A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

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Karel Voners

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A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostSat Jun 01, 2013 6:44 pm

Dear Blackmagic,

I love the specs of the cameras you bring out. I love your ideas and price points.

However, as a filmmaker I don't see myself using an ipad with a lens attached to it. Or a compact camera that shoots prores and uncompressed but is as clumsy to use as any other compact.

The way you use the camera defines how you will approach the subject of your film.


Ask yourself, why on earth should it look like a compact camera or an ipad? Why do a digital bolex camera and use the styling of the original? Why on earth would anyone think design of the 60's is better? Sure it sells because it looks retro and cool. But to use it?

Please take a look at what Ikonoskop is doing. They make a camera you can use out of the box. No rigs attached. Handheld and balanced. Plain and simple.

Cinema Verité came to be because the camera's suddenly could do sync sound. Filmmakers were freed fom studio style shooting. Large crews etc... These kind of paradigm shifts are the ones that make the difference.

If you are asking me the guys at Ikonoskop are the only one's who are actually seeing this gaping hole in today's product line.

Please, make a camera that appeals to filmmakers and not only to DP's that drool over specs.

Cheers!
Karel.
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David Chapman

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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostSat Jun 01, 2013 9:01 pm

As a filmmaker, choose a different camera.
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John Bartman

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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostSat Jun 01, 2013 9:55 pm

Ikonoskop, is nice, but its too small and too light.
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Frank Glencairn

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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostSat Jun 01, 2013 10:24 pm

helloha wrote:
Please take a look at what Ikonoskop is doing. They make a camera you can use out of the box. No rigs attached. Handheld and balanced. Plain and simple.


The Ikonskop and the DBolex are both dogma driven design (pun intended) cameras.
You can't really use both of them handheld (unless shaky super wide Verite style is all you do) and non of them is balanced in any way, but who is shooting handheld anyway (besides a few lazy DSLR kids). Any self respecting DP I know - if not on tripod/dolly - does SHOULDER shooting, but never tourist style handheld, unless you want to shoot Blairwitch 3.

For shoulder shooting you need a camera with a certain form factor (Aaton for example) or a rig, that mimics that form factor and you need hand grips. A rig that balances the camera, with a EVF or offboard monitor and you need a certain mass to get it halfway stable - the whole nine yards.
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John Brawley

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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostSat Jun 01, 2013 11:20 pm

helloha wrote:
Please take a look at what Ikonoskop is doing. They make a camera you can use out of the box. No rigs attached. Handheld and balanced. Plain and simple.

.


Not if you want to change the position of their tiny VF (it's fixed) and its not balanced at all using cine zooms like canons. Very front heavy for a hold in front form factor.

A small box camera is really hard to do in terms of ergonomics. Larger on the shoulder cams are much easier.

I've done many shots that have gone to air with a BMCC hand held straight from the box with no rigs.

JB.
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Karel Voners

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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostSat Jun 01, 2013 11:25 pm

Well let met put it like this. If all you do is one hour setups then the red, alexa or blackmagic is for you.

If your shooting style is faster then there's pretty much nothing out there. This is why the majority of the documentary crowd is still shooting on small sensor video cameras. The Ikonoskop with the smaller sensor is great in that aspect. DSLR setups are a pain in the ---.

Also the whole rig shoulder setup remains a mystery to me. It is impossible to get any other height but eye level unless you are willing to bust your knees or back.

Also remember the Ikonoskop is ment to be used with primes. Then all is stable and balanced.

But all is personal preference I guess.
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metaljesus

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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostSun Jun 02, 2013 2:58 am

What do you think an ipad looks like?
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Jace Ross

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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostSun Jun 02, 2013 6:24 am

metaljesus wrote:What do you think an ipad looks like?


This!

Also, to the OP, I don't think I'd ever shoot hand held with any camera if I wanted the best results I could. The whole BMD range though can be put in small cages, shoulder rigs or put on stabilizers as they should be. They aren't home movie cameras and unless you're seeking a particular look you shouldn't be running it hand held anyway.

