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Old November 1st, 2013, 07:43 AM   #1
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Best tripod setup for Canon XF100?

I'm starting a new wedding and event videography business and currently use a canon 600D as my primary video camera. Narrowing down my searches for another semi-professional camcorder I decided on getting the Canon XF100, which should work nicely as my new primary camcorder with the 600D DSLR becoming the secondary camera for beauty shots.

Anyway my question I wanted to ask for anyone who has a Canon XF100, what professional tripod would you recommend?

I'm looking for something that is fairly light for travelling from venue to venue and good enough for smooth pans and slight tilts, my budget is around 150 to maybe 250 at most (around $240 to $400 I think). But I don't mind putting a bit more towards it if needed. Would love a Manfrotto but might be a bit out of my price range.

Thanks, any advice would be great,
Amy,
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Old November 1st, 2013, 09:42 AM   #2
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Re: Best tripod setup for Canon XF100?

I would look at standardizing on one plate type.

Often people like going from their tripod to their monopod to steady rig to their slider...

There are also quick release plates that go on top of the plate that comes with the tripod. This is an example of a bigger camera where we standardized on broadcast style plates:

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Old November 1st, 2013, 11:46 AM   #3
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Re: Best tripod setup for Canon XF100?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Goetz View Post
I would look at standardizing on one plate type.

Often people like going from their tripod to their monopod to steady rig to their slider...

There are also quick release plates that go on top of the plate that comes with the tripod. This is an example of a bigger camera where we standardized on broadcast style plates:

Sony NIPROS ST-1 in action - YouTube
Thanks for the information Phil, that is something I will definitely look into doing, as it will help when upgrading my equipment in the future with new mounts, as well as knowing it all works well together, etc.
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Old November 1st, 2013, 12:58 PM   #4
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Re: Best tripod setup for Canon XF100?

Hi Amy, I am upgrading all my kit and getting shot of my Libec LS38. Cosmetically it looks used, but it still works like a dream. I can chuck in a Manfrotto plate, which will help with the moving from monopod to tripod issue mentioned above. Comes with padded carry case. Willing to let it go for 215 posted.
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Old November 1st, 2013, 12:59 PM   #5
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Re: Best tripod setup for Canon XF100?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy Lynch View Post
... good enough for smooth pans and slight tilts, my budget is around 150 to maybe 250 at most.
Sadly, those two requirements are contradictory. Smooth pans / tilts are difficult to accomplish. A still camera tripod, where all the tripod has to do is hold the camera up off the ground, won't cut it. A video tripod has to be designed for the camera to be moved, and for this movement to be damped, which puts some torque into the legs. If the legs aren't designed and built for it, they'll "wind up" during a pan and release this torque back into the head when you stop panning -- you'll see it as "bounce back" in your footage at the end of the pan. Very annoying, that.

A video head is considerably different than a still camera head too. A video head has to do a handful of things for you. It has to allow a buttery smooth pan / tilt, including most especially the starts and stops. It has to do this under a variety of damping settings. It has to balance the camera so that when you let go of the pan bar, the camera stays in the orientation that you left it in.

About the rock bottom minimum for a small-ish camera like the XF100 is going to be something like the
Sachtler Ace M
which can handle up to 4kg IIRC. The head is an actual fluid head, and it acts like one (nice and smooth), but it's largely plastic, which might or might not have implications about its expected longevity. The legs however are weak. They do wind up some when you pan, so there is some bounce back at the end of a pan, which just means you have to pay attention to that aspect and control it.

This is about the minimum level, again IMHO, that will let you create footage without any visible artifacts from the tripod, if you work at it. Lesser tripods you can work at all you want without being able to make artifact-free footage. Better tripods let you work at it less.
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Old November 1st, 2013, 04:23 PM   #6
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Re: Best tripod setup for Canon XF100?

