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Any suggestions on Tripods

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Mark Laslo
Any suggestions on Tripods
on Mar 29, 2011 at 8:06:23 pm

Hi All,

I'm not sure if there is a better place for this but I'm looking for a little product information. I am in the process of buying a Panasonic HMC-150 and am looking for a tripod. I have a Davis and Sanford Provista 75 XB currently that I am using with our current 150. It works decently but I feel like the head is difficult to balance and that while fluid once in motion, it sticks initially and the head pulls back slightly once motion is completed so a shot does not settle clean unless I hold the handle completely steady after a pan or tilt finishes. All of this is manageable so I am considering another one but wanted to see if you have any suggestions.

My price range is $200 and it just needs to support the HMC - 150 for now. No plans of a heavier camera at this point. Most shooting is done in doors, but we do a fair share of outdoor interviews and event coverage. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.



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Mark Suszko
Re: Any suggestions on Tripods
on Mar 29, 2011 at 9:29:08 pm

$200 might pay for just the spreader on one of our tripods. Maybe. I can't imagine a decent fluid head AND sticks for that much. But ask in the Cinematographer's forum, they'll be sure to have some opinions.

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Steve Eisen
Re: Any suggestions on Tripods
on Mar 29, 2011 at 9:39:56 pm

$200 tripod will be fine If you don't plan on doing any pan or tilts.

Try Varizoom. If you don't like it, you can always return it.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Vice President
Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group

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Bernard Newnham
Re: Any suggestions on Tripods
on Mar 29, 2011 at 9:44:36 pm

We use these - A little above your price range, but anything less isn't really worth having.



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Scott Sheriff
Re: Any suggestions on Tripods
on Mar 29, 2011 at 10:51:28 pm

I think your going to need a bit more budget.
200 dollars barely gets a good still camera tripod and a decent light stand will set you back 75-120 dollars.
For 600-700 dollar range Manfrotto has some decent sticks and smaller fluid heads if your camera doesn't weigh too much over 12 pounds or so.
Considering what a 'real' set of sticks and a head costs, this is a bargain basement price and probably the least you should consider spending if your buying new gear.

Scott Sheriff

I have a system, it has stuff in it, and stuff hooked to it. I have a camera, it can record stuff. I read the manuals, and know how to use this stuff and lots of other stuff too.
You should be suitably impressed...

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Marvin Holdman
Re: Any suggestions on Tripods
on Mar 30, 2011 at 2:07:20 pm

You should really consider making an investment in a great tripod. Camera's will come and go, but a really well built tripod will last for many, many years. The company we work at still have some tripods that were purchased over a decade ago that still work great. Sadly, today's camera's are much smaller and lighter, so we had to purchase some smaller, quality pods (Vinten). That being said, the old one's are still used (teleprompter setups) and will be around for a long time. We also tend to think that the form factors of camera's have stabilized. We don't think they're going to get that much smaller, so it's a good time to be making another investment in something like a tripod. We can reasonably expect to use it at least 10 years. Cost out that expensive tripod over that time and it won't seem like such a hit. Cost out that cheap one over the same time period. I promise, if you go cheap there, you WILL buy it again within 3 years. Then you'll be back where you are today, having to make the same decision. Worse yet, cheap gear is going to let yo down at the WORST time... during production.

I've spent so much money over the years on camera's and tried to scrimp on grip and light. Many years ago, we decided to bit the bullet and make investments in equipment with much lower obsolescent factor, like grip, light, audio and camera support. In the long run we found that, while you CAN save a few bucks on support gear (low budget stuff, DIY hardware stuff, etc.) , in the long run you will buy it again and again.

Turns out, cheap is more expensive in the long haul.

Just saying.

Marvin Holdman
Production Manager
Tourist Network
8317 Front Beach Rd, Suite 23
Panama City Beach, Fl
phone 850-234-2773 ext. 128
cell 850-585-9667
skype username - vidmarv

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Brian Wells
Re: Any suggestions on Tripods
on Apr 1, 2011 at 12:06:31 am

I would gently suggest reconsidering hanging a 3 kilobuck HD camera on a 2 hectobuck tripod. As was pointed out above, you will very likely find out the hard way exactly when the worst time to have a Tripod Mutiny is. Our small team is a collective big fan of at least the single-stage Cartonis as a minimum to hold our HMC-150s.

-And don't forget to turn off your OIS when on the sticks.

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