If you don't like the design there are other cameras out there, feel free to buy them. Send the message with your wallet.
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Frank Glencairn

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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostSun Jun 02, 2013 8:18 am

helloha wrote:Well let met put it like this. If all you do is one hour setups then the red, alexa or blackmagic is for you.


No offense, but if it takes you an hour to snap a camera on a tripod, you do something wrong.
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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostSun Jun 02, 2013 10:12 am

Frank Glencairn wrote:
helloha wrote:Well let met put it like this. If all you do is one hour setups then the red, alexa or blackmagic is for you.


No offense, but if it takes you an hour to snap a camera on a tripod, you do something wrong.


haha well said, takes me 4 1/2 minutes to rig my BMCC with its gizmos, guess we can create a competition who's got the faster build time haha
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Karel Voners

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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostSun Jun 02, 2013 5:57 pm

Frank Glencairn wrote:
helloha wrote:Well let met put it like this. If all you do is one hour setups then the red, alexa or blackmagic is for you.


No offense, but if it takes you an hour to snap a camera on a tripod, you do something wrong.


If that is all it takes to shoot your scene then we are talking about something completely different.
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Pete Proniewicz-Brooks

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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostSun Jun 02, 2013 6:09 pm

helloha wrote:
Frank Glencairn wrote:
helloha wrote:Well let met put it like this. If all you do is one hour setups then the red, alexa or blackmagic is for you.


No offense, but if it takes you an hour to snap a camera on a tripod, you do something wrong.


If that is all it takes to shoot your scene then we are talking about something completely different.



But camera setup is the only part of a scene set up that camera form factor really affects.

An if you're camera set up is much more than that, then you're rigging it up and cameras that are non-rig focused I usually find are slower to rig if needed...
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Frank Glencairn

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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostSun Jun 02, 2013 7:44 pm

helloha wrote:
If that is all it takes to shoot your scene then we are talking about something completely different.


You where talking about " No rigs attached. Handheld and balanced. Plain and simple."

Anything else in scene setup has nothing to do with the camera form factor you where rambling about.
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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostMon Jun 03, 2013 3:49 am

Also, the BMCC pretty much shares the same hand-holdability as a large DSLR, so any rig you need to trick out one of them should work for this camera. Seems fairly do-able to me; same thing with the C300, Sony FS700 or F55, AF-100, etc. Even Red. You know what has a nice form factor? The big Varicam and CineAlta cameras. Those feel super nice! If only Blackmagic made cameras like that and the OP had the $80k to pay for it!
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Darryl Gregory

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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostMon Jun 03, 2013 4:07 am

Jason R. Johnston wrote:Also, the BMCC pretty much shares the same hand-holdability as a large DSLR, so any rig you need to trick out one of them should work for this camera. Seems fairly do-able to me; same thing with the C300, Sony FS700 or F55, AF-100, etc. Even Red. You know what has a nice form factor? The big Varicam and CineAlta cameras. Those feel super nice! If only Blackmagic made cameras like that and the OP had the $80k to pay for it!


Frank and Jason are correct, I have used DLSR's, the C100 & C300,
The Scarlet & Epic on a Steadicam, and the BMD Cinema, Both the cinema or Production camera are suited for any Steadicam rig as per the designs simplistic balance handheld or other wise,
Yes front and rear heavy like a DSLR but we are now very acute as to balancing these designs, Why aren't you?
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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostMon Jun 03, 2013 4:10 am

Honestly takes me about 10 mins to build my set up from Camera to full rails, battery mount, handles and sometimes mattebox if needed to put on sticks and ready to go.

The camera shape or weight itself dosent bother me one bit. I actually enjoy it.
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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostMon Jun 03, 2013 4:17 am

Marcel Beck wrote:
Frank Glencairn wrote:
helloha wrote:Well let met put it like this. If all you do is one hour setups then the red, alexa or blackmagic is for you.


