EX1 mic holder replacements
Read any of the popular Sony EX1 and EX3 forums and you’re bound to notice that a lot of people break the mic holders on their EX cameras. I’m not entirely sure if the weak holders on these cameras are a feature to stop the camera getting damaged or a just a bad design, but when mine broke during a shoot for Harley-Davidson in Latvia I was left with big problems.
Not wanting to have the same problem all over again in the future I decided to replace my mic holder with an alternative solution rather than just buying a new holder from Sony.
After some research I decided to go for the EX-FLAT from DM-Accessories. This is a simple piece of metal with a cold-shoe attachment that screws to the EX1 in place of the standard plastic job. To be honest $39 does seem a little steep for what it is, but considering it’s practicality it’s well worth it. The plate comes with a couple of replacement screws to allow a solid fitting the the EX1′s Audio block.
Once the EX-FLAT is fitted it’s just a case of finding an appropriate shoe fitting mic holder to fit to it. Here in the UK the only one I could find at my usual suppliers was the Rode SM3 Suspension mount. I used a similar mount with the old mic holder and was never very impressed with the way they hold the mic in place.
With a Rycote softie on my Senheisser 416 it would usually end up drooping down over the front of the camera due to the rubber parts of the mount not supporting the mic enough. This could result in the softie being visible in the shot so always worried me.
After a bit of searching I found the K-Tek K-CAM-SM Shock mount which looked like it might do a better job. I ordered mine through B&H Photo Video for $55 who delivered it as efficiently as usual, along with the bill from the UK tax man of course, but then you get used to that after a while.
The K-Tek works really well, it holds the mic just firm enough to stop it from drooping. Apart from the rubber mounts the whole thing is metal so feels like it will last and survive the rigours of event shooting.
I also ordered the optional offset extender that can be used to place the mic higher and further back if required, although in normal use I haven’t needed to use it yet. I’ve used the K-Tek with my rycote softie and not had any problems with it being visible in the shot even at the widest end of the lens.
In conclusion I think this is actually a good upgrade for the EX1, not only is the mount more sturdy but it gives me more options for mounting two devices to the camera.
Update 10/5/2011 – The J-Rod Twin Mount
I’ve recently been sent another replacement mic mount for the EX1 in the form of the J-Rod Twin Mount. Much like the EX-Flat this simply screws on the the EX1 and offers an additional cold shoe mounted on the end. This is extremely handy for mounting a wireless receiver and a shotgun mic at the same time.
My initial tests with it have worked out really well, it does make removing the K-CAM-SM a bit tricky though because you can’t then get your fingers each side of the thumbwheel to turn it. I’ve found that clamping the mount towards the back of the cold shoe helps as then you can still get two fingers on to the tightening wheel but putting one on the side and one on the back.
I’ve done some shoots with a wireless receiver gaffer taped to the top of my EX1 so this makes a good addition.
You can buy the J-Rod Twin mount from B&H for £$44.95
For more info on the J-Rod twin mount and many other handy accessories visit www.thej-rod.com