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-   -   Flaw in the Tripod mount area on the A1? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xh-series-hdv-camcorders/107321-flaw-tripod-mount-area-a1.html)

Shiv Kumar November 6th, 2007 12:52 AM

Flaw in the Tripod mount area on the A1?
I find that the little "platform" Canon have provided surrounding the tripod mount screw hole to be a flaw in the design. Let me explain...

As result of this small platform, only that portion of the camera body really touches the tripod base plate (quick release plate etc.). This in turn causes the camera to shake, especially when you touch it, like when you're racking focus on the Letus or on the camera.

Does anyone else see this to be an issue? I've slipped small rubber sheets in front of the platform and behind the platform in order to provide a fuller support and that makes the camera rock steady.

Is there a reason for this platform that I don't seem to get?

Bill Watson November 6th, 2007 02:30 AM

I'm a bit lost here.

I don't have a 'little' platform around the screw mount. Looks pretty standard to me.

Mine's as solid as a rock on the tripod using the quick release [plate.

Shiv Kumar November 6th, 2007 02:48 AM


Unscrew your quick release plate from the camera and look at the bottom of the camera, you'll see that the bottom is not enttirely flat. There is a small "platform" around the area of the mounting screw hole. In other words the area around the mounting screw hole is raised a bit. So essentially, that's the only area that actually touches the quick release plate or tripod base (as the case may be).

The other way to look at it is to have your quick release plate screwed firmly to the camera. Now lift the camera to your eye level such that you are able to see the area between your camera and quick release plate. You'll notice that there is only a small portion (of the camera) that actually makes contact with your quick release plate. There is a small gap (about 2-3mm) between the rest of your plate and the camera. This gap (depending on how you're mounted your plate can be found towards the front and the back of the camera.

Now mount your camera on your tripod and lock all movement on your tripod. If you push down lightly from the top on your lens or the back of the camera you'll notice a slight "play". This play is caused due to the air gap between your quick release plate and camera and not your tripod head etc.


Bill Watson November 6th, 2007 02:58 AM

Not on mine.

Shiv Kumar November 6th, 2007 03:24 AM

So it looks like the bottom of your camera is not like mine? Please take a look at the images attached.

One shows a bottom view of my camera and the other is annotated.



Bill Watson November 6th, 2007 03:45 AM

Clicked on the link but it says it's an invalid attachment.

Shiv Kumar November 6th, 2007 04:11 AM

Ok, try this link instead.


When you get to the page, please scroll the list of images all the way to the bottom and you'll see two images of the A1.

Thanks for seeing this through.


Bill Watson November 6th, 2007 04:32 AM

I'm sorry mate but I can't see what the problem is.

Looks the same as mine and my snap lock plate seems to fit flush without any wobble.

Maybe someone else can come in on this one.

Shiv Kumar November 6th, 2007 06:02 AM


So is your quick release plate so long that it goes from the mounting hole area all the way to the back of the camera (I mean all the way)?

Also, note that the play is so small as to not be noticeable until you mount the camera on the tripod and shoot and then press lightly on the lens from the top or press on the back of the camera from the top.

If the base of your camera looks like mine then it's not flat and you'll have the issue I cited unless your quick release plate is long enough to go from the front of the (bottom of the camera) all the way to the back.

What tripod do you have?

Thanks again for your patients.


Paul Joy November 6th, 2007 06:38 AM

I can see what your talking about, my camera is the same in so much as it doesn't contact all of the tripod plate, although I haven't noticed any wobble at all.

If the plate is screwed on tight enough there should still be enough contact with the camera to stop any movement. I'd check to make sure the mounting point on the camera hasn't been damaged somehow.

Do you use rails to support your letus? I doubt the camera mount was designed to carry all that extra weight on the front so that might be part of the problem.



Shiv Kumar November 6th, 2007 07:05 AM

Whew! Thanks Paul.

I can screw on the plate really tight, no problem there. The play is very slight but it is the primary cause of a "shake" (not wobble :)). After I padded the gap with thin rubber pieces I can touch the camera, push buttons etc. without the slightest of shakes.

Bill Watson November 6th, 2007 02:38 PM

I'm only using a standard camera/tripod quick release plate.