No offense, but if it takes you an hour to snap a camera on a tripod, you do something wrong.


haha well said, takes me 4 1/2 minutes to rig my BMCC with its gizmos, guess we can create a competition who's got the faster build time haha


I would win the competition, I can re-rig my camera to any Jib, slider, dolly,
Steadicam, tripod, shoulder rig, car mount, Gyro, Heli, and anything alive or dead thats moving and or your face in about 1min 45 seconds :o
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Jason Hinkle

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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostMon Jun 03, 2013 4:45 am

I definitely have some feelings about the form factor of the BMCC. Probably other digital cameras as well. Older video and film cameras had the eyepiece up in the front of the camera, even past the lens mount in some cases, so it can set on your shoulder with the weight somewhat balanced. The controls are along the front side of the camera where you can reach them.

Rigging the BMCC on a shoulder mount, due to the camera weight you either have to add so much counter-weight to the back that the rig weighs a ton, or just hold the camera in front of you, needing both arms to hold it up and getting sore very quickly. Old-school cameras are easy to hold on your shoulder with one hand - leaving the other free to deal with focus or other settings.

The best thing I've found is to have an external LCD or (I would like to get) an EVF that's mounted in front of the lens mount. Then the camera sits on my shoulder without any counter-weight needed. The unfortunate thing about this is that the screen is facing behind me. That's not a problem in and of itself (and even somewhat convenient if the director is standing behind you) except that I can't see or reach the aperture controls or focus assist. Also, I haven't found a hand grip that attaches in order to hold it similar to a normal video camera.

All of this could probably be solved with a rig that doesn't exist (to my knowledge) except for the screen placement on the camera. It would be nice if, it's not possible to be detachable, that at least the aperture controls have their button located somewhere else.
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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostMon Jun 03, 2013 5:10 am

"Older video and film cameras had the eyepiece up in the front of the camera, even past the lens mount in some cases, so it can set on your shoulder with the weight somewhat balanced"

And so is any camera with a proper rig and evf, you are talking ENG style and that's a good thing, but you don't know enough about it, you are hearing this from the old timers, and think...This is the way it is done, when in fact it's not, Since every shot requires something different from the DP/ Cinematographer to move quickly and get the shot with custom or unique gear, Shane Hurlbut is a prime example of a Cinematographer who uses and reinvents gear to get the shot, no matter what camera he uses.
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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostMon Jun 03, 2013 11:25 am

Darryl Gregory wrote:if you can not rig the BMCC properly and shoot with it, you don't deserve to use it period.


That's pretty hostile right there... Does this remind you of anything ENG?

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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostMon Jun 03, 2013 11:58 am

All cameras have their own compromises, some more than others.

I don´t hate BMCC´s form factor but i agree that the only way to have balanced on a shoulder rig is to use an EVF and let it seat on your shoulder. The drawback is (as mentioned before) that the lcd sits on the back of your head, making it harder to adjust settings. It is a drawback, just not a big one, in my opinion.

I love it how many people use the argument: "if you don´t like, go out and buy one with a better form factor", as if anyone could buy a F3 our F5, Cinealta formfactor style cameras...
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Frank Glencairn

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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostMon Jun 03, 2013 1:06 pm

João Gomes wrote:
I don´t hate BMCC´s form factor but i agree that the only way to have balanced on a shoulder rig is to use an EVF and let it seat on your shoulder.


Isn't that the case with every camera? ENG, Red, Alexa, 35 and 16mm film cameras, C300/100 FS100/700 or even DSLRs?
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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostMon Jun 03, 2013 1:10 pm

Darryl Gregory wrote:And so is any camera with a proper rig and evf, you are talking ENG style and that's a good thing, but you don't know enough about it


Oh really? Show me a shoulder rig for the BMCC that does not either have a huge amount of counter-weight or else have the LCD screen off the back of your shoulder (where the aperture controls are). You probably didn't even read the rest of my post where I said that the issues could be solved with rigging - except the placement of the aperture controls.

