Friday, May 13, 2011

New Tripod!

After much shopping, comparing, searching... I finally bought a tripod today.  I am now the proud owner of a Manfrotto 701HDV, 547BK Video Tripod system with bag!  It has features I wanted: capability to go real low to the ground, easy to lock/unlock the legs, smooth motion for panning or tilting, and camera leveler.  Plus it has some features I hoped to get but didn't think I could afford... spiked rubber feet (the rubber feet are great on level surfaces, but I can lower the spikes if I am on uneven, or rocky surfaces) and it came with a carrying bag!

When I first started looking for a tripod, I didn't think it would be difficult to find what I wanted, but most of the tripods I found were made for still photography, not video.  Many salespeople looked at me like I was nuts, "You want a camera leveler?  Well, this one shows when the legs are level."  And I would try to explain... "I don't give a hoot if the legs are level, I want my camera level.  If I'm shooting on the side of a hill, I want to quickly level the camera."  I pictured some of the shots I took while filming A Shear Gem.  For some shots I had one leg of the tripod on a bench and the other two legs on the ground.  I don't care what the legs are doing...have I emphasized enough yet?...I just want my camera level!

Granted, my tripod is not heavy duty professional quality, like the one I toted around Italy last summer, but it suits my needs.

Tomorrow I have my first paying video job.  I'm filming a short documentary style ad for a small company to place on their website.   (Okay, so they are paying me in merchandise, but hey, I'm fine with that!)

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