However, I've laid the edge of a steel rule along that area in all directions and, if anything, the mounting hole area is slightly below the level of the base.

Can't help thinking that yours has been pulled out of shape somehow?

Shiv Kumar November 7th, 2007 12:14 AM


Thanks for the info and sticking with this.

Chris Soucy November 7th, 2007 01:41 AM

Hi Shiv.............
You have, incidently, highlighted an inherant weakness in the Canon A1/ G1 and possibly H1 cameras, and that is the inability to accomodate the "pro", twin, 3/8" screws of the higher end mounting systems.

That a HD camera, on board mic, wireless system, rails possibly etc etc etc are all held onto the mounting plate with one paltry 1/4" machined screw is nothing less than criminal.

SD only, I could believe, HD - surely not!

I sincerely hope Canon get it right next time and offer both options.

And yes, the "land" area for the mounting plate attach isn't exactly generous.


Shiv Kumar November 7th, 2007 02:45 AM


I'm glad you see the issue! I didn't know something like the pro twin 3/8" screws existed and was actually wondering why such mountings didn't exist.

If they just provided a completely flat bottom it would allow one to touch the camera, press buttons (such as Push AF and Zoom and focus presets etc. without any camera shake. Simply filling the air gap with rubber strips allows me to do this.

Bill Pryor November 7th, 2007 06:37 AM

The 1/4" socket is a weakness in most all the 1/3" chip cameras, and you can't use them on a professional tripod, which is necessary if you want to use a heavy tripod for a teleprompter--bigger tripods have the standard 3/8" mount.

HOWEVER, the solution is the Canon tripod adapter plate. You remove the plate that has the cheesy socket and replace it using the 4 screws provided with the adapter.


The B&H info says it's for the XL2, but it's for all the cameras. And they don't show the plate it comes with to replace the 1/4" socket, but it'll be in the box. This tripod adapter plate is just like all the ones you get with bigger cameras, and it has the normal 3/8" sockets as well as the smaller 1/4" ones. It's about $130. I couldn't live without it, and I wouldn't have bought the XH A1 if Chris hadn't told me about it. It's a necessary part of the camera, in my opinion, if you ever use a teleprompter.

Still...you'd probably have to yank pretty hard on the camera, maybe pick it up by the handle a number of times when it's attached to the tripod, to bend that 1/4" socket out, I think.

Here's the plate on the Canon site:


Scroll down, it's on the lower right. You can see the part that attaches to the camera base with 4 screws.

Shiv Kumar November 7th, 2007 11:06 AM


FYI: There is no damage to my camera. Not sure what led you to understand that. I'm just highlighting (what I think is) a flaw in the design that causes a camera shake with the slightest touch (like when using the zoom/focus preset buttons) etc.

You say

You remove the plate that has the cheesy socket and replace it using the 4 screws provided with the adapter.
What plate is that?

Further, it's the mount on the camera that is flawed, if this adapter plate is going to be mounted to the camera using the same mount then that's not really going to eliviate the real issue now is it? Unluess the plate is long enough to reach all the way to the back of the camera. So does it reach the back of the camera?

Also, I have a Libec LS-55 tripod. Does it make sense to buy this adapter if the tripods I own have only the 1/4" socket?

I don't use a telepromtper, but would like to know what it's got to do with mounting the camera on a tripod if you don't mind explaining?



Eric Weiss November 7th, 2007 11:54 AM

I use several tripods including Libec with the standard mount and have no shake at all. It does need to be tightened once it a while...they all do. Do you carry the camera with the tripod attached by the camera handle?

The adpater plate is good. I've use it on other cameras.

Bill Pryor November 7th, 2007 11:57 AM

The tripod adapter plate comes with both the big plate that goes on the tripod, and a replacement plate for the one that comes on the camera with the small socket. You remove that plate and attach the new one. That then slides onto and locks into place on the adapter.

The reason for it is that it has the standard size 3/8" socket, which allows you to use it on a regular tripod, rather than the smaller ones that have 1/4" sockets (although it has 1/4" receptacles too, so you can actually use it with both).

