March 12th, 2007, 12:48 PM
I am looking to buy a monopod to bring with me out in the field. I already have a tripod.
What is a good monopod?
What is a good head for a monopod? One that swivels and locks or not?
March 12th, 2007, 02:00 PM
A monopod is good to help relieve the weight of the camera during long hand held shoots but the monopod use is limited to certain circumstances for a lone cameraperson.
I have used fixed head and swivel heads on monopods and I can tell you that I prefer the head fixed. Monopods are mostly designed for still cameras and the HD100 series is way beyond the size and weight of a still camera. You can try the tilt swivel but the balance goes way, way off and in the end you expend a lot of energy for a shot that might end up as shaky as a hand-held shot, although in different way.
With a monopod, I have had success shooting interviews, landscape pans and some event coverage. However the monopod became a hinderance during any filming that requires a lot of tilting up or down. And this was learned with a Sony PD-170. I've used the monopod once with the HD-100 and that was during a full weekend handheld shoot. I never used the monopod during taping, only in between takes as a way to rest my shoulder without setting the camera down. The HD-100 is well designed for hand-held filming unlike some of the other small HD cameras available.
March 12th, 2007, 02:06 PM
Thank you for your well-informed and clear answer. I completely understand what you are saying and agree with it all.
I think I will get the monopod and then see if I live to regret it (aka sell it off). I am going to get the Manfrotto 558B. If anyone has any bad, do not buy it, stories...please do tell.
I am off to Madagascar and would love to be able to find cool ways to get up in the trees with the lemurs I am taping (I might be able to find some when there - sadly not on Nat Geo budget to build a tower, and I am my whole crew). However, going to see if the monopod would work for some lemurs in lower tree branches that are higher than me but not at the top of the canopy.
March 12th, 2007, 04:05 PM
I can see how the monopod might help in this situation. See if you can find a larger rubber foot attachment. The rounded hard rubber ball that a lot of monopods have might slip in certain places.