A very interesting pro shoulder mount solution for the EX1/ EX3 and Z5/ Z7

I have just come across this and it looks very interesting. Picture 27Anyone who has used an EX3 knows the semi shoulder thing is hard work to use. Incredibly front heavy making it ergonomically awkward to use. The ex1 is worse and the Z5 and Z7 aren’t much better.

I have tried many shoulder mounts for these cameras (apart from the ex3) and never found something entirely satisfactory. This looks great, for me anyway…It’s a pro baseplate with a new shoulder pad and then a V-mount battery adaptor at the back. This should give you better balance and certainly for the EX3 make it a MUCH easier camera to shoot with handheld.

The Protech ST-7 is for the EX1 and 3, the ST-7J is for the Z5 and Z7.

Here is some blurb from their website

“The PROTECH ST-7/ST-7J shoulder mount adapters convert Sony EX1/EX3 and HVR-Z5/Z7 in to shoulder-mounted cameras, giving Balance and Stability, both feature industry standard V-Mount battery plates allowing cameras to be powered using regular V-Mount batteries such as the OMEGA Power System range DC in & out 4-Pin XLR connectors enable a camera to be powered via an AC Adapter, an on-board camera light or other accessory can be powered directly from the ST7/ST-7J. With an integrated ST-1 tripod adapter plate the ST-7/ST-7J can be securely attached to a standard “full-sized” Tripod Plate (Sony VCT-14/VCT-U14 or Protech VST-14). A side mounted array of 3 x BNC connectors gives the freedom to conveniently connect or remove cables.”

I can’t work out how the BNC connectors will work, how they attach to the camera or what exactly they will output…

Also the way the handheld EX1. Z5 and Z7 are configure you will have to use the LCD for monitoring not the LCD as it will be in the wrong position. In these situations I cannot recommend enough Mike Stevens “Sock Loupe”. It may look odd, but trust me, this is one seriously great piece of kit. It really does give you an incredible viewfinder from your LCD. This is version 3 I believe as is all in one and much better. I reviewed version 1 here. With this as long as the shoulder mount is good you should get a terrific shoulder mounted solution for these awkward cameras.

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Optica TV the UK distributors have offered to loan me one to try out. Hopefully this will happen so I can report back asap. It won’t be until I return from India though in a week or so after the Greenpeace trip.

Of course if you don’t have V lock batteries then you can the Anton-Bauer adaptor. Don’t forget pro batteries are not cheap nor are the chargers. That is why I am calling this a pro-solution. It also retails in the US for around $820… From what I have read and seen this looks great.

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  1. The ST-7 is a terrific mount. I find that prolonged shooting with handheld cameras takes it toll on my back, but with one of these you get all the stability and comfort of a shoulder-mounted camera. And if you’re a one-person film crew, you no longer need to have radio mic receivers hanging off the camera in unhelpful and painful ways. I just completed a ten day shoot with one of these mounts, and I’ll be making it a standard requirement of all EX and Z shoots from now on.

    Nic Guttridge
    Director, UK

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