So this is a solution if your 1/4" mounting receptacle is sticking up as you say. Mine does not do that, and the camera fits fine with no wobble on a 1/4" tripod head; I only bought the adapter because sometimes I need to use the camera on bigger tripods capable of holding a teleprompter. That would not be possible without the adapter plate, unless there was a heavy tripod with the 1/4" screw, and I've never seen any with one.

Another solution would be to simply order a new 1/4" plate to replace the one you have that is deformed. There are 4 screws that hold it in place. I'm confident Canon would replace it, because that is not normal. Personally, I'd rather buy a part, which couldn't cost much, than send the camera in to have it replaced.

Shiv Kumar November 7th, 2007 01:23 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Eric, Bill,

There is no damage to my camera or the plate on the camera :). It's the design of that area I'm talking about.

Essentially, the only support the camera really gets from a tripod is the small area (the plate you say I can have canon replace).

If this plate (on the camera) were flush with the bottom of the rest of the camera (and not jutting out 2mm or so), the camera would get a larger surface area of contact with the quick release plate of any tripod and therefore be a whole lot more stable.

If you look at the photograph with the side view you'll see. Or simple look at your camera with a tripod quick release plate mounted on the camera. You'll see that 3/4 of the quick release plate does not touch the camera at all. Therefore does not provide any support for stability.


The tripod adapter plate comes with both the big plate that goes on the tripod, and a replacement plate for the one that comes on the camera with the small socket. You remove that plate and attach the new one. That then slides onto and locks into place on the adapter.
Ok, it looks like this might actually solve the disign issue. Looking at the picture on their (and B&H) site, it looks like when the small plate is inserted into the larger plate, the top (as you look at the picture) is flush with the rest of the larger plate and that in turn means that the full top portion of the plate is in contact with the bottom of the camera.

Take a look at new photo I uploaded it will hopefully highlight what I'm talking about.

Josh Laronge November 7th, 2007 01:35 PM

I use the A1 with a Libec 38 and have no problems with it being loose or camera shake. My plate has the same gap as in your photo. However, I mount my plate much further forward on the camera. Essentially, my plate is flush with the front part of the camera which seems to give me plenty of contact area between the camera and plate. You may want to try moving your plate forward, so the gap is lessened.

Shiv Kumar November 7th, 2007 01:43 PM


I moved the plate back only for the purpose of the photo :). But even then you can see that there is a gap in the front.

Technically, no matter where you mount the plate the camera only gets supported by the saurface area shown in the picuture. Moving the plate forwards or backwards doesn't change that.

In fact if it does, it only proves my point :)

Shiv Kumar November 7th, 2007 02:48 PM


I do you rails to support the Letus, but guess what? The camera is mounted on the rails and the same flaw persists! So we're back to square one no?


Would it be possible for you to post a picture with the adapter mounted on the camera (a picture similar to the one I took, where you basically have to angle the shot in such as way as to see the air gap).

Or if you could confirm for me that when the adapter (along with its own plate) is mounted on the camera there is no air gap between the camera and the rest of the structure, I'd appreciate it tremendously.


Eric Weiss November 7th, 2007 05:15 PM

I see your point with that picture. I didn't really notice that ledge before.
My tripod plates fit within that surface area and are quite stable.

Shiv Kumar November 7th, 2007 05:30 PM


Thanks Eric for "seeing my point".

I'm assuming you use the adapter like Bill does when you say

My tripod plates fit within that surface area and are quite stable.
Or am I reading that wrong?

Also, I'm not saying that the camera is not stable. What I'm saying is it could have been a lot more stable and one could actually touch the camera, push buttons etc. while recording without getting any (and I mean any) camera shake.

If the adapter (due to its design) removes that air gap, then I think the solution is to buy the adapter. I'm assuming that with the adapter one can still use the "regular" tripods with their 1/4" mounting screws? Can someone confirm this too please?

I didn't know that that plate can be removed. I found this out after reading Bill's post. So the other option might be to get a plate made for this purpose (if the adapter doesn't solve this problem).


Josh Laronge November 7th, 2007 05:34 PM

Have you tried filling the gap with a piece of foam or rubber? If you sandwich it in tightly it may solve your problem.

