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Working with other camera supports

From: Video for Photographers: Shooting with a DSLR

Video: Working with other camera supports

Tripods and video heads are important, but there are other camera supports you should know about. Camera support is always important for video because you're constantly recording something over time. It is difficult to hold the camera perfectly still over time without some sort of support. First let's look at the monopod. Monopod is essentially one leg of a tripod with a head attached. You don't need a fluid head or anything like that because with the monopod, you can always turn it back-and- forth without any problems.

Working with other camera supports

Tripods and video heads are important, but there are other camera supports you should know about. Camera support is always important for video because you're constantly recording something over time. It is difficult to hold the camera perfectly still over time without some sort of support. First let's look at the monopod. Monopod is essentially one leg of a tripod with a head attached. You don't need a fluid head or anything like that because with the monopod, you can always turn it back-and- forth without any problems.

You will need some sort of head though simply to allow the camera to be tilted up and down without making the monopod change away from being upright. A great advantage of a monopod is simply it is very lightweight and easy to carry around. It does not take up a lot of space, so you can use it even in a crowd and get a stable image. Monopod does have a tendency to move to one side or another as you move, but if you're careful in how you hold it and careful in how you move with it, you can get remarkably stable shots with this support.

Another important support for video is a beanbag. Now, I consider beanbags so important that it is always in my camera bag. With a beanbag, I can use almost anything solid for support by simply putting the beanbag on that solid object and the camera on the beanbag. A beanbag traditionally was simply a bag filled with beans. Today's modern beanbags are usually a high-tech fabric bag filled with plastic pellets. This makes the bag very lightweight and you never have problems with it getting wet.

To use a beanbag, simply find a solid support, put the beanbag down on the support and place the camera on the beanbag pushing the camera down slightly, so that the bag molds to the camera. Now, right now, there are a lot of hand held supports being marketed for DSLR such as this one from Redrock Micro. These supports can make it more comfortable to hand-hold your camera while shooting video, but they also tend to be rather expensive. Now, on this particular one, this is set up for low angle shots. It makes it very easy to hold the camera that way.

It also has a follow focus control, which allows you to focus very easily and smoothly when you need that type of control. But you really have to try out these types of rigs to see if your working style is appropriate for the gear and for the particular way it's set up, because this comes with different sorts of handles and things that come out of the back, and all sorts of ways of working that might be good for you, might not be. It can also be difficult to tell how well you are going to like these supports without actually trying them against your own body and with your own hands.

Now, there is no question a tripod makes it easier to shoot video, even if you are used to shooting your photographs without one. When you're shooting a still photo, you don't have to worry about keeping that camera steady for many seconds of a shot. You do with video. However, I have found that a monopod and a beanbag can be excellent ways of holding your camera still for video without always having to go to a tripod and you may find that some of the specialized supports will help you as well.

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This video is part of

Image for Video for Photographers: Shooting with a DSLR
Video for Photographers: Shooting with a DSLR

33 video lessons · 25100 viewers

Rob Sheppard
Author

 
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  1. 2m 43s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. What video can do for you
      1m 27s
  2. 23m 13s
    1. Stopping time in photography vs. recording over time with video
      4m 14s
    2. Shooting for movement over time
      3m 58s
    3. Composing for constantly changing visuals
      4m 42s
    4. Adjusting to shooting for a non-RAW medium
      3m 26s
    5. Understanding resolution for video
      3m 36s
    6. Choosing a video frame rate
      3m 17s
  3. 37m 21s
    1. Comparing DSLRs with traditional camcorders
      6m 18s
    2. Comparing sensor sizes among DSLR cameras
      5m 26s
    3. Considering noise when comparing sensor sizes
      3m 8s
    4. Choosing memory cards and batteries
      3m 33s
    5. Understanding video tripods
      6m 10s
    6. Working with other camera supports
      3m 19s
    7. Using focusing aids for shooting video
      5m 29s
    8. Choosing lighting gear
      3m 58s
  4. 26m 23s
    1. Adjusting how you shoot
      6m 11s
    2. Limited "fixing" of images
      3m 42s
    3. Understanding the challenge of shutter speed
      3m 56s
    4. Getting the right exposure
      6m 59s
    5. Setting the right white balance
      5m 35s
  5. 19m 39s
    1. Understanding the importance of audio
      4m 5s
    2. Learning to work with sound
      4m 54s
    3. Gearing up for audio
      7m 19s
    4. Recording with external audio gear
      3m 21s
  6. 33m 56s
    1. Basic shooting
      6m 12s
    2. Shooting video to tell a story
      7m 27s
    3. Shooting for coverage
      4m 52s
    4. Understanding how to shoot movement
      4m 10s
    5. Shooting the moving subject
      4m 17s
    6. Creating movement
      6m 58s
  7. 6m 57s
    1. Preparing for the edit
      6m 57s
  8. 1m 47s
    1. Stay focused
      1m 47s

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