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This weekly course covers the most common questions videographers encounter when shooting and editing with DSLR cameras, from choosing a frame size and frame rate to understanding moiré. Authors Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman will also help you understand the impacts of compression and the difference between cropped (or micro 4/3rds) and full-sized sensors in cameras, and much more. This continual FAQ guide is a handy way to find the answers to the questions that plague you the most.
Rich Harrington: So, Rob, if you already have an investment in gear--I think you and I share the same belief-- maximize that investment, right? Robbie Carman: Yeah, I mean the thing about gear is that it costs money, and over time the money can add up. If you spend, let's say 500 bucks on a nice set of carbon fiber legs, well, why-- am I going to go out and spend another $5 hundred thousand on a set of legs when it just says video not photo? Rich: Right, these things can be adapted. Here I have a lighter weight tripod, perfectly fine. This would be one that I would use in a backpacking type situation.
This is one that I prefer more on set when transportation isn't as much an issue. Well, the good news is, is I can carry both heads with me as I go into the field. Now, what I recommend is don't attach and detach heads with the camera bodies attached. That's a recipe for disaster. You turn things around and pop! Drop the camera body. Robbie: Absolutely. Rich: So we'll just unhook this first, I've got a good hand on the camera, push the button there to release it from the plate. Here we go, and we'll just take that off and set it down. Robbie: Yep, and I'll do the same thing over on this end. Rich: You notice here, this is just a standard thread mount.
You see there, very easy, super fine to attach. You'll sometimes see step up threads on there if you're using a smaller quality tripod, but that's a pretty standard head. I'll go ahead and just lock this down so it doesn't spin freely and then with a little bit of a turn, that will start to come off. There we go, and we just detach it. Robbie: There we go, and then we'll swap it out, put it over here on this end and in a few twists, we'll have this guy back on here, and voila, we've converted our ball head that we had on this guy earlier into a nice fluid head that I can use and have a nice fluid action on the camera body itself.
Rich: This is going to give us--if we unlock that--the pans and tilts that we might need for that movement, easy conversion. And that's the thing, you can carry both heads with you. If you've already invested for still photography, I invest in, for example, Really Right Stuff. There's lots of different brands out there, this is a good solid system that works for my photo work, but it doesn't work for video. So, the fact that I could pop that off and switch it over, kind of like, I know you are a bag junky, I got tons of gears bags. Robbie: Yep. Rich: I got four tripods at this point. It's all like, oh, this is the one that's small enough to fit into my airline carry on bag.
Robbie: And it is funny, I found myself spending the big money on--at least initially-- the big money on the sticks, the base themselves. And then as my budgets have grown over the years, or my needs have changed over the years, I'm not swapping out legs all the time. I have a pretty good set of legs that will work for most situations. What I'm really upgrading most of the time is the head. System like this, especially with the thread mounts, it can make it very easy to go from when I'm shooting photographs, from a ball style head to when I'm shooting video and go into a fluid style of head.
Rich: It just makes it easy for you to adapt to the situation, this way you don't have to make a choice if you want to go from, say, that head can get adapted to a monopod if I'm in a very low profile situation where I don't have room for a tripod, or maybe I'm shooting in public spaces where tripods aren't allowed. I could take that same head and adapt it. If I'm just going out to shoot time-lapse, I don't want a fluid head, I want a head like this where I could easily lock down the shot and the camera is not going to move. You are investing in a tripod system, and the good news is, is that the major components, the legs and the heads, are generally fully interchangeable.
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