Bill Pryor November 7th, 2007 05:39 PM

I can post a photo when I get back in town this weekend. I see what you mean now; I thought you meant the socket was somehow pulled away from the camera. I guess I didn't notice that since I only mounted it one time without the adapter plate. Still, there shouldn't be any wiggle with that arrangement. Could it be that the bolt coming from your tripod is a bit too long?

Malcolm OBrien November 7th, 2007 05:40 PM

Hi Shiv,

That nominal 2" square pad around the 1/4" screw should be more than adequate to give you a stable plate mount. The camera in itself weighs in at 5 lbs and the arrangement should carry about 11 lbs wobble free. If your loading up the camera with lots of extra gear then I feel Bill Pryors tripod adaptor fix would be the way to go.

My concern is that you are having 'wobble/shake' with just a little more than the basic camera load. Are you sure the actual thread section is not damaged or something is loose in the mount/plate arrangement?

I have my A1 on a Miller DS10, plate mounted with the same overhang you show in your images and it's rock solid with gun mike and light attached..no shake no wobble. The screw tightened with a coin just firmly and checked regularly.

Shiv Kumar November 7th, 2007 05:42 PM


Actually I use rubber strips both in the front and back because the front needs it too and so I move the plate to the front so I can use a larger rubber strip and it doesn't slip off.

I know this works wonders and so that brought me to this post. Canon should have just designed that area better.

Because I switch between the Steadicam Merlin and a tripod I have to redo the rubber strips part each time when going back to the tripod. And it's just a pain and one more thing to do and not misplace the strips etc. But now I'm thinking I should stick the rubber strips to the camera using something that I can remove easily when I need to (like when it comes time to sell the camera).


Shiv Kumar November 7th, 2007 06:22 PM


Thanks I appreciate you doing this for me.


I'm positive there is nothing wrong with the camera's mounting area, threads, etc. I carry a small wide mouth screwdriver and so can tighten the screw as much as needed.

Do you touch the camera while recording. For instance do you use the position zoom/focus preset while shooting? Or take a photo while a shoot is in progress? You'll notice a shake if you're zoomed in fully is you try the above.

It's not like there is a shake all by itself. Heck I can use my $80 tripod and leave the camera alone and shoot just fine without any shake or wobble :).

All Im saying is that if the design were better, I could use my $900 dollar tripod (which is solid as a rock) and not have to treat the camera as "hands off" while shooting.

One tends to adjust one's shooting style in order to circumvent certain short commings. I shot my first two videos on my $80 tripod. There were no pans or tilts and I even had to account for the shake soon after pressing the record button, so I'd say "action" a few seconds after or when possible use the remote to start/stop recording. The storyboard revolved around the limitations of my tripod.

After having used the rubber strips and finding that the camera is now truely rock solid, I've begun to incorporate racking focus (with the Letus) into the way I shoot. I don't even think about having to be careful (with or without rails).

Eric Weiss November 7th, 2007 06:40 PM

No, I don't use the adapter on the A1.

I use them on an ENG JVC cam and an Xl1-S.

The tripods that I use for my A1 have plates that fit within the surface area of that ledge.

I wouldn't really say it's a "flaw." It seems to allow deeper threading of a tripod plate and also protects the hinge area of the battery door.

David W. Jones November 7th, 2007 07:38 PM

2 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Shiv Kumar (Post 771940)
All Im saying is that if the design were better, I could use my $900 dollar tripod (which is solid as a rock) and not have to treat the camera as "hands off" while shooting.

I have used the XH-A1 on 4 different tripods, 2 booms, and a skater dolly, and never had a problem with how the camera was mounted.
Even loaded down with Brevis 35 and big Zeiss glass!

Malcolm OBrien November 7th, 2007 07:48 PM


OK I see what you are referring to. If I zoom to full telephoto and punch the buttons or drum the pan handle I can induce vibration.

I can see how your 'pads' would reduce this as would the Canon tripod adaptor plate re-fit.

Just now testing the unit on my Miller DS-10 with the plate overhang as in your image, with downward pressure on either end of the handle, I can see some body flex outside of the actual contact zone.

