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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old July 5th, 2010, 03:48 AM   #16
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'Instead of mounting a battery, I use the Sony BP-U60, can you use the plate to mound wireless microphones?'

Of course - you could put other accessories on the plate at the back instead of a V-Lock battery. But I do think you need some weight back there - which is where a battery is useful (adds weight and can power the camera).

I'm thinking that an option would be to simply bolt on some weight to the back plate (instead of the V-Lock battery plate). Other accessories could then be attached to the back of that. I'll play around with a couple of ideas and post them here.


'Mark, if you could invent a light weight solution for a rails riser that would make the unit into a truly usable solution. Including non-adjustable rails, in terms of height creates a serious usability problem.'

Only the rails at the back of the mount are non-adjustable. They form the 'backbone' of the mount and allow the shoulder pad to be positioned. Those rails can be extended to add other accessories and to shift more weight back to assist with balance. I don't think there is any need to make those rails adjustable - and its not really practical to do that.


'Most of the EX3 people are going to use the rails, first and foremost, for a mattebox, second would be for accessories like focus and zoom motors and counter weights. Motors wouldn't need the adjustable rails but the mattebox would. You have to account for people adding zoom-through wide angle lenses or 3rd party camera lenses of differing diameters. A fixed height rails solution will not work for many who would be in the market for this.'

Of course, rails on the front can be adjustable to allow for different accessories - Mattboxes, follow focus etc

I think the preferred option at the moment would be for accessories to be attached using the manufacturer's standard mounting accessories. In most cases, the front wedge plate would be replaced by plate that holds the rod mounting block (which is adjustable horizontally and vertically).

We were able to attach Letus adapter using the standard chroziel rod mounting system. Have a look at:

http://www.imagenz.com/resources/ima...mountletus.jpg

I've also got 2 other mattbox systems and a follow focus unit here at the moment - and they will mount using the standard manufacturer's accessories. I'll put links to photos here in the next day or so.

So, front rails can be adjustable just like any other system.

I might look at making an adjustable rod mounting block at some stage - specifically for this mount. But in the meantime I'm concentrating on getting the mount itself right - and making sure it will work with other accessories.

Mark
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Old July 5th, 2010, 04:05 AM   #17
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'Most of the EX3 people are going to use the rails, first and foremost, for a mattebox... But in the meantime I'm concentrating on getting the mount itself right - and making sure it will work with other accessories.

Mark
Personally I don't use or need rails or a mattbox.

I just need a good shoulder mount for the EX3 thats lets me use my vlock batteries, radio mic and onboard (D-Tap) light.
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Old July 5th, 2010, 06:05 AM   #18
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Personally I don't use or need rails or a mattbox.

I just need a good shoulder mount for the EX3 thats lets me use my vlock batteries, radio mic and onboard (D-Tap) light.
I think the basic mount with the V-Lock power option should work well for you in that case.
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Old July 5th, 2010, 05:34 PM   #19
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I think the basic mount with the V-Lock power option should work well for you in that case.
Thats good.
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Old July 5th, 2010, 07:57 PM   #20
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this is THE BEST ONE I had ever used - I was very sceptical at the beginning but my friend convinced me and I tried it; since then I ordered two of them for both of my cameras; see on ebay http://cgi.ebay.nl/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...m=160436942557

it doesn't have to be so complicated - it works great with mounting plate adapter from manfrotto
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Old July 6th, 2010, 09:55 AM   #21
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Marius your unit (I have one as well) has been dubbed "The ElCheapo" shoulder mount. You can actually get them cheaper than $20. USD, if you look.

It's OK, in my view and, like you, I would recommend a Manfrotto quick release plate system which pushes the cost up to about $75. US based on the unit you have shown. Frankly my ElCheapo sits in a box.

The beauty of the shoulder mount that is the focus of this thread is it utilizes the tried and true ENG shoulder mount form factor. With the wedge style mount, it goes from your shoulder onto the tripod in a couple of seconds and it has the benefit of a rails system.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 08:43 AM   #22
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is it just me or does the center point of the shoulder mount look too far forward to line up with the eye piece on the viewfinder? I Rarely use the viewfinder eye piece inside on my EX3 but outside off the shoulder it's a must.

i like the idea of the design just wondering if it will align.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 09:17 AM   #23
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same with my "el cheapo" it goes from shoulder mounting plate to tripod in 3 seconds PLUS that "el cheapo" as you call it has one important feature - a spring that pushes belly arm against the body (genius) AND that spring "folds" it back so it is very handy; my advice: buy one "el cheapo" and test it - don't waste the time to reinvent things that work perfect already - genius is in simplicity. (not to mention it is made of stong plastic so it is ultra light).
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Old July 17th, 2010, 05:08 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Shawn Dooling View Post
is it just me or does the center point of the shoulder mount look too far forward to line up with the eye piece on the viewfinder? I Rarely use the viewfinder eye piece inside on my EX3 but outside off the shoulder it's a must.

i like the idea of the design just wondering if it will align.
I hope I am understanding what you are asking correctly...

If you are meaning that it looks like the shoulder pad is too far forward for the eyepiece to be at a comfortable position - then yes, it is - WHEN the shoulder pad is in its FRONT position. Its possible to operate the camera like this, but I find that the vf is 'pressed' into the eye a bit too much. That said, when I demo'd the unit to someone recently they seemed to be quite happy operating the camera pad in that position.

