Protech ST7 shoulder mount for the PMW-200 at
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Old March 21st, 2013, 03:18 AM   #1
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Protech ST7 shoulder mount for the PMW-200

I recently got the Protech ST7 and it litterally changes the 200 handheld form factor to a proper shoulder cam, stable, balanced and easy to use. It has a slightly "S" shape, allowing to use the eyepiece confortably, or/and the LCD as well.
I use to work with shoulder cams in the past, and was a bit annoyed with the 200, that may look handheld but too heavy for that in my opinion.
I have tried other systems such as the cheap Proaim dslr kit that is far too heavy and not functional. These type of rigs dont give confortable access to the lens rings, and if you don't want to mount the ridiculous moped handles, you have to hold the cam by the zoom command which is probably exceeding its capabilities. Also, you have to install an expensive Zacuto viewfinder with rod support since any simple hood will not fit the job properly in the long term or rushing conditions.
The offset shaped ones are probably the best choice, giving natural access to the viewfinder. Look a bit awckward, not mentioning the dead weight behind your shoulder that could even injure your back if you don't pay attention, but the principle seems to be the most efficient in my opinion.
To go back to the Protech, it seems to be the best choice for me, well engineered and specifically designed for (I suppose all handheld cams and this model fitting mine perfectly), when the others are an assembly of rods and cheese plates.

Pros side:
- Confortable access to the viewfinder and the usual camera commands
- Balance
- Light weight
- Big handle allowing more shooting options and improved general handling (accessory mounts as well)
- Quickly fitted or removed (2 screws only)
- Great quality of materials, impeccable presentation.

Cons: There are some!, the biggest one is a very high price for what it is finally, I'm not sure why it's so expensive but it is visible that a lot of attention has been put in the design and manufacture.
Also, the Protech needs accessories, a V-Mount battery is a part of the game for the balance of the whole thing, implying buying battery AND charger that are not cheap ! and that's not all, the Protech is designed to fit a VCT14 on the tripod, and this is not "trickable" . Another expense...
Roughly 500 more than the 1000 you already paid for the support...
Also, the angle of your right arm is slightly smaller than with a proper shoulder cam and may be a cause of fatigue (but I have not used it long enough to be positive on this).

Despite the price, this rig put somehow the 200 in competition with much more expensive cameras, admittedly 1/2 inch sensors but a lot cheaper for a great picture...lightweight and also, combined with the steady shot, providing interesting possibilities of movement... I'm so happy with it that it stays permanently attached to the camera, only removed if I need "space".

I hope this will help those contemplating buying a support for their camcorder...
Serge Kouper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 27th, 2013, 03:01 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Reggio Emilia Italy
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Re: Protech ST7 shoulder mount for the PMW-200

Thank you very much
I'm thinking to buy the Protech ST7 for my EX1R
I like the DM too
Maurizio Panella is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 28th, 2013, 12:18 AM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
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Re: Protech ST7 shoulder mount for the PMW-200

I would recommend the CameraRibbon if you're on a budget. Simple, strong, elegant, it makes life with my similar-sized Panasonic Ac130 a lot happier for a day of hand held shooting. for more info. Even with UK import taxes it's still what I would call affordable.
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Mike Beckett is offline   Reply

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