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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: Hi, my name is Rich Harrington. Robbie Carman: And I'm Robbie Carman. Rich: And today we are in a forest of tripods here. Robbie: Where am I? Rich: Yes, lots of tripods, lots of choices, and that's actually the focus here. Now a lot of folks are like, I have a tripod, I don't need a new tripod. Robbie: Well, that's true, Rich, but the thing about tripods and the heads of these tripods use is that they dramatically sort of affect the quality of your shoots and the shots that you get. Now you might be thinking to yourself, well, that's what the camera body and the glass is about. Well, you're right, but the tripod and the head that you use dramatically affect sort of the quality and the stability of the shots that you can get, and different tripods and different style heads are going to be useful for different types of shooting situations.
Rich: Yeah, if you break it down, there are really two major components to the tripod at which people think of it as a single unit. There are the legs itself and a wide range, you've got everything from carbon fiber to heavy duty and steel and aluminum, lots of choices, and then there's the head. The type of head that works well for still shooting is not necessarily the type of head that works well for video shooting. So we are going to look at comparing the two as well as talk about adapting the equipment. Now the bigger thing to think about here, too, is how much weight can your tripod support? You might have already invested in a photo tripod and it's perfect, right? Right weight, this is going to hold it.
Now for example, I've got a lighter weight one here, but as we start to add accessories like follow focus and a rail system and onboard monitor and an audio recorder, all of a sudden you've doubled or maybe even tripled the weight of the camera body and your body might overdo what the tripod is ready to hold. Robbie: That's right, Rich, and you know, when it comes to tripods and heads, I'm of the mind-set that bigger is actually better. Now I don't mean bigger necessarily in physical size, but the beefier the quality of the components and sort of the strength of the legs and the strength of the head--because the worst thing that you want to have happen is that that you are out there on set and all of a sudden your camera and your tripod just kind of goes plop, right? And then everything is on the ground.
My attitude is I always sort of go about twice to three times what I potentially need for my tripod and the support and that's the one I go for. Rich: Fortunately, the gear keeps getting better. For example, what we are seeing again and again is the use of materials like carbon fiber. That's making for really light-weight tripods that are easy to carry, lift, do what you need to here, and the benefit is that these are going to be easier as you have to lug them onto location. But, really, you got to get a good balance between having a stable platform, a rock steady shot, and the portability.
Remember, you have the ability to hire additional crew to help you out or you can make more than one trip to get from the car to your location. I always love--and I am guilty of this, the backpack with the extra pieces. Robbie: Right. Rich: You're holding something in one hand and in the other arm and then you're biting something in your mouth trying not to drop it. Go for that stable tripod. Now when we come back, we are going to look at some of the standard photo tripod options and what you need to consider if this is going to be enough for video shooting.
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