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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Tripod Heads For Shooting Video
Kevin Johnston, Photographer
Oden | MI | USA | Posted: 11:35 AM on 08.04.13
->> The more research I do the more questions I have and it seems as though if one were to move to shooting more video its going to require some new accessories.

I use a ball head on my old tripod but I'm not sure that will work very well if I were shooting video. I would think this would be especially true with longer glass and moving subjects.

Any recommendations on tripod heads for shooting video with a DSLR?
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Andrew Nelles, Photographer
Chicago | IL | usa | Posted: 11:52 AM on 08.04.13
->> A nice fluid head is a nice for smooth video movement. Equally important in my opinion is having a system that allows you to level the head easily.

I've been using this combo with has a decent fluid head for DSLRS and a tripod with a build in leveler.

http://www.manfrotto.com/701hdv-755xb-alu-tripod-mbag80
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Guy Rhodes, Photographer
East Chicago | IN | USA | Posted: 5:55 AM on 08.05.13
->> Not trying to be one of those "search the message board" posters, but I've answered this question quite a few times here on the boards. This thread has some good answers and discussion from myself and others:

http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=36880

As you guessed, the ball head is going to be useless for video work (unless your camera is going to be locked off as a remote / time lapse).

One of the great layers we get to explore with video is that of moving the camera, and to do this well, you'll need a good fluid head.
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Chris Peterson, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbia Falls | MT | USA | Posted: 8:16 AM on 08.05.13
->> I'm saving my pennies for a Sachtler. Just my two cents... You can buy them in a combo-tripod head and legs.

Here's a demo:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyZ8rwsZBF4
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 9:34 AM on 08.05.13
->> If all you really need is a tripod head for video the Manfrotto MVH502AH for under $150 is nice. If your tripod doesn't allow you to level the head that might be a consideration on buying a new video tripod to go with it.
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Perrone Ford, Photographer
Tallahassee | FL | US | Posted: 10:18 AM on 08.05.13
->> Along these same lines, PLEASE understand that a photography tripod is NOT the same as a video tripod. They work differently, are braced differently, have a different means for attaching the head, etc.

Moving the camera while shooting is a brave new world for people who've only done stills.
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Peter Huoppi, Photographer
New London | CT | USA | Posted: 2:55 PM on 08.05.13
->> Avoid the Manfrotto MVH502AH suggested above by Jim. I have one, and it's a pain in the butt. The levers that lock the pan and tilt, which are usually located on the left side of the head, are in the front (pan) and right (tilt), which make them extremely inconvenient to use if you're holding the pan bar with your right hand.

The long mounting plate, while nice on a camcorder, is fairly unwieldy on the bottom of an SLR.

I like my Sachtler FSB6 head for a camcorder body.
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T.J. Hamilton, Photographer
Grand Rapids | MI | USA | Posted: 5:11 PM on 08.14.13
->> I second what Peter says about the Sachtler tripods, I've been a newspaper still photojournalist for 22 years, and after being forced out from MLive I moved into television journalism. We are using the Sschtler heads and tripods at our TV station, they are great. They have fluid heads, and use a bowl leveler, which are a snap to use. The only downside is they are pricey. I've looked into purchasing one of these tripods for my freelance video business I do on the side, but at $1,300+ (used) for the tripod and head, I'm going to have to save for awhile, but it will be worth it in the end.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 8:31 PM on 08.14.13
->> "Avoid the Manfrotto MVH502AH suggested above by Jim. I have one, and it's a pain in the butt. The levers that lock the pan and tilt, which are usually located on the left side of the head, are in the front (pan) and right (tilt), which make them extremely inconvenient to use if you're holding the pan bar with your right hand."

I have NO idea which tripod head Mr. Huoppi is using but on the Manfrotto MVH502AH head that I have the Tilt lock is on the left and the Pan lock is at the rear, assuming that you have the pan bar mounted on the right hand side of the head as one would do if one is right handed.

Perhaps he has the everything screwed on backwards?

P.S. The "long" mounting plate works equally well with a video camera or a DSLR.
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Perrone Ford, Photographer
Tallahassee | FL | US | Posted: 11:21 PM on 08.14.13
->> There are a lot of good video heads and pods out there. Sachtler, Miller, Cartoni, Libec (which I have), etc. None are cheap, all work very well.

Do NOT underbuy on these. Unlike shooting sports on a monopod, you are NOT using shutter speeds that will freeze your motion. This is like shooting stills at 1/30. If your tripod is wobbly, it will ruin everything you do. If you head is poor, you will get jerky video every time you move the camera.
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Peter Huoppi, Photographer
New London | CT | USA | Posted: 4:46 PM on 08.15.13
->> Jim, I wish I had the same tripod head you describe. Mine looks like the one on the Manfrotto site here: http://www.manfrotto.com/pro-video-head-flat-base-msize
With the drag adjustment knob on the left, and the locks on the front and right.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 11:23 PM on 08.15.13
->> My very bad. I have, and recommend, the MVH500AH head (shown here) and not the 502.

http://www.manfrotto.com/product/8709.31708.22801.0.0/MVH500AH/_/Lightweigh...

My apologies. Your head seems built for lefties.
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Peter Huoppi, Photographer
New London | CT | USA | Posted: 10:36 PM on 08.16.13
->> Some left-handed engineer getting his revenge, maybe.
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Thread Title: Tripod Heads For Shooting Video
Thread Started By: Kevin Johnston
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