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A guide to buying a video camera tripod

This article provides relevant information which needs to be considered when purchasing a camera tripod. From the cost to the type of head to the maximum height, these factors are all important when making your decision.

Avoid cheap tripods

Anyone who uses camera and video equipment will know the importance of using a tripod. Without one, getting a steady shot can sometimes be tricky. While videographers can spend many thousands of pounds on camera equipment, some of them seem to overlook the need for a good tripod. This is a mistake. While some tripods can be prohibitively expensive, purchasing a cheap lightweight tripod can turn out to be a waste of money. You should only use a lightweight tripod, if you are using a tripod camcorder or anything heavier, but it may not support your equipment.

Strong and sturdy

There are many things to look for in buying a tripod. First, your tripod should be sturdy, solid and heavy, as it will need to support some heavy equipment. However, it shouldn’t be of much weight so that you can’t transport it or lift it. Also, remember that the heavier the tripod, the more stable and steadier your shots will be. Spiked feet which are able to stick into the ground, will also give your tripod more stability. You also need to consider if you are planning to film outdoors. If the tripod is to be used for professional purposes and if you can afford it, consider a carbon fibre tripod. They are expensive, but are strong, sturdy and built to last.

Spirit level

Getting a level shot is important. If your shot is off by even a few degrees, it may not work. So, a spirit level built into the tripod is a very handy feature to ensure that your shot is set up correctly. The tripod head is also important and you should be looking at one with a levelling bowl. The camera sits in the levelling bowl and is easily adjustable on uneven ground without having to adjust the legs. It also works with the spirit level to allow you to easily level your camera correctly.

Fluid head

A fluid head which is easily adjustable is also advisable, so you are not constantly struggling to adjust your shots. You want to be able to pan and tilt as smoothly as possible, avoiding the “stick slip” effect that can occur with some tripods. There are other considerations, such as a quick release hot shoe. So, you can remove the camera quickly from the tripod and also look at the maximum height of the tripod.

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