Mounting accessories on your camera can involve a lot of trial and error. I found a few products from Xtender, like the Xtender Friction Mount, really make my life so much easier when I need to use monitors and recorders. I’m not a huge fan of Israeli (magic) arms because they can collapse on you if you aren’t careful when loosening them. I sure don’t want to damage my expensive gear.
Xtender to the rescue?
I’ve found some great options from a Southern California based company called XTENDER. All thier products are made in the USA and warranted up to a year.
First on the list is a product called the Xtender 210 Friction Mount, very much like the monitor mounts offered from RED. It comes in many mounting configurations: cold shoe and 15mm rod clamps as well as specific models for my Odyssey 7Q+ (X-FM-210-OD) and one for my SmallHD 702 monitor (X-FM-210-SHD).
For the bigger monitors I like the ¼”-20, light post adapter the most with the Xtender 210. Now my producer can get close to the monitor (and not too close to me) while I’m shooting.
Friction, pan, tilt
These mounts are friction based which means you don’t have to constantly tighten knobs to manoeuvre it into place. You tilt up and it stays, you tilt down and it stays in place too.
Another nice feature is you can pan your monitor left and right and it will stay there as well. Don’t get me wrong, there are adjusting knobs on the unit which adjust the amount of tension that is applied to any given joint. Depending on the weight of your monitor just turn the knob to increase or decrease the friction. If locking your accessory into place is your cup of tea you can do that too by turning the knob to the right. These lightweight friction mounts work great on cameras like the Sony FS7 and Canon C100 – basically any camera with a hotshoe. It’s a perfect addition to shooters rigs.
The universal versions come with multiple adapters and work with virtually any monitors on the market like Atomos, Blackmagic Design and Marshall to name a few.
I also use the HDMI lock for the 7Q+. This is a must for me when recording. I don’t want to accidentally lose my connection if the cable gets yanked out.
Another product that works great is the Xtender Two-Shot Kit. This is one of my favorites for a nice tight package.
It’s a two-inch arm that is also friction based. This accessory has friction based panning and tilting but with the addition of moving your monitor two inches away from your camera in any direction.
I use this one on my a6500 and a smallHD 502. I can easily turn the monitor around and see it when I shoot myself for reviews.
There are no tightening knobs on this unit but there is an included allen wrench that will allow you to adjust the friction points based on the weight of your monitor – set it and forget it. The mount stays nice and tight.
New to the Xtender 2-shot and 201 friction mount is a SmallHD Right Angle adapter (X-SHDRA-10) that screws onto the head of either the 2-Shot Kit or 201 kit which keeps your SmallHD 500 and 700 series monitors from spinning because of the two raised pins on the adapter. These pins fit right into the SmallHD 502 and 700 series monitors and prevents the twisting. Oh so nice! This is an issue with pretty much all mini ball heads that only have one ¼”-20 mount.
All these solution work great for me. They are secure and have a simple small footprint. Having versatility is huge. The Xtender kits can also be upgraded as you upgrade your kit making them a long lasting accessory in my arsenal of mounts.