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REVIEW Design SSD’s. Meanwhile the R5 records the raw on to AXS cards with 3:1 compression so a lot less media is needed. This also has a knock on effect in post production where the smaller Sony files are much easier to backup and easier to edit than the considerably larger 7Q files. Having said that the Convergent Design 7Q is a lovely monitor! Ergonomically this is an interesting camera. Without the extension module it’s what I would call a “semi-shoulder” camera. It’s not really designed to go all the way on your shoulder like a full size ENG camera. Rather perched on the front of your shoulder, a bit like a Sony EX3 or PMW-300. This design is a bit of a compromise. It puts some of the weight on your shoulder and gives an extra point of body contact which helps stability. It also puts the camera up high at eye level. But, a large part of the cameras weight will be taken by your right arm. However, unlike most shoulder cameras you don’t need to have your arm and hand up at shoulder height as the camera has an articulating arm and handgrip that allows you to support the front end of the camera from a much lower position. I find a lower level grip much less fatiguing than a shoulder level hand grip on the camera or lens. The hand grip has a zoom rocker plus a couple of assignable control buttons, a small joystick and an assignable control wheel. If you use a Sony E-Mount zoom lens (such as the new 28mm -135mm power zoom) you can use the zoom rocker to zoom in and out. The assignable buttons can be used for things like focus magnification where the viewfinder image is enlarged to make focusing more precise. The joystick is used to navigate through the cameras menus to change settings on the fly without having to release or change your grip on the camera. Finally the assignable dial wheel can be used to control the aperture of an electronically controlled lens making exposure adjustments on the move really easy. The hand grip is a great feature and really makes the camera very easy and very fast to use. But to get the full benefit of it you want to use a Sony E-Mount lens. The E-Mount system is great, Sony now have a very wide range of high quality E-Mount lenses available. In addition you can use an adapter to convert from Sony’s E-Mount to a multitude of other mounts. The most common adaptation is from E-Mount to Canon EF mount. Metabones have been making E to EF adapters that convert not just the mechanical mount but also the electronics for a couple of years. This allows you to use the majority lenses that have a Canon EF mount on a Sony E-Mount camera with almost no compromise. Aperture and image stabilization work as they would on a Canon camera. Auto focus normally works too, although the focus speed may be a bit reduced. Metabones also make a “Speed Booster” adapter that takes advantage of the fact that a Super 35mm sensor is a little smaller than a full frame DSLR sensor. This optical and electronic adapter allows you to use a full frame EF lens on an E-Mount camera, the full frame image is shrunk down to fit the Super 35mm sensor which means the image becomes 1 stop brighter and you get a wider field of view. If your budget is tight then there is a very effective electronic E-Mount to EF mount adapter from a company called CommLite that can be found for as little as £65.00. Also check out the offerings from MTF. If you add the optional extension module to the camera the balance of the camera changes dramatically. Without the extension unit the camera is powered by Sony’s BP-U battery series. A BP-U60 will run the camera for about an hour and a half and these batteries slot inside the rear of the camera. When you use the extension module the camera is powered by V-Mount batteries that attach to the rear of the adapter. This pushes the weight much further back on your shoulder and if you add a base plate such as the Sony VCT-FS7 or the Vocas FS7 base plate the camera becomes a much better balanced and very comfortable shoulder camera. The down side is of course that the camera is now a bit heavier (the body only is 2kg, a full rig comes in around 3kg) but personally I’d rather have a slightly heavier but better balanced camera on my 54 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 94 OCTOBER 2014 TV-BAY094OCT14 v118.indd 54 07/10/2014 15:41