a holding up match every time.

I got myself the Bebob Coco-Ex3-V and it does help a bit but you cant beat a shoulder mount.

With vlock batteries at the back of the ST7 I would think the camera would/should balance better. Does it?

Would the ST7 snap onto my Sony VCT-14 plate or do you have to buy another attachment?

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by Anthony McErlean; December 11th, 2009 at 05:51 PM.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 07:05 PM   #2
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I make the EX1 stronger plate. But I am also working on a system for the EX3, I have an EX3 myself below is a shot of my shoulder rig.

And I make a VCT-U14 wedge that fits on my system and on most cameras. Photo below.

I now make these systems for sale, I have been using them for myself for years. I found a lot of shooters like these rigs. This is the site for the EX1 Plate:
EX1 Stronger Plates

I am working on a lot of new stuff. And I am looking for people to try the gear, and give me feedback.

If you are interested contact me:
olof@westsideav.com
603.383.9283
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Old December 11th, 2009, 07:43 PM   #3
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DM Accessories makes a great reinforced base plate with an optional shoulder mount. The advantage of this system is you can choose to have the shoulder mount attached or not, (4 screws to easily and quickly attach it or detach it) which means in a tight space you can keep the profile low, and remove the shoulder plate if desired.
I also have the Bebob v-mount attachment, and I find if I piggy-back two batteries the added weight on the rear makes the camera with the shoulder mount much less front-heavy and easier to hand hold. (not to mention with two v-mounts on there, I can shoot for days!) I've been told that a quick-release for the shoulder mount may be available in the future, which would be adapted to the existing design. This would be ideal, making the switch from shoulder mount and back very easy and fast.
DM also makes an attachment which can screw onto the base plate for attachment to a standard Sony tripod plate. Worth checking out: DM-Accessories - EX3-SHOULDER Shoulder Brace For EX3 Camcorders
I'm sure the Protech is a great product, too.... I just didn't want to be locked into the increased length.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 06:19 AM   #4
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I have the Protech ST-7 for my EX-3 and love it. I have a couple of images on my blog post entitled Sony PMW-EX3 and nanoFLASH Rig. It is very much work in progress at the moment.

By just using the Protech ST-7 with a V-Lock Battery it does improve the balance. Attach the cheek pad as it stops it wanting to tilt to the left as well. The ST-7 will simply slot into your Sony VCT-14 without purchasing any additional accessories. The only thing to you to buy in addition to the ST-7 is the Protech DC-EX3 Power Supply Cable.

I like the XLR power supply from the ST-7 as I use that to power my nanoFLASH.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 06:22 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone fo your advice.

Paul, the pics are a great help, thanks.
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Old June 29th, 2010, 12:03 PM   #6
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Still thinking :)

All the weight is to the front of the EX3, so just how good is one of these Protech's ST-7
I know a battery is attached to the back of the ST-7 and its got a bit of length to it but does it do a good job at balancing the camera.

Coming from shoulder mounts such as s/vhs dockables, DSR300/390, this EX3 takes some getting used to. Its a holding up match all the time.


Thanks in advance.
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Old June 29th, 2010, 12:30 PM   #7
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Phil Bloom has reviewed it on his site.
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Old June 29th, 2010, 12:38 PM   #8
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Thanks Bruce, I'll have a look.
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Old June 29th, 2010, 01:02 PM   #9
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I now make a special EX3 shoulder brace system that accepts V-mount IDX or Sony, or AB gold mount batteries.

This really balances the EX3 pretty much like the DSR 500 etc, except it is lighter.

There are also wings and arms available for Nanoflash and wireless receivers available for my kit.

I personally use 2 stacked IDX batteries for balancing the EX3 along with a NanoFlash and receivers, I find it a very balanced and compact rig.

Check it out or call me to discuss your needs.

WEB link:
EX3 Tripod plate kit
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Thinking of getting Protech ST-7-ex31.jpg   Thinking of getting Protech ST-7-ex32.jpg  

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Old June 29th, 2010, 02:37 PM   #10
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Anthony, I've been using the EX3 for almost 2 years now. I shoot almost everything shoulder mounted. After using the DSR-300 for almost 10 years, I got a severe shock in trying to get used to the EX3. However finally I've managed to find a very good solution.

