View Full Version : First Sneak Peek Element Technicas Handheld System for RED!!!!!
02-24-2008, 07:06 PM
This is the first look at prototype the Element Technica handheld system. Please keep in mind that this is unfinished beta model and the final will look more polished. Also the left handle in the pic is a different Arri style grip and is not form Element Technica. I had the chance to test out the ergonomics of ET's handheld rig and I all I can say is that it is has answered my handheld prayers. My RED has NEVER felt better on my shoulder. The shoulder pad fits like a glove and wraps comfortably around my shoulder. The shoulder pad interfaces to this ultra light arri compatible dovetail and is independently adjustable. The dual adjustment lets the 8” dovetail give you over 13” of fore and aft travel so you can find the balance sweet spot. Because the should pad is attached to the arri compatible dovetail, by using the RED arri baseplate, you can go from tripod to handheld in a matter of seconds. The dovetail/shoulder pad system slides out of camera's baseplate by releasing one lever, take camera and slide it onto the your tripod with dovetail..boom..DONE. It's super secure and no tools needed. It gets better folks. All of the handheld systems that I have seen thus far depend on the rods for the handgrip support. Not so here. You can't tell from this picture but the front of the shoulder pad dovetail has a tool-less (and optional) interface that includes a left and right side rosette for mounting handles that project forward and down. No more having to deal with handles getting in the way every time you switch from handheld to the tripod. The entire hand held system slides out as one unit, shoulderpad and rosette handles.
From ET: "there will be nearly infinite adjustability while the rosette interface provides a pit bull like grip once you’ve found “the position”. There will be THREE different right side handle option and TWO different left side options. The final piece of the hand held puzzle includes a rosette-based right-side full-sized handle. This handle is sturdy enough to bear the entire weight of the camera and can be located almost anywhere along the right side of the camera with our rosette extensions and offsets. This right side handle will also work with the dovetail handle mount described above." The Element hand held system has the flexibility and professional quality you expect from a company like Arriflex with the pricing you’ve come to expect from Element. Best of all, every item in our system is available a la carte. You only buy what you need to complete your ultimate hand-held kit."
So there you have it folks..some preliminary info about a handheld solution that everyone who needs to go handheld should be excited about. With this and a belt battery pack, I can finally feel confident about solution that won't kill me after hours of use and will allow to me to swiftly switch modes with little effort and great speed. Hats off to the ET crew for this one!
02-24-2008, 07:06 PM
After looking at this pic..it looks like ET detached my head and attached the ET handheld red config..hehe
02-24-2008, 07:19 PM
You can't tell from this picture but the front of the shoulder pad dovetail has a tool-less (and optional) interface that includes a left and right side rosette for mounting handles that project forward and down. No more having to deal with handles getting in the way every time you switch from handheld to the tripod. The entire hand held system slides out as one unit, shoulderpad and rosette handles.
Awesome. Nice to see a prototype picture of their mysterious handheld solution. Can't wait to see the final product! Gonna look great on my RED. :)
02-24-2008, 07:23 PM
After looking at this pic..it looks like ET detached my head and attached the ET handheld red config..hehe
That's what they call a Red-head.
Looks great, though seems to ride a touch high. Any way to slim that down?
02-24-2008, 07:29 PM
Any provision to screw a hard drive or battery mount to the back side of the shoulder dovetail?
and lower the Center of gravity.
I love the rossettes mounted to the dovetail, BUT I'm afraid in situations where you have to be using rods, it might interfere with a followfocus. For example with Arri Standard speed primes the follow focus has to be very close to the camera body to engage the gear on the lens.
I can't tell from the pics, but I'm assuming the top part where the rosette's mold to the dovetail it's still Arri size on top? I.e. you could pass the dovetail all the way out the front as well as the back?
02-24-2008, 07:36 PM
Is it possible to use the red side handles with the arri 19mm base.
Brent J. Craig
02-24-2008, 08:07 PM
That grey powder-coat on the camera left side handle looks awfully familiar. Testing some Arri handles, perhaps?
02-24-2008, 08:37 PM
02-24-2008, 09:23 PM
The only thing I will say is that it apparts to much from the shoulder (human/camera body) wich I hate when i have to be making fast moves in accion shots. More taking in count that is not a heavy camera, so it can move to much in the shoulder.
i agree with mike it might have troubles with the follow focus or remotes, but i am sure it is just the prototypes problem.
PD I am going to sleep to late in spain
02-24-2008, 10:18 PM
I know it is a prototype...but it looks to be sitting pretty high on the shoulder.
02-24-2008, 10:22 PM
Looks great thus far, can't wait to see the next battery mount!
