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Sony HXR-MC1500 Shoulder Mount Camcorder
  • The trend is towards smaller and smaller cameras.

    So am I crazy for considering a shoulder mount camcorder?

    No rigging required and seems like the ideal size/format to be filming with (even though I haven't filmed before).

    Pain in the ass to lug around. That's a deal-breaker for most people, right?

    Any thoughts about this model or shoulder mount camcorders in general would be appreciated.

  • 27 Replies sorted by
  • just did a google search and there was many discussions about shoulder-mounted camcorders. so i'm not the only one who is wondering...

  • @babypanda

    Nothing will happen to shoulder mount cameras.

  • ok, thanks for reply. but i'm wondering.... are they limited because of their size? I mean, if you only had to buy one camera, would a shoulder mount be a bad choice because it's not suitable for many situations?

  • but i'm wondering.... are they limited because of their size? I mean, if you only had to buy one camera, would a shoulder mount be a bad choice because it's not suitable for many situations?

    It all depends on your tasks. No universal answers exist in this world.

  • Yeah, I think you're right. I'm guessing it has it's limitations and that a handheld camcorder or DSLR might be more versatile and can be used in more situations. I'll see if anyone else chimes in here... thx.

  • what are you filming?

  • I would like to make a doc.

  • I have no prior experience, but I've been researching DSLRs and some of the rigs people are using seem to be as bulky as these shoulder-mount camcorders, if not even more bulky. But obviously with the DSLR, you can strip it down.

  • that's a sexy looking camera! i know there are advantages to filming with small cameras, but these things look beautiful to me. but it's over my budget. read the thread and comments at B&H and find them useful. some folks on B&H make comparisons to filming with this and DSLR, so I'm learning every minute. thx.

  • A 1/3" sensor will always look like a 1/3" sensor. For $1350 , I'd opt for a g6 with 14-140, ginirig, a tiffin variable nd for about the same money, and alot more versatile.

  • @kurth

    Nex-ea50 is much more close to the dream :-) And due to discounts it is quite cheap now.

  • @Vitaliy

    It's going for $3,225 at BH and the cheapest I see it is for around 3, and you still need a tiffin variable nd , not to mention that the ea50 is a bad photography camera to boot !


    Offer Ends: DEC 31 '13 Price after Rebate: $2,625.00

    What is so bad with it? It is much better suited for any ENG work compared to GH cameras. And photo features is like NEX (read - better sensor anyway).

  • right...didn't notice the rebate. And I was addressing the form factor disadvantage for photography, not it's image quality. Actually , I also think most shoulder mt camcorders are ugly ducklings, and this is one of the, in comparison to an aaton for example. Off topic, it will be interesting what they do with their s16 size sensor camera they're working on.

    I'd still prefer a breakdownable rig instead of a big shoulder mt. One thing is....if you're doing docs, or journalism, it's good to not look so professional to not draw attention to yourself, not to mention the advantages when traveling. As well are the legal questions about filming in public places, and the capability of shooting with a naked dslr when required, for various reasons.

  • good points, kurth. thanks. you talked me out of it.

  • To be honest, I would always go for a shoulder mounted camera over ANY handheld DSLR/Camcorder/SonyZ1/SonyEX3/Canon C300 type as they are much easier to use for any "non-tripod" work and offer far more stability than the "franken-camera" shoulder rig options. Of all the cheap camera options at present the Sony EA50 is the best, although the lack of built-in NDs in unforgivable. Maybe the EA60 or whatever they call their replacement model will be better spec'd with a 50Mbps codec for proper broadcast work - the main reason why the Canon 305 & C300 are used almost exclusively by self-shooters in UK TV today.

  • Oh no! Just when I made up my mind to go with a DSLR... Now I'm confused again.

  • philip bloom has a blog where he claims he finds it difficult to use his Sony EX3 for prolonged handheld, so he needs to use a shoulder mount for it. and it took him a while to find one that was comfortable. hmmm, another point in favor of shoulder mounts.

  • @Energy80s +1 but, everything said here is valid. "There is no universal answer."

    Personally I love my small GH2 form factor and what a great image it can make. I hate the frankenrigging I have to use to get some of the features I "should" get in a bigger camera. Some of these are: peaking or at least a screen I can focus off while recording, audio levels I can adjust while recording, headphone output.

    So a GH2 with an H056 monitor and a zoom H4n, a cage, a sescom cable so I can feed the Zoom into the GH2 and still have a headphone output, a microphone mount, a FaderND, some lenses, batteries for all this stuff, etc. I have a plan to add a battery pinch and make up some cables to power everything. For every battery you need you should have 3, charger for them, for every cable you could think you need a back-up if it's vital link, etc, etc, etc. Get yourself a nice case to put it in already built up with the cables unplugged so as to not strain them (or whatever is the least stress on the connector) and you can be ready to shoot relatively easily.

    Sometimes picking up something big and ugly with one hand, removing the lens cap and turning it with the other and BOOM you're shooting ...has it's advantages.

    I like using them both. Eng cameras for speed, flexibility and ergonomics, but, I like owning a GH2, If I need to upgrade, I only have to upgrade the GH2, it's also a Cinematographer's tool, a ⅔" video camera... not so. The EA50 is close, but, I'd check out the image quality closely.

    While exciting to plan purchases, if known, it's best to get the right tool for the job, because as VK says "there is no universal answer." If possible try both out and see what fits your needs.

  • I'm thinking of getting a Sony RX10 if I go the DSLR route.

    I would like to know from users experienced in using DSLR-type cameras for filming. Would it be possible to film with a camera like the RX10 with very minimal rigging? ie less rigging than other DSLR's because it seems to be more video-enabled compared to other DSLRs?

    Such as a small gorillapod to set it up for interviews and maybe a monopod for stabilization? And of course attaching a mic and some external lav mics, but basically no bulky rig gear.

  • Ok, ill cut the cheese for you.

    Want cinematography universal standard lenses and language. Get good size sensor camera.

    Want reproduction of reality as it is. Buy the god damm MC1500 or any little sensor camera and make interviews.

    Both are respectable ways of telling something, its just they taste differently. Both are cameras, what taste you like, your choice, forget about money cos you already have a estimate.

    And forget about RX10 as a DSLR comparison, since it IS NOT, its sensor is smaller, and have fixed lens.

  • @endotoxic

    You just suggested him to get EA50 :-)

    Btw, outside of DOF and noise small sensor is no different. No magic here.

    SO, my suggestion stays the same, key EA50 as kit with motorized lens and go shooting. If you'll need something, get lenses. Sony E mount is very solid foundation allowing to have same mount lenses form small, shoulder or FF cameras.

  • You just suggested him to get EA50 :-)



    i did. :-)

  • Thanks for the suggestion, Vitaliy and Energy80s. The EA50 is over my budget, but it seems like a great camcorder. Maybe I should extend my budget and wait and save up for it.

    endotoxic, DSLRs have only been used for filming since 2008, correct? So weren't indie filmmakers using small-sensor camcorders before that? And did all their movies look like crap?

    By the way, I just read this article which suggests camcorders are making a comeback. DSLRs: is a backlash coming?