I love the EX3, it’s easier to use than the EX1 but it really is hard to do prolonged handheld with it even with it’s wedge design. Easier than the EX1 but still so front heavy it’s a real struggle.
I have tried many shoulder mounts for the EX1 and EX3 and although found some usable solutions, both cheap and expensive have never found the perfect one. This new one by Protech is pretty close!
I have it on loan for the moment and have to give it back but am going to have t0 get one because it totally changes the whole feel of the camera, turning it from a bit of an awkward pain in the a** to almost a proper shoulder mounted camera.
Now this solution is not for everyone. First off it isn’t cheap. Not sure why it is so expensive to be honest but that is a common complaint with most pro TV gear! Not like the famed “el cheapo” that costs about $70, does a good job with the ex1 but is far from perfect. Also to use it you need to invest in “proper” pro batteries like IDX V mount batteries that I am using on the picture above. These are not cheap and the charger is expensive, but the battery will charge your EX camera all day.
It also has a built in wedge tripod plate for the Sony VCT plates which I have been advocating using on these cameras for ever. I know Steve Weiss doesn’t like them but I still by my guns and say it give utter rigidity on the tripod which is severely lacking if you just use the tripods built in quick release plate. Using a plate like this is proper pro and makes a huge difference.
Also a problem with the EX3 is like the EX1 you have this crappy little fixing plate which is very fragile. I use an extra piece of equipment that is also expensive but there are much cheaper version out there now. It spreads the weight and the tension put on the plate across the whole body. I will look up the cheaper alternatives and post them here later.
So using this extra plate and the Protech ST-7 I have an amazing new camera. It has UTTERLY transformed by EX3 into a camera I can now properly use handheld with the front heaviness causing issues to both my arms and the image!
Now I look slightly awkward in the above photo, I had the VF too far out so my head is twisted. This will give you neck ache after a while so make sure you get optimum position of the VF for you. Look in a mirror so your head is straight and set the VF to that.
These three BNC connectors are purely port replicators for the ones on the back of the camera. Use short BNC leads to make it easier to connect those connectors to your peripherals. You don’t have to, it’s just a nice little feature. You can also see above a DC in for you to use a pro power supply to power the system. But of course you can still use your normal charger. There is a DC out for powering lights etc too, with an output wattage of 35 watts…You use a simple lead that connects the ST-7 to the EX3′s DC in to power the camera.
I can’t be more positive about this than I already am. It’s really quite superb. The balance isn’t “quite” there, but that depends on what batteries you use and what lens you have on. I think I would double up my battery on the back if used my wide angle adaptor or a bigger lens to maintain that balance. But all things considered this feels like a major upgrade for the EX3. It also works with the EX1 but you can’t use the VF you use the LCD. If you the ex1 then I cannot strongly recommend enough the sock loupe with turns your LCD into an amazing viewfinder. Trust me…it’s brilliant!
Hopefully I will get my own ST-7 ASAP as this is game changer for the camera for me.
In the UK you can buy it from:
CVP Mitcorp also from these others…
If the product isn’t showing on their pages just email them or call them to order it as it’s very new.
Bridge House, Royal Quay, Park Lane, Harefield, Middlesex, UB9 6JA Tel: 01895 825619
23 Shield Drive, West Cross Industrial Estate, Brentford, TW8 9EX Tel: 020 8380 7400
CVP – Creative Video Productions
Priory Mill, Castle Road, Studley, Warwickshire Tel: B80 7AA 01527 854222
Unit 27 Metro Centre, Britannia Way, Coronation Road, Park Royal, London NW10 7PR Tel: 020 8965 8060
H Preston – London
74 Milton Road, Hampton, Middlesex Tel: TW12 2LJ Tel: 020 8979 9281
Units 3-4, Teddington Business Park, Teddington, Middlesex, TW11 9BQ Tel: 020 89771222
The Old School, 690 Bradford Road, Birkenshaw, West Yorkshire, BD11 2D Tel: 01274 713400
Unit 4, Clayton Court, The City Works, Ashton Old Road, Manchester, M11 2NB Tel: 0161 223 2200
Unit 1, Eastman Way, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP2 7DU Tel: 01442 253313
Media Park, 40b River Road, Barking, Essex, G11 0DW 020 8594 3336
BPS – Broadcast Production Services
The Old Fire Station, 42 Thames Street, Hampton, Middlesex, TW12 2DX Tel: 020 8941 1199
Tyrell CCT Ireland
Unit 13, Bluebell Business Park, Old Naas Road, Dublin 12, Ireland Tel: + 353 1 8881118 Ireland
Eurotek – Ireland
Unit E, 61 Heather Road, Sandyford Ind Est, Dublin 18, Ireland Tel: +353 1 295 7811
If you are anywhere else get in touch with distributor Opteca Professionalto find out who their partners are.