And to those complaining of the height - I agree that it sits very tall. But that's what happens when you try to please everyone everywhere at all times. You end up with compromise. Again, the drawback of "modular" everywhere is inefficiency everywhere. The body has no built-in provision for handheld, thus it must be bolted to the bottom. People want lightning quick transition from handheld to studio, so therefore the shoulder mount must go below the bridge plate. People want top rods, so the top of the camera is built around those mounts. The great thing is that this is all for sale ala carte, and you can strip all superfluous mounts off (Cage, cheeseplate, top handle). If you work traditionally, build a handheld camera separately from the studio cam.
Buy all the lower parts, hang the battery off the lower rails DOWNWARDS, lose all of the top mounts and screw the LCD's noga arm directly to the cast-in boss on the top left of the camera, and you have most of the weight below the lens and quick transition to sticks still. With the simvideo breakout, this bridge plate, pad, and evf mount, it's a rocking system that can work with a modulus/canatrans. The great thing is the handheld options are getting better every day. Thank you Element, Simvideo, etc... for making it a cam that isn't a pain.
Looks very confusing, couldn't you picture it in a more presentable way without all the wires and cables hoses and more hanging from the ceiling?
02-24-2008, 11:13 PM
I tested several pre-beta hand held ideas for Element and used them on the set of a cine style shoot and EFP in the field. My input comes from me, other DP's/operators and veteran key grips. One thing is certain, lose the LCD and switch to the RED EVF. The EVF is physically large, so center of gravity (CG) becomes important. With the Element EVF support one can really place the view finder where needed for specific applications and the lens in use.
I found the most important part of the shoulder mount system is a 24" sliding shoulder mount plate to enable adjustment of the CG based on lens and EVF location. It is also very important to place the RED battery and drive on the rods at a six o'clock low position on the lower rods as we did with Billy's #13 (see photo). This provides critical counter balance to the system in hand held mode as opposed to the more traditional Panavision mode (see B&W photo).
02-24-2008, 11:46 PM
Any way to get a front view or more detail shots so we can get a better sense of how the handle system integrates with the rods?
Agree on the "looks like it sits high" feedback, but it seems like only place you could reduce that is in the interface between the baseplate and how it connects to the shoulder mount. Is the dovetail between the baseplate and shoulder pad a custom dovetail that is part of the shoulder pad? So it stays on the unit when you slide the baseplate off? Or does the baseplate just connect to the shoulder unit?
Is this the 19 or 15mm baseplate?
Also assuming the handles connect to a plate that connects to the front of the rods, so you could slide the rods forward more for a FF?
I would think you would want the battery off the bottom rods, rigged low for gravity and to balance the front of the camera, which is heavy due to the lens... Nice Arri 8R BTW!
02-25-2008, 01:44 AM
I'll get to some questions tomorrow morning. It's been a long day. Sorry it is not the best pic but remember..this is a behind the scenes look at the shouldermount..not press release pic.
02-25-2008, 03:45 AM
Looks interesting, I agree it seems to sit high above the shoulder, if it slides right in the ET base plate it seems it could be a little slimmer. Of course the suggestions to place your hard drive and/or battery hanging from the back of the rods will help with lowering the center of gravity. I am also a little concerned about the front part of the shoulder plate sticking out between the rods and being in the way of a follow focus for a short lens.
Looking forward to seeing more and hearing about pricing and availability.
PS Now if Red would only aline the price of their 19mm Arri (ET) base plate with the 15mm version.
02-25-2008, 12:19 PM
As Jaron attests, the possibility of bottom-mounting the battery and/or drive is part of the ET design. I would never want the battery on top myself, it's counterintuitive for handheld or Steadicam use (fine when mounted on a head though). That shoulder pad seems way too thick, the ones I use with cameras that weigh 3 times as much are significantly slimmer.
02-25-2008, 12:49 PM
I'm not sure about the Rosettes. I think the handles should be all one piece and should come out more like on the Arri 535 handheld rig. I don't like all of those linked pieces. The camera would probably sit lower with less and firmer padding than the prototype. I would also like a battery plate on the backside of the shoulder pad mount. Don't make this thing too modular. That was Red's mistake. This is what a handheld rig should be, IMO.
02-25-2008, 01:16 PM
Did anyone tested zacuto1s balanced handheld rig?
02-25-2008, 01:46 PM
This is what a handheld rig should be, IMO.
As nice as something like that seems, one thing that people often forget is that film cameras are not modular. The weight balance of an Arri LT in handheld mode will never change significantly. The body and lens will always be counterweighted by the magazine... and that balance will never change.
Oh, and the LT's magazine throat functions as a cutout to raise the operator's shoulder into the camera... lowering the optical axis in a way that the RED will never be able to compete with [without flipping the camera upside-down].