The shoulder pad can be moved to its REAR position - which shifts the viewfinder forward by 50mm. In this position, the viewfinder sits at the right place for comfortable shoulder operation.

The rear block needs to be in the forward position to mount securely to a VCT-14 tripod plate (with the front wedge and rear stopper), but its a simple procedure to shift the shoulder pad between the front and rear positions - just push a button on the rear mounting block and shift the block (with shoulder pad and counterweight attached) forward or back.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 05:44 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Marius Boruch View Post
same with my "el cheapo" it goes from shoulder mounting plate to tripod in 3 seconds PLUS that "el cheapo" as you call it has one important feature - a spring that pushes belly arm against the body (genius) AND that spring "folds" it back so it is very handy; my advice: buy one "el cheapo" and test it - don't waste the time to reinvent things that work perfect already - genius is in simplicity. (not to mention it is made of stong plastic so it is ultra light).
If the 'El Cheapo' works for you (and others) - go for it, you're all sorted then. It will obviously be the cheapest solution.

The 'El Cheapo' will not work for me. I've looked at lots of different rigs for mounting the EX-3 - but none of them would work the way I needed - I'm not claiming this mount is perfect (I don't think its possible to get the perfect mount with the EX-3 - short of completely redesigning the camera - or buying a PMW-320/350!).

I work in the broadcast industry and I'm used to using proper shoulder mount cameras (DSR570, PDW700 etc). I also run Jimmy Jibs and a Glidecam X-45 system. So I needed something that would allow the EX-3 to work in seamlessly with all of the above.

This is where the mount works well for me:

- attaches securely to the VCT-14 tripod plate system (via the front wedge and rear stopper). Mounting with the VCT-14 allows much greater control when balancing the camera - on tripod/jib/glidecam etc. I also use 2/3" HD lenses using the ACM-21 adapter - balancing becomes even more of an issue with all that extra weight out the front!

- compact mount (with the shoulder pad in the forward position, the overall length of the camera/mount is quite reasonable)

- can be left on the camera. In my situation, I can't see any need for the mount to be removed from the camera. Its compact and will fit in the cases that I have.

- the camera is securely attached to the mount by the 1/4" screw on the base and the 2x 4mm screws on the angled part of the camera. It won't twist as it is prone to when attached with just the 1/4" screw.

- can be used on the shoulder. Goes from tripod mount to shoulder in seconds. A simple press of a button allows the shoulder pad assembly to move backward on the rails to put the eyepiece at a more comfortable operating position. We're also improving the shoulder pad from what can be seen in the photos - it will be a moulded/shaped pad.

- will accept industry standard accessories: so far I've tried the mount with Chrosziel, Petroff and Cavision mattbox systems - and a Cavision follow focus unit. The rear rails are standard 60mm spacing and can be extended - so its possible to attach accessories further back (Solid state recorders, radio mic receivers etc)


Basically I am trying to come up with a mounting system that allows maximum versatility - in the familiar ENG form factor. I think this mount is pretty close.

We are working on the last parts of the system now - shoulder pad, accessory bracket, basic counterweight system (when not using V-Lock batteries), V-Lock battery interface and power regulation etc. Its not far off - I'll take more photos and put them on my EXMount - Custom shoulder mount for PMW-EX3 cameras site (since I can't post any here!).

Anyway, thanks for all the feedback - its very useful!

Mark
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Old August 10th, 2010, 05:57 AM   #26
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Just an update on the EXMount Shoulder Mount for the EX-3.

We are currently doing a short run of mounts - to streamline the manufacturing process - and will then do another run of more mounts - qty dictated by interest!

The shoulder pad has been replaced with a contoured foam injected pad - much more comfortable - and looks like the shoulder pads on the big cameras.

The EXMount - Custom shoulder mount for PMW-EX3 cameras site has been updated with pictures of the shoulder pad and the Side Accessory Plate.

I am hoping to add some more photos very soon showing the various accessories and configuration options.

So, we are working hard on it - and it shouldn't be much longer before its ready!

Mark
Attached Thumbnails
Shoulder mount for EX-3-dscf6521.jpg  

Last edited by Mark Rule; August 10th, 2010 at 05:57 AM. Reason: correcting text
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Old August 10th, 2010, 11:22 PM   #27
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Looking great. With the side plate, you might want to make sure you still have clear access to the DC input. With switching to tripod and steadicam, you don't always want to run off the onboard battery. In the picture it looks obscured, or does it run to another possible input?
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Old August 11th, 2010, 02:08 AM   #28
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We were able to attach Letus adapter using the standard chroziel rod mounting system. Have a look at:

http://www.imagenz.com/resources/ima...mountletus.jpg

Mark
Mark ... what kind of z style riser are you using in this photo? Is the back plate for battery or nanoflash adjustable? for example, if I use a larger PL-U95 battery will that fit the space?
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Old August 11th, 2010, 03:49 AM   #29
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Hi Mark,

Will this shoulder mount work for the EX1?

Thanks
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Old August 11th, 2010, 06:27 PM   #30
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I agree with David on two points, both the DC input and the BNC connectors. For Steadicam it is best if the BNC connectors could "swing" over and protrude on the left hand side of the camera as opposed to the present right side as you have it. Otherwise there is a good chance of banging the cables with your leg when operating. Not sure if your present design allows you to position the BNC connector mount on either side of the camera.

Mark, I am really impressed with practical improvements you continue to make to this unit. You are making this a really good piece of kit for camera operators of all sorts. Hats off.
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