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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.
Robbie Carman: So Rich, one benefit that monopods have is sort of an unexpected one. Obviously they're great for stability, but when you're in certain shooting situations, like a concert or a crowded event, they can help you get that camera elevated so you can get key shots that you might have otherwise missed. Rich Harrington: Yeah, and it's not just the booming up sort of shots, I also like it for overhead shots. So if I want to get action, for example, I had some great shots where the kids were playing at the beach, I just want the camera to be floating above them, and I didn't want to cast a shadow by standing right over them shooting, so I was able to get the camera higher.
So you nailed it, you can do the traditional sort of--we're going to go right out of the frame here, periscope up, and get really, really high, or you can go ahead and lean that forward, and again, sort of like, okay, we're fishing here. We're going to take it and boom up. Robbie Carman: Yeah, that's a very similar technique to maybe how you would hold a microphone boom. You'd get into the scene, so you're looking down on something and getting action, yeah. Rich Harrington: Yeah, and that works great, and really the extra height goes a long way. Now in this case here, one of the features that will come in handy, some DSLRs will have a reticulating LCD panel, so you can angle that down.
Or maybe you are going to use that external monitor on a boom arm so you can see what you're shooting, but if you frame the shot up, you can go ahead and take that up high, start to shoot. Same thing, I am just twisting this here, but while we were talking earlier, you actually brought up sort of a good thing. Robbie Carman: One of the things you might have seen like flag bearers, for example, in a parade, they have sort of these-- Rich Harrington: Belt pocket right here. Robbie Carman: A belt on, a little pocket on to hold the flag, so they're not carrying the weight of the flag. Well, you can actually repurpose those for purposes of using a monopod and it actually adds more stability to the shot, because you're not holding the full weight of the entire monopod.
Instead of doing one of these numbers, you are just leaning it into this pocket and then you can tilt around and do whatever you want, and it provides a little extra stability for sure. Rich Harrington: Yeah. So I think you ought to give this a shot. The monopod is one of those great things. If you find yourself going, oh, lugging a tripod, I'll just handheld it. I never regret bringing the monopod, particularly because when I collapse this down, there are really robust ones, and I love the one that you have there, but this adds about 9 inches, 12 inches into my backpack, not a lot of weight to carry, very lightweight.
Robbie Carman: Yeah, and then that's the thing too is that, you have just like every other piece of gear out there, you have a lot of options for how you want to spend your dollars on a monopod, and one of the great things about monopods is they're available in a lot of different styles, different heads, like a fluid head or a ball head you have right there. You can get them in high-quality carbon fiber. You can get them in more traditional aluminum casings for the monopod. So they are available for different price points and different features, and the point is try out a couple, because some of them might be more useful.
For example, I actually find a heavier duty, sort of heavier monopod to sometimes be more useful than the lightest weight carbon one out there, because I want a more stable platform without the bulk of a tripod, so a little heavier is not so bad all the time. Rich Harrington: Yeah. And push comes to shove, it's a great walking stick when you're trying to shoot or maybe you just need personal self-defense weapons. Robbie Carman: Right, fending off grizzly bears and stuff like that, exactly. Rich Harrington: It actually wouldn't be the first time a photographer had to do that. So take a look at those monopods, head down your local camera store.
Remember, they're not just for photo shooting--really come in handy for video too.
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