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Sony XDCAM PXW-FS7 / FS5
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Old February 21st, 2015, 05:57 AM   #1
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XDCA-FS7 the only way to balance FS7 with battery pack

What I dislike about the FS7 (otherwise great) design is that - in order to fix a large and heavy battery pack at the camera back, balancing it better on your shoulder - the XDCA-FS7 extension accessory id needed. I don't know its price, but with all its extra functionality it certainly doesn't come cheap... If Sony is listening, please make a simple battery mounting accessory available for those who do not need all the functionalities of the XDCA-FS7.

I watched the video with the Zacuto solution, basically allowing to slide the camera the more backwards the longer lens you're using, and while this is ideal from the balance viewpoint, I noticed two main shortcomings of this:

- with the camera body literally over your shoulder, you are losing easy access to its control and need to take it down each time settings need to be change

- using the long Sony viewfinder can pose another problem as with the camera repositioned backwards, it needs to be elongated forward and may get into the frame.

So, I guess that using heavy battery pack as a counterbalance would be the most simple solution to balancing the camera - if there was a cheaper way of attaching them than the XDCA-FS7!
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Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; February 21st, 2015 at 08:17 AM.
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Old February 21st, 2015, 09:28 AM   #2
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Re: XDCA-FS7 the only way to balance FS7 with battery pack

Our friends at VFGadgets here in Toronto have developed exactly what you're looking for. V-mount or Anton Bauer Gold mount. It's only $238 USD. It also has lots of D-Taps on it.

V-Lok Adaptor for Sony PXW-FS7 (vl-fs7) - VFGadgets.com
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Old February 21st, 2015, 09:46 AM   #3
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Re: XDCA-FS7 the only way to balance FS7 with battery pack

Brilliant - thanks!

Strange Sony didn't come up with equally elegant solution; perhaps they prefer to sell whole the interface....

PS. But please tell me - what is the thing underneath the camera on this pic?
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Old February 21st, 2015, 10:48 AM   #4
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Re: XDCA-FS7 the only way to balance FS7 with battery pack

I've already got the XDCA, but that looks like a great idea. Hats off to VFGadgets.
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Old February 21st, 2015, 11:51 AM   #5
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Re: XDCA-FS7 the only way to balance FS7 with battery pack

B&H shows a couple more options too: Battery Mounting Plates | B&H Photo Video
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Old February 21st, 2015, 06:52 PM   #6
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Re: XDCA-FS7 the only way to balance FS7 with battery pack

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
Brilliant - thanks!

Strange Sony didn't come up with equally elegant solution; perhaps they prefer to sell whole the interface....

PS. But please tell me - what is the thing underneath the camera on this pic?
It is called the FS7 plate by a company called Vocas. It gives you a much more comfortable shoulder experience plus you get 15mm rod clamps in the front (and optionally in the back too). it's over $1000 at B&H but it helps A LOT.

Once I got the Vocas plate and the FS7 extention unit with a brick on the back, I experienced a much more comfortable and stable shooting experince (for only a low low $3000 additional dollars!)

Zacuto has a plate very similar in design, probably in price too.

Also, Westside AV has a $400 one here: http://www.westsideavstore.com/index...=product&id=97

I have the Vocas, so I can not speak for the Westside one
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Old February 22nd, 2015, 01:26 AM   #7
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Re: XDCA-FS7 the only way to balance FS7 with battery pack

Thanks guys; on the one hand it's great the aftermarket manufacturers already offer so many useful add-ons to the FS7, but on the other hand I feel a bit disappointed that what was supposed to be ergonomic enough out of the box still seem to require those add-ons that we put on other cameras of this size like the FS700 or EX1/3...

I only recently started following the FS7 threads on the fora and was enthusiastic (up till now, that is) about it being so ergonomic it wouldn't need any costly add-ons for shoulder-mount shooting (especially with my weakened neck spine and arms)... I mean - with the E-mount definitely needing a support for long lenses (not to mention some means of fixing a matte-box and/or follow-focus), couldn't Sony include - as a very minimum - some rails fixing holes in the front, and a simple battery pack mount at the rear?!!

It almost looks like Sony has a secret agreement with those companies that prevents their products from becoming obsolete :) Good for them, but a serious stuff like Zacuto is definitely too expensive for me at the moment. Westside AV (Olof) offers everything much cheaper, but with Fedex to Poland and cumbersome clearance procedures (not to mention costs) it's still a lot of money.

So is there anyone on this forum who is using the FS7 "as is", and can do it for a reasonable time without serious fatigue?
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Old February 22nd, 2015, 10:46 AM   #8
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Re: XDCA-FS7 the only way to balance FS7 with battery pack

Piotr I agree with your frustration 100%. I too bought my FS7 on the notion that you could shoulder shoot with it "as is" with no further purchases (besides batteries and cards of course).

I can tell you after one day shooting all day hand-held with it, it is definitely VERY uncomfortable for shooting this way for extended periods of time.

I feel like we were told a bit of a lie, I have almost $16,000 into may camera and now it is how I pictured it.

That being said, once it is all kitted out, it is a pretty amazing camera that will serve me hopefully at least 7-8 years.
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Old February 22nd, 2015, 09:40 PM   #9
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Re: XDCA-FS7 the only way to balance FS7 with battery pack

You can't make a chair that fits every human out there. I can happily shoot all day with a stock FS7. I have extension back, v-locks, chrosziel base, etc, don't need them to be comfortable, just for function.

Saying we've been lied too is a bit rich.Go the internet!
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Old February 23rd, 2015, 03:04 AM   #10
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Re: XDCA-FS7 the only way to balance FS7 with battery pack

I perfectly understand not all shooting conditions/add-on requirements are equal, but - by simply incorporating front mounts for 15" rods, and a cheap battery pack mount at the back - the current tripod plate mounting holes and shoulder pad would be perfect in combination with the grip handle...

Adding the same stuff from 3rd parties not only increases cost, but also elevates the camera on one's shoulder which is bad for stability (CoG higher - more wobble, especially after the operator's arms become tired).
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Old February 23rd, 2015, 06:26 AM   #11
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Re: XDCA-FS7 the only way to balance FS7 with battery pack

Quote:
Originally Posted by David C. Williams View Post
You can't make a chair that fits every human out there. I can happily shoot all day with a stock FS7. I have extension back, v-locks, chrosziel base, etc, don't need them to be comfortable, just for function.
That sums up my sentiments exactly.
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Old February 23rd, 2015, 09:10 AM   #12
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Re: XDCA-FS7 the only way to balance FS7 with battery pack

What Doug said.
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