But beside the point, a camera doesn't have to be so challenging to rig for simple shoulder mount shot. The ergonomics of cameras was solved long ago. There's nothing wrong with me pointing out that the BMCC control placement is inconvenient.

Darryl Gregory wrote:if you can not rig the BMCC properly and shoot with it, you don't deserve to use it period.


What a childish thing to say. It's just a camera. Anybody with $3k deserves to shoot with it.
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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostMon Jun 03, 2013 1:25 pm

Frank Glencairn wrote:Isn't that the case with every camera? ENG, Red, Alexa, 35 and 16mm film cameras, C300/100 FS100/700 or even DSLRs?


Yea I definitely agree with you. DSLRs are easier to forgive for me because they weren't really originally intended to shoot video. Also they're fairly lightweight (well, on their own anyway).

I haven't used all of those more high-end cameras all but from photos it looks like they probably all do have some challenges for shoulder mounting. The RED has the orientable LCD which I would think is a huge difference. I like the viewfinder on the Sony's and Canons, thought they seem a little misplaced to me - once again forcing you to hold the camera way out in front. But, from what I can see at least some of the controls are located on the side of the camera so you can shoulder mount it with your own EVF and still reach the buttons.

I'm sure all of these little details add up the price tag and BMCC is focusing purely on image quality over all else. The funny thing is that I don't even shoot hand-held very much and I probably care less than many about the issue. But I was just pointing out my personal experience actually using the camera on a recent gig - and catching grief for it!
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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostMon Jun 03, 2013 2:21 pm

Frank Glencairn wrote:
João Gomes wrote:
I don´t hate BMCC´s form factor but i agree that the only way to have balanced on a shoulder rig is to use an EVF and let it seat on your shoulder.


Isn't that the case with every camera? ENG, Red, Alexa, 35 and 16mm film cameras, C300/100 FS100/700 or even DSLRs?


Why don´t you quote my whole point? As far as i know, the BMCC doesn´t have easy accessible menu buttons on the side like most Cinealta Sony´s for example.

That was my point, you have to take it off your shoulder if you want to access most stuff because the LCD is not easily accessible in that configuration.
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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostMon Jun 03, 2013 2:24 pm

I think the c300 might be perfect for you.
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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostMon Jun 03, 2013 2:26 pm

Pollenstudio wrote:I think the c300 might be perfect for you.


Probably would be, if it wasn´t for the slight difference in price.
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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostMon Jun 03, 2013 2:29 pm

Jason Hinkle wrote: The RED has the orientable LCD which I would think is a huge difference.


The RED LCD is a seperate device. Mounted in the standard on top location it would be useless on most sholder rigs even turned sideways as its location would be to high. You'd have to mount it somewhere else much as you would mount a seperate viewfinder or monitor for a BMCC.

The fact is that for shoulder mounted ENG style work there are precious few non-ENG cameras that require noticbly less rigging than a BMCC.

The BMCC is designed to be used in a 'cinema' style way. In other words carefully set up shots where theres an expectation that majority of camera settings will remain constant for a given take, and that as things are being changed between takes most things will take longer than the BMCC takes to re-set. It aspires to the REDs, Alexias etc of this world and it's not unoccomon for one of them to have several monitors.

While it is aimed somewhat at the DSLR crowd, the aim seems more to move them into the cinema way of doing things than any other.

It is in many ways a less ergonomic camera usability wise than many others, but BMD have clearly decided to focus on price and picture quality rather than making a camera with poorer output but that was easier to use. The world is full of low-end pro and prosumer camcorders that will give you that.

I will also point out that apature controls can be sorted, pick lenses with manual controls.

The BMCC is a cmaera of many flaws and erganomics are certainly among them, but it's designed to be rigged, and those that are desinged to be used unrigged often have issues being rigged (commonly physical control placement can limit your rigging choices), and cameras designed around being placed in a rig are often not the most friendly of cameras to use without them.
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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostMon Jun 03, 2013 2:35 pm

Pete Proniewicz-Brooks wrote:
Jason Hinkle wrote: The RED has the orientable LCD which I would think is a huge difference.


