Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Camera support for video

For photography I have three different tripods for different purposes. The smallest one is a GorillaPod that holds a compact system camera with a big zoom, but not much else. It can be wrapped around branches and narrow tree trunks, which makes it quite versatile. The next one is a small Slik Sprint Mini II GM, which is stable when extended up to 1 meter, but not much more. I've used it quite a lot, and this is the one I bring when going out for a bike ride. Trying to attach some sort of pan head would be too much, though. My big tripod is an ancient Manfrotto 055C with a Slik Pro Ballhead 800. This combination is much too big and heavy to be transported any longer distances with a bike or by foot.

For videography I'm considering a panning head, though I don't know which one yet. It would also be used with the bird spotting scope, which I have used with the Ballhead 800 for now. The panning head would have to be light (and not too expensive), since I don't plan to use any heavy equipment with it. A long term purchase would also be a new big tripod, which in practice would have to be of carbon fibre to be light enough for me. I doubt that I can afford it soon, though.

For video shots not taken on a tripod I bought the CamCaddie, but it turned out to be a small disappointment for me. It didn't provide any additional stability over my monopod, a Slik Monopod 350 EX, while being a lot less versatile. For the most part the video below is filmed with the camera on a monopod (no image stabilization) with only a few static parts on a tripod:

I think this monopod technique is very usable and with some practice I should also get better at it.


  1. Like you I'm using a couple of options, a Gorillapod and a Manfrotto Compact tripod with video/photo head. The tripod produces far better results but the Gorillapod is so light and adaptable to different scenarios. It's always a tough choice when it comes to picking the right tool for each trip.

  2. There is not one tool that fits all jobs, but I guess you could come a little closer by throwing money at the problem, but that is not always possible.

  3. I bought a Tamrac Zipshot for stills and just use a walking pole (with camera attachment) for video panning shots. Its largely rubbish but it can be used for time-lapses (with a bit of ground anchoring) and adapted to a stabiliser by adding some weight. Its not right but its OK!