My EX3 has been fitted with a BEBOB EX3 V-mount, I use a 210 WHr battery (in order to have unlimited power supply as well as a heavy weight to counterbalance the front weight) and I also have a cordless mic receiver and a Zylight 90. This set-up is quite heavy and so I have (foolishly) bought the new Sony shoulder brace Sony : VCT-SP2BP (VCTSP2BP) : Product Overview : United Kingdom This did not alleviate the problem. However lately I realised that if I attach the accessory that comes with this brace at the front of the brace, I could attach a monopod to the EX3. The monopod is then inserted into a belt pouch.

By this way I have a shoulder mounted camera but front supported by a (adjustable) monopod. I am now able to keep the EX3 on my shoulder for hours without any major fatigue.
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Old July 1st, 2010, 05:35 AM   #11
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Thanks Olof,

I'm not sure what will suite me best. Like most things, you need to try them out and see them for yourself, but unfortunately thats not possible for me to do that, with any of these shoulder braces.

What I like about your shoulder brace system Olof is that it looks very neat and tidy, really well made.
The unfortunate thing is too that I will be charged additional postal taxes once it arrives here.

Hello Brian,
I did look at the VCT-SP2BP and I thought that might do my job as well but at least you went on and bought it and took the chance.
I also have the Bebob for my camera and as you know it helps, a bit.

So Brian, you were able to improve the balancing of the camera by moving some attachment, that sounds promising.
Does the monopod act like a brace then ?

Thanks again for your advice and sorry for not replying sooner to these posts.
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Old July 1st, 2010, 10:11 AM   #12
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Dear Anthony,

The VCT-SP2BP has an VCT wedge mount accessory (that comes part and parcel when you pay the original sky high price for the shoulder brace!) that attaches to the front of the brace and allows you to easily mount the camera together with the Sony brace onto Sony's professional quick VCT tripod plates. This wedge has a standard screw on its underside. Hence I was able to attach a Manfrotto monopod (which has a quick release head) to this VCT wedge plate.


By this way I have a support immediately under the front part of the camera, whilst the shoulder support part of the VCT-SP2BP rests on my shoulder. I'm able to remove my both hands from the camera and yet the camera stay still on my shoulder. This set-up is even better than my DSR-300.

The drawback of this set-up is that it obviously slightly limits certain freedom of movement (but not much). When I do need to be free and move around I just quick release the monopod in a couple of seconds and off I go. In this case the VCT-SP2BP helps me out for a short spell of time.

Incidentally today I've just received this accessory which should make this set-up more discreet: tripods, heads, monopods, light stands, camera supports, lighting supports, professional tripod 080 - MONOPOD BELT POUCH

I took the idea from DV rig: EngRig

I did not buy this set-up because I was afraid that it does not work. So I bought Sony's brace (which I thought was made specifically for the EX3!) and since I had a monopod to spare and since I did not want to pay for any more accessories for the EX3 (!!) I decided to adapt something myself.
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Old July 3rd, 2010, 05:16 AM   #13
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Thanks Brian for taking the time for that detailed reply.
I can see that the VCT-SP2BP shoulder support is lacking a counter balance weight at the back, hence the need for a brace or in your case the monopod.

I just see another EX3 shoulder mount system in the pipeline.
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdc...nt-ex-3-a.html

Thanks once again Brian for the feedback, appreciate it.
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Old July 6th, 2010, 12:42 AM   #14
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Anthony, the VCT does not have a counter balance but I'm using it together with Bebob plus a 210 WHr battery (from Blueshape) which due to hefty weight should have enough of a counter balance. However it is still not enough.

I've had a good look at this new EX3 mount that is being built. Looks promising but I still think that in the long run, after shooting shoulder style for a number of hours, it will still fatigue you out.

This weekend I've shot 3 weddings (as usual totally shoulder for many hours) and I felt that the setup with this monopod is even better than my past DSR-300! The monopod gives that much needed push up to the front of the lens to balance out the strange weight distribution of the EX3.
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Old July 6th, 2010, 04:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Cassar View Post
...and I felt that the setup with this monopod is even better than my past DSR-300! The monopod gives that much needed push up to the front of the lens to balance out the strange weight distribution of the EX3.
Your right there Brian,it does need that push up. I was at a wedding yesterday and holding the EX3 as it is, takes it out of you:)

You seem to have fine tuned the VCT-SP2BP to suit your needs better that expected.

Thanks Brian for the tip.
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