The RED LCD is a seperate device. Mounted in the standard on top location it would be useless on most sholder rigs even turned sideways as its location would be to high. You'd have to mount it somewhere else much as you would mount a seperate viewfinder or monitor for a BMCC.

The fact is that for shoulder mounted ENG style work there are precious few non-ENG cameras that require noticbly less rigging than a BMCC.

The BMCC is designed to be used in a 'cinema' style way. In other words carefully set up shots where theres an expectation that majority of camera settings will remain constant for a given take, and that as things are being changed between takes most things will take longer than the BMCC takes to re-set. It aspires to the REDs, Alexias etc of this world and it's not unoccomon for one of them to have several monitors.

While it is aimed somewhat at the DSLR crowd, the aim seems more to move them into the cinema way of doing things than any other.

It is in many ways a less ergonomic camera usability wise than many others, but BMD have clearly decided to focus on price and picture quality rather than making a camera with poorer output but that was easier to use. The world is full of low-end pro and prosumer camcorders that will give you that.

I will also point out that apature controls can be sorted, pick lenses with manual controls.

The BMCC is a cmaera of many flaws and erganomics are certainly among them, but it's designed to be rigged, and those that are desinged to be used unrigged often have issues being rigged (commonly physical control placement can limit your rigging choices), and cameras designed around being placed in a rig are often not the most friendly of cameras to use without them.


Very good points there.

I mostly have manual lenses so i´m hoping it won´t be too much of a hassle to adapt my upcoming BMPC on my shoulder mount.
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Frank Glencairn

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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostMon Jun 03, 2013 3:15 pm

João Gomes wrote:

Why don´t you quote my whole point? As far as i know, the BMCC doesn´t have easy accessible menu buttons on the side like most Cinealta Sony´s for example.

That was my point, you have to take it off your shoulder if you want to access most stuff because the LCD is not easily accessible in that configuration.


Why would you want to access the menu during shooting? Doesn't make any sense to me. It would introduce horrible shake and loosing your framing. And what would you want to change while shooting? Framerate? Codec? Maybe aperture if you only have Canon glass, but that's nothing I would do during a take.

Actually there is no camera that comes to my mind, where you could access the menu while you have it on your shoulder. Alexa has the menu on the other side, Red on the touchscreen monitor, Sony F3/5/55 has the menu where your ear is, when you have it on your shoulder. So what are we talking about? Maybe a ENG style camcorder would be better for what you want.
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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostMon Jun 03, 2013 3:58 pm

I´m not talking about changing things in the menu while shooting. I´m talking between takes.

If you have the camera on your shoulder, it´s a lot easier to access the menu just by clicking or turning a sort of thumbwheel. Like i said before, it´s not a big deal to me, it would just make it more comfortable instead of having to take it off your shoulder. Too many years running around with big ENG brick on my shoulder i guess...

The Prores mode makes it also appealing for run and gun, quick turnaround gigs, not just indie (controlled lighting and set environment) film making.
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Re: A short ramble about your camera's form factor.

PostMon Jun 03, 2013 4:15 pm

Pete Proniewicz-Brooks wrote:The RED LCD is a seperate device. Mounted in the standard on top location it would be useless on most sholder rigs even turned sideways as its location would be to high. You'd have to mount it somewhere else much as you would mount a seperate viewfinder or monitor for a BMCC.


I had actually thought the BMCC could have left off the LCD (and the internal battery while they're at it) like RED does. I find them both minimally useful. That probably doesn't fit with the goal of a camera that's ready to shoot for $3k (minus lens).

I've been thinking of picking up an AF100 handle and mounting up the camera something like this... http://www.westsideavstore.com/index.ph ... duct&id=55 - I think having the weight of the camera over the shoulder, an EVF towards the front and then one hand supporting the front palm-up, that seems like it could be comfortable and stable.

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