In my case normal use on the various controls is not enough the bring an effect into the image and I do recall the effect being apparent at times when I used a friction head. Maybe it's a combination of camera body flex, plate clearance and head clearance for any given setup.

Certainly the zoom/focus preset action would be the worst case for inducing movement and I can understand how a Letus Extreme overhang with racking focus would stretch the current mount. So rubber pads/adaptor plate or a special plate for your application is the go.

I guess Canon has matched the plate mount with the body mass for a hand held design and given us an adaptor mount alternative for more complex and demanding system use.

Peter Jefferson November 7th, 2007 08:45 PM

Its not a design flaw, in fact, it's there as the plate itself can be removed if damaged. The issue you're seeing is the fact that tripod plates aren't sitting totally flush with the rest of the camera body. There are ways around this with rubber grommets and mats found at your local hardware store.

Shiv Kumar November 7th, 2007 10:30 PM


Thank you. Yes, you see my point.

Since the zoom/focus preset also has a speed setting, in my opinion it implies that it was designed to be used while the camera is recording. That being said, all they had to really do is provide rubber strips that go along both sides of the camera all the way to the existing rubber pad at the back of the camera and the problem wouldn't exist. Hmm, but they'd get less space for their label. I supposed that's out of the question then :).

If the adapter mount alleviates this issue then that's good news.

Malcolm OBrien November 7th, 2007 11:23 PM

Didn't factor in the label requirement, it was probably in the design spec ;-).

I must confess when tripod mounted I often use the ZR-2000 LANC controller on the pan handle for stop/starts, zoom adjusts and push AF among others. Touch the camera as little as possible in record mode is my mantra, HD is so unforgiving and definately worth whatever it takes.

Shiv Kumar November 7th, 2007 11:36 PM


Yes, I agree with you in principle. However, as I said earlier, we tend to adjust for the flaws...

Oh well.

Shiv Kumar November 8th, 2007 12:14 PM


Having designed many many gadgets and parts I can tell you it's a design flaw. I don't think we're all supposed to go out to the local hardware store to fix it if Canon couldn't have provided the solution instead. It's not a preference or option kind of thing.

But you're obviously free to have your opinion :)

Chris Hurd November 8th, 2007 12:45 PM

This tripod mounting area on the bottom of the XH series camcorder is not a flaw. It's a feature, meaning, Canon intentionally designed it this way and it is identical on four camcorders: the XH A1, XH G1, XL H1 and XL2. This design has been unchanged since the debut of the XL2 more than three years ago back in 2004.

As previously pointed out by Bill Pryor, the design accommodates the Canon TA-100 tripod plate adapter, which in my opinion is an essential item that should be bundled in with the camera, as similar plates are included with other pro video camera systems.

Also, as far as the little "ledge" is concerned -- as Eric Weiss mentions above, it protects the hinge area of the battery door.

Finally, the right way to operate any tripod-mounted camcorder is to simply not touch it at all. Always use a wired remote controller such as the Canon ZR-2000 or similar LANC controller.

Edit: What I mean by that statement above is the camcorder body, while it's recording a shot; of course a person still has to touch the tripod itself in order to pan or tilt. However, rec/pause is best triggered remotely whever possible, as are changes in focal plane and focal length.

Hope this helps,

Shiv Kumar November 8th, 2007 03:03 PM


Yes, it's quite apparent that Canon expects/wants people to buy additonal gizmos in order to operate the camera as intended (by Canon).

Since if one can't take photos while recording without causing a shake or one can't operate the Focus/Zoom presets either and these two aspects are in Canon's marketing for this camera and niether of these functions were provided on the remote that comes with the camera. So it's by design! (Force customers to buy additional things) :).

No I do understand you point about maintaining the mount across multiple camera so one can use the same adapter across these cameras. But all it really needs is a larger surface area. And the protection for the hinge can still be maintained.

This thing about not touching the camera while the shot is on...in my humble opinion is something we do due to the flaws in design. We accomodate. We live with it and find other solutions or cram our style to suit.

It looks to me that (from your post as well) that the adapter is the solution? I'd appreciate it if you or Bill could post a side view photo showing (or attempting to show) the air gap (or the lack of).



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