With the RED, the balance can be arranged in any one of infinite ways. Everybody will have their own "right" way to rig the camera. Most will base it off of the RED marketing pictures or off of attempting to emulate a film body... yet others will choose differently. The balance will vary depending on your accessories, your arrangement... hell, the length and makeup of your support rods will change it dramatically.
As such, I don't think that there will ever be one "perfect" solution for handheld the way there is for an Arri LT or for a 535. Everybody's handheld system will need to be a little bit different based on the decisions they make on the day. Something as simple as going with a RED DRIVE onboard or going with CF will make a huge difference. That's what's great about ET's solution... it's not just one "perfect" solution... it's one product that can be adjusted more ways than most will know what to do with.
There are a few areas where RED's modularity has bitten them in the ass. In my opinion, handheld is one of those areas. That's not to say that it is not functional as a handheld camera... not at all. ET's solution is fantastic and I can't wait to see the next step. But what people need to realize is that a modular system cannot have a fixed accessory for something like handheld where balance is so important. Everybody is so used to clicking their one fixed "handheld" accessory onto their one fixed camera body that they don't want to have to think any harder about it.
Now to clarify, this is why ET's solution will work. It's one unit, yes, but it's adjustable in so many different ways [well beyond just sliding the dovetail fore and aft] that you have the required modularity of a custom system with the one-click on/off setup of a typical Arri handheld system.
Every operator on every show will need to spend some time at the prep rigging the handheld system the way that they like it. It will take some time and it will be a new experience when compared to setting up a film camera for handheld. But after that 10 minutes at the prep [to build the handheld solution around the accessories that particular shoot will be using], everybody will know how to rig the camera properly. Will it be the same on the next show? Of course not... there will be different accessories. Once again, modularity. But prepping the camera for handheld can no longer be tossing the helicopter into the AKS and calling it a day.
One other point that I've stressed in the past and will gladly stress again: In order to build a proper, balanced handheld rig, you need to keep the battery [or some other ballast] on the camera in order to balance it. If you keep the camera on your shoulder in a properly balanced configuration, you won't get tired quickly. I've seen many people rig their own camera, throw it up on their shoulder and get tired after 30 seconds. Their solution, of course, is to remove more weight from the camera to make it lighter. This is just wrong. The reason that they are getting so tired so quickly is that the camera is rigged too front-heavy. Removing the battery [from the back] will only make the situation worse! Anyway, this is a slightly unrelated rant, but I think the point has to be stressed. Has anybody ever tried to operate an LT without a magazine? It's obviously tricky without a proper shoulder pad support, but try it and you'll quickly see my point.
Anyway, this rant has gone on and on. I hope there are a few clear points in there somewhere.
I like the looks of this solution... enough to forget about wanting rod-mounted support. I like the beefiness of the shoulder pad, but I'd like to see it wrap around the operator's shoulder a little more [though it's hard to tell how much it already does] and I'd like to see it a little thinner in the middle to lower the camera's optical axis. I assume that the shoulder pad is thicker on the outside [camera right] than on the inside [camera left] to make up for the shape of the human shoulder?
What I'd really like to see is a proper tacky rubber shoulder pad... any word on whether the cloth pad is temporary?
02-25-2008, 06:41 PM
What I'd really like to see is a proper tacky rubber shoulder pad...
02-26-2008, 04:04 PM
Riding too high issue- I'll take the comfort of a nicely padded shoulder pad even though it ends up riding higher. Please keep in mind, I'm a short small guy..so proportionately the ET handheld rig looks big on my shoulders...put this rig on Brook, Ken or the Hoff..you'll probably see how the height is not as bad as it appears in the picture.
As soon as the design is locked I'll do a video demonstrating how this whole rig works. Everything is adjustable...so I think that there won't be any concerns with the rosette handles being in the way of the follow focus or any other rod stuff. I forgot to mention that the shoulder system is lightweight.
A tacky rubber shoulder pad would be a nice option as well. Stephen and Hector do listen to community feedback.. the more concerns you express, the better they'll be able to make their products.
02-26-2008, 04:07 PM
In regards to the battery..there will be different future battery mounting and red drive solutions coming over the horizon.
The top mounted red battery configuration is my own personal preference for a compact system. I agree, it doesn't make it ideal for a balanced shoulder mount config. I just want to make clear that the battery placement in the pic is not an "ET" config. I put the battery plate there with a couple bolts and washers.
02-26-2008, 07:27 PM
As soon as the design is locked I'll do a video demonstrating how this whole rig works.
You stealing my job now big-T?
02-26-2008, 07:30 PM
haha.. i have a better idea.. lets do and Element Technica video together. When you coming down to california next time?
02-28-2008, 03:20 PM
will be visiting ET shortly to accessories my cameras and this was one of their items that I was looking forward to see.
One thing for sure is so good to have options!
The padding looks to be very comfortable, hope it will be, and the same goes for practicality of use.