Just have a look at a Fancier 270A, and Google the reviews.
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Old November 2nd, 2013, 07:23 AM   #7
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Re: Best tripod setup for Canon XF100?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Sheehan View Post
Hi Amy, I am upgrading all my kit and getting shot of my Libec LS38. Cosmetically it looks used, but it still works like a dream. I can chuck in a Manfrotto plate, which will help with the moving from monopod to tripod issue mentioned above. Comes with padded carry case. Willing to let it go for 215 posted.
I think I've used that tripod before ages ago back in college, the LS38 name sounds similar, seem a good tripod from the amount of use it got every week. Have you got any pics of it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
Sadly, those two requirements are contradictory. Smooth pans / tilts are difficult to accomplish. A still camera tripod, where all the tripod has to do is hold the camera up off the ground, won't cut it. A video tripod has to be designed for the camera to be moved, and for this movement to be damped, which puts some torque into the legs. If the legs aren't designed and built for it, they'll "wind up" during a pan and release this torque back into the head when you stop panning -- you'll see it as "bounce back" in your footage at the end of the pan. Very annoying, that.

A video head is considerably different than a still camera head too. A video head has to do a handful of things for you. It has to allow a buttery smooth pan / tilt, including most especially the starts and stops. It has to do this under a variety of damping settings. It has to balance the camera so that when you let go of the pan bar, the camera stays in the orientation that you left it in.

About the rock bottom minimum for a small-ish camera like the XF100 is going to be something like the Sachtler Ace M which can handle up to 4kg IIRC. The head is an actual fluid head, and it acts like one (nice and smooth), but it's largely plastic, which might or might not have implications about its expected longevity. The legs however are weak. They do wind up some when you pan, so there is some bounce back at the end of a pan, which just means you have to pay attention to that aspect and control it.

This is about the minimum level, again IMHO, that will let you create footage without any visible artifacts from the tripod, if you work at it. Lesser tripods you can work at all you want without being able to make artifact-free footage. Better tripods let you work at it less.
I know it can be hard to get a really good tripod for that amount, so I will need to see what features of the more expensive models I can do without to bring it down to my budget. At the moment I'm using a Sony tripod for my DSLR that I brought used for 25 so any tripod would be a step up from this. I think a fluid head would help a lot with smoother pans. so something like that Sachtler is a good option, slightly out of my budget but would consider it depending of what else I find. Thanks for the advice really helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainer Listing View Post
Just have a look at a Fancier 270A, and Google the reviews.
Just read a few reviews and watched a few YouTube videos on the tripod. It seems a really good tripod for the price. Had a brief search of where to buy one in the UK, but have only found so far ones lists on ebay from China. But will have a better look today. Thanks
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Old November 3rd, 2013, 11:10 AM   #8
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Re: Best tripod setup for Canon XF100?

I'll take some pictures, Amy. Can you PM me your email address?
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Old November 9th, 2013, 11:55 PM   #9
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Re: Best tripod setup for Canon XF100?

I agree that a Sachtler Ace is a minimum choice. A true fluid head is critical for HD. A good true fluid head can be used for years, over the course of several vintages of cameras. I use Sachtler FSB-4 and Cine DSLR fluid heads on Gitzo CF legs for my XF100 and even for my XA20.
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Old November 23rd, 2013, 04:37 PM   #10
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Re: Best tripod setup for Canon XF100?

I also have the XF100 and have been using this, which I think is a clone of the Fancier 270:

Amazon.com: ePhoto WF717 Professional Heavy Duty Video Camcorder Tripod with Fluid Drag Head: Camera & Photo

It does get decent results, but I'm interested in something better now that works smoother, goes taller, etc.

Until I saw this thread I had been looking at the Benro models with the S6 head @ $300:
Amazon.com: Benro A2573FS6 Single Leg Video Tripod Kit - (Black): Electronics

1. Is this the recommended Sachtler @ $557?
Sachtler Ace M Fluid Head with 2-Stage Aluminum Tripod 1001 B&H

...and is it really a noticeable step up from the Fancier clones and the Benro?

2. I might could stretch to $750 or so. Would that open up better options, or is the Sachtler really the best unless you can go >$1K???

3. How does this compare to the Sachtler?
Manfrotto Mvh502A Head, 546B Tripod and Carrying MVH502A,546BK
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