One of the real weak points of the EX1 and EX3 cameras is the tripod mounting plate. It’s a tiny postage stamp sized metal plate attached to the cameras chassis by 4 tiny screws. Over time the screws work loose and the plates start to wobble. In addition the small surface area means that even when mounted correctly the cameras can flex and wobble. This is most noticeable if your doing long lens work with the EX3 or trying to use the cameras on a 3D rig. Over the years there have been quite a few manufacturers that have produced plates that attach to the EX cameras to spread the tripod mounting loads across more of the base of the cameras, in addition adding extra 1/4″ and the larger 3/8″ mounting threads used on most pro tripods. Most of these are of very similar design. I would always recommend that any EX owner uses one of these plates. They make the EX cameras much nicer to use, they are more stable and the metal base plate tends to protect the bottom of the camera.
UK based company Teletest, best known for their cost effective SD and HD monitors recently loaned me a number of their brackets and shoulder mount accessories to evaluate. Now I will admit that I at the time I didn’t have any cameras to fit them to, but I have seen them on other cameras so I know that they fit well. So my comments are based on what I saw when examining the plates not attached to a camera. First thing to note is that this is more than just a shoulder plate range, it is a complete shoulder mounting and power system. The base plates, made from high grade black anodised aluminium attach to the bottom of the cameras via the existing tripod mounting points.
On the EX3 plate there are two additional mounting screws that attach to the rear of the EX3 making this a very strong and very secure system. On the EX1R, Teletest only use the existing tripod screws, unlike some other plates available they do not also attach to some of the small body/chassis screws at the rear of the cameras base. The rear of the EX1R plate has a strange looking extension to it’s rear with a big square hole in it. At first it looks odd, until you realise that it’s like this to allow you to remove and replace the standard camera battery while still acting as a part of the shoulder mount system.
Once you have attached your base plate to the camera you can then add various options. These include a VCT-14 toe piece for use with a quick release tripod plate, quick release plates for Sachtler tripods, a shoulder pad and a power distribution unit (I believe a new system that no longer needs the power unit is coming out soon). With the shoulder pad attached and then the power distribution unit attached to the back of the pad the battery on the power unit helps balance the camera better on your shoulder. This would allow you to put together a nice shoulder rig, especially if combined with a 3rd party EVF like the Alphatron or Cineroid. The power distribution units come in flavours to suit Pag, V-lock or Anton Bauer batteries and each has 2x 2.5mm sony type power connectors for camera power and 5x 2.1mm DC sockets under a fabric cover that also acts as a cable strain relief. Each output is protected from overload by a self resetting fuse. A green LED indicates when each output is active. The power distributor is a handy unit to have as these days I’m often running multiple devices on my camera rigs, monitors, viewfinders etc. Another nice feature is that there is a 12V DC in XLR connector, so if you have mains power you can plug your mains adapter in to the power distributor which then feeds the camera plus all your accessories.
So if you need a reenforcing base plate for your EX3 and maybe a shoulder mount system but don’t want the complexity of 15mm rods you should consider the